Kitchen Think: How To Be Nice


Quit sneaking cigarettes. Cut back on the drinking. Stop buying designer shoes. Lose weight. No wheat. Less botox. No more texting while driving (really). Exercise more.

Mama hangs out with a really interesting crowd… those are some of my friends’ New Year’s resolutions.

I’m not a fan of  New Year’s resolutions… I don’t usually make them. Instead, I set goals… and I always keep my goals to myself (just in case it doesn’t happen right away). But this year I did make one resolution:

Be nicer.

I’m not proud of it, but I admit I’m not always nice. Oh, I do nice things for people, but my big downfall is that I’m too blunt, too honest, and too direct. I’m smart enough to know how to edit what I say so it won’t come off as harsh (or, I’ll admit, mean) but for some reason I just can’t help myself.

Being mean is not being nice.

When I was little, Aba used to tell me to “think before you speak.” I guess she was right. I’m going to work on being nicer by tempering my words. I’ll let you know 362 days from now how it worked out.

This resolution is one that I think everyone can accomplish without any big sacrifice. It won’t send you into withdrawal, make you hungry or give you wrinkles. The best part? It’s free.

Here are 10 ways you can be nice with very little effort:
• Donate at least one seasonally appropriate article of clothing or pair of shoes (yours or your kids) to a charity every month. Too often when we clean our closets, we get rid of winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter.
• Answer emails promptly. This includes any eVites or other requests.
• When driving, let the other guy go first for a change.
• On a similar note, use your turn signal.
• Answer the phone even when caller I.D. identifies someone you don’t want to talk to. (This will really put my resolution to the test.)
• Donate books you have read (and know you won’t read again).
• When you’re at the grocery store checkout, if the person behind you has considerably less stuff, offer to let them go ahead of you.
• Remember that customer service reps are only doing their jobs. In other words: don’t kill the messenger.
• Offer up a “thank you” or word of praise anytime anyone does something nice or considerate.
• Be nice to your kids and significant other. This should go without saying, but it is something we all need to work on.

Believe it or not, being nice can make a difference. If it stops just one person in their tracks, makes them think “Gee, why didn’t I do that?” isn’t it worth it? Who knows, maybe the next time around you’ll be the beneficiary of some gentle kindness extended your way.

(Boy…this could be a looong year for Mama.)


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posted under The Kitchen Think

2 thoughts on “Kitchen Think: How To Be Nice

    1. Mama Post author

      I’ll do my best, that’s the most we can hope for. On the other hand, trying to get GP into “nice” driving is proving a bit difficult…


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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: