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How to be a nice human

Fat Mum Slim /

how to be a nice human
Have people forgotten how to be nice? Have they?

I’m seeing toxic fairies sprinkling their bitter offerings everywhere of late. A little nastiness here, a bit of nastiness there. Ugh.

I used to be a real softy, like a mouse really. If anyone dared say anything bad I ran away and had a sook, and mentally tortured myself over why anyone on earth would be so un-nice. I think blogging has toughened my skin slightly. I get negative nancy comments a lot. On anything. Any photo that I put on Instagram, there are people there to quickly tell me that I’m doing it wrong; parenting, living, breathing, photo-taking. I’m doing EVERYTHING wrong. If I put a helium balloon up {the rare time I ever buy them} I’m contributing, and totally responsible for, the helium shortage in the world. Slap my wrists. I celebrate my first day with the two girls when Hubby returns to work? I’m a weak bitch.

I’m not alone though. In this social world we live in, social in the online way, if you dare to live online, you’re asking for it. Asking for the nasty. People everywhere are putting up with it. And why is that 100 people can say the loveliest things, but it’s that one negative nancy whose voice seems to be the loudest? Whhhhy?

I could write a list of 250 ways to be a nice human. Things like smile, say please and thank you, give flowers, write love letters, donate your time and a little money, and so on and so forth. But being a nice human is easy, isn’t it? It’s just common sense. Do all that stuff, but before you write something online think whether you’d say it to their face. Think, is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? Will it hurt someone? Will it improve the conversation? Or improve the silence?

And if you want to ignore all that and continue being a subpar human, perhaps it’s time to consider getting a hobby. Don’t you think?

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  • Erin Drummond

    I agree Chantelle. No one seems to have time to be nice these days. Sometimes, when I come in contact with a rude sales person in a shop or something, I think to myself.. they don’t know what type of day i’m having, they don’t know if I’m completely miserable and then to have a rude sales person on top of that just sucks. But on the flip side, when you have a nice person, it’s quite heart-warming. You are right though, we quickly forget the nice people and focus on the negative. I think you are doing a wonderful job of parenting/living/breathing/photo-taking πŸ™‚

    • I think we just have to try and not get disheartened, because then we can easily become one of them.

      Thanks for the compliment. I thought I was doing OK at the breathing thing too. πŸ˜›

    • Jusinta

      I can totally relate to this but im on the flip side. I’m the retailer that goes way above and beyond to be nice and turn people’s bad day around. But in all honesty 50% of people I deal with every single day are rude, nasty or take their bad day out on me. I have people THROW money at me, not use any sort of basic manners like please and thank you, and have people tell me it’s MY fault something broke and how I’ve ruined their week. Everyone just needs to be nicer and treat people how they would like to be treated!

      • Erin Drummond

        I couldn’t agree more Jusinta. I used to work in retail as well and understand it definitely goes both ways. You’re right, if everyone would just be a bit nicer to each other it would make life a whole lot easier! πŸ™‚

      • Yes. It amazes me how rude people can be. I’ve seen them for myself. I also worked in retail for 4 years. People are so entitled sometimes. πŸ™

  • Samantha Hayden

    As my Grandmother used to say, ” if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” That is something I always try to live by, afterall, I may not like something but it may be beautiful to someone else and we all have different tastes and different ways of doing things. Life is too short to be nasty to others, just as it is too short to believe the ones that are being nasty to you! hugs x

  • Absolutely, get a hobby, I couldn’t agree more. Sadly there are too too many people who spend too much time worrying about what other people are doing and offering them criticism rather than worrying about themselves. I commented on Beth’s recent post saying I beleive that it is a bit of a circle, the more positive energy you put into yourself, the easier it is to see the best in others and less that you feel that you need to stand in judgement. Because really, the people with [email protected] to say/write about other people are usually standing in judgement of themselves moreso than anyone else. I think that you are one of the loveliest of humans xx

  • Krissi Ibanez

    I believe it gives people a power rush in their otherwise powerless lives. “The abused become the abusers” cycle. There is also a difference between being negative and giving constructive criticism; people need to learn the difference. Wish them well with a smile and carry on. You are doing great!

  • onebusywahm

    Seriously, people say all that to you? Wow, that is despicable. Don’t ever be afraid to sparkle a little brighter. Give them something to really get mad about πŸ™‚

    • Sarah Milbourn

      “Don’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter.” I love that @onebusywahm, I must remember it! πŸ˜‰

    • Awesome advice. Thank you.

      Will get my sparkle on.

  • taganzoe4

    I’m not a frequent reader of blogs. I am a fat mum slim supporter. I loved running into this body of writing today because I feel as though I personally should put more effort into being a nice human. I don’t believe I put effort into NOT being a nice human. Anyways I wanted to start my efforts here because I wanted you to know that you just placed a nice human seed in me and I intend on growing into a sunflower because sunflowers bring me personal joy. In my opinion, fat mum slim, you are such a positive ray of online sunshine that has done more for me then you could ever know. My love for photography mashed with your inspiring, outgoing, everything positive about anything you put on the web helps me to grow more creative, excited, and thoughtful about improving the world I want to change. Thank you!!

  • Colleen

    I say it’s the impact of the “ME” generation along with social media where people don’t stop to think about anyone but themselves or filter themselves. It’s easy to insult or critic when you’re thousands of miles away/sitting behind a computer.

    People wonder what is happening to our society…well maybe if we went back before social media, where you had to stand behind your words, thoughts, etc…things would be alot different (or basically like they use to be)!

  • Al

    My mum was just saying to me on the weekend that she thinks everyone is so much more angry these days. I think part of the problem is the media feeding such negativity and doom and gloom – don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the typhoon in the Phillipines, we need to know about that, I mean all the talk about how bad the government is in Australia, how the cost of living is rising, how bad we’ve all got it, how it’s politicians’ fault – which is all a load of nonsense spun by self-interested media tycoons. If people keep getting told they’re having a bad time, they’ll have a bad time, and that leads to anger and bitterness and fear. Scaremongering and sensationalist media reporting needs to be tempered in this country or we’ll turn into the UK, where people really are angry and miserable.

  • Cara McKee

    Lovely post. Hope it makes people think a bit more. Can I just say that I love the way you’ve added the writing onto your book picture. And I love that background too… and where did you get the unicorn?

  • Terry Beth Tucker Barnhart

    I have loved your blog because I could always feel the sweetness and acceptance. When I joined the FMS group, I began to see some judgement and a little bullying. I couldn’t stand to see it happening, and I couldn’t stand the anger it made me feel. I left. However, I recently returned and have decided too look for the positive and let the negative go. It has been so nice to be back in the group and I see so much good there, that is being shared and it makes me happy.So glad to find the FMS part of the world.

  • Katie Rainbird

    Nancies the world over are likely insecure, unhappy with themselves, their lives etc or just plain jealous.
    But I think largely people are less nice these days. It starts with parenting & then your community & so on… Sadly we are factoring less importance on being nice.
    It’s a ‘What’s in it for me?’ world.

  • Alicia Shrimpton

    I’m saddened that people can’t treat others as they wish / expect to be treated. Even at work yesterday I had two fellow colleagues treat me at a level I would never treat anyone else. It is upsetting, after all what are out children going to be like?? Before I open my mouth I ask; does it reflect badly on me, my family my friends? If so I don’t take that action or open mouth. Empathy people empathy! Hugs kisses and a whole lot of love is what we need.
    Social media has a part to play but I think people have just lost their manners and it’s all about ME instread of US.

    I believe Chantelle you are a kind caring lovely person albeit I’ve never met you. Shut the out or block them but don’t come down to their level.

  • Sarah Milbourn

    I think you are right. A lot of people have forgotten to be nice humans. So many people are wrapped up in their own little worlds and don’t want to move out of it for anyone. I got hit from behind by a truck yesterday and the guy then denied he hit me! Really? I think you feel it when a truck hits you! And do you think that anyone wanted to help me? Two guys just stood there snickering and telling the truck driver to take photos, the women in the bread shop stood in the doorway laughing like it was a joke because I got so upset and when I asked if anyone saw it, they all said they saw nothing! I know that whenever there is an accident the first thing people do is stop and sticky beak, but then they all said they saw nothing! He was refusing to even give me his details to begin with.
    I know there are a lot of wonderful people out there. I have some wonderful friends who would do anything for me. But there are so many others who can not see past their own square metre of space. More of us need to be willing to help others, even those we don’t know, especially in times of need. Even just with a kind word or two.
    Chantelle, you are an inspiring woman and a wonderful mother. You have done so much for the online community and your followers. Even with a brand new baby, you have continued on! You are amazing, never forget it!

  • So well said, Chantelle! And I’m sorry you have to deal with those negative comments – clearly people who are jealous and can’t think of a clever, constructive way to get attention (just like the kids who used to throw dirt at you in kinder). Hopefully a few of them read this and realise that they actually are hurting real people and that commenting online isn’t just some harmless sport. x

  • Louise

    I think a lot of people get a kick out of hurting another persons feelings, particularly when its so easy to do and you dont have to say it directly to their face–online it can all be done anonymously and without immediate response. I get a lot of negative commentary coming through on my blog too–I think it comes down to people being miserable with themselves and jealous. yes, time to get a hobby!

    • I agree, I think people genuinely enjoy it, rather than they have no clue how it affects the other person. A nasty habit to have, but lots of people seem to have it!

  • Lisalea

    Chantelle your site was/is a breath of fresh air for me. When I read your stuff I can feel the positive coming through even though of course , especially with a new bub some days are just not like that. I went from Mamamia to here and I felt your site was so much more chilled out . Do you delete the nasty comments because I must say I haven’t seen any on here? You have an amazing blog and deserve all the accolades that go along with it.

    • Thanks Lisalea. No I don’t generally delete. I’ve deleted 2 in the 5 years I’ve been blogging: one was about the kids I used to nanny {I ended up deleting the whole post because I didn’t feel right} and then another was a nasty comment about the name my sister gave her baby.

      In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty lucky. πŸ™‚

      • But I should say there are some spam that get through the filters, and those are deleted. So if you see ‘comment deleted’ it’s most likely because it was spam.

      • Lana

        I love your site too. Think you are amazing. Always have. Probably always will.

        But just interested if you don’t get negative comments on the site, where are they showing up? I have also seen anything negative on here and I’m pretty stoked about that but just don’t understand where these harsh (and unnecessary) comments are going. And how do you deal with them where they happen? Do you delete or ignore?

        • I get them on Instagram, Facebook, and in my inbox. But like I said, there are gazillions more nice comments, and just a handful of not-so-nice.

          Generally I leave them. I deleted the weak bitch ones off Facebook, as it was a close up photo of Luella and I was upset that such nasty words were being used under a photo of her.

          Instagram I leave, because usually a conversation has already begun around them and it would just confuse everyone. Sometimes I remove them if they’re just complaining unnecessarily around the Fab Four I pick because I don’t want to hurt the ‘winner’s’ feelings.

          Hope that makes sense.

          • Lana

            Thanks FMS.

            Believe me nobody who actually knew you would ever insult you xxx

          • Lisalea

            Didn’t see the weak bitch comment. Gee I wish I did though. Hideous

  • Donna Hilton

    It’s the pace of the World now! Everyone is in way too much of a hurry to think how their behaviour impacts. Noticed it yesterday ( Remembrance Day) I was standing right in the centre of the City ( Melbourne) on our biggest intersection and the Clock on the gpo to we’re struck 11 and a young cadet in uniform walked to the middle of the road to play her bugle, everyone , people, cars, trams, stopped bar one taxi and a courier on a bike. both swerved around her and the taxi beeped his horn. THEIR rudeness resonated much more than the sight of hundreds of other respectful people! This has been noticeable to me for a long time and was the reason when you asked for prompt suggestions for your PAD list I came thought perhaps ‘my good deed for the day’ which could be included each month so that all of us would have to spend at least a moment thinking of someone else…..,

  • RenΓ©e Richards

    I think you just hit the nail on the head with the question – would you say it someone’s face? And if you can not honestly answer yes, then don’t write, type, say anything. Too many times people hide behind the keyboard, voicing their ‘opinions’ and yet, in public, in a ‘real’ situation, would not and could not do the same thing.

  • Jac_CommonChaos

    Can’t agree more. We like to call the Negative Nancy’s, ‘Debbie Downer’s’ around here. There’s always someone ready to smash you down, especially online. Where are people’s manners these days??? Great post Chantelle. oxox

  • Sally

    I like the description subpar human. It pretty much sums it up really. When I am feeling low, the subpar humans can really get me down, but mostly it is just easy to pity them. Pity that they have nothing better going on than to stick their negative thoughts where they are not wanted or needed and pity that their lives must not be very nice with those kind of thoughts taking up all the room in their head. I know how unpleasant life is when I am feeling negative, I imagine it is much the same for them.
    There is a mindful thinking technique that is all about holding onto the good. Our brains are wired to hold onto the negative (for survival) so if you meditate/spend a little time thinking about/keep a happiness or blessing dairy etc of the positive you can counter balance that. That is why the nasty comments seem the loudest. You can teach yourself to turn up the volume on the nice and mute the nasty.

  • Kate

    This is really interesting as when I read your posts I often have a squiz at some of the comments below and Chantelle maybe I am blind but I love the little lift that all the glowing and positive comments give – you are such an inspiring writer and thinker and it shows in all the feedback and comments. I know if it was a nasty comment on my blog I would probably dwell (so easier said than done) – but for the 100 other genuinely grateful comments I think you should put down the 1% of haters to possibly being emotionally unwell (without trying to sound nasty myself!!!). It’s good to have a different opinion but as my mum used to sing to me (when I was a teenager so there was lots of eye rolling):

    You’ve got to accentuate the positive
    Eliminate the negative
    And latch on to the affirmative
    Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

    You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
    Bring gloom down to the minimum
    Have faith or pandemonium’s
    Liable to walk upon the scene

    • I love this little ditty. Thank you.

    • Brooke

      I love that! I think I’ll borrow that to print out for my notice board! πŸ™‚

  • Completely agree. It’s also odd how formuliac some people can be and they don’t even realise it. I have 2 regular snarkers and one only comes out on sponsored posts and the other is strangely rage filled whenever I talk about reality TV. It just proves that it’s their own issues and not mine that lead to their repulsive behaviour. Most of the time I’m like ‘Bitches be cray. I’m outy!’and then I go and be nice on other parts of the internet.

  • I find myself constantly shocked by the nasty people who spread their negative comments around the web. I honestly think they are just looking to make themselves feel better and always keep in mind that saying “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle”.

  • MrsLoz

    Oh my giddy aunt. I see often on the www’s things that don’t exactly float my boat. I click away! That’s it. Why can’t it be that simple? I love a debate, see another point of view.. But school yard tactics are just mean. I love what you contribute Chantelle. I think you need to remember the ripple of happiness you contribute.. Rather than some sad people that need some time offline.

  • Sandi Seymour

    Thank you for the courage to write this thoughtful piece, it seems to me the older i get it is so easy to criticize especially on social media where you don’t have to be responsible foe the consequences. as a child i was taught if you cant say anything nice dont say it at all … good advice i think

  • Kate

    Beautifully said!! I too am sick to death of keyboard ninjas! Anonimity makes them brave and they say things they {hopefully} wouldn’t if the recipient was standing in front of them!
    And you are 100% correct – Being nice is just common sense. Unfortunately common sense isn’t very common these days …
    Anyhow, keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the ‘haters’ because you are totally awesome! <3

  • k3teacherresources

    I totally am with you on this Chantelle. It seems to come with the territory when you have a largish online presence. I tell myself it is only 1%, but like you, I am a softy and it does make you a bit ‘bitterish’ . I usually just ignore it, but I am a bit braver nowadays and do comment back when I feel the need to defend ‘niceness’. Communicating so much online has helped me to understand that not everyone thinks like me (don’t know why πŸ™‚ ) which sounds really obvious, but now I kind of ‘get’ that – like – to the extreme !!!! I love your blog and your ‘groove’ – trust YOUR inner voice – it’s all that matters….

  • It’s the whole ‘treat people the way you’d like to be treated yourself’ … and ‘never say anything ABOUT someone that you wouldn’t say TO them’. So simple!!

    Back in the day if someone made a thoughtless throwaway comment the only people who heard it were the people in their direct vicinity at the time. Now people can broadcast thoughtlessness to thousands of people at a time and in doing so, it empowers all those people to be thoughtless themselves. I think we all need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of behaviour in this online world … but what I am finding is that the online world tends to lower everyone’s standards πŸ™

    {Sorry, rant over}

  • Amanda

    No one asked them to read/subscribe/view your stuff! Tell em to go jump! You rock and you know you’re nobody ’til you have haters!!! xx

  • Marianne F.

    Or perhaps people who are negative Nancys should look inside themselves and determine what it is that is making them so unhappy and then try to resolve it. What I’m saying is, negative Nancys should get a life, a good life. πŸ˜‰

  • Lynn Richards

    Boy, you have got to have a thick skin…really? YOU alone are responsible for the helium shortage in our Pretty empowering, really!
    Keep spreading niceness, some of us really appreciate it!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I totally agree with you Chantelle I hate nasty people and go out of my way to be nice and kind to others it makes me feel good and I enjoy doing it! I think more people should live by the old saying my Mum taught me “if you have nothing nice to say ,say nothing at all” x

  • Madonna Rich

    I worry about what I’m teaching my children. Im bringing them up to be what i think will make decent, caring, responsible children/adults with good manners and hopefully morals as well. I’m finding that my daughter is a ‘softie’ and she finds it difficult to understand why others round her aren’t the same. Sometimes I feel like I should be teaching her how to be tough, to stand up for herself and to be quick with her words. It just seems that I’ve lived my whole life being a ‘nice’ person but I always lose out some how. As in, sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be the nice guy. why should I line up while others push in and get exactly what they want? why should i make friendly banter with the shop assistant just to watch her roll her eyes at me? I feel that others pick up on it as being a weakness and like to take advantage of it. It’s just so disappointing that people haven’t been taught the basic, kinder fundamentals of life and like bringing others down with them but what’s even sadder is that I think it’s becoming the new way of life and god I hope my children have enough self worth to survive it.

  • Mindy

    Being nice is the most powerful thing you can do in this world.

  • Tiia

    do you remember how mean kids could be, as their world is all about themselves until they grow up a little and come to a certain level of understanding and learn to consider others? to me, it feels like so many people these days don’t grow out of the “me world” anymore. we all have bad days, we all need to went out on issues that bother us or annoy us, but I just can’t understand why people have to go and rub it on other people’s faces (or pages). to me, these nasties seem like very sad, insecure, often jealous people, and the internet is, sadly, their global playground.

    to me, Chantelle, you are an inspiration. please don’t change, don’t censor your posts or photos in the fear of facing these nasty people. imagine putting on a raincoat; the lovely rays of sunshine can still get through and warm you, but the nasty, cold and wet stuff just glides off the coat and into the ground xx

    • Thanks Tiia. I have to be honest, I didn’t realise that my blog etc would become so popular, so I have had to change the way I share… because there are some things I can’t stand to have nasty things written about.

      But that raincoat sounds like a great idea. Putting it on!

  • Sandra

    I just don’t get it – why do people have to be so nasty???? Isn’t there enough sadness and tragedy in the world? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of the “Negative Nellies” put as much energy into helping others and acting with kindness as they do into being so callous? I’m sure they justify their comments as their right to express an opinion but what they are really doing is hiding cowardly behind a keyboard as faceless bullies. So, if they don’t like what they see or read, then they could always “tune out”. But they don’t, they keep coming back for more so they can continue criticising and bullying. If they feel the need to put others down, then it says more about them than it will ever say about their victims. So my advice: Rock on, sister! Keep doing what your doing and I for one will continue to visit and enjoy. x

    • I think people do it because somehow it makes them feel better. I don’t get it. It would only back me feel dirty and ugh…

  • I will just never understand people who feel the need to write negative comments- seriously have they never heard of the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all?” Alot of people join the blogging community looking for support so it’s really sad that there’s people out there ruining that

  • Cherie

    This made me really sad.

    I’m so glad my instagram is private. I remember some of the RIDICULOUS comments you got when you loaded a photo of sushi whilst you were pregnant.

    I remember laughing when you replied a little while later & said, ‘relax guys. This was Lacey’s lunch’. I mean … SO many people getting their knickers in a knot because they ASSUMED it was your lunch. And even if it was? Your baby. Who the flip were we to judge.

    If working in digital media has taught me anything, it’s that there’s just no pleasing everyone! If I load cutesy photos of girly products for DTLL, I get … “why can’t you include more boy-ish stuff”. So I load boy’ish products, & then I get criticised for gender stereotyping.

    Oh, just shoosh!


  • Julia

    You have such a brilliant way of putting things, I have a friend who shares a long running commentary with me about a disappointment in people. Why do they feel it necessary to be negative? My theory goes that it is a mechanism to try and make themselves feel better in some way, possibly more than an attempt to undermine you. It is knowing how to deal with it that poses the biggest challenge for me. I have left some social media sites specifically because of negativity. I live in the UK and yes, some people are angry, but not all of us! Some of us are trying to brighten the day!

    Thanks as always for your inspiring words, keep smiling xx

  • Maria

    I love the approach that you give to the subject! maybe we all need to apply this to our daily lives!!LOVE your blog (even though I’m not a mom)

  • beachbumchix

    Amen Sister!

  • Who has the time to be so negative? I mean I barely have time to scratch let alone tell someone I don’t really know, who has no affect on my life, that they are doing it wrong!?!?
    And of course if you simply delete the negative comments you get called out for ‘censoring’ or not being able to ‘take it’…
    I can come to only one conclusion… people are odd!

  • Jennifer Henderson

    Couldn’t agree more. Some people are negative nay-saying boo-hissing what’s-its! It’s a reflection of who they are (their own insecurities, issues… whatever) and they are being mean to make themselves feel better. It’s easier said than done, but don’t waste your time worrying about them – life is just too short to fill your brain with negativity. Give your kids a cuddle and soak up their love instead! xx

  • Martine Oglethorpe

    I recently wrote a post for parents about preparing their kids for life online. I would love to say that we just need kindness and empathy…..but unfortunately it seems a thick skin is the most important asset we can give them.

  • Emily

    I love this, Chantelle. I see those nasty comments on your ig posts and it makes me so cranky. There’s this quote by William Penn that I think is appropriate… “The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” And that’s it! Jealousy is a horrible disease and, I guess, those who suffer, might feel a little better after they get all troll like on your gorgeous posts. To heck with them. Just keep being awesome! Oh, and I’m going to shoot you an email later about something else. Heeheehee

    Emily. X