Guide to Neo-Niceness
Hello, valued Neopian Times Reader, and welcome to my guide. You may be wondering why I would create such a guide. After all, don't most of us know how to be nice if we choose to do so? Why is there a need for a guide? However, I feel that there is some confusion as to how to be nice on Neo. There are people who honestly try, but aren't sure what they should do. At the same time, there are people who try to use 'kind' acts to gain acknowledgement, compliments, and even items. That's not niceness in the least, but it can get confusing at times. That's why I thought I would make this simple guide. I hope that everyone enjoys it.
What is and isn't Niceness:
A common board on the Help Board is, "What's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?" These topics tend to move quickly as people post the nice things that people have done (or complain that no one has done anything nice for them) yet most of these posts have something in common. Almost everyone mentions how someone gave them something.
Truthfully, I'm guilty of this myself. The first thing that often comes to my mind is the time a wonderful friend gave me a 600K item I needed to complete a Fountain Faerie Quest. That was really nice, but that wasn't the only time I've been treated nicely. People have been so helpful to me during my time on Neo. My questions have been answered time and time again. I've gotten lovely, random neomails with compliments and congratulations. Plus, some people are just so friendly. All of these are forms of niceness, but it tends to be overlooked in favor of something more 'material.'
Yet, being overlooked is sometimes part of being nice. People often focus on the rude or mean just because it's unexpected, but that shouldn't be that much of a problem. If someone is being nice just to be noticed, then they're doing it for the wrong reason. Being nice should be its own reward, even if you never get a thank you or anything in return. Besides, I feel being hypocritically nice is worse than being honestly mean. Being nice is doing good things for other people just because you want to do so.
Just imagine, you come to Neo after a hard day and there's a random neomail in your inbox. You read it only to find that some player is just complimenting your pets or congratulating you on some win. There's no asking for any items or anything, just a simple, nice neomail. It brings a smile to most of our faces.
The random neomail is a quick and easy to way to brighten someone's day, and it's usually appreciated. The only thing you have to be careful of is that your compliment/congratulations needs to be sincere. People can tell if you're being fake, so your neomail will only backfire if you're not being honest.
So, who should you neomail? There are many options available. You can send random congratulations to winners of different competitions around the site, especially competitions that you frequent, since such neomails are always better from competitors. However, compliments can be given to anyone. Did someone's active pet catch you eye? Then tell them. You should be specific in your compliments. What was it about the pet you liked? Name? Species? Customization? A combination of different factors? The more specific you are shows more sincerity. A neomail saying, "I really like the customization on your Hissi. He looks like a secret agent," is better than, "I like your pet." Also, it helps to show the person that you don't have an ulterior motive, such as begging for a pet. Galleries, pets, trophies, lookups, etc. are all good things to take the time to compliment.
Try sending out at least one nice neomail a day to spread around a little niceness.
Another way of being nice is to be helpful. If you have the time and your Shop Wizard isn't needed, try taking some time to help others out on the Quest Boards. Every time that I have a quest, I know I sure appreciate their help. If you're Neo-knowledgeable, head over to the Help Chat and try answering a few questions here and there. It's especially good when you can help someone out in an area in which you are a bit of an expert. Not only should you help out, but you should do your best to be polite and patient. Check back on a board to see if anyone has any more questions or didn't understand your previous posts, and it's not a bad idea to invite some people to neomail you if they have further questions.
Another helpful and nice thing to do is to create guides. I'm hopeless at gaming, and I do mean hopeless. You don't know how often I've turned to game guides or help much they have helped me in the past. (As a side note: If you find a helpful guide, it's a good idea to neomail the owner with your compliments. Most will really appreciate that.) Again, turn to whatever it is that you are knowledgeable about and try to share that knowledge.
Now, it may seem strange that I didn't discuss gift giving until the end since it's the most commonly thought of act of niceness, but that's the problem. Too many people think of it as the only way to be nice, and that just isn't so. In fact, it's not even the best form as not everyone feels comfortable accepting gifts. However, if you do wish to give away items, there is a method to it.
First, the best gifts have some reasoning behind them and are suitable to the person in question. My personal favorite are cards, such as 'happy birthday' and 'congratulations.' These cards are fairly inexpensive and are meaningful. Did someone just buy that paint brush they've been saving for? Then you might want to look at the Kau Congrats card or a You Did It card. There's also cards to say 'Thanks,' 'Best Friends,' and 'You're the Best.' These are not only presents, but a good way of sending a little message to someone.
If you don't like cards, then a good idea is to find out what another person likes. Try looking at their galleries or pets, Do they collect something in particular? For instance, I have a friend who loves the color pink, so I try to send her something pink each time I see her. A gift that's personalized for a particular person means more, even if it's not overly expensive. However, make sure to avoid announced giveaways or boards where everyone is giving stuff to each other. Both are against the rules as it encourages begging. If you want to give something away, do so silently. Also, make sure that you can be neomailed in case the person wants to ask why you gave them a gift.
In the event you can't or don't want to choose one particular person, then just donate the item. It will go to the Money Tree where it can be collected by someone else.
Well, that's about it for my humble guide. Remember, try to spread a little kindness around. After all, bringing a smile to someone's face, can bring a smile to yours as well.