You might have been called sweet, or you might know someone who your friends swear is a sweet person. And, sure, that’s a good compliment… but what does it even mean?
What makes a person ‘sweet’? What’s the difference between sweet and nice?
Well, here in this article I gathered 12 different characteristics that define a sweet person. And no, being literally coated in sugar is not one of them.
1) They’re easy to please
The Collins English Dictionary defines a sweet person as being attractive in a simple and unsophisticated way. This is why. Now, don’t take this to mean that sweet people are ‘easy catches’ or something—that’s nonsense!
It simply doesn’t take much to please a sweet person. They don’t really demand big, lavish gifts or become upset if people fall flat when trying to do them a favor.
For example, they won’t grumble if their friend tells them that he can’t take them to the diner they’ve always wanted to eat at. That’s totally understandable, and they’d be perfectly happy eating out elsewhere and might even give suggestions.
They take what they are given, and appreciate the sentiment as much, if not more so than the gesture itself.
2) They’re quick to forgive
Everyone gets into arguments and conflicts of interests are a natural part of having a social life. Even the most patient and enlightened among us has had their patience tested to its breaking point at one time or another. But the thing with sweet people is that forgiveness is not that hard to give.
For example, instead of getting upset that their best friend refused to talk to them for a month straight, they’d instead understand that their best friend had just been dumped and was upset.
It needs to be said, however, that even though sweet people are quick to forgive, that forgiveness is all within reason. And just because one has been forgiven doesn’t mean that the offense is suddenly ‘okay’.
Think about it—just because you’re sweet doesn’t mean you’ll keep forgiving your friend for taking your food without permission! At some point, you’ll get fed up and stop talking to that person.
Even the Buddha loses patience when insulted a third time.
3) It’s their life mission to make people happy
Sweet people do whatever they can to make people around them happy. They would worry about how the other people in the room are feeling, and will do their best to be as considerate as possible.
Nothing makes them happier than seeing a smile on other people’s faces!
Sometimes being so concerned about others’ happiness will bite back at them, and it’s easy for them to become sad if they notice that people are upset. That’s because most sweet people are empaths.
They might be having lunch with friends when all of a sudden everyone’s suddenly yelling at each other and everyone leaves bitter and angry. But what of the sweet person of the bunch? They’ll likely end that day beating themselves up and blaming themselves… even when it’s not their fault!
It’s not good when that happens, but then again that is part of the reason why sweet people deserve to be protected.
4) They don’t like it when people are hurt by the things they do
This is perhaps a no-brainer given what the previous point on this list was all about, but… the last thing you’d see a sweet person do is bully or insult others. In fact, the very idea of hurting another person is going to weigh heavy on their heart.
And rumors? They would steer as far away from the rumor mill as they could—spreading rumors is just another form of bullying, and they know that.
Sweet people are nice to a fault. They might get mad at certain people or hate the things they do, but even then sweet people will do their best to avoid hurting others. They usually have very few enemies for this very reason. It’s hard to stay mad at someone who keeps on being nice to you.
But don’t take this avoidance to mean that they’re never going to call you out. Some people vent at sweet people expecting unquestioning support… but no.
If you’re messing up and if the fault is yours, they’re going to tell you exactly just that. They won’t enjoy it, especially if they get yelled at for their troubles, but they know it’s necessary.
5) They like helping others
Sweet people often go out of their way to help others out, even at their own expense.
They might be busy doing the laundry when a friend calls them crying, talking about having just been dumped. The laundry can wait—they’d do their best to lend their friend an open ear and a shoulder to cry on until they’re all better.
And there’s just a sense of genuine-ness when they do offer help that people can’t help but find them warm and pleasant company. Someone to lean on to, and a ray of sunshine when the world seems way too dark and gloomy.
As usual, however, there’s the disclaimer that this only applies to an extent where it’s reasonable. You can’t expect someone to ditch their date with their husband just to go fishing with you because ‘they’re sweet’.
6) They always add a little extra something to everything
Something that adds to the sense of authenticity you get around sweet people is that they’re not content to simply give the bare basics needed, but would even go out of their way to give more than what was asked of them.
They’re the kind of person who would quietly drop a hundred bucks at a charity that asked for one-dollar donations, just because they can. Ask them for directions, and they’d not just tell you where to go, they’d take you there too.
And, of course, who could forget that nice old grandma who sends you two tins of home-baked cookies when you only expected one?
After all, if they can afford to give that little extra something, why shouldn’t they? They’d even think that doing the bare minimum asked of them would be a disservice. It would mean they don’t care!
Sadly, some people take this habit of adding extras for granted and actually begin to expect and demand it, rather than see it as a bonus.
7) They don’t take things for granted
Speaking of taking things for granted, that is most definitely not something a sweet person would do. A sweet person appreciates what they have, from their material possessions to their friendships and loves.
This doesn’t mean they’ll never make you feel like you are being taken for granted or neglected. Sometimes things just happen—they might forget, or they might suddenly find themselves without the energy to spare.
But they’ll never make you feel that way intentionally. Not unless they truly intend to cut you out of their lives, and when it gets to that point then you have probably messed up big time.
In fact, they might just talk to you out of nowhere and thank you for being such a good friend, apologize for failing to stay in touch, or send you a gift just to remind you how much you mean to them.
8) They’re empathic
People who are empathetic tend to get called sweet, and sweet people are all empathetic to a certain degree. This is not a coincidence. You might have noticed that everything on this list so far vaguely paints the picture of a person who is mindful towards others.
And it’s hard to be mindful if you can’t be bothered to feel and understand other people. In the same vein, selfish people aren’t exactly what you’d call sweet. In fact, they’d be the antithesis of sweet.
Sweet people try to understand every perspective in play. They try to defend the downtrodden. Unfortunately, they might do so blindly and end up getting abused, but eventually, they will learn to put their foot down.
9) They have a wonderful outlook
Sweet people prefer looking at the bright side of things and try to see everything with good intentions first and foremost. It’s part of why things always seem so sunny when they’re around.
Instead of grumbling all day about all the misery the world has thrown at them, they’d rather talk about the good things that have been happening lately. Instead of assuming that you ghosted them on purpose when you failed to meet up with them as you promised, they’d ask you what was wrong instead.
This doesn’t mean they’re never going to complain or that they’ll keep themselves blindly naïve, of course. Everyone needs to vent every now and then, and even the sweetest little ray of sunshine you might know is bound to have troubles somewhere in their life.
But the thing is that they don’t let it bring them down too hard.
10) They show their happiness
Sweet people are usually known for being sunny and full of smiles.
And I don’t necessarily mean that they have to actually show you a warm smile in person. You might be texting, and you’d feel their happiness in the way they talk. It’s almost as though they’re smiling… through written words.
It’s often neglected, especially by those who insist that there’s no way you can convey tone through letters, but the way we word things and how we throw exclamation marks into the messages we write can show a lot about our mood.
And their smile—whether it be through text or in person—not only makes them that much more warm and approachable, they also raise the mood wherever they go!
11) They’re not afraid of intimacy
Sweet people don’t shy away from giving hugs and engaging in heartfelt talks—in fact, they’re probably known to be a hugger one way or another.
I had mentioned earlier that they have a positive outlook on life. That they’d rather believe people have good intentions rather than assume malice. This leads into why they’re open to talk about personal matters and be vulnerable before people.
Not that you should expect them to reveal every single detail of their personal life to a stranger, of course. Boundaries do exist. But they are nonetheless far more open than the average person.
This in turn makes people more comfortable around them, and to share personal stories in turn.
12) They’ve kept their childlike curiosity
Oftentimes, ‘sweet’ goes hand in hand with ‘cute’, and this is partly why. Sweet people tend to keep more of their childlike curiosity and sense of wonder than most.
Don’t mistake this with having a Peter Pan syndrome—that’s something else entirely. It simply means that they’re always eager to learn more and to share the things that had brought them joy.
In the same vein, they’re also more open-minded and understanding than most. This doesn’t make them perfectly immune to biases or from getting influenced by negative rumors, but they’ll nonetheless try their best to treat everyone right.
Curious as they are, overhearing negative rumors is likely to make them do some investigation of their own to confirm whether or not the rumors they’re hearing are true in the first place.
There’s a lot of overlap between being a ‘nice’ person and being a ‘sweet’ person. But not every nice person is necessarily sweet. Being likeable doesn’t necessarily mean someone is sweet either.
The sweet person isn’t content with just ‘being nice’, they go out of their way to reach out, understand, and make others happy.
Unfortunately, the very traits that make sweet people so sweet also make them especially vulnerable to abuse. So if you have a sweet friend, defend them. If YOU are the sweet friend, be careful and make sure you’re not being abused.
The world needs more sweet people and if you’re one, don’t ever change to be “tough”, be glad you’re one sweet cookie, and spread this sweetness around!
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