Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Be present. Be kind. Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses. This is how to make a difference. Unknown
Yesterday I was told I was nice, and it wasn’t a compliment. We always hear that “nice guys” finish last. Yesterday listening to a podcast the speaker put it in perspective. Nice is often a way of not being who we are, we don’t want to be the asshole which is what we think is the opposite of nice. So we are this manipulative nice where people don’t know where they stand with us.
We don’t like “nice” politicians because they don’t stand for anything except for what might get them elected. If they stand for something even if it is unpopular we can respect their belief and courage to stand for it even though it is not our belief.
If someone doesn’t let you know what they stand for or what they want except they want what you want, they seem wishy-washy and nice but… The definition of nice is pleasant, agreeable, and satisfactory. Nice people don’t want to rock the boat and they avoid conflict like the plague. Good people are willing to stand up for what they believe in and know how to communicate their ideas and beliefs. Nice people accept win/lose or lose/win situations. This is why nice people say yes when they want to say no. Good people only accept win/win situations.
This sounds great but even if we are only consumed with our self jerks, we have to accept win/lose situations, sometimes.
Being too optimistic may come off as nice. I’m not sure what to do about that? Being good is the opposite of nice, be the “good guy” or the “good girl.” Sometimes “nice” people are too busy doing what they think others want, to do anything for themselves. This isn’t good.
Listening to a man telling men how to get out of the friend zone was basically never allow yourself to get in it. Never settle for being a friend. I like you, you like me, or I’ll find someone else. Never, ever hang around being the friend watching the girl you want, date other men. Good advice, and not just for men.
Maybe when we are nice we should really be kind. That is probably what we are after anyway. Being kind and being good go hand in hand. We might be nice and let someone live with illusions, but being good and kind may tell them the truth in a way that lets them go forward, better.
In a blog called Project Happiness, the author says she was having lunch with her cousin when he said. “You are a really nice person, but it comes off very fake.” She was taken aback by his statement but it gave her something to work with. That may be a question to ask ourselves. Do we come off as genuine, the real deal, or are we just being nice?
If we do things for others we don’t want to do, why are we doing them other than because we are trying to be nice?
Jordan Peterson tells us women are more agreeable than men. Less agreeable people make more money and are generally more successful than agreeable ones. Agreeableness seems to be a trait we are born with.
If we have an agreeable nature we may not be able to change that, but we can probably change whether we focus on being nice, or focus on being kind and good.
Who wants to be nice? Pleasant and forgettable; as it certainly was a nice party. Inoffensive and unremarkable: as he sure is a nice guy. Sweet and unattractive: as she’s a really nice girl.
We should work hard to be kind instead or nice, or good instead of nice, and when we are told we are nice we need to really roll that around in our head and figure out what was really meant.
Maybe part of our problem is quotes like this:
Some kids are smarter than you. Some kids have cooler clothes than you. Some kids are better at sports than you. It doesn’t matter. You have your things too. Be the kid who can get along. Be the kid who is generous. Be the kid who is happy for other people. Be the kid who does the right thing. Be the nice kid.
The last line ruins it. Maybe it should read, be the strong, good, and kind kid. Nice kids are not taught to stand up for themselves and this is part of the problem. Nice kids are not taught to go after what they want. We don’t have to have a “nice kid” or an “asshole”, we can have a “good kid” who has enough self-esteem to go after what they want, stand up for themselves, and treat others with respect and kindness.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama
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