On Being Nice

For as long as I can remember everyone has associated the word “nice” next to my name. It’s not that I don’t want to be known as nice nor is it because I dislike being nice, it’s just that sometimes I wonder if people can see beyond “nice” and notice other things about me. I wonder if anyone actually appreciates what I do and the extra time and attention I put into things. I know it’s taken note of but after the moment has gone and passed, does anyone even remember? Does it stand out to them? Will it continue to matter and make a difference to them as the years go by?

I used to have a really hard time saying “No” to people. It used to be so bad it almost got to the point where I would try to avoid conversations with people or not fully commit nor fully dismiss responsibility or consent in order to not have to tell them no. In other words, I used to be a pushover. It wasn’t because I was afraid of people not liking me or not being my friend. To me, it made sense to be nice to others and if I didn’t have to go out of my way to do something for others, I would do it but I found that I would end up in situations that I didn’t really want to be in and only so I could spare the other person’s feelings. Through a lot of personal experiences and interactions with a few specific individuals, I started to not be happy with myself for putting myself in these situations, for not speaking up for myself especially when the other person was wrong or being extremely unfair.

Today, I am far from the pushover I used to be and I don’t hesitate to say no anymore, although I still find myself telling other people yes most of the time. I know I have the power to say no and I am not obligated to share why. Yet, lately, I can’t help but wonder if there is such a thing as “being too kind” or “having too big of a heart” and if that’s a bad thing. I mean, of course, obviously if you are too nice, you’re more likely to be a victim of abuse and an easy target for manipulators but what I’m talking about is, does being too nice make those that you are around feel bad because they can’t be like you? Does it make other people feel obligated to treat you well and be around you for nothing more than the fact that they feel bad for not wanting to be around you or that they cannot treat you the same way you treat them?

I know I should just be myself and who I am. I couldn’t imagine not being nice and refusing to help others. I think that would turn me into a very nasty, negative person. There is so much joy I get from giving and from doing things for others – and it’s not because it reinforces the privilege that I have to be able to help and give or the intelligence or talents that I possess. Each time I am able to help another person, I feel as if I’ve gained something, much more so than when I get paid or make money. It’s just that lately, I’ve been wondering about a lot of things which all seem to be interconnected with my being nice. I just couldn’t help but question it. Perhaps I’m just thinking too much but better to think too much than not at all.

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One thought on “On Being Nice

  1. It’s good that you are conscious of this perception as something to be more aware of… you definitely don’t want to come off as too easy to walk over/push around…at the same time you do in fact need to project more self-esteem and confidence by being more direct, in having the guts to say a flat out NO,…and not just deflecting or delaying or being vague in its place. people respect others who are direct… in the real world, people don’t respect too much those who beat around the bush….it means they don’t know what they want…that’s weakness, that’s unforgivable weakness because it means you can’t take charge. you have to be more firm, strong and willing to hurt others….even if it means NO, out of respect for your own time and interests (or lack thereof). Being too nice came be a bad thing…. you’ll be seen as a wimp and someone who just goes with the crowd, don’t innovate, and someone who takes what life throws at them only…and not going out and getting what you want/need…. practice saying no more…to yourself and mainly to others around you. be direct. of course…there should be many other great qualities others should associate with you – you’re driven, determined, creative and innovative, hard-working and very versatile. you’re talented and supportive and you are very organized and think outside the box. you’re a wonderful cheerleader of other people too so now just gotta be your own cheerleader better 🙂 haha

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