On being nice.
As a follow up to yesterday's post...
A very long time ago, someone that I didn't really know all that well (but who somehow knew me far too well) asked me how things were going with a new guy I was dating.
"Yeah, he's really nice," was my response - sincere, well-meaning, it was all I could say.
"But, that's it. He's just nice," my ever perceptive acquaintance retorted, with a smirk on his face.
His words were few, but his tone said everything. He was younger than me and barely knew me, but he read me like a book and it was an eye-opening encounter. I haven't spoken to him in years and I doubt he would remember this incident, or even read this blog, but for those few words I am eternally grateful.
[Side note: I should clarify that the problem in this situation was not that the guy in question was nice, it was that this was the only thing I could think to say about him, and the conversation made me realize that I was not with him for the right reasons. I realized that being nice, while good, was not enough. In the end, he ended up having a not-so-nice side anyway - see the link on 'nice guys' below.]
And while we're on the subject, what is "nice" anyway?
Synonyms for 'being nice' = behave: act correctly, act one's age, act with decorum, be civil, be good, be on best behavior, be orderly, comport oneself, conduct oneself properly, control, demean oneself, deport oneself, direct, discipline oneself, keep one's nose clean, keep the peace, live up to, manage, manage oneself, mind one's manners, mind one's p's and q's, observe golden rule, observe the law, play fair, shape up, toe the mark, watch one's step
Is it just me that thinks that this kind of behavior is pretty much impossible to maintain all the time?
Furthermore, where does being nice end and being insecure begin? Is there such a thing as being too nice?
And does being a "nice person" all the time = being a "good person," because I have encountered WAY too many of these: Nice Guys
...not to mention people who go out of their way to be polite and accommodating when really, underneath the veneer, they are seething about something you have said or done. For goodness sake, just spit it out and then we can all move on.
I realize that this post is particularly unpolished and draws absolutely no conclusions whatsoever, but that's because I really do not have answers to any of these questions. All I have, at this point in time, is a random collection of personal experiences that kind of make me want to re-define the golden rule - or at least to tack a few stipulations on the end.
"Ten years later, I still don't have a label to define me. The closest one that comes to mind is: "weird" which is not great, but not terrible. But, I find that it's still better than being nice."