I’ve been feeling a lot around this word over the past year or so. Nice just doesn’t sound…nice to me anymore. It feels bland and boring and a little bit fake. Ok, a lot fake.
We are told to be nice from a young age but the messages around it can be quite confusing. To me nice is an act. It’s a way to act to be considered acceptable. It’s not always genuine.
Women in particular are sold the lie that we should be nice and that leads to a more sinister layer of the nice delusion. It tell us to hide our true feeling about people and situations. It tells us other people’s comfort is more important than our own. Don’t call out someone if they are wrong, point out mistakes, express anger or frustration, show displeasure, be confident, headstrong, opinionated, forthright … don’t be a real human with real abilities and real emotions. Just think of the names people get called when they are being any of these things. Think of the names that girls get called.
Give me real, kind, strong, compassionate, informed, emotional, determined, honest, passionate, excited, concerned, strong willed, reliable, hilarious, clever, whimsical…give me authentic any day over your nice mask because that’s what it is. It’s a mask we wear to be deemed socially acceptable.
I’m not saying you or I should be storming around flinging our inner rage at everyone. Save that to channel when it’s really needed. There’s a time and place for letting it loose. If you need to dump on people just because you are in a shitty mood, that’s a whole different thing. There’s maybe work to be done there. But…
There are ways of being that find a balance between the nice and the flinging of rage in most situations. Finding the balance means that you are okay and enough in any situation. It means that no matter what, you know you have what it takes to handle it. And we all are able. We all have the strength to handle most situations, if we don’t have to worry about coming across as nice during the whole damn thing.
I also think it’s a really important part of setting boundaries. You don’t owe anyone ‘nice’. You can react in whatever way is appropriate for you and the situation. In fact, it’s necessary so that people know what is okay and not okay for you. It brings clarity to your relationships because you are showing up wholeheartedly. People are seeing the real you.
Look, it may throw some folk off when you drop your nice mask. But hey ho. Those that respect your authentic self will be cool. Those that don’t probably benefited from your ‘niceness’…and you may not need that in your life anymore. Win-win!
I’ll teach and show TD that of course you can and should be polite and kind when possible. But it’s also okay to not be impressed when someone is being an arse or rude…or speaking about things that are offensive. You don’t need to laugh or smile or ‘take a joke’ in the name of being nice. You don’t need to react back at all. Or you can. You don’t need to stoop to their level but you are allowed to show other emotions other than benign passivity. Yuck…am I right? It’s important for him to know that he can show up any damn way he needs to. Respectfully? Hell yes. But with the sole focus being on how ‘nice’ he can portray himself to be? Nah.
So I’ll leave you with this. In my world and in my space you can be anything you need to be that respects my boundaries and your own.
Don’t gimme nice…gimme more. Gimme you. I can handle it.
We got this.