Monday, February 29, 2016

Nice ≠ Dumb

"That was your mistake," more than one has sagely said, shaking heads in sorrowful all-knowing-ness. "You made things too easy. You were too amenable. You were too nice." 

Let me get this straight . . . whilst on the pursuit for my life partner, I should be difficult and behave badly? Will that kindle the deep, meaningful, kind, considerate, spiritual connection that I'm striving to create? 

Sometimes when I meet someone new, I can almost see the triumphant calculations whirling in the other's head, whether it be man, woman, or small furry creature from Alpha Centuri (Hitchhiker reference). "Ah, she's nice! She must be an idiot!" 

Then I see them for who they are. And I walk away, much to their confusion.
There are those "ooh, aah" dating stories of how a boy or girl plotted to reveal their dates' true characters—intentionally spilled drinks onto laps; snide words to the waiter; an obnoxious demand for an expensive outing or item. If the other manages to keep his/her temper, behold, a keeper!

I don't play such games. Never liked them. Besides, I have a better method. 

Be nice. And if the other person doesn't laugh at that niceness, or belittle it, or take advantage of it, and is simply nice in return: behold, a keeper.   


Avi said...

I don't think what they're saying is to be difficult, not be nice or behave poorly, but the idea of "not being easy", in my experience, is a real thing, unfortunately.

I've discovered for myself, that KNOWING that a girl likes me as opposed to suspecting it or being unsure, bring out two entirely different feelings. Knowing a girl likes me makes me feel like the one with the upper hand in the relationship, when not knowing doesn't allow for that. Having the "upper hand" means working less hard on being your best self and doing more analyzing of the other person.

No one has ever confused my niceness for not being smart, and I think anyone who talks to you past the "Hi, how are you" conversation would see that.

Princess Lea said...

I think you are misunderstanding the post on a few levels.

It is the human default that when we feel sure of something we stop trying. That's why we terrorize siblings as opposed to friends; siblings can't go anywhere, when friends can leave. That's my default, too. I'm human, last I checked.

But just because something is default doesn't make it ideal. If one is only nice until they get comfortable, does that make them nice? That's what I realized about myself, so I decided to CHOOSE to be nice, even past the point of comfort, when I no longer have to try.

People have problems after marriage because they got comfortable and stopped trying. They try with others—with potential friends or business associates—but they stop trying with their spouses. So how does charming behavior restricted to the courtship stage qualify as "being a nice person"?

When I wrote "idiot" and "dumb," I don't mean in terms of intellect. I mean more like "sap" or "patsy." For many, the default is to take advantage of or insult the nice.

Avi said...

So what you're saying is people who aren't nice can pretend to be nice when put in a situation where they're supposed to be nice? And people who are nice are keepers. And if you're not nice, learn to be nice. #breakingnews ;-)

"I decided to CHOOSE to be nice, even past the point of comfort, when I no longer have to try." So you've become a wholly nice person as opposed to only nice when you "have" to be?

Princess Lea said...

Yeah. I'm not yet 100% "wholly nice," because I'm still working on it. I don't think being nice only when I need/want something makes me nice, that just makes me self-serving. I'm working on nice with no expectation of return.

But being nice doesn't mean I have to stick around when someone treats me badly. Buh-bye.