The Manipulation of “Nice”: Why You Are Not The Bad Guy

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Let me play mind reader. I’m guessing most of you have felt guilty a few times in life for being yourself. I’m also willing to bet most of you have doubted something you’ve said or done because it was in YOUR best interest and you thought you should have been selfless, instead.

I know I have. Now I’m over it. Here’s why you should be, too.

Society has created this unwritten rule where if you are not smiling, engaging, or willing to help people most of the time, you are not usually classified as “nice”. Because of this notion, I was second-guessing my choices constantly. Why CAN’T I like this person? Why DON’T I want to carry on conversations with certain people? Is it wrong of me to take care of my needs first? Am I a BAD person? I was knocking down every trait I built up (and actually liked) about myself. I was comparing myself to others who had the opposite traits, wondering why I couldn’t be like them. It was time to end the self-doubt. I realized I didn’t have to be society’s version of “nice”; I just had to be myself.

I want to challenge this idea of being considered “nice”. It has nothing to do with you. What being nice actually does is make others feel more comfortable with who they are. It’s a great validation tool for society, which makes perfect sense in Los Angeles because everyone longs to be liked until they have the power to choose whom to like, THEN it is okay to be selective. So when those same people meet someone who doesn’t initially want to become best friends or help them out, they begin to question themselves. Nina didn’t accept what I had to offer, what is wrong with me? Everyone else seems to like me! She must be a bitch. A short, snobby bitch!

Mind you, validation is not the path to self-acceptance for any nice, mean, aloof, jolly, or selective person. No one should be looking for acceptance from anyone, but that’s how society has become. That’s why we check Instagram and post witty statuses on Facebook. Validation might as well be water, and those who don’t provide the societal nourishment must be greedy assholes. Yet we aren’t. We are staying true to our needs.

It comes down to finding people who compliment you, not forcing a round peg into a square hole. Don’t dislike others because you can, but sift through the energy that puts you in a better place. When you casually accept all forms of people, you accept the negative, the deceiving, the fake, and the reckless. You accept the leeches who suck out your best traits, leaving you dumbfounded and wondering why you’re not moving in life. It’s because you gave your best self to them, silly! Didn’t I tell you in a previous post your life always comes first? These people rarely change because they are always being accepted by those who feel the pressure of getting along with everyone or avoiding the discomfort of not getting along with someone.

Friendships are also affected by society’s rule of “never saying no”. If a friend wants something from you and goes on a mope-fest that could last until next spring because you declined — let her, but in no way feel guilty because of it. This is unintentional manipulation. You feel guilty for not catering to HER needs, but in actuality, you are discrediting your own. So stop that, will ya? Your needs are just as valid, regardless of how different they are from someone else’s. You have completed the marvelous (and rare) task of knowing your boundaries; there is no need to beat yourself up! You should be celebrating. You are taking care of yourself, and you can still be a genuine person by doing so.

“Nice” is overused and abused. You are not a meanie head, my friend. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

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