When being “nice” is harmful
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
I am very guilty of this trend of always being “nice”... I am not saying that being nice is a bad thing, but when I fail to confront the truth, or bend to someone else’s opinions in direct opposition to what I know to be right.... just so that I won’t come across as not “nice”? Then it’s more pathological than beneficial. My best friend pointed this out to me the other day, and at first I was just going to agree with her, to smooth things over, and then ruminate and twist it around in my head in silence... when what she said really clicked with me. Oh, being diplomatic and tactful are completely different than being pathologically “nice” by the way! And being nice does have its place, and is appropriate most of the time in my opinion, but there are times when plain speaking and honesty are more important... I know that people in my life have been “nice” to me and skirted the truth about situations because they thought I was too fragile... and you know what? That is just insulting at its base. And I need to recognize that when I do it to others it’s just as insulting. Like I don’t trust them to react like adults. Ugh! I hate when people do it to me, and I hadn’t realized I was returning the favor. Being honest does NOT mean being nasty. To me it means trusting the other person enough to share the truth and knowing that whatever their reaction might be that I am “safe”. (Emotionally, mentally, physically ). For me always being “nice” and never confronting the truth with someone is a sign of a basic distrust and lack of faith in them. So, yes, it is insulting. And just perhaps(?) it is a wee bit about control. (Not that I have control issues or anything! Lol).
I am not certain anything anyone said to me would have changed my behavior and set me on this journey to a healthier lifestyle a moment sooner, but I don’t know. People told me my “soul was beautiful”... or my cholesterol was too high... but no one said to me that my weight was not so slowly killing me. I might have had an infectious smile and a kind and gentle spirit, but if I killed myself with my unhealthy habits or secluded myself in my apartment, because it was uncomfortable to move and I was self conscious of my appearance ( I was aware of how I appeared to others I just didn’t care ENOUGH to change my circumstances) Then that smile and that spirit that other people complimented me on were wasted, lost. And no one said I needed to lose about 100 pounds or even 10 pounds, and now I am not certain if that is because they were being “nice” to me? Or just didn’t care? You see my conundrum? I need to find a balance between being nice and demonstrating that I care by sharing the truth! ( I do this with my best friend on a fairly regular basis and she does it with me, but she is the only one I feel comfortable being that open and honest with... and yes, I trust that when she says something that is hurtful, but truthful that she is coming from a place of love!).
Well, I have rambled on a bit here... thanks for letting me process this... it has been on my mind for a couple of weeks.
I think the reason I like the majority of the people that I have met on SparkPeople is that we are able (most of the time) of finding a balance between being nice and kind, and honest with each other. I see people cheering each other on, and most of the time when I see someone cautioning someone else it is done gently and with care and concern. That is rare IRL, and online...