I’m reading a book called Not Nice by Dr. Aziz Gazipura. It’s about a phenomenon where people raised to be nice sometimes let it consume them and become chronically nice: being nice and pleasant all the time to the point you can’t be yourself and it eats you up inside.
It’s an interesting concept. I remember when I was younger wanting to yell at someone because I was angry at something they did, but felt something like ropes tying my mind so that I could not stop being nice to that person.
Later on in life this still plagued my conversations and encounters so much so that the wallflower me literally melted into the background: an agreeable person who didn’t really want to say much for fear of saying the wrong thing.
Of course, there were other things going on in my life during that time, so I can’t blame everything on being chronically nice. But as I’ve gotten older and grown more comfortable with myself, I’ve taken to getting bolder and stating my opinions because I want to contribute to the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go from a wallflower to talking up a storm with everyone, but I can hold my own in most conversations.
In reading social media posts lately I’ve noticed this trend of being nice quotes, stuff along the lines of telling their audience to “be the bigger person,” “always take the high road,” or “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I think these posters mean well, but it can send mixed messages to someone struggling to stand up for themselves.
What about you? Do you find it easy to voice your opinion in a conversation, even if it is unwanted? Or do you never bring it up because you want the other person to like you?
Be nice, dear readers, but not at the expense it deteriorates who you are. You are worth it; stand up for yourself.