Well, I had been a group of people. Now I’m “not a nice lady.” I think in the past this would have nagged at me. A little stone in my shoe.
But now I just find it curious. What does it even mean to be nice?
I have been on a tear lately. Fed up with some stuff and finally tired of pretending like I could make it work. I told the Butcher yesterday I feel like I’ve just been a monster bitch, but here’s the thing: it’s working.
And that feels like a hilarious, terrible lesson. Trying to be conciliatory and understanding and “nice” doesn’t get you anywhere if other people aren’t also trying that.
I also, though, feel like “nice” is often “lie to me in ways that make me feel okay.”
And, you know, being nice in that fashion if your friend has a bad haircut is okay. It’s the social lubricant that keeps the world moving. But being nice in that fashion when deadlines or money are on the line is not good.
Now you can be “Betsy ‘not a nice lady’ Phillips”.
Oops, that was me. I don’t know how my info got lost.
Sometimes getting shit done means not being nice, but nice is often selfish and self serving, whereas being kind is always about other people. You are a kind person. You can continue to be kind and still get shit done. Nice is overrated.
flickerjax is right about nice versus kind.
Niceness can be a social lubricant, but it doesn’t help anyone to pretend it’s not also a weapon. I’m from Minnesota, where Minnesota Nice is both a powerful social lubricant that saves live and one hell of a nasty weapon that probably costs them.
I value what you write because you have written things that broke my brain, that helped me force it onto new lines of cognition with a sharpness that is freaking painful. That shit fucking hurts. But it’s *learning*, of the best kind, to be prized above rubies. It’s not nice — it’s a million times better than nice.
Thanks, all. I also think an important distinction for me is that kind is something I can judge for myself. I know what kindness is and whether I am doing it.
Nice is so often a value other people put on you so striving for niceness is striving to meet other people’s standards instead of your own.