Recently, watching a reality show where a man chooses women each week until one is left, my daughter noticed that a woman was being nice. In the midst of an unfair and painful exchange this beautiful girl remained caring, sweet and received the main characters condemnation and stayed.
It was an opportunity to talk about what this was, this well worn habitual conditioning for women, and some men I am sure, to be nice in the face of cruelty, dismissiveness and pain.
When you choose to be nice, you choose to only be nice. You cannot be nice and honest, nice and fierce, nice and powerful, nice and bold. When you choose to be nice, it’s an agreement, because the other person needs to agree, that you were nice to them.
Being nice to them means figuring out that means, to them. To be nice is to predict and gauge and measure what being nice means, and doing that. That’s what it means to me to be a people pleaser, to find a way to find agreement that you were nice.
One of the biggest causes of burnout in life is wanting to do something, a job, a task, anything really, and do it while being seen as nice. It is a straight jacket of holding still until you can move in agreement with everyone of the many thems in your life.
But kind; kind is one way. Kind is what you choose to do, not what someone else will always agree with, but that you know is true. Kind is not an agreement between you and someone else, it is an agreement between you and your own self. There is no figuring out, there is only the knowing, were you kind? Only you can answer that.
You can be kind and honest, kind and fierce, kind and powerful, kind and bold. I am not nice, I am recovering from nice, but kind? Yes, that is what I know to be true.