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How is being nice a bad thing?

being nice

If you have ever asked yourself this question, then I am glad you are here because there is an important distinction I want to make.

This question comes up with some of the most genuine, kindhearted, and caring people out there. Their natural gifts make it easy to tend to people's needs without being asked and they can find themselves people pleasing easily.

I want to present the idea that there is a difference between being nice and being kind.

Niceness operates on the surface level of social etiquette. Picture someone described as "nice." They may smile politely, offer compliments liberally, and avoid conflict at all costs. Niceness prioritizes harmony above all else, seeking to keep the peace and please others. However, beneath this veneer of pleasantness lies a tendency to suppress genuine emotions and needs. Niceness may say the right things, but it can lack the depth of true empathy and understanding.

In contrast, kindness emanates from a deeper wellspring of empathy, compassion, and authenticity. When someone is described as "kind," it's not just about their actions; it's about the intentions behind them. Kindness involves actively seeking to alleviate others' suffering and uplift their spirits. It requires courage and selflessness, as it often means stepping outside of societal norms to offer genuine support and care. Kindness isn't always easy, but its impact can be profound, fostering genuine connections and creating a ripple effect of positivity.

Setting Boundaries: Kindly Firm vs. Nicely Passive

One area where the disparity between kindness and niceness becomes evident is in setting boundaries. Nice individuals may struggle with asserting themselves, fearing they might upset or disappoint others. Their desire to maintain harmony often leads them to compromise their own needs and well-being. In contrast, kind individuals understand the importance of self-respect and self-care. They recognize that setting boundaries is not only essential for their own mental and emotional health but also for maintaining healthy relationships with others. Kind people communicate their boundaries firmly yet respectfully, understanding that it's a crucial aspect of maintaining authenticity and integrity in their interactions.

The Balancing Act

In the intricate dance of human interaction, both niceness and kindness play essential roles. Niceness, with its surface-level gestures of politeness and agreeableness, helps others feel at ease and comfortable around us. Picture a job interview, meeting your partner's parents for the first time, or simply navigating through a crowded store.

Consider how a simple "please" and "thank you" can transform the atmosphere of a conversation. In these moments, niceness shines through, creating a positive ambience and facilitating smooth communication. It's the polite smile to a stranger, the courteous nod of acknowledgement, the small gestures that make interactions pleasant and friction-free. Niceness isn't just a superficial facade; it's a tool that allows us to navigate social situations with grace and ease.

However, while niceness sets the stage, kindness takes center stage in fostering deeper connections and meaningful relationships. Unlike niceness, which focuses on maintaining harmony and avoiding conflict, kindness stems from a place of genuine empathy, compassion, and authenticity. It's about understanding others' needs and actively seeking ways to support and uplift them while still being true to who you are.

So being nice is not a bad things. But, when we use niceness more than kindness, we can find ourselves quickly getting burned out and experiencing compassion fatigue for others. So maybe use this as a choice point where you can assess each situation and determine if a nice or kind response will work.



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