Nice is a Four Letter Word

It no longer has a place in my vocabulary

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It’s time to stop being nice. That’s it. It’s not worked for me. I’m about to burn a swath in my life and it needs to happen. I’ve come to realize that many of the issues I have in my life stem from me being just too damn nice.

Now, let me clarify: being nice is very different from being kind. I revel in being kind. I love it. I get pure joy out of doing small things that are meaningful to people with no expectation of reciprocation. Kind is active, nice is passive. Kind will give you their seat. Nice won’t ask to sit down.

Nice is not working. Nice, at least for me, means being taken advantage of and bending too much.

Nice is dangerous. Nice pretends to be your friend. Nice just wants everyone else to be happy.

The amount of shit I have taken in the last couple years of my life should have been able to be doled out over the next 50 years of my life. It is enough.

It’s made me a harder person than I want to be and it’s made me just a little less stable and a little more crazy. I DO NOT like it one bit.

Nice hides its feeling. Nice isn’t honest. Nice cares too much what you think. Nice can’t say no.

I was supposed to go out on a date with a guy a couple weeks ago. I didn’t. I’m just not that into him. It’s a waste of both of our time and I’d rather put on a pretty sundress and sit outside and drink wine on a patio by myself then to make small talk with someone I feel kind of maybe lukewarm about.

It’s the third date I turned down for this same reason. I originally say yes because… I’m nice. I shouldn’t have to do something I really don’t want to because going along with it is the nice thing to do.

Nice leaves you holding the bag. Nice cleans up after everyone. Nice drives everyone else home.

I want to clear up one other thing. Not being nice does not equate to being mean. I don’t think I have a mean bone in my body.

But, there is some kind of emotional physics theorem in place here. The absence of one does not precipitate the presence of another. I have no intention of going out and just being rude or forgetting common decency and manners. That makes you an asshole.

Nice does risk anything. Nice never asks for a raise. Nice works late for no reason.

I’ve been that person in the office. You know the one. The one who does more than she should because she wants to find favor with others. I was the girl who picked up the slack in group assignments in school.

When someone needed to volunteer and step up and no one else wanted to, I’ve been the “Fine. I’ll do it” girl. This is how I spent a year in hell chairing the Cookbook Committee for the Junior League. True story. I don’t want to be that girl. I’ll help, kindly. But, I’m not your go to girl anymore.

Nice pretends it’s okay because nice doesn’t want to make you uncomfortable.

One of the reasons my marriage failed was because of nice. I settled in my life for less than I deserved. I thought it was okay. Like, “This is fine. I can make this work.” Nope. I deserve some good, solid care. It doesn’t matter if I’m alone until I’m 60.

I think women try to pride themselves in being “low maintenance.” Me? This woman requires effort. If that makes me high maintenance, then fine. I’m not going to forgo my own needs for the sake of being nice.

I’m a good person. I have a good heart. My back just needs to be stronger. My soul needs to be a little more savage. There have been strong winds and I have been blown over. It’s time to stand firmly where I am. Bending is fine. Breaking is not. Kindness is beautiful but from now on, I don’t DO nice.

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

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