I don’t like the word ‘nice’ when used to describe people, especially men. The “oh, he’s so nice!” or “once you get to know him/her, they’re really very nice.” I get this shudder every single time I hear it said, and most often it happens by accident; i.e. I was eavesdropping or was merely a passerby to someone else’s conversation. People in my inner circle have long ago learned of my distaste for the word and have taken to using it appropriately (I thank you all for this!). Anyway, I cringe and immediately want to run to the person and tell them to make a hard pass on this nice fella or gal but I don’t because A) It’s not my job, B) I shouldn’t pass my judgements onto others and C) The person who used the word could very well have meant kind instead, but didn’t think on it long enough to care. So, of course I move on with my life and that’s that.
But why, you ask? It’s just a word! Who cares! Yeah, well, nice has lead me to a lot of people who were shockingly unkind and that’s why I have a problem with it. In a tiny, tightly-compacted nutshell.
Niceness in the context (& experiences I’ve had) with men is a “he’ll bring the smile and charm but is really a giant dickhead underneath the handsome façade.” Nice is the “I’ll drive you home but ya know, it’s out of my way and I mean, what are you going to do for me in return?” or one of my favorites: “You look beautiful, but maybe not wear this unless I’m around. Don’t want to look like THAT kind of girl, do you?” (UGH – and yes, I’ve had that said to me before.)
Niceness is kindness with a clause and I see right through it so clearly. Now that I’ve had a ton of up close and personal run-ins with it, one tends to adapt and call them as they come. And okay sure, I am still naïve and gullible in a LOT of ways – my family and friends know this intimately and hilariously well, but when it comes to snakes, I hear that hiss coming from a mile away. And it bothers me how oftentimes people, women usually, mistake one for the other. Kindness is genuine and well-meaning, selfless. It’s doing a thing because you want to, not because you feel obligated to or expect something in return. Niceness is that sticky clause I mentioned earlier, the “okay, I’ve treated you and I to an excellent dinner, now what?” It’s the asterisk after an act or the “I will BUT…” and that’s grade A bullshit.
Steer clear of the nice guys and girls (they’re not all that nice) and find yourself a kind one instead – they’re more of them out there than you think!
And hey, if you believe niceness isn’t as bad as the brush I’ve painted it with, then that’s okay, too. We all have our own unique pasts and what brings me to one conclusion might not see you to similar conclusions. That’s alright. Just think on it…and your past experiences with the word and see if I’m way off base before judging, yeah?
To end this, I’m going to use that quote that literally everyone knows: “Nice guys finish last.” And ya know what? They damn well do and damn well should. Because they’re selfish and their intentions are muddied, so back of the line you go, nice person. Hopefully by the time you’re in rotation again you’ll have learned how to be kind.