is for Nice
Seriously. Why can't people just be nice? Is it really that hard?
I'm not talking about the end of terrorism and the onset of world-wide peace, I'm talking about the little, day to day things.
Like snide and hurtful comments muttered under our breath--or spoken out loud.
A compliment witheld. A congratulations that goes unsaid.
A friend turning on a friend because of a simple misunderstanding.
Why do people feel such a need to put others down? Why is it so hard to build up?
I really want someone to answer this question.
It's hard to sum it up better than Abraham Lincoln when he said:
When I do good I feel good.
Today's Bonus: Cheesy Pictures
IDK, I'm winging it right now.
This might be one of the biggest questions ever! I wish I had an answer for you. :( I know exactly how you feel because I ask this question every single day!ReplyDelete
It's a real mystery because you can accomplish so much more by being nice than by being rude.Delete
Have you ever felt so generally annoyed that you forgot to do one of those things? Multiply it by several billion and you have an answer of sorts. People certainly seem to have the capacity for niceness (and I'd like to think that our common humanity is a good basis for it) but also competitive, agressive, unpleasant instincts that won't just vanish overnight.ReplyDelete
I guess that's part of it. Everyone has a bad day occasionally--times the population of the earth. That equals a lot of bad days.Delete
In my last job I was frequently on the receiving-end of various forms of not-nice behaviour! Gritting my teeth to apologise for something that really was not my fault was difficult but at the end of the day someone has to close the encounter or it becomes a screaming match.ReplyDelete
However, there were the days when people would use the words 'thank you' and even accompany them with a smile.
Best of all were those occasions when someone came in saying, 'I don't even know where to start looking for...' - the look on their face when you presented them with what they'd thought was impossible to find 9or even that it existed) was thanks enough!
Bearing all that, I try always to say 'thank you' and smile, especially in places like the supermarket. The occasional glum face of the assistant might just be because he/she has worries of their own or that they feel 'insignificant' in the grand scheme of things - besides, a smile costs the giver nothing but could mean the world to the recipient. And they can be contagious! ;-)
(BTW - my former job was in a library!)
Happy A-Z'ing - thanks for dropping by my blog earlier!
SueH I refuse to go quietly!
Twitter - @Librarymaid
Sue, this hits on another topic: people think that they can get what they want by being rude and demanding, when in actuality, I've found people are far more willing to help out when we are kind and polite. Not to mention that there are businesses I frequent simply because of the attitudes of the employees. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.Delete
Someone told me that sometimes people are mean to others because of their own insecurities. Putting other people down to make yourself feel better. I think this relates to another big problem people (especially women) have, that of comparison and envy. Instead of being appreciative and happy about another person's success or talent we think, "How come I can't do that as well?" or even, "I did do that as well and no one noticed me, so why should they notice her?". I think this a HUGE problem in our society today, and with me personally! I'm really trying to reduce the number of times I compare myself to others. It's hard work :(ReplyDelete
I think the forgotten thank yous and other common courtesies often stem from us getting too wrapped up in our own busy lives. It's easy to forget how much we affect others in our small day-to-day interactions.
Lastly, sometimes people assume another person was being mean when all that happened was a misunderstanding. I've witnessed this several times recently in my own life and between friends of mine. I think we should try to give friends the benefit of the doubt and not immediately leap to the conclusion that they were being purposely rude. Incidentally, I don't think this about drivers. Not every rude driver can be rushing to be by his wife's side while she has a baby. I think rude drivers come from being too involved in their own problems to bother following the laws of the road.
And we have to stop gossiping! I've been thinking about this a lot lately, can you tell? :)
I think you're right on that one. We do tend to let our insecurities get the better of us. It's a false notion that by putting others down we elevate ourselves. Sadly, it doesn't work that way.Delete
You've also touched on another great topic: giving people the benefit of the doubt. I think kindness is a two-way street--we have to be kind and not GIIVE offense; and we have to not TAKE offense, especially when no offense is intended. That's the hard part.
Sometimes it feels like bad service and rudeness etc are the new norm while good customer service and small niceties are so unusual they take us by surprise. But, I don't know, maybe that's just me. All I can do is go out there and try to be polite and recognize the good and not be so hard on the person who let the door close in my face because maybe, just maybe, they're having a bad day.ReplyDelete
You're right. It's almost like it's not cool anymore to be nice. Sarcasm and gruffness are popular--especially on TV and in YA books. Sad.Delete
Great topic--I certainly agree with you. I know that some days I have a very hard time at my very sucky job, but I try to hide out if I'm in such a bad mood that I can't be nice. Often it's the little thank you's or surprise kindnesses that can really turn my day around and I hope that I can do the same for others. I definitely say please and thank you and always tip, which are simple things that everyone can do no matter how bad their days was. You'd think, anyway...ReplyDelete
That's part of the challenge of life, being nice even when we don't feel like it. You're right about that! Your comment reminds me of the advice Thumper always got from his mother: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."Delete
Everyone else has already said the important things, so I'm just gonna say Amen! to your post.ReplyDelete
Nice is such an underappreciated value.ReplyDelete
I wish I could give you an answer, but I can't.ReplyDelete
I try to be extra nice to people who seem in a grumpy mood, b/c it's my hope that maybe a little niceness will make them feel better and they'll want to pass the niceness on. Maybe it's silly to think like that, but it makes me feel better.
Hmmm. Sometimes I think it's more fun for people to see a negative reaction in others. At least with teenagers, anyway. But nice is always better than negative.ReplyDelete
Wonderful reminder. Thanks for that.ReplyDelete