Do We Always Have to Be Nice?

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If you go through life saying, “I just want it easy, nice and supportive,” you’re missing out on the magnificence of the challenge. Demartini

I’m a pretty nice person, nice to strangers, friends, family and street people, but you know what, I also have another side, I can be moody, grumpy, mean and snap at silly things… just ask my family.

We often say to our kids, just be nice, be nice to your sister, your friends and your Mom. But it is not possible to be nice ALL the time. Are we putting unrealistic expectations on our kids and on ourselves? Let’s take a bit of pressure off…

We will all have our moments and we need to acknowledge that. To have perfect kids and partners who are nice all the time is just not going to happen, it is a fantasy.

We all have all traits in us, cruel and kind, happy and sad, proud and humble and yes…. mean and nice.

The moment we see only one side of ourselves, we are vulnerable, and nature brings us events to help us see both sides and keep them balanced. Our mind maintains an inherent balance. Demartini

Now, I don’t mean that you allow a free for all and say whatever you like whenever you like, but to acknowledge that there will be times when we are not so nice. And, if we dig a bit deeper you will you will see that yes, there is also meaning in those moments.

For example, if we are overprotective of our kids and nice to them all the time, say nice things and how great they are, someone will come along (at school or elsewhere) and do the opposite to bring the balance of emotions back to that situation. If my husband has been getting lots of praise at work and told how great he is, when he comes home he will be brought back into balance by a criticism or cold shoulder from someone. Take a note where this happens, there is wisdom in that.

And, what does nice even mean? It is such a simple word with varied meanings.

Perhaps we could also use another descriptive word that is more specific, like when we tell our kids to be nice to the neighbours rather say be pleasant or freindly and when we say be nice in class rather say be helpful, caring or observant.

I have learnt that being nice all the time is not helpful to me and people can take you for granted or ‘abuse’ that niceness. So, I try and be honest and authentic instead…

I love these words by Dr. Shefali

Engage with others from an authentic place

Know your boundaries and don’t allow anyone to cross over them

Respect the boundaries and freedoms of others

Not everyone is going to like you, nor should they have to

You don’t need to be friends with everyone nor should you feel the need to

No one is defined by anyone or anything outside of oneself

Lying to one’s self for the sake of a relationship will ultimately end in dysfunction

Sometimes it is more important to be honest than “nice.”

If “nice” comes at the cost of authenticity, it is better to veer away from the relationship

Those who love you will allow you to be honest and authentic at all costs”




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