We have to talk about being too nice. And we must be nice while we are doing it :) As I have become a bus driver I have realized something that you all already know about me. I am too nice. I have assigned seats. I have given out referrals. I have stopped the bus and not moved until everyone was quiet. I have done it all. But apparently I am still too nice. I don't understand. What does a person have to do to not be nice around here? I have been firm. I have been consistent. I have set boundaries. Why am I still too nice?
I was going to try to trick you into thinking this is the only area of my life that I am too nice in but I figured you knew better. Honestly, the reason my life is where it is right now, at this exact moment, is because I have been too nice in the past. Did you know that it is so unusual to find people who are too nice that most people do not trust people who are too nice? When I heard this I had this ah ha moment where this moment in my past came to my mind. You see there was this couple we would often invite to Sunday dinner and the wife would always ask what she could bring to dinner. I have always had the philosophy that if I invite you to dinner I am doing it to give you a break from cooking so if someone offers to bring something when I invite them I let them, but I give them something easy so that they can have their Sunday afternoon free from cooking. I would always assign this girl the green salad. She thought this meant that I did not trust her to make anything else. Which was the furthest thing from my mind. I really was just trying to be nice but she was confident I had an ulterior motive. Does that make sense? She did not trust my niceness.... she could not even fathom that this had anything to do with nice. You see, in her mind ,I had an evil plan to make her bring salads to my house forever and ever. Now that I am thinking about it I can remember other times in my life where I was being myself and was not trusted because it simply was not normal to the other person. No one believes that too nice is sincere. What to do? Punch them all?
I already know that being too nice is not good but if you want to make a comment about it feel free. It was unsettling to read about it over, and over, and over again. Not one single article I read defended nice people. Even my 16 year old knew, she happened to saunter into my room just now and asked what I was reading about and when I told her she immediately weighed in on the topic with what she had learned in her sixth grade Health class in Massachusetts about the very topic of being too nice. She made sure I understood that I do not want to be aggressive....just assertive.... definitely not nice. She even had an example of being too nice from a My Little Pony episode involving Fluttershy. I feel like I have been living under a rock...a nice rock mind you :)
Is there someone out there who will unconditionally love someone who is too nice or is my lot in life to always be taken for granted, not respected, and used because I am too nice? If I go to the movie with you and you ask me what I want to see if I really don't care, which is going to be very likely, am I too nice if I tell you I will see what you want to see? I am being honest. Am I still too nice?
I am reading Gone With The Wind right now and Scarlett O'hara HATES Melanie Hamilton because she thinks she is too nice. Melanie is always seeing the positive and defending people and it drives Scarlett freaking crazy. But I just read about an incident where Scarlett starts catching glimpses of how tough Melanie is underneath. I am on page 493 of a 1024 page book and I am interested to see if Scarlett ends up being a fan of nice Melanie, or not.
Someone said in one of the articles I read that, "nice people are not bad, the problem is how society approaches nice people is bad." Society is unappreciative of nice things. That made me feel a little better. See it's not all me. So do people think like Scarlett thought of Melanie that if you are too nice you are weak? I am not weak. Well let me think about that for a minute before I possibly throw an untruth out there on the internet for you all to see and throw in my face. Let's add a word to that sentence...I am not weak...now. I have been in the past. I still have one person that hangs out in my life that I let walk all over me, and take advantage me as much as they want. I have no idea why it is just this one person I let take me for granted year after year. Why I do not expect this person to return invitations, hang out, or dedicate time to me. These are basic friendship things that I still keep waiting for this friend to "get." If you want to go to lunch and give me a serious talking to about this situation I just confessed to I am free this Friday at 11 meet me at Jack Sprat's restaurant downtown Cottage Grove. But trust me, I already know what I need to do :)
I have learned a lot while I have been thinking about this personality trait of being too nice. I think I have decided that being nice is not bad. It is who I am and I like who I am. I just need to make sure that along with the nice I need to make sure I am honest with others and myself. And it probably would not hurt to have the courage I need to make sure I am not taken advantage of, or taken for granted. But that still leaves me with a bus full of fifty kids with behavior issues :)