I like being nice…

… and I need to embrace that.

I like helping people. I like being kind and warm. I like putting smiles on faces, making someones’ day just a little bit brighter.

I do these things because they genuinely make me happy. I do these things because I really am sunshiny at my core. But by some ridiculous internal logic, I don’t like it when people realize I enjoy helping others.

I’m not Mother Teresa, but I need to stop being self-deprecating about kindness.

– – – – – –

Any time something about my helping comes up in conversation, I tend to shoot it down with some version of the following self-deprecating statement:

“Yeah, but I only did (nice activity) because I am inherently selfish. Doing nice things makes me happy and since I only care about me…”

I’m not entirely sure why I do this. Maybe I worry that people will see my kindness as weakness or innocent (and therefore easy pickings). But I know I’m not weak. Generosity and compassion don’t make someone naive either. These can’t be the core concerns for my sarcastic defense-mechanism.

Could it be that I’m concerned about setting a standard for Disney Princess level goodness that isn’t maintainable? That’s a genuine possibility. So instead, I snarkily shoot it down, insulting both myself and really the other people involved in the conversation…

Well played, right? I don’t have to worry about them thinking I’m too kind when I respond to compliments with demeaning, sarcastic comments. That’s SUPER attractive.

Via: etsy.com
Via: etsy.com

– – – – – –

I strive so hard to be self-aware and self-accepting.

This is another part of me that I need to learn to take in with open arms.

I worry that I will come across as a hypocrite, I realize. I fear that these declarations of kindness will seem like a falsehood on my less-than-chipper days. Which is rather silly, when you think about it. I am not a paper doll with one set expression. I am not a cartoon, stuck perpetually with two-dimensions, never more.

Just because I enjoy helping people doesn’t mean I don’t have selfish times and tendencies. Just because I like being nice doesn’t mean I don’t get grumpy. And I like filling people’s days with sunshine most of the time, but sometimes I just dislike people.

All these things make me simply, complexly human. That’s all. That’s everything.

Via: fastcodesign.com
Via: fastcodesign.com

– – – – – –

And maybe that’s what I fear most of all. If I’m painted as kind and the realities of being a multi-dimensional human crack that facade, I feel out of control. I fear I won’t be as likable or desirable or beloved if someone sees the nice girl who likes baking cookies in a selfish, insecure snit. Snow White in a bitchy mood kinda kills the story-line.

The truth is, I want people to see me as good and kind and nice. Inherently. Always.

Yet I want them to see me as a real person as well, complex in my own hypocrisies like any other person. Interesting and real in all the dimensions.

I can’t have it both ways.

Via: epicwtfs.com
Via: epicwtfs.com

– – – – – –

So I’m going to do my best to embrace this and announce it proudly. (And by announce, I mean try to no longer shoot down anyone trying to thank me or call me kind.) I’m going to attempt to curb that sarcastic knee-jerk response and just smile and say thank you.

I like helping and I like being nice. It is an inherent part of my nature to want to make people happy. I also have a full range of emotions and experience all the less-than-nice ones as well.

This all makes me a well-rounded, generally nice human being, I think.

I can work with that.

– – – – – –

So happy Friday, lovelies. I’m going to head home and bake some cookies now.

columbia pictures


2 thoughts on “I like being nice…

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