- July 10, 2012
In part 1, we talked about the Myths of Being Nice. Those seductive false promises that Being Nice whispers in your ear.
Is Being Nice (rather than Being Real) really hurting anyone? Why should you reconsider your relationship with Being Nice?
You aren't hurting anyone directly but you are hurting your chances of being close to people that you care about.
Being Nice has a dark side….it's called CONTROL.
Sometimes, being nice is about attempting to control the way other see you and experience you, even trying to control what people think about you in their *own private thoughts*.
Some people may think only positive thoughts about you all the time, all people may think only positive thoughts about you some of the time but I think it's safe to say that It is not possible that everyone is going to think positive thoughts about you all the time.
Try this idea on for a few seconds: "Not everyone likes me."
What is that like to consider? How does it feel to think that someone may not like you? If someone doesn't like you, what does that mean about you?
Our fear is often that if someone doesn't like us in any given moment – we must be doing something wrong. If someone else thinks I'm bad, I am bad. If someone finds me annoying, I must be annoying. If someone thinks I'm boring, I must be boring.
Here's the deal:
1.) Just because someone experiences you a certain way – that doesn't define who you are. You define who you are.
2.) Sometimes we are annoying or boring or imperfect. So is everyone else. Can you be imperfect and still be good? Yes, It’s called Being Human.
So forget "nice" and work on being "real".
The Real Benefits of Being Real
1.) Being real helps you hold on to your own thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions even in the face of opposition. You can choose to consider a different viewpoint but that's different than collapsing in service of being "nice" or "on the same page" as someone else.
2.) Being real allows others to know you more deeply. When you are real you let people in to see who you truly are. This strengthens relationships and increases intimacy. Letting someone know you are angry with them can be very intimate. How many people do you feel like you can be this honest with in your life?
3.) Being real is liberating. It's so freeing to be able to express yourself honestly, to stop wasting your time and energy taking care of others egos, to move through the world a free agent.
Becoming more real is a lifelong process. It's a moment-to-moment awareness combined with courageous choice. Start today. Baby steps.