July 16, 2014 § Leave a comment
I am a good person. I am not a nice person. I’ve had people argue with me, “Aw, don’t put yourself down, you’re a nice person!” No. I am not putting myself down, and I am not a nice person, nor do I want to be. Nor do I want the people around me to be.
Nice is not the same as good. Good people want to help others, even at the expense of their own comfort or the loss of destructive warm fuzzies.
Nice is self serving and often downright dishonest. Nice is non confrontational for short term gain at the long term expense of others.
The most basic and prevalent example is the “little white lie.” Lies are not good, but they can be nice, and I say to hell with that.
Let’s take a cliched example. “Do these pants make me look fat?”
We are trained to reflexively say “No.” even if the answer is “Yes.” Hell, especially if it is.
It’s the nice thing to say, but it is not the good thing to say. Telling someone something makes them *look* fat is not the same as calling *them* fat. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s telling them that those pants give the unflattering *illusion* that they’re fat. And isn’t it better to suffer a momentary discomfort in your own home than to go out all evening not knowing your pants make you look like Jabba the Butt? Isn’t it better to give the not nice but good answer of no, so she can change into the pants that make her look like she swapped asses with Scarlett Johanson?
Nice people tell their friends they’re perfect and can do no wrong, often supporting negative behaviors that are actually hurting those friends.
Good people tell their friends when their fucking up, so those friends can do something about it and have a better life in the long run. I greatly appreciate it when people tell me something is bothering them. It gives me the opportunity to improve myself and have better relationships all around. And even if I choose not to change, I can be aware of what’s going on and why some people might be being weird around me, and make the conscious choice to continue a behavior that I feel is truly me, and worth not being closer to those people.
When a friend is going through some shit, both the nice person and the good person will hold their hand and feed them ice cream and tell them it will be ok.
But when the depression turns self destructive, the nice person will continue the hand holding while their friend develops negative, self destructive habits and makes things worse, all the while feeling hunkey dorey about what a nice, supportive friend they are.
Meanwhile, they good person will do the difficult, uncomfortable thing and help their friend dig their way out and get back to living life.
A nice person will see someone getting harassed and stay out of it, a good person will intervene.
Good people see injustice in they world and do not nice things to fight it. Nice people smile and try not to rock they boat.
I am not nice. But I am good, or at least I try to be. And I try to surround myself with good people as well.