So it’s the start of a new year, yet again. I love how it always brings with it introspection and promise. This time around, I sit and reflect on the past year and, friends, I realised that I spent most of it, regrettably, trying to be a “nice person”.
Yes, I know what the word “regrettably” means. It means that I feel deep remorse about the fact that I was “nice”, last year. Well, it’s the truth. I wish I could take back my niceness. There, I said it. Do you sometimes feel that way too?
Real talk: I’m super good at acting happy and being all chipper, even when I’m feeling really bad. It’s not real life, you guys. It’s a mask. I’ve come to realize that my “being nice” can be pretty superficial. And if I was superficially nice for a whole 12 months, then that means that I spent most of the year trying to, basically, water a bundle of poop and hope that it would grow flowers. (Poop flowers?) And then beat myself up at the end of the year, when my (poop) garden refused to bloom.
When you’re almost 40 (okay, granted, I’m a few years away, but humor me in my old age), you kinda find yourself developing a low tolerance for (internal and external) rubbish. And the start of this year has awakened a new resolve in me. A resolve to stop walking around with the concept of “but I’m a nice person” when I come across said rubbish.
Because the truth is this: some situations call for you to not be nice. Some situations need to be dealt with sternly and, dare I say it, abruptly. Some situations might not even deserve your attention! But your “niceness” becomes an excuse, letting you believe that it’s okay to be mistreated because you’re nice and you can take it. And then, you find yourself unwillingly giving those demons airtime in your head, all because you’re too nice to say NO!
As a “nice person” I often “felt bad” about making other people feel bad, and so I would avoid addressing issues that would make them uncomfortable. I avoided calling out shade, or letting someone know that I’m aware of their stinky behavior (remember, I still wrote about one such incident here) because I believed that I was SUCH a nice person (insert eye roll) and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
I mean, I’m not saying that empathy is a weakness, you guys. But this is such a silly notion. Because, truthfully, I put on my “nice girl” hat to protect MYSELF, not someone else, and then I allow myself to believe that I’m doing the world a favor when honestly, I’m just avoiding confrontation.
I’ve learnt that healthy confrontation is a good thing. Healthy confrontation is powerful. And if I really value the relationship, I wouldn’t mind telling someone when I feel bad about something. Because, chances are, walking around wearing my “Miss Nice Girl” hat all the time, will eventually cost me a relationship or an opportunity or mental and emotional health (Que: Drake – In my feelings).
I mean, you can be as nice as you want, Martha, but at the end of the day, it will catch up with you and you will have to ,eventually, deal with it.
And how do we deal with it? Well, we deal with it by confronting the issue, talking it out, forgiving and moving on. My point is that you can kinda do all of that way back in the beginning already, instead of waiting for the poop to build up. (I say poop a lot in this post, don’t I lol)
So that’s my (kinda) resolution for the next season. No more nice-nice. And a lot more transparency and honesty. Anyone care to join me?