Are you hurting people by being nice to them? Sometimes it’s not very nice to be nice.
You don’t mean to hurt others, but you are when you give them mixed messages. And one of the biggest mixed messages is when your behavior doesn’t match the reality of the situation.
The Not So Nice Visit
For example, you need extra time for yourself tonight. But your friend stops by and wants to chat. You have asked her to call before she drops by to see you, but she didn’t. You want to “be nice” so you let her in and spent a couple hours talking. Not very nice.
Since your words and behavior don’t match you just taught her to disregard what you say. You have just trained her, through your actions, to stop by anytime she wants. So she will. You save up bad feelings towards her and start resenting her. Not nice.
You gave away your extra time that you needed for yourself. Now, because you discounted what you need, you will not get the extra time to rest or study or take care of yourself. Soooo not nice.
The Not So Nice Mom
Your son has been so excited to go to the upcoming concert. He worked hard to save up money to buy a ticket. And it wasn’t cheap. You let him know ahead of time that if he wanted to go to the concert he would have to get his two school projects done beforehand.
Here it is, the night before the concert and his school work isn’t done. In fact, for the last week and a half, he has spent time with his friends, playing video games instead of doing schoolwork. (He made other choices than to do his schoolwork.)
But, you want to “be nice“. After you scolding and him promising to get it done this week , you let him go to the concert. Not very nice.
If you think that, just this once, it’s okay to bend a bit – think again. You just gave away a learning opportunity him that would teach him about cause and effect. Commitments and follow through.
But, instead you let him go. You have taught him that it’s okay for him to make promises and not be accountable for his behavior. You set him up for a rude awakening when he gets out in the real world. You weren’t bending, you were hurting him. Not so nice.
You showed him, he can’t count on you. He can’t trust his mom. you say one thing but do another. Since when does wanting your kid to be happy, or to like you, have more importance than being a good, responsible, trustworthy parent? By your actions, you are shaping his personality and character. And what you just did to him is not very nice.
So, next time you think of doing something because “you want to be nice” think it over. Sometimes it’s not very nice to be nice.