I like to think of myself as an agreeable person. I listen. I engage. I do not have to be right all the time. I’ve long ago given away the delusion of perfection and try rather to embrace the wobbles and wobbliness along the way.
So when I started conflicting with my sweetie recently, I took it personally. Fighting with my beloved did not align with (my story of) me being a compassionate, agreeable, sweetly human partner. Or, did it? Have we over-burdened ourselves with ‘nice’ so much that we restrict ourselves to passivity and quietude? Are we ‘nice’ at our own personal expense?
Now, don’t get me wrong-- being nice is important. We ALL can smile more. We can practice thinking compassionately. We can offer more. But, when ‘nice’ becomes numb, we might need another option. It might be time to say the real thing, instead of the nice one.
Here are two reasons to keep it real.
1) Assert Your Needs
As sweet as being ‘nice’ might seem, being nice at your personal expense is not sweet at all! And, when you continually pick ‘nice’ over need, you do yourself a disservice. Ideally, we can learn to nicely (and wholly) assert our needs without grudge or shame. This is an important practice. Always though, be nice to you. Do not quell what is real for you, because it might not instantly be agreeable to those close to you. Your needs matter; you are not a brat for speaking up!
2) Feel. Period.
When I’m overly fixated on doing the ‘nice’ thing, I find that I lead with an expectation instead of staying connected to my experience. Then, sometimes all too quickly, I’m performing ‘what Jamie shows up like’ instead of being Jamie! This is a slippery slope; for me, disconnection from my own feelings in favor of ‘show’ creates internal dis-ease. I need to feel and show up like me. Period.
It is an important (frustratingly hard at times!) practice, to learn to wholly own our experience… sans ‘nice’. We need to actively practice saying what we feel and what we is real for us. This is one way we can learn to diminish internal conflict. You need to matter to you. Ultimately, nicest way to be is ourselves!