Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I got your back

How many of you are the "nice" person? Come on... admit it. You know if you are... and if you're not, you know someone who is -- the one who winces before using the word "no", who will forgo their own comfort or wishes for the sake of the whole. The one who often gets stepped on or overlooked or underappreciated because people know they can get away with taking advantage of a good thing.

The plight of the "nice" is something unique to the individual, because the demeanor is not always derivative of the same reasoning, and acts of cowardice can often parade as niceness, as well. In fact, maybe we should just scratch the word "nice" right off the map. It's too broad a term, and doesn't truly encompass the varied behaviors of being kind and caring verses sacrificial and martyr-ish or scared and non-confrontational. Let's assume we're talking about the sort of "nice" that just wants everyone to be happy, and so, consequentially, ends up being taken for granted.

If this hits a familiar nerve, let me assure you that you're not alone. This post is dedicated to those of you with a kind heart, who, just like anyone else, find yourselves perturbed or angry or even hurt on any given day, but are loathed to admit it for fear of people reacting badly.

I hear you, sweet ones. And I know what happens, more often than not, is that, in being chronically kind, you seem to unwittingly sacrifice the right to ever lose your temper, to voice your feeling of dissatisfaction, without disarming a whole hell of a lot of people.

I first noticed this phenomena within my family. Now, I was a sensitive kid, but I kept it all to myself. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that people misunderstood my being deep feeling and contemplative for being shy. But overall, I was a mild natured girl who tended toward the purposefully peaceful because I was so surrounded by chaos... which made it all that much harder for some folks to handle when I did get upset. When you come to depend on someone to act a certain way, it's tough to deal with a sudden rebellion. I'd imagine some people feel a bit resentful. "How dare you stop being so patient all of a sudden?! You were my rock. I expect you to always be the same, always step aside."

Hmmm. Now, normally I'd say, love thy neighbor, understand their perspective, don't take it personally. But in this particular instance I'm going to go outside the realm of the expected and deliver a message to those who take a kind person for granted...

Tough noogies! Suck it up.

Yes, it's disconcerting when we realize that everyone is human, even those we viewed as the eternal Pollyanna, but imagine, just for an instant, how much deliberate effort goes into trying to keep the peace. If those nice folks didn't let it out once in a while, they'd all have a stroke and die by forty, believe me.

And one more note... don't make the mistake of assuming that "sweet" guy or gal is naive. Chances are, they have been through a hell of a lot more than you could fathom, and as a result, they are more aware of what is worth panicking over and what is not.

So, as I step down from my soap box (feeling a twinge of guilt for having lost my temper a bit), I'll just remind my bolder readers to have mercy on those saps in the rose-hued glasses.

Peace out,

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