A reminder to be kinder

Being nice is underrated. No one wants to hire nice, to date nice, to be friends with nice. Everyone wants edgy, smart, talented–I admit, I’m guilty of it too but what’s wrong with nice?
It wouldn’t really be a problem if we expected nice plus clever, beautiful, etc., but the truth is, nice is so uncool it’s actually undesirable.
Case in point: A few of my friends went to Goodlife Fitness to sign-up for gym memberships, but were given one-week trial passes and told to sign-up once they were sure they liked the gym’s services.
I went to Goodlife the next day, hoping for the same treatment. Some crazy little thing came to give me my mandatory orientation.
She pointed at the treadmill.
“That’s the treadmill,” she said
with “enthusiasm.”
She pointed at the class schedule.
“That’s the class schedule,” she said, with even more “enthusiasm.”
A great tour!
We sat back down and she essentially told me it was time to open my wallet.
I asked for a student deal.
“It doesn’t exist,” she said.
It does.
I asked for a trial period.
“It doesn’t exist,” she said.
It does.
Finally, she “bent the rules” for me and gave me a seven-day trial and I hightailed it out of there, vowing never to return again.
Why couldn’t she have been attentive, maybe even … nice? She had tried to guilt me into signing-up right away, telling me that I would lose the offer, and that it was just plain lazy to get a trial first.
I think nice must have gotten a bad rep.
Everyone says the nice guy finishes last, but I don’t believe it for a second.
Because I’m a nice girl I can get away with things no one else can. If I stir the pot I can be assured someone else will be blamed for it—it’s kind of, well, nice.
The downside is that as soon as I start talking to someone, crazy little thing at the gym included, their nice-radar goes off. Once that happens, people get the idea in their heads that I can be pushed around and walked all over but that’s just
one big delusion.
As a nice girl, it may take me a few extra minutes to word my refusal to avoid hurting your feelings, but I’m not afraid to say no. People are often shocked to hear me assert myself, but they always back down when I take a stand.
The thing is, there are a lot of misconceptions about what being nice means. I think we fear that being nice will get us trampled, but nice isn’t necessarily sweet and it definitely isn’t passive or girly.
Being nice, like tear-free shampoo, does the job without the tears. It means doing what you do and doing it even better because others are on your side. Nice can be authoritative, confident and ambitious. Nice can finish first.

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