Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Unfashionably Nice!

For the life of me I cannot fathom why being nice is so unappreciated and why being rude and sarcastic is thought to be indicative of a sharp mind.

The dictionary defines nice as:
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) -
nice [nahys] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective, nic·er, nic·est.

  • Exhibiting courtesy and politeness: a nice gesture.
  • Of good character and reputation; respectable.
  • Pleasing; agreeable; delightful: a nice visit.
  • Amiably pleasant; kind
  • Refined in manners, language
  • Virtuous; respectable; decorous

People assume that if you are not being “aggressive” about what you want you are a coward or if someone is rude to you and you don’t reply in kind you’re a wimp.

No one stops to think that maybe you don’t want to stoop to the other person’s level.

I’ve personally had so many experiences whereby when I’m being polite it’s taken as an invitation to sit on my head and dance, or just ignore me until I start to scream and show my nasty side.

I’ve noticed this on message boards, the rude, “sarcastic” are in the foreground of it all and the ones who don't bully or shout are overshadowed.

Like they say ‘nice guys finish last’ but why is that???????

Since when did being nice, being decent, being well-mannered or courteous stop being fashionable and should we stop because it’s not en vogue?

Being nice has nothing to do with how entertaining a person can be but I suppose in today’s world until we insult someone or put them down, we think we can’t be noticed!

P.S.: I realize my English teacher would have butchered me for the over use of the word 'nice' which in her opinion was the most bland word in the English language...


Gregory A. Becerra said...

When I care about something, and I am passionate about it, I can be an asshole. I'm blunt and say what is on my mind.

When someone knows a subject well I think their tolerance goes down. It's a bit like someone coming up to you and telling you a bunch of really old jokes that everyone has already heard. I think it’s the same with people who know a subject well. People come up to them and tell them the same arguments that they have heard over and over and over as if these were brand new.

On the other hand when I am just hanging out with someone (usually just one person, I avoid being in groups), I feel it is my obligation to make that person as comfortable as possible. So hang out with me, and I'll be personable, talk to me about certain subjects and I can be an asshole.

I don't think people are attracted to nice people. Aggressive people are providers, nice people stand in line. And I think you are looking at it backwards, I think people with sharp minds tend to be seen as rude and sarcastic rather than the other way around.

So on occasion, maybe some annoying stupid people sometimes get confused for being smart?

Michelle said...

Very true. You know what also bugs me? That nasty comedians are viewed as being superior too. Telling cringe-rude jokes that are hate-filled and spiteful.. I just don't see how that is funny!

Another thing I think is seriously underrated - KIND. Being kind should get better billing as well.

Michelle said...


I've added a list of the blogs I read regularly to my blog and I've put yours on my list.


Blur Ting said...

There's a saying that girls are attracted to bad boys. After hanging out with the bad boys, I have come to realise that it's better to be with the 'nice' ones, for my own sanity. In fact, the nice ones can be really sharp, it's just that they don't use it to show off or to put other people down. Why? Becos they're nice!

sage said...

A nice post! :)

Random Magus said...

Greg: That was not the 'rude' I was talking about I don't think being blunt and nasty are the same. You have given your opinions many times and since you know your subject matter really well and are quiet eloquent, I'm sure many people learnt a lot.
The worst are 'stupid' people who misbehave and like they own the frickkin' just because of the car they are driving or the school Mum, Dad could afford!!!
I am talking about rude loud behaviour that stems from nothing of substance just maybe having too much money and too little manner!!!

Michelle: Thanks for the add I already had your 'Kombai' and 'Crow's Feet' on my list

Blur Ting: I have friends like that... for me it was always intelligence

Sage: Thanks

Anonymous said...

1st: I totally agree with Blur Ting (regarding friends or lovers).
2nd: RM's right about Greg's comment. I think people like that are cool, I once had a friend who'd be an asshole when we'd talk about stuff he'd care about but he's one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. And come to think about it, he taught me to be an asshole too xD cause when you're talking about things you're passionate about and the other person knows shit... well, there you go.

About the nice word, I thought the same thing as Michelle while reading your post: comedians (or non-famous people, those are worse) being mean just to be funny and edgy. Once or twice is cool, more is just painful or not funny.

Oh, just for the record, I'm not this nice in person ;)

Gregory A. Becerra said...

About the comedians: I don't think it is so much of an issue of how offending they are (at least from my point of view), I think it just comes down to how funny they are.

George Carlin is probably my favorite and he is quite rude. Add to this Dave Chappelle, Louie C.K., and Carlos Mencia. They are all extremely rude, but brilliant and funny. The ones that are sad are the ones who don't realize that fowl language and insults alone aren't enough.

(Sorry Random Magus, a bit off topic)

Random Magus said...

Greg: I love off-topics... it actually fascinates me the train of thought. Sometimes I'll say something totally random in the middle of another thought process/conversation and I love tracing it back to where it originated.

I think I'm nice and polite but lately I've discovered what I think of myself is not necessarily what others think of me. All the remarks I make thinking they are 'cute' or 'funny' or sharp-witted or just plain honest are not appreciated by others. And saying that the intention wasn't cruel, doesn't really appease.

I think sometimes just the pure headiness of saying something that is really really smart but cruel intoxicates you... but getting laughs at someone else's humiliation [just for sake of it] no matter how clever is not right

Comedians can be excused as long their jokes are not stupid.

Good satire is precious and not many can excel at it!!!

HollyGL said...

I think I'm generally considered to be a "nice" person. Although I can be a raging b**ch when confronted w/certain things.

One thing I definitely have minimal tolerance for are people who feel they know more than you do about every topic under the sun, and don't hesitate to condescendingly make you aware of it.

Even if they are better informed about a topic or two, what purpose does it serve to be arrogant. Instead of appearing intelligent, they just come across as a belligerent ass.

That is what sets me off. That, and when I see someone being taken advantage of or intentionally hurt in some way.

I.A.R.A said...

People's Nature and their Character is not dependent on their Intellect.

It's just that dumb retards who might be cunning and greedy aren't able to make their way around, And in the same sense "Smart Minds" who are modest are careful enough to respect other's feelings.

zakman said...

Why the nice people are ignored and the rude and the sarcastic worshpped?

I'd imagine that it's because the nice people are SO predictable, and, hence, so boring. I mean, you know exactly how a nice guy is going to react in a certain situation. It's like watching a
who-dun-it and you already know the butler did it... and you just can't wait for the movie to end--the movie has become predictable and hence 'boring'.

On the other hand, there's no telling what will happen next with the 'rude' guys. They might blow their top, pick up a fight, call names, pass smartass remarks, and etc., etc. You get the idea. They're the ones who're unpredictable, and hence, mysterious and attractive. It's not because they're more intelligent or 'smart' or more knowledgable.

Then again, being 'sarcastic' or 'rude' or 'cynical' is one thing, and people could be attracted to you because of the halo of what-comes-next, but being 'mean' is a totally different ball game. One doesn't become popular by putting other people down. Well, in a way one could.... among one's own like-minded stinking people.

But all said and done, there's one thing you can't beat. You can't become popular by trying to become popular. You can only do it just by being yourself, and hence unique in your own ways. Maybe you're 'boring', maybe you're not the comp whiz kid, maybe you can't pass an intelligent retort, maybe people act like you don't exist..... but hey, that's exactly what makes you unique. If I pretend to be someone I'm not, I'm heading towards an emotional disaster.

(Laters, I can't wait to read your 'Mirror' post now!)

Anonymous said...

I'll go all "off-topic Greg" here XD (since RM doesn't have a problem with it; in fact, she likes it ^^) and say something about zakman's comment...
I still have to watch a who-dun-it where the butler actually did it. It's such a myth, like the gardener :P

zakman said...

Ok ok ok ... if some of us wanna act like smarty pants here, I agree the butler never did it, and if it was the gardener, then the gardener is the NEW butler!

Cause of the cliche, we all have stopped doubting the butler, and he's aware of it, and soon he'll do it! :P

Bobby Revell said...

Hypothetically, if someone began to rip me apart and incisively argue against the very essence of my nature
I would surely have felt anger and perhaps yelling at one time. I take absolutely no offense to it now. I wait until they are done and say, "wow, you feel better don't you. I understand exactly how you feel!"
I would smile and shake their hand.

People often mistake a nice person as being weak and not assertive. I will only get angry if absolutely necessary. It would have to be a dangerous situation in which the protection of myself, a friend or a loved one came into play. Anything less than that simply isn't worth getting angry about!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was so not trying to act like smarty pants with the butler comment xD. It's just I'm a big books/films fan and I've read and watched many mystery stories... and the butler (or the gardener) was never the murderer :P Since I'm foreign, I just thought maybe there was a tv-show or tv-movie I could have missed where that happened XD.
I'll have to look up where the myth started ^^.

zakman said...

Hey wonder I was only kidding of course.... let's not complicate it any more ... lol .. and also I visited your W for Wonder blog, and was really amazed at the depth of your reading. Matter of fact, most of it flew over my head!

I'm foreign too, started learning English formally only in the sixth grade ... but I think in English :)

PS: Random should be able to write a post like "Does thinking have a language?" or does one form ideas in certain associations in the mind, in some form of imagery, without actually verbalizing them in any language?

Ooops off the topic.

Anonymous said...

I assumed you were kidding, I explained just in case ^^. And thanks for the visit, feel free to leave comments :D (see, we're not totally off-topic here cause we're all being nice XD).
That thinking post idea is interesting... we're giving you some homework here, Random! lol.

Random Magus said...

thats a great post idea but our resident genius [Greg] would handle tis topic much better than I could dream off...

Gregory A. Becerra said...

I've been working on a few posts that relate to this. I'll probably have a new one up Sunday or Monday.