Trying nice on for size

In the past few years I’ve made alot of changes in my life all in the interest of progressing forward and expanding my mind in directions of achieving more than what I’ve always had.  At the top of my list of things to achieve is peace.  Its easy to say that but to actually take all the steps to achieve that is a whole different thing.  In order to be in a state of peace I’ve had to learn how to be nice-all the time.  This is no easy task let me tell you especially because I’m so good at being mean or telling people like it is.

One of the personality traits that is mostly identified with me is sassiness.  I’ve been called “shock wave” and “shotgun” as a few ways to describe my quick witted tongue and my approach to responding to peoples opinions and I’m quick to respond with my own opinion and often shock people with my speech.  Telling people off is one of my specialties.  From that I’ve hurt a lot of feelings and the lingering of emotions that I have to deal with months or even years later from it definitely doesn’t bring me anything resembling peace.  I knew that in order to really get peace I’d have to change the way I respond to people.

I’ve had lots of help with this.  My husband Malik being the main enabler.  When I first met him he was one of the nicest people I had ever met and in seeing how he’d respond to certain situations so calmly I’d question why he was so nice in a particular situation because that person clearly deserved to be cussed out.  He’d explain to me why he responded that way and would tell me he hasn’t always been so nice in life either.  I had a hard time believing that though because he’s so good at it.  I also read a lot of books these days that are teaching me things like staying in the now, not taking things personal, and not being controlled by emotions.

I remember when I was younger and I’d come across genuinely nice people and I’d view them as weak or stupid.  I felt like if they didn’t respond to people’s shit with fire or if they were passive about things it was because they were too weak to tell people how they really felt or perhaps they were so stupid that they couldn’t see that people were taking advantage of their niceness and making a mockery out of them.  Past my judgment though it was intriguing to watch the way these nice people maneuvered and to see if they would ever break character and show their true colors.

These days I find myself taking on the characteristics of a nice person and I can’t say that I’m always 100% comfortable in this character.  It’s easy to be nice when I’m not being challenged and when every one around is nice but I find it difficult to be nice when other people aren’t.  Sometimes people are just such assholes and they attempt to saturate you with their shitiness and try to bring you down to their level of how they feel.  Thats when my test starts.  I want to call them on it and tell them all about themselves and speak totally unfiltered.  Not worrying about if I’m being nice or not but rather just the ability to speak how I really feel freely.  But now with my new nice tools I find myself filtering myself first.  I use foresight to see how my thoughts may be received and where that will lead the conversation and with that information I decide if I’m prepared to handle the direction the conversation could take.  I then hold myself back and say something nice instead or better yet, nothing at all and just smile.

Sometimes that leads me to feeling like I’m not being real and I ask myself if I’m being genuine.  Why can’t I say whatever I want to say when I want?  Why can others do it but I can’t?   The answer is I can be like that too.  I can be anything I want to be but there’s repercussions that come as a result of any behavior I choose.  I know from past experience what kind of results I receive when I speak in a certain manner and now I’m experimenting with the results I get when I’m always nice.

Truth is that although it feels really really good in the moment to inflict pain on a deserving person with words or physical action, the after effects of that doesn’t feel very good at all.  It brings feelings of shame and regret and makes for lots of uncomfortable situations.  When I am not nice to someone it keeps mess going for a long time until the issue gets resolved in some way.  Either by an apology or just plain communication about what happened.  And thats not an easy thing to do either.  It could take years to finally get the nerve up to apologize to someone or to talk it out.  In the time in between is where the discomfort lies.  “If I run into this person its going to be a problem.”  Or “if she looks at me the wrong way I’m gonna knock her out.”  Or “I’m not going to Kelly’s birthday party if ___________ is going to be there.”

I used to have all these issues when I first got with Malik and I’d get mad at him for not feeling the same way.  Again, causing another problem because of my opinion.  I’d tell him not to invite certain people to gatherings with friends or question how he could be so nice to someone that had shown so much disrespect to me in the past.  He’d calmly explain to me that he’s not the type to hold grudges and he understands the bigger picture and it doesn’t bring him peace to be unforgiving of people’s shortcomings and he’s not the one to judge.  WEAK!  Thats what I’d call him.  Then we’d have tension between us because of an issue I had with someone else and now it’s become our issue!  Drama is contagious and it spreads quickly.

The immunity to it is simply being nice.  I’ve learned that while it’s not always comfortable to be the nice person and bite my tongue, it does bring me a great amount of peace with myself.  I find it better to deal with myself and why I feel the need to respond a certain way to people’s opinions rather than deal with that AND the problems I’ve caused with another person because of how I spoke to them or how I dealt with a disagreement.

I realize that just as I don’t like to be weighed down by people’s opinions people don’t want to be weighed down with mine.  Therefore its not always necessary to have to share my opinion with people or speak my mind.  Besides, opinions and points of views are so transient; what I feel right now may not be what I feel 5 minutes from now so why cause conflict over something so fleeting as an opinion?  Being nice instead just keeps the flow going.  The flow being people having the freedom to express themselves in the moment without other’s becoming upset about it.

I’m reading this book, The Four Agreements, and the author, Miguel Ruiz, speaks on not taking things personal which I am notorious for doing.  He is helping me grow by shedding light on things that have always controlled me.  I’ll share some of this with you:

“When you take things personally, then you feel offended, and your reaction is to defend your beliefs and create conflicts.  You make something big out of something so little, because you have the need to be right and make everybody else wrong.  You also try hard to be right by giving them your own opinions.  In the same way, whatever you feel and do is just a projection of your own personal dream, a reflection of your own agreements.  What you say, what you do, and the opinions you have are according to the agreements you have made- and these opinions have nothing to do with me.”

“Whatever you think, whatever you feel, I know is your problem and not my problem.  It is the way you see the world.  It is nothing personal, because you are dealing with yourself, not with me.  Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about them.”

So with that being said I’m going to continue to work on my niceness.  I realize that while I am making the transition it may feel uncomfortable at times but I won’t be proven that I’m truly a nice person until I’ve done it consistently for the rest of my life.  You ever hear people say “I’m really a nice person until you make me mad”?  Is that really the definition of a nice person?

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8 thoughts on “Trying nice on for size

  1. AskSmokey November 11, 2010 at 10:19 pm Reply

    OMG!!!! that was a wonderful and inspiring blog, I am so very proud of you as a person, not because you are my daughter but as a “spirit” filled with love and wisdom. I was JUST talking to a friend about this same topic and to see you write also word for word of our conversation I am in “AWE” our messages, signposts, urgings get to us if we just listen, watch, and accept with no expectations. I love you my sweet angel and I am so very proud of the work you are doing on yourself but also on me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
    Love be with you
    Mom

  2. organicblood November 12, 2010 at 12:57 am Reply

    Thanks mama! You are my biggest fan. I’m glad you liked it. It was refreshing writing it and putting it out there. Love you 🙂

  3. Crystal Marie November 12, 2010 at 6:02 am Reply

    I love this post. I see we have so much in common! I’m too trying to be a nice person. I good person. Your husband reminds me of Rakhem. He’s sooo nice and patient. Nine times out of ten he can see the perspective of all sides involved in a situation…but more important than that is that he makes an effort to see all perspectives. I too am known for taking things personally and being overly sensitive. It feels good knowing that I’m not the only person challenged with this. Thanks so much for sharing. You are such an inspiration Tiffany…really you are.

  4. organicblood November 15, 2010 at 7:34 am Reply

    Hey Crystal. I’m glad to have some writing to finally share with you since you are usually the one doing all the sharing. We seem to have so much in common, must be the libra in us 🙂 We were brought together and connected for a very special reason and I loVe we get to grow with each other and read each others blogs (diarys) and experience the process together and learn from each other.

  5. JasminePhea November 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm Reply

    Absolutely love this blog!

    • organicblood November 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm Reply

      Thanks Jas! I appreciate you checking it out. Subscribe so you can know when we post new stuff.

  6. Cole November 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm Reply

    I can relate to much of this especially the struggle of nice v. unfiltered. Ive always been a huge proponent of living free and that of course included speaking freely. However, my free speech caused a lot of hurt feelings. Over the years I… learned that I dont have to say everything I feel and self control has become the ultimate freedom. Great thought provoking piece sis – write on!

    This sentence is brilliant:
    Besides, opinions and points of views are so transient; what I feel right now may not be what I feel 5 minutes from now so why cause conflict over something so fleeting as an opinion?

  7. Fuji November 20, 2010 at 2:28 am Reply

    This was such a powerful piece of wisdom and growth. I feel you so completely. We all have the ability to grow, to flourish. and with every flower that sheds its petals and dies, two buds shall take its place. Feel that wonderful garden that you so possess. Being a witness to its growth is an honor, and amazing to watch. Bless You and Power to the Movement

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