“Being nice hardly paid off for me. Should I quit being nice?”
“Why does being the nice person never pay off?”
“Does being nice get you anywhere?”
I see a lot of these questions.
Lots of folk are quick to jump on people who dare ask such questions. You shouldn’t be nice for a reason they say. Expecting something for being nice ruins the nice gesture.
Yes, expecting a return on niceness means you’ll likely be waiting for a long, long time.
Yet we pay folk to act shitty (banks, insurance companies, debt collectors, art critics, lawyers, etc, etc.). Why not pay someone to be nice, or reward the nicest and kindest in a certain profession (say teachers or therapists)? What would it hurt?
Ah, well, that’s not how the world works. Right?
Except being nice does pay off.
Right or wrong, Being nice has Advantages.
When I’ve been the most selfish? It’s bit me in the ass. I’ve regretted every fear and anger based action, usually almost instantly. I cannot think of a single time it’s been worth it.
When I’ve been kind, loving, giving, and thoughtful? Nine times out of ten (okay maybe slightly less), I’ve been rewarded in not only matching but oftentimes exponential ways. As in I do something that I don’t even think is anything, but I get shown love (as a response) in ways I couldn’t even have imagined.
It is amazing how often Being Nice gets you somewhere.
Sometimes in oddly specific, concrete ways. Other times in “Whatever I do now, it’s a matter of how much I’ll win; versus in [the other person’s case] how much they’ll lose.” Or simply in the tribe I attract, the people that love me and care for me. Being nice makes them want to be with me; succumbing to my worst puts them off, to be honest.
(Being a pushover, for what it’s worth, is not what I consider “nice.” Being nice is giving a friend the benefit of the doubt. Gentle but firm reminder to a child to do something, rather than snapping at them about why haven’t they already done it. Writing a thank you note or something similar. Not having sex with every person that wants it from you. Not having to reciprocate in the exact manner you were gifted. Being a pushover might help someone, but not you. Stand up for -you-, cause most won’t. But that doesn’t mean you have to be petty or nasty, you know?)
No, I don’t “win” as much as I’d like. Being nice does not automatically “pay.” I can’t expect anything for being nice, nor do I -always- desire it (yes, sometimes I really wish I was). But I’d be lacking perspective if I said I “lost” by being nice.
Being nice pays far more than being petty and cruel.
Maybe it’s my guardian angel looking out for me. But at least in my personal experience? Yeah, it pays off. In the long run. In the overall quality of my life, my connections, my….everything.
Yes, being nice does “pay off.” Or at least it has the potential.
Yes, it’s worth it.
That’s just how it is.