Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nice is Different Than Good

I'm not a terribly nice person. I am kind and friendly, but not nice. I have an inherent mistrust of people who are infallibly nice- something has to be wrong with them. I think that's part of why I don't trust Mormons. No one can be that nice all the time, especially without coffee. But nice is overrated: there's a song in the musical Into the Woods with the line "nice is different than good". Amen.

When I think of "nice" I think of someone who wants to be liked. Always. But for everyone to like you all the time you are at their mercy and not able to be yourself. That must be a sucky existence. Imagine pretending you actually like stinky cheeses, "The Happening" and the Shake Weights your friend got you for Christmas. Horrifying, no?

I'm a strong personality- sarcastic, opinionated, with no poker face to hide my disdain. I am not everyone's cup of tea, and that is fine-I'm not running for prom queen. I will always tell you the truth, so don't ask for my opinion if you don't want to hear it. I am judgmental but I've been working on that, I just get a very clear reaction to people when I first meet them and it is difficult for me to change that, whether positive or negative.

People love golden retrievers and labradors for their friendly, low-maintenance demeanor and loyalty. I think I'm more of a doberman: kinda intimidating, a little too smart, but deeply, fiercely loyal. If I love you and someone hurts you, I will rip their throat out. Well, not literally, but you get the point.

Girls are brought up to be sugar and spice and everything nice. But nice doesn't mean keeping your opinions or feelings to yourself, or sacrificing your individuality for the above-referenced prom queen title. I'm far enough in my career that I know how to professionally disagree and argue my point, but i wish in my early days that had been more assertive and less worried about being liked. There's a reason you don't write about how popular you are on your resume. I highly recommend a book called "Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office". It is eye-opening and extremely helpful for women on any career path.

I shall leave you with the below line, uttered by the witch in Into the Woods, as food for thought:

I'm not good; I'm not nice; I'm just right.

Judgmentally Yours,

Siobhan

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