Sometimes I am nice, and other times I am kind.

She accused me of being nice.  How dare she accuse me of being nice, I know I am a kind person. I told her this, but she still did not agree with me. What is the difference between being kind and being nice, anyway?

Thinking back on my conversation with my coworker, I still wonder, am I kind or am I nice, or both?  I think I am both.  Sometimes its a little of column A and other times it’s a little of column B.

Why does it really matter, as long as I am kind or nice, isn’t that enough? She didn’t believe so.  I remember reading an article a short while ago where they polled a group of women, asking them what particular trait they looked for in a man the most.  I thought for sure it would be power, looks, money, but no, it was kindness…shit!.

So, after giving it much thought, I realized she was right, I was nice. Even more so, I am nice to a point. I use my niceness to manipulate the outcome of the conversation.  I use niceness as a tool to persuade someone or appease the other party.

You see, I am a people pleaser. I do not like conflict one bit.  I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional home environment so I hate conflict and avoid it at all cost.  If I have to agree to your point of view to avoid an argument, you bet I will bend over backwards to agree with you.  Being nice and fitting in come naturally.  I’m a natural born chameleon.  I had to be. My father’s mood could change like the direction of the wind. My safety and security depended on my ability to manipulate the mood of the room by joking or changing the conversation.

I have been doing a lot of reading on narcissism, lately, and I am coming to terms to how much of an effect it has had on my life.  I have started to realize that I am not as kind as I thought I was. I’m nice, but I think I have always been afraid to be kind.  The weak and naive are kind, I always thought. But I realize that this isn’t true at all.  To be kind to others, to be open and vulnerable, in a sense takes a lot of courage, and shows that the person has emotional maturity.

So, I want to try and be more openly kind. I want to connect more with others, where before I would shy away.  I think being kind will suit me.  I sure hope it does, at least.

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