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On Being Nice

On the subject of being nice...... I used to think it was more of a female thing. It's not. Females just do it differently. I can speak mostly from personal experience as a female. But I also have 4 sons, and a husband, a brother, and had a father, and a grandfather. Given my line of work is to notice patterns and undercurrents beyond what is presented at face, I often have a fairly clear picture.

In early childhood I was told to go kiss my uncles (or cousins....) . I would say i don't want to.... because they pinched my butt and I didn't like it. I was told..... through gritted teeth..... "that's not nice! Now give them a Kiss good bye so we can leave." So I did.

I'm gonna dissect this.

Here's the imprint kids get ...... ..... my discomfort didn't matter. What I said felt bad to have someone do to me physically, didn't matter. I was being difficult by saying I didn't like something that made me feel bad. I Was also affecting everyone else by holding up the whole family from leaving. And I didn't matter as much as so and so. I was causing a problem and being inconvenient by not wanting to do something that felt bad to me. And ultimately...... you should be nice otherwise you won't be liked .... which as a child translates into love.....which as a child translates into being cared for..... which means if you aren't cared for you obviously will die ..... this is basic survival ....... so just be nice. And the pattern is set.

(It sounds extreme and this is what these seemingly little things really do imprint on a child.)


My mom didn't mean anything awful by it.....she was just doing what she learned and so on back down the line.

And this is why it is so common.

In men, I believe it has more to do with a type of belonging. Don't appear weak. Don't appear petty. Don't cry. Suck it up, be strong........ oh and do the RIGHT thing......which is putting others needs before your own. Because if you don't belong, then nobody will like you and you won't be love or cared for, and go off and die alone. It's termed the RIGHT thing rather than the NICE thing. ITS the same exact thing.

They both say...... your needs don't matter as much as others...... or how you appear to others.

Frankly it's all bullshit. And it's deeply ingrained. And once we start to look at it we see it everywhere.

Nice and right are "have tos and shoulds" and they are rooted in shame, worthiness, and good enough.

They keep us from being empowered.

We can keep running these cycles which gradually chip away at us and manifest physically in our bodies........ and feel kinda icky.

Or we can make different choices. New choices. Hard choices. Choices that upset the dynamics that depend on us being nice and right.

We can be empowered or not. (That's a choice too). It means putting on the big boots and I think that can be terrifying. It is until we realize that not doing so actually feels worse.

Step up or don't.


*When you change,you change the dynamics you are a part of. Others in the dynamics won't like it. Dynamics like familiar, even when it is unhealthy. When you step into your own empowerment and make new choices, it invites others to do the same. Those that are not interested may get angry or upset. Change is scary. It's uncertain. And uncertain terrifies us. Always lean into how it feels to you, in your body, to make your new choice. If it feels good to you, it is the right thing to do. Healthy dynamics will adjust. Unhealthy ones will fall away. And it's all choice. There is no right way. There is no wrong way. There is no time limit. There is only how you feel about you. When you feel GOOD about you, you then get to choose to be KIND instead of NICE.

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