We are bound to meet people every now and then. Most people who consider themselves to be “decent”, try to treat others they meet with respect and consideration. They also (rightfully) expect others to do the same for them.
Good People Are NOT Always Treated “Nicely”!
But life is not so straightforward. Good people do not always get treated fairly. Indeed, sometimes bad people can seem to get a better bargain from the world than good people – possibly because the former actively work to subvert the will of others, so as to gain an unfair advantage.
This does NOT however make being good a BAD option to adopt. And part of being good is being “nice” to those around us.
What Does It Mean To Be “Nice”?
Nice could mean a whole lot of things, but mainly – to me – it comes down to the phrase I used earlier: “respect and consideration”. In essence, for me, being nice essentially entails treating others with “respect and consideration”.
Therefore, every now and then, in moving around society, I quietly evaluate myself (and others) with respect to how “nice” I am (or they are).
Sadly, what I have found is that many people, especially adults, tend to be “selectively nice”.
By this I mean their “niceness” seems to depend rather greatly on WHO they are relating with. For instance, I have noticed fairly consistently that some people who act friendly and talk “nicely” to me, adopt very (I and do mean VERY) nasty dispositions in talking to “poor” relatives, or their hired hands – such as office workers, house helps, mechanics etc.
They typically display impatience, and intolerance at the slightest opportunity. Indeed I have seen some instances where an acquaintance of mine (with his wife’s encouragement!) chose to needlessly ridicule a new employee right before me, by mocking the latter for his “slow” speed and lack of familiarity with the computer. I could not help wondering why he did not think of coaching the young man to develop the missing skills, using more encouraging words to boost his morale. Past experience with this individual however made me keep my opinion to myself.
Speak Out Against Unfair Treatment Anywhere You See It
I have chosen to write on the subject, because such “selectively nice” people go around in their preferred social circles – like religious groups – being “nice” (e.g to the pastor, and other church members). Few who see them in THAT mode would imagine they can be psychologically abusive to those under them, back in their homes or offices.
The rest of us need to avoid being fooled by such people. Then again, if anyone is guilty of being “selectively nice”, this article is a call for such a person to change. It is instructive for you to note, at this point, that a person who maltreats others, while treating you nicely, WILL have his/her reason(s) – which is (are) likely to be ulterior.
Maybe you have more of something s/he values e.g. money, status, fame, a special skill etc. Whatever it is, for as long as s/he feels there is benefit to be had from continuing to be “nice’ to you, s/he will. BUT, mark my words – the day s/he feels being nice to you no longer serves any useful purpose, the same “un-nice” treatment reserved for the “lesser” humans, will be handed down to YOU too!
And that is why no matter what you feel you stand to gain, you MUST, as a rule speak out (or caution) against any unfair treatment of others that you notice. If you fail to do this, chances are NO ONE will stand up for you, if/when the same happens to you – and it can! (Re: Karma)
Here are some quick checks you can use to ascertain just how nice, THAT nice person you know is:
1. Does s/he openly relate with you regardless of who else is around. Or is there a noticeable attempt to limit interaction with you to seemingly “safe” environments or situations? Specifically, how does s/he introduce you to others – in a manner that enhances they way the other person sees you, or one that puts you in a one-down position?
2. How does s/he treat workers generally? In passing out instructions, giving feedback or correction? Is there a noticeable effort to make people feel good about themselves. Or does s/he go out of his/her way to put them down. Is the working environment positive, or are most of the workers scared stiff?
3. Does s/he demonstrate a healthy respect for YOUR experience, and knowledge? Or is s/he often keen to tell you (directly or indirectly) that you are not as “good” as s/he is? Do you find that s/he is “nicest” to be around when you AGREE with his/her opinion, and gets very difficult if you insist on holding a position at variance with his/hers?
4. Does s/he call you a “good” friend when you say YES to his/her requests for help, and ANYTIME you say NO, s/he throws a tantrum and accuses you of being undependable?
5. What about when you NEED his/her help? Does s/he readily give it, or is it often done grudgingly (complaining to your face, or behind your back)? Does s/he expect you to be ready to go out on a limb for him/her? Do you think s/he would do the same for you, if the need arises?
The above are just to offer you some practical ways to evaluate the “quality” of your relationships with persons you associate with. Anyway, it’s based on what I do – which is why I share it. I honestly believe if we all try to be nice in the way I have described in this article, our societies can only become even BETTER than they already are, with people truly living to their fullest potentials.
To end this article, I share the following, very apt quote, credited to someone whose name I cannot readily recall:
“A person who is nice to you, but is NOT nice to the waiter, is NOT nice.” – Author unknown
That says it all, doesn’t it?