Why You Should Be A Nice Person

Nice people are becoming extinct. These days whenever I meet someone who is genuinely kind, I stand back in awe and have a desire to preserve them in a museum somewhere—The Nice Person Museum, No More Mr. Nice Guys? I don’t know about the name but I do know that it would have to be in New York somewhere so all of the jerks in this city can go and look at them, and feel really bad about their judgmental attitudes.

I’m not nice. I mean, I am in the sense that I have a good heart and care about people, but I’m too critical and judgmental to truly earn that adjective. I’m too offended by people’s shortcomings to be an actual nice person. I’ve tried to change this about myself but at this point, it’s become part of my job description to observe and comment on people’s behaviors. That alone immediately makes me exempt from being nice. That being said, I really resent how socially acceptable it has become for everyone to behave like evil nightmares. The worst part is that most of these mean people are also stupid. Being stupid and mean is a dreadful combination but it gets more prevalent each and every day. Bitchy comments dominate people’s Twitters and Facebook walls, and it’s usually coming from the person who has this on their about me page: i’M A bItCh, TaKe IT OR lEAve iT mUAH!” I’ll leave it, thanks.

It seems like everyone holds being nice in a high regard but no one actually wants to be known as The Nice Person. And who could blame them? It has been engrained in our culture that being nice gets us nowhere. We finish last, we become the boring friend in our social circle. It’s like the kiss of death. And in some cases, it’s a fair assumption. People are interesting because of their opinions, because they have something to say. Nice people are often assumed to have no opinions. They don’t say anything bad about someone, they won’t talk talk crap, which is like the ultimate sin for a twenty-something to commit. If you can’t get all gossip girl with someone, your value diminishes and you aren’t to be trusted.

I used to not care about nice people. Like many others, I found them to be dull, but then I realized I was only seeing a specific breed of nice. Believe it or not, there are people who are both kind AND interesting. They show us that saying mean things does not make you interesting. On the contrary, it makes you just like everyone else. What I love about these kinds of nice people is that they have no idea that they’re actually nice. It’s just a part of who they are and how they see things. It’s not a conscious decision, it simply makes up the lens from which they see life. These are the people who give nice a good name and inspire us Judge Judy types to chill our dill and treat each other with respect. Want to be truly subversive in today’s society? Stop saying that catty comment about someone you don’t even know. You’ll be totally controversial. TC mark

image – Wikipedia

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

More From Thought Catalog

Why You Should Be A Nice Person is cataloged in , , , , , , ,
  • CAFFADD

    i’M A bItCh, TaKe IT OR lEAve iT mUAH! :)))

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    i was thinking about trying to be a genuinely nice person eventually.

  • http://twitter.com/yanyun92 Lim Yan Yun

     I’ll leave it, thanks.

    this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.n.knutson Sarah N. Knutson

    *I’m* a nice person and am quite proud that people consider me as such. It saddens me that people are surprised to learn that I really am a nice person.

  • Random

    This would have been a much better read if you had tried to describe interesting nice vs. boring/pushover/polite nice.

  • Random

    This would have been a much better read if you had tried to describe interesting nice vs. boring/pushover/polite nice.

  • Sippycup

    The many faces of insecurity.

  • KRay

    Baffled by the widespread belief that constantly talking is somehow the same as communicating, and asserting your opinions at every opportunity is considered interesting, or even indicative of a desirable personality.  

    I think the quiet person in any group is usually considered to be the nice one, but that’s probably an even greater misconception.  I’m not sure anyone is truly “nice” in the sense that they never make catty judgments or remarks about others.  I think it’s just a matter of knowing how to be tactful and realizing just how unimportant and fruitless it is to even state these things aloud half of the time.  

    Obviously I haven’t figured out how to do this.

    • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

      Why is it so hard to believe that someone would never make catty judgments or remarks about others? Personally, I never make judgmental or catty comments about someone. 

      You hasty and judgmental bitch. 

      • KRay

        Hah.  Perfect.

    • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

      Why is it so hard to believe that someone would never make catty judgments or remarks about others? Personally, I never make judgmental or catty comments about someone. 

      You hasty and judgmental bitch. 

    • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

      Why is it so hard to believe that someone would never make catty judgments or remarks about others? Personally, I never make judgmental or catty comments about someone. 

      You hasty and judgmental bitch. 

  • Ben Franklin

    Love this.

  • http://twitter.com/strayl1ght anders bolin

    I am nice. It never got me anywhere.

    • Dan Goose

      You don’t sound very nice

    • Guest

      that is because you simply couldn’t cut the mustard to clear the custard.

  • VLL

    Compassion takes maturity.

    • Guest

      men are never compassionate.

  • Stefan

    So… why should I be a “nice” person? To be subversive? That’s kind of an unsatisfying and unconvincing reason.

    Also, is “nice person” here referring to someone who never gets angry or upset, who acts “respectable” and dresses well? Because that was the impression I got, and if that is indeed your conception of a “nice person” then I don’t want it, I don’t want it at all.

    I really, really think you should start focusing more on the quality and substance of your articles than the sheer quantity you can flood this blog with.

    • Reread before you comment...

      Where do you get any of that from? Nowhere in the article does Ryan write that nice people don’t get angry or upset. For one, that’s emotions. All people have those.  Secondly, he does not say that they act or dress in a specific way. If you try actually reading the article, you’d see that he’s saying nice people are genuine, sincere people who don’t feel the need to put down, gossip about, or speak about or to others with judgment.

      • Stefan

        “Nowhere in the article does Ryan write that nice people don’t get angry or upset.”

        You’re right! But the great thing about “impressions” is that he does not exactly have to say that, it’s what I felt in reaction to the article. But thanks for playing.

        But also, I also feel that this is a terrible article, but Ryan doesn’t have to write that in order for me to feel that way. Impressions!

      • KK

        Not being able to read doesn’t give you an excuse to form impressions on flippant grounds.

      • Guest

        I am terrified of all of you.

      • Stefan

        flippant articles provide flippant grounds.

        but here, I’ll explain it to you: often, when people talk about “nice” people, they mean some sort of equivalent or approximation of what I described in my first post, and I attribute my disdain for such a definition of “nice person” to its lack of nuance. I felt this article also lacked nuance (and depth), and reacted accordingly (and felt that he was trying to peddle a description of “nice” similar to the one I don’t like, besides the half-hearted admission that nice people can have opinions, too.) basically, I didn’t feel that he provided much evidence to the contrary (of my impression.)
        also, can we just take to a second to observe that what I did was pose a question, which very easily could’ve been answered or addressed without dismissively telling me that I can’t read?

        lastly, is it really a revelation to anybody (except for, apparently, Ryan) that people can be nice and interesting? I mean, is that a thing that that many people are too self-absorbed to notice? because a) that’s a totally depressing thought, but more to the point b) it seems insulting to the TC readership, to assume that this was an article that needed to be written because we all have our heads up our asses.

        (I also just need to say, my reaction to this whole thing would’ve been entirely different if this article had even resembled something of quality and substance.)

      • Guest

        stefan, why are you so worked up? care for a text massage. yeah, i meant massage ;)

      • Guest

        there are more funny “mean” people than funny “nice” people, in my opinion. try forming a really hilarious joke that doesn’t offend anyone at all. if you can’t do that, then i rest my case.

      • KK

        Ah there, *now* I agree with you :) I just, well, didn’t agree with that statement you made that you didn’t need to respond factually to form an impression.

      • blazingparakeet

        Sounds like somebody’s cranky. Have you had a bad day?

      • Diddly

        tl;dr stop arguing on the internet, you look like a douche.

  • Maxwell Smart

    I would consider myself a *kind* person, but not a *nice* person. I am polite and courteous, but not a pushover or a doormat. I do not tell people the things they want to hear, I tell them the truth. Some people don’t like that, but not everyone has to like me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/porchqueen Summer Carmack

    You should come to The South. Nice is bred into us here. We may not be able to drive worth a crap, but we will let you merge. Even in high traffic. Don’t get me wrong we have our assholes too, but when our assholes are in a good mood even they can be nice.

    • Guest

      they are very nice and very boring.

  • James King

    Nice thought (I know… sorry,) but I think “nice” has become inextricably attached to insincerity. When children are misbehaving and treating others poorly, parents tell them to “be nice!” They’re changing the behavior – a facade. When someone offers us something we know they’re offering to be polite, we say, “that’s nice of you, but…”

    For whatever reason, “nice” has become something that has phony connotations. Better to tell people to “be good,” or “kind.” 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504951716 Tau Zaman

    I tried doing that whole thing. Being unconditionally nice and spreading the good vibes around. But then I realized, secretly, I was craving good karma for it in return. Niceness just isn’t inherent in some people. People like me. =)

    • Guest

      being nice to people will lessen the chance of being stabbed in the middle of the night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    It all depends what you consider interesting. Me, I’m into fossils and evolution and the like. I.E., not interesting to hardly anyone.

  • Guest

    So, you want someone to be funny, intelligent, interesting, nice, and kind to EVERYONE? ALL THE TIME!?!? Seriously, does anyone know anyone that embodies all of these traits?  Keep dreaming babies.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone who commented here needs to step into a library for one of these reasons:
    1.  Nice people work there.
    2. Interesting people work there.
    3. Nice people go there.
    4. Interesting people go there.
    5. maybe a book to checkout should be on your required list of things to do.
    6. If you do not like to read, the library houses many other items that may strike your fancy (if nice people don’t strike your fancy, that is.)

  • http://emilymall.me/2017/09/13/nice-vs-kind/ Nice vs. Kind – Emily Mall

    […] Thought Catalog’s post, “Why You Should Be A Nice Person”, Ryan O’Connell […]

blog comments powered by Disqus