What’s the point of being nice? People are going to hate you anyway.

by Veronica on July 16, 2013

in Soapbox

walk towards the light

Everywhere I go, people keep imploring me to be nice. Just be nice at the BBQ, be nice online, keep yourself nice in public. For gods sake, just be nice Veronica, okay? Surely you can manage that?

I am tired of just being nice, for the sake of everyone else’s comfort. Doesn’t my comfort matter too? Did anyone worry about how nice they were being the last time my reputation was dragged over the coals? Hey, how about that. I bet no one worried about how nice they were being when they bitched me out publicly, blocked me on twitter and refused to ever speak to me again.

I don’t do silent well. I don’t do nice for the sake of public propriety well either.

Nice is such a boring word. It’s bland. It’s inoffensive. Nice doesn’t make you think, or make you feel. Nice sex doesn’t give you a spine melting orgasm that makes your legs shake for minutes afterwards. Nice books are the ones they send home in Amy’s home reader, about Marcus sharing his toys and getting a cookie.

Nice. It’s warm milk. It is white walls. It is something that I won’t remember five minutes from now because fuck me, but nice is boring.

I am a kind person. I have empathy. I worry about how people will feel, about how my actions will be received. I want to be kind, and caring, and opinionated. These things are not mutually exclusive.

I say fuck a lot. Fuck is not a nice word. It isn’t bland, and it doesn’t leave any doubt in your mind about how I feel. I throw things. I shout, and I wave my arms in the air. I loudly used “because VAGINAS” as an argument to my husband in the supermarket, much to the shock of the lady walking past. It was a reasonable response when you consider that the question was why mothers wanted fluffy pink socks for Mother’s Day.

Being nice will get you nowhere. I don’t want someone to remember me as vaguely nice when I die. “Oh, her. Yes, she was nice.

There’s no point to niceness. People will hate you no matter what you do. Maybe your hair offends them. Or the way you laugh. Maybe the way you capitalise your sentences sets their teeth on edge. No matter how nice you are, someone out there somewhere imagines punching you in the face, and it makes them feel better.

Nice gets you nowhere.

I am a strong person. I have opinions and I like things the way I like them. My sense of humour is kind of fucked up. I frequently daydream about poking some people in the eye repeatedly with a blunt stick. I rescue small starving kittens and I cuddle small sad children.

I don’t want to be nice. I want to be smart, funny and kind. I want to be interesting and colourful and compelling.

You can keep your warm milk.

I’m aiming to be top shelf liquor.

Pamela July 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Love this!

Susan, Mum to Molly July 17, 2013 at 12:02 am

Fuck nice.

Nice is fucking seriously overrated.

You ARE smart, funny and kind. You ARE interesting and colourful and compelling.

Fuck the haters.

Be your awesome self.

The people who matter will love you anyway.

dharawal July 17, 2013 at 12:39 am

I also am not nice, I got done ‘playing nice’ when all it did was get me over looked and often fucked over as well. I’ll aim for interesting, intelligent and awesome instead.

Ellen Arnison July 17, 2013 at 12:53 am

They will, won’t they? Hate you?

Linda July 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

Love it!

Snipe July 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

Being “nice” is incredibly crippling if you are interested in honest self-expression, and it’s funny how the people who demand niceness are, themselves, rarely nice.

river July 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

“Oh, her. Yes, she was nice.”
That’s me.
Bland, boring, entirely forgettable.
I’m also kind and sympathetic, occasionally funny.
I’m the warm milk, but with chocolate added.
I couldn’t be any other way if I tried.
But hey, someone has to be this way, otherwise the rest of you, the top shelf liquors, wouldn’t stand out and be counted.

Vanita July 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

Hey Veronica,

Firstly, OMG you could be me describing me. Secondly, reading it from someone else takes the wind right out of my sails – in a good way. I suddenly feel very meek and can’t bring myself to whisper f*ck when usually I’m a complete potty mouth. It’s as if you’ve done it all for me. (Also completed rooted after disastrous school hols. Is there any other kind? :-))

Have often wondered why people insist on unconditional reasonableness in spite of everything that’s happening to us and our kids .. are shocked that people in detention centres might get a bit shitty and burn a few chairs – I would!!

When is it NOT ok to be nice? I would have thought it was when society has made it clear by actions rather than words that you’re not equal or valued and will not share in the ‘collective benefits’ that are the reward for being ‘nice’?

On a lighter note, I have been IN THAT CAR that you described last post. I have a neuro-typical five year old who is topped and tailed by two profoundly intellectually disabled kids and – even when everyone is wailing and whining – he remains the ‘polite police’. Must be something in the water.

Love your posts and the fact you ‘deliver’. Take care. V.

Oculus Mundi July 17, 2013 at 10:59 am

Well, you ARE nice, mostly. But you are also sincere. I don’t think being nice is a bad thing, or a good thing, it only bothers me if people think that nice is more important than sincerity.

I completely agree that people will find a way to hate you, regardless, so you just have to go with what your gut tells you and to hell with it. As I am fond of saying, people hated Gandhi – so what fucking chance have I got?

I also think people mistake nice for polite. Polite people can be sneaky, unpredictable and untrustworthy, just as much as impolite ones can. Some of the nicest people I have ever known are likely to tell you to get fucked if you annoy them. But you always know where you are with them. Nice and polite are definitely not the same things.

There is a saying “A friend to all is a friend to none.” Which means, of course, that by trying to please everyone because you don’t them to dislike you and in order to be “nice” you ultimately upset everybody and nobody trusts you.

You do not fall into that category. And I think that comes across pretty well.

Oculus Mundi July 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

One of these days I will actually proof read a comment. And bells will ring out all over Christendom.

Ness July 17, 2013 at 11:02 am

You’re absolutely right, being nice gets you nowhere. I’m living proof of it, having spent my whole life being nice to people who wouldn’t like me if I gave them a Ferrari.

You certainly are interesting and compelling. Rock on.

Elizabeth July 17, 2013 at 11:18 am

Keep fighting the good fight… the people that matter to you love and support you nice or not 🙂

edenland July 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Fuck nice up the arse with a bulbous, spiky, purple strap-on.

Love this post.


PS Just had to spell-check ‘bulbous.’ I may not be nice, but by god I’m a good speller.

Rosie July 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm

You just keep telling it like it is. Love your honesty.

Snipe July 18, 2013 at 8:29 am

I was raised to be nice, or sweet, or whatever, which has made it difficult to assert myself when assertiveness is needed. Whenever I am assertive, there is always a feeling of guilt because I wasn’t ‘nice’. Hopefully that will go away one of these days.

Snipe July 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

I was raised to be a nice, sweet girl, which has made it difficult to assert myself when assertiveness is needed. Whenever I am assertive, there is always a feeling of guilt because I wasn’t ‘nice’. Hopefully that will go away one of these days.

Snipe July 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

Couldn’t figure out how to delete the double post.

roseg July 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm

i don’t think the issue is about being ‘nice’. of course you’re nice. and you’re appalling. we all are. all those words you used are states of being that are always in flux. and most of them are in the eye of the beholder as well so there’s almost no point trying to agree on a benchmark.

what you might be missing is that when people say “be nice” they’re not saying that at all. they’re saying “i’m feeling embarrassed”, “i’m frustrated that i cannot control you”, “i’m frightened”, “i’m confused”, “i don’t understand what to make of this behaviour – am i at risk?”, “let’s see if i can embarrass her” and countless other things.

i personally like nice. i like the adjective, the biscuits and the city. and other people’s shit doesn’t stop me being nice when i feel generous and polite and certainly doesn’t innoculate anyone from confronting the screaming vixen i can be on the wrong day/time/place.

that is all. an opinion. just like a belly button. everyone’s got one.

Achelois July 20, 2013 at 12:20 am

I love you just the way you are. x

Anne July 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

Love this post. The song ‘Just the way you are’ by Bruno Mars came to mind when I was reading it. You go girl! 🙂

Multiblogging Mum July 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

well said !!

I am me .. me I am .. I am not always nice .. sometimes I can be nice.. but nice is so god damn fucking boring!!


pkathleen August 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Meh. I am nice all day at work. I’ve been off for… 5 days? Yes, 5 days…and that’s nice. When I imagine going back to my inane job as a timekeeper at a behemoth corporate hospital in Dallas Texas, I imagine bringing a pillow with me in my car to scream FUCK into once I get out into the parking garage. Nice, right? 😉

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