Not A Nice Girl

I don’t think niceness is a virtue. In fact I think all of those paragons of this insufferable attitude should be locked away in a deep, dark dungeon till all their niceness is dried away from them. Only then should they be allowed to mingle among human beings.

There are no brownie points for being nice. At work, in dating or in relationships. If you really do like the other person, then it doesn’t take an effort to be civil to them. Politeness is probably the most that’s required and that too only at work. And in non-professional relationships, the formality of being nice is an imposed distance. After all, would you keep up a pretense with a close friend? I subscribe to the come-as-you-are school of thought that says that a real friend will never burden you with inane thank yous and certainly not expect you to dress up in attire or behavior for them.

Am I advocating rudeness in non-professional, social conversations, then? Well, look at the alternative. I’d rather have someone tell me that they don’t like me or even just avoid me rather than go through the torturous rigmarole of the kind of behavior that I call ‘air-kissing’.

It started of course with an observation of the habits of those curious creatures that inhabit the third page. The pasted-on smiles, the ‘Lurrve-your-look-darrling-isn’t-that-last-year’s-dress’ attitude, the petty sniping, the honeyed words followed by poisoned actions….didn’t it just make you want to throw up? It did, me. Till I discovered that just like their clothes, the glam-set simply displayed the most ostentatious of what is otherwise common to most human beings. We’re all guilty of the soul-crime of niceness.

Oh and by the way, isn’t it interesting that the adjective ‘nice’ is more often than not appended to the female of the sex? Yup, I received those stringent lessons in Nice-Girl behaviour, same as my counterparts world over. My plaintive ‘but why?’ never got an answer and I was only told to shush up and learn to be a Nice Girl.

Nice Girls don’t protest. Nice Girls don’t talk back. Nice Girls don’t ask questions. Nice Girls are cowards.

Nice Girls don’t raise their voices. Nice Girls don’t laugh too loudly. Nice Girls are seen, not heard.

Nice Girls don’t get into fist-fights with boys. Nice Girls don’t get into scrapes with boys. Nice Girls aren’t human girls.

Nice Girls don’t swear. Nice Girls don’t drink. Nice Girls don’t smoke. Nice Girls are virgins. Nice Girls are repressed.

Nice Girls are polite. Nice Girls pay compliments. Nice Girls don’t tell you they loathe you. Nice Girls lie.

And the not-nice girl is supposed to be the vamp?????

And, don’t even get me started on those that use niceness as their most diabolical weapon, weaseling favours from others, playing on people’s guilt and stealing their approval or at least their agreement. Bloody mercenaries, I say hang them all! I’d imagine that true goodness of character comes from being, not from screaming out to the world about being good. Once it is shoved down the throat in the manner that Nice Girl behaviour seems to warrant, then it’s a compulsion, the sort of way a thug might slam you against a wall and demand that you treat him with respect.

Niceness is just the easy way out for people who don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of dislike, indifference or disrespect. Oh okay, I’ll concede, some of them aren’t all that bad. In fact I find I’m constantly having to tell friends to ‘quit bothering being nice’. This isn’t a clarion call to being boorish. But really, some of this niceness brainwashing has gone in so deep that it turns into masochism.

Just to re-iterate:

You do not have to do anything that you don’t want to. Doing something you hate, because you’re scared that the other person will feel bad is simply succumbing to emotional blackmail. Do that simply to be nice…but remember, you aren’t being nice to yourself, then.

I practise this as far as I can take it. Sure, people don’t always like the things I say (I’d hope not…they weren’t intended to make them feel good!!!) But there’s no doubting where I stand. And in my mind, any human being deserves the basic courtesy of knowing the truth. If a person can’t handle that…well, they can go get their wussiness pampered elsewhere.

* Incidently this post lay in my Drafts for a long time because I thought it wasn’t ‘nice’ enough. Someone called me a goonda recently and I almost didn’t defend myself. Almost. Because I was being too nice. Gah.

About Ramya Pandyan

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelgänger of Ramya Pandyan. I am a writer-storyteller. I work as a Content Specialist, consulting, training and delivering Social Content that drives conversations & builds communities. Tweet me at @ideasmithy or write to me at Ideasmithy[at]gmail[dot]com.

Posted on September 17, 2008, in Hormone hangover, Relationships, Seriously speaking and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Hmmmm… Interesting… I really dont know what to say!! Just that if being not-nice is not an evil, so isnt being “nice” :)

    Each to its own :)

  2. You didn’t include ‘Nice girls don’t have sex wantonly because they like it. They wait till the night of their wedding to lose their virginity and spend their lives possibly being sexually frustrated because nice girls do not demand sexual satisfaction.’

    Sometimes nice is just what some people are, genuinely. They’re eually capable of dealing with things in a direct manner, they just might choose to not. Niceity is based in the same three things that speech is in, I think.

    What is said/done
    The manner in which it is said/done
    The time chosen to say/do it

  3. Hmmmm. Once, in a fit of pique, I told one friend that I was contemplating being nice. He said something very profound “Dont, you will lose 3/4th of your personality”

    But there is a fine line between being nice and being fake. As is between being truthful and being hurtful.

  4. Hey,

    Not trying to be nice, but i do agree with the your view. I am a firm believer in the concept of Show-what-you-feel, but everyone around me tries to tell me that i am rude and i should adapt this phoney NICE attitude. A classic example is: Your boss cracks a awful joke, and you feel like showing it to his/her face, but you can’t, because you have to professionally NICE. Same goes with your elders, specially IN-LAWS.

    Recently i read the below text on one of my fav blogs:
    He is one hell of a movie buff and amazing source of knowledge.

    http://satish-movieviews.blogspot.com/2008/08/fight-club-or-heaven.html

    Nah, hell’s practice. Heaven is what they lure you with so that you grow up into being good at impersonating the next guy.
    Hell’s hate. Hate is strong. At least God has you in his sights. Good is drudgery and everybody around you is swarming in it trying to catch God’s attention. And they’re drowning one inch at a time.
    Hell’s got no competition.
    Hell’s cool. Evil’s cool.
    Hell is backyard.

    Congratulations, you’re this far from hitting rock bottom.
    Call it nihilism. Call it anarchy. Call it self destruction. Call it chaos. Call it Fight Club.
    But still you’re falling. Let gravity work its course. Let go.

    And then, when you’re finally the bottommost layer of crap, when you’re the base of the garbage can, when you’re the disgust of evil, when you’re so rotten that hell dreads you, when you are feces and stink so bad a dung beetle wouldn’t want to lay its eggs on you, you’re the Joker.

  5. honey,
    dont’ you know our anthem – Good girls go to heaven, Bad girls go everywhere! :)

  6. Why be nice always when thats not what you feel inside? Be true to yourself is the toughest thing to do when there are so many politically correct reasons to do so otherwise. While its super thrilling to beat someone at politeness etc, i prefer a good yell and well sometimes a few choice words especially when i feel the other person sure as hell deserves to be beaten up or something.Rude is one thing and saying whats on your mind because you aren’t some “yes ma’am” bimbette is something totally different.Nice don’t always work for me. And if they don’t like you for it, well you could just turn around and say ” Bite Me”

  7. You talk about girls, I know several girls as well as guys, who are very nice without being fake. But at the same time they’re not stubborn hot-headed rebels.
    Just because some girls don’t smoke, or drink, are virgins, and like to behave… well.. nicely does not make them targets for unjustified judgements.
    Some women ARE goondas. as long as its not some kind of a insecure shield against being tagged a woman per-say, goonda is fine, just another kind of personality. And just like there can be no judgements there, there need be no judgements about women being nice. But then again, some women are also obsessed about not being nice just because they dont like being restricted to being women…. which one are you??

  8. niceness is sometimes mistaken as politeness and vice versa. Politeness is good. Where niceness= being a doormat, I dont care for it.

  9. @ Nova: That’s true. But I’m only human and as a confirmed ‘Not nice girl’, I despise ‘Nice girls’ on principle.

    @ DewdropDream: I agree. Except in this post, I’m referring specifically to those people who use ‘niceness’ (notice the quotes) as a weapon.

    @ Cynic: Oh please don’t lose that part of you…it’s the best!! And as for the rest, that’s a really difficult line to draw, no?

    @ Manish: Not everyone can handle the truth. But like Cynic points out, there is a fine line between honesty and rudeness. No one likes a rude person either.

    @ Sense: Don’t I? It was written for me! ;-)

    @ Phoenix: I usually say, “So sue me!” or more recently, “Deal with it.”

    @ ‘nonnymous: I don’t smoke either and there’s plenty I don’t do simply because I don’t believe in it. But I don’t use these habits (or the lack of them) as self-promotion for what a nice person I am. I speak my mind on what I stand for. And there are also enough of people who like my company. None of these have anything to do with the kind of ‘niceness’ I’m talking about. I’m just me and I think that’s the best any individual can be. It’s the other kind that I can’t stand.

    @ La Vida Loca: Amen to that!

  1. Pingback: The Princess/ Professional Dichotomy « XX Factor

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