Wouldn't it be Nice.

"Always Love. Hate will get you every time."
-Nada Surf
Photo source: Unknown

I believe one of the most underrated behaviors is to just be nice. I realize that's a pretty simple request but you'd be amazed how difficult it can be sometimes.

I used to think that it was important to surround myself with really interesting, funny people. I loved talking to them and hearing their stories. "If someone can make me laugh- I probably like them" has been my motto for years.

But lately I've been surrounding myself with some people who, while still interesting and funny, are also just really NICE people. They're supportive and kind and complimentary, even when I think there's a chance they're sugar-coating things. And you know... I love it. I love the way those types of people make me feel. I feel capable and driven, like I can take on the world. If I have doubts about something, they're very much those people who will tell me "You've GOT this," and it's been incredible. Borderline jarring, at times, but incredible.

For years, I've tried to be that way, and maybe that's why I appreciate it so much. I send out letters and emails to people to let them know when I think they're awesome. I do it because I think it's so underrated and rare for people to do that. Be the change, I'd tell myself. But for some reason it was a weird feeling for me when I started to see that reciprocated.

Then something interesting happened.

I began to notice the people who weren't being nice. Who weren't being supportive. And where I would have once told myself that poking fun and being a little bit mean was funny- I'm now seeing it as, "well... that's mean."

I don't want to be around people like that anymore.

I want to be around more nice people. People who make me feel good about myself. I think that, in a psychological sense, being kind is sort of the first line of friendship defense. It's what draws us to people, or at least it should be. When someone makes me feel good, I want to be around them. And if we've established a common ground of "you make me happy," we can move into poking fun to some extent- pending that it doesn't make me feel badly about myself. But I don't want to be around anybody whose ratio of nice to "funny in a slighted way" is 5/10. Or even 7/10. Make me feel good; make me feel supported, and that's my primary focus in our friendship.

I don't think it makes sense to invite negativity into anybody's life. Just invite the good.

No comments: