don't be a prick - thoughts on "being nice"

While it's already well into November, and therefore fall, California still can't make up it's mind. So I brought out my favorite white dress for one last day - taking it into fall with a dark grey Brandy Melville Caroline cardigan and bold lip

Wearing a white lace Abercrombie dress, dark grey Brandy Melville Caroline cardigan, and Kensie Hadin sandals.
The angle
When sitting down to write outfit posts, I always try and think of an angle, so it's more engaging to the reader than the average "this is what I bought, here's where to buy it" type of thing. With this being in a cactus garden, "don't be a prick" came pretty quickly to me, and then I thought about what that means. 

I interpreted it as "be nice". 

Details of a white Abercrombie dress and dark grey Brandy Melville Caroline cardigan.

Born selfish
 I have a weird relationship with being nice. On one hand, I want to be that girl, whom everyone likes being around because she'll always have a spare stick of gum or be willing to help out. On the other, I want to mean business, and let people know not to mess with me.

Naturally, I'm not a great person. On a sliding scale, I'm about in the middle, maybe skewing towards the left side a bit. I think by nature, humans want to be good, though sometimes through twisted means. We're born selfish, which has a negative connotation, but in this sense, I simply mean that our first instinct and cares are for ourselves
That's the way it had to work out throughout history; if we all placed others before ourselves, we would never get anything done and would have likely died off ages ago. 

Platinum white hair with dark roots growing in.
Wearing: Abercrombie lace dress, Brandy Melville Caroline CardiganKensie Hadin Sandals.

Thanks society
Most people are quite polite and well mannered in public, though I'm sure we all let loose a couple of f-bombs and snide remarks occasionally. Through our parents, friends, and consumption of media, we've learned what's right and what's not. With a growing moral compass, some of us stick to the rules, most of us interpret them, and a few of us are governed by our own set of moral values (Kohlberg's stages of moral development)

Dark black hair to platinum white hair.

Applying it to myself
Going back to my earlier points, most of the time I will put others before myself, more frequently as I've grown up. I try to be empathetic, to not burn down bridges, to distinguish between when I should say the truth and when to tell white lies. All for the sake of "being nice", and being seen as such. Also because I would prefer to have friends and not be alone all the time!

But to what degree is being nice beneficial - both to ourselves and those around us? 

Platinum white hair against cacti in the background.Close up of Kensie Hadin sandals, purchased from DSW.

Two sides
I would argue that a healthy dose of selfishness and candor is needed in all aspects of our lives. Being seen as or being told that you're nice can make you feel warm and fuzzy, but in many aspects, I would choose the ambitious, strong woman over the nice one

That's not to say that I don't value kindness and looking out for others, because I do. Some of my best friendships are with people who have these values. I believe that knowing when to display which traits is important, and that's good news since humans have been shown to be quite adaptive

Full body shot of white lace dress, nude sandals, grey cardigan.Headshot of natural makeup and a bold lip.

In fact, I would say my main problem with being perceived as "nice" is that people will think I'm one dimensional, that I can be taken advantage of without consequence. I want to be both - someone who can be depended on to always listen, who remembers birthdays, but also someone who voices her opinion and stands her ground. As with most things, it's a process, and I'm figuring it out.

What did you guys think of this post? Do you identify as being seen as "nice"? What do you look for in others?

No comments