Don’t stop being nice
by Delete Me Please
We all have one (or a few!) of these people who we cannot avoid that badmouths behind your back, be unfair to you, or even go as far as getting everyone else to dislike you. It leaves you feeling helpless, because you’re a kind and loving person. You don’t expect anything in return when you help others, and do it out of compassion and love, and care for other people; but to be treated even worse than a stranger when you have done nothing wrong, can be very very demoralizing. It can fill you with anger and hatred, and consume you so you won’t even be able to function. I know friends who experienced this, and I myself have experienced this, and it is very easy to be depressed over it. So in this post, I hope that I can help those who has this problem, so they can move away from here, feeling empowered, and carry on being nice.
So here are a few things to ponder on, be honest, no one is going to judge you apart from yourself. And don’t judge yourself!
- Do they have a point? See the situation from their perspective. If you know they dislike you because of the way you behave, for example, do they have a point? If they say you are insensitive, well…are you? If they have a point, before you do anything else, address this issue. If you are being insensitive, make a conscious effort for the next week to think before you speak and act, first thinking about how your words and actions are perceived. You must be honest with yourself, because you are doing this for yourself – the more honest you are with this, the better the person you can be.
- As irrational, immature, or down-right stupid you think these people are, be the bigger person and stand in their shoes. Think about why they are doing the things they are doing, and don’t try to defend yourself while you’re doing it – stand completely in their shoes. This way, you might actually realize that they are not against you personally, but they might have their own insecurities and own problems that they don’t know how to deal with apart from venting out on you. For me, I can understand why a certain someone badmouths me, it’s because they want to protect the person he loves. His feelings might be completely skewed, but just by understanding the reason behind his apathy and dislike, not only did I stop hating him, I felt compassion for him. Remember that nobody in this world when given the option to be happy or unhappy, will choose unhappy; and there are nobody in this world that would choose to be nasty when they can be nice. When people wrong you, they have their reasons. You will never know beneath the surface the battles people are going through at that given time. Try to understand them and have compassion for them, it will make you feel a lot better, make you a better person too, and might even turn a real enemy into a real friend.
- If you have the courage and the grace, try asking them out for lunch to talk about the issue. Very often, it is a misunderstanding and you’re actually both kind-hearted people.
- Being nice is a character – it is your character, it is part of you. This means no matter how others treat you, no matter how you feel, you are still nice to others because being nice is your character. It is a good character and you should not change it. Ever.
- Be nice, but not too nice – One should never stop being nice to others given the chance, and sometimes going beyond what is expected will make the other person feel appreciated. But never forget that you need to be nice to yourself too! Do no sacrifice yourself for someone or something easily. There was one time when I helped my friend complete her coursework, and ended up handing in my own coursework late. This was certainly something noble, but also very stupid. I forgot that I do not only work for myself, I work for my friends who believe in me, for my parents who tirelessly brought me up; to sacrifice myself for someone else so easily, is a betrayal of their efforts and trust. They put so much value and worth in me, I shouldn’t have given it away so easily. Sacrificing yourself may seem noble or worthwhile, but what is more worthwhile, but often more difficult, is to respect yourself and be nice to yourself first, so that you can keep yourself in high standing to help more and more people later. To throw yourself in now would simply be taking the easy way out, and giving up on the future.
- You have a right to complain and be dissatisfied with the situation, because it really is not your fault. And yes it is not fair. So apart from the cliche response of ‘The world is not fair, get over it!’ (which is true), I want to bring this to another perspective. Just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you need to do something. A right is not here to limit you, but to give you freedom. You have the right to complain, but give up that right because you don’t need it, in order for you to be happy.
- You are stronger than other people’s criticisms – whatever you do, think about it first and ask yourself if it is the right thing to do. And then do it and don’t look back. ‘Hater’s gonna hate’, be true to yourself. But be true to yourself.
- You do not control the world – If you were, you’ll be God. And I am pretty sure you’re not God, which is actually a good thing. Since you are not in control of the whole world, if other people are acting immorally or unfairly, we are not responsible for them! By all means be nice and gracefully and gently point out their mistakes, but if they do not listen, just remember you are not God, you do not control them nor are you responsible for them. You are responsible for yourself and can control yourself, and so just stop trying to control how other people act, and focus on yourself. To bring in a bit of Bible lingo, not to impose religion on you, but because I think it hits it bang on the nail – Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matt 7:3)
- Set the standard – I’ve convinced myself long ago that action speaks louder than words. Instead of telling others how they should live their lives, just live it yourself. They’ll eventually see how well your life is, and will mimic you, and will even listen to you! If someone is treating you unfairly, treat them fairly; if someone is unloving to you, be loving to them. It is simple really. But it is easy to fall into the trap of unwillingness, so just be careful and remember in everything, you are not doing anything for their benefits, only your own.
- There are 6 billion people and one of you – If everyone can offend you one way, there are 6 billion ways that you can be offended. That is if you pay so much attention to them. But there is only one you, only you can place your time, your importance to these people. You can choose to not give them any control over you, and you should do that. No one should have control over you.
- Let go of expectations – This is a really important one for me personally. Sometimes, I expect the people I love to act more passionately, more sensitively, and I often set them a higher standard than others, because I love and care for them. But when this expectation is causing me to be frustrated, you have to let your expectations down, and let them improve themselves in their own time. In the mean time, just focus on improving yourself.
- Hope for the best, expect nothing – Hope things will turn out for the better, do all you can to better yourself and try (but don’t go too much out of your way) to make peace. But if it doesn’t work out, don’t be disappointed, you have done your portion, you can be at peace with yourself.
- Believe in yourself – Believe that you are a nice person, and these nasty people will not stay in your life forever, you will find good friends at appreciate you and understand you. Even if you’re 20, 30, 40 and still haven’t found true friends, believe in yourself and live your life right, these people will come along naturally.
- Accept – Everyone has flaws, accept them and love them more because of their flaws.
- Forgive – Forgive them for their wrongs. Forgiveness means you are letting go of the hurt.
- Some practical things – when you see yourself being annoyed, step back (metaphorically or physically) and breathe. Do not act in anger. If you need to, write it out in a letter, and keep writing and writing until your anger is expressed out into words – it has left you and onto the paper. When you realize you are thinking about the problem, quickly put your mind on something else – always have an escape point. Thinking about it will distort your thoughts away from reality, what started out as a small problem will probably spiral into a big problem.
So I hope these points have helped you not let other people bring you down. You have dreams, you have ambitions. Go and chase after them. Run and work hard for your dreams. In 5 years time, these people you think controls you, will be long gone. You would have moved on to a better place, and they’ll be left behind. So don’t worry about them, work hard for your dreams and remove any obstacle that stand in your way!
There are always someone who believes in you, who will listen to you, you just don’t know it. Do it for them. And all in all, believe in yourself – if you don’t, don’t expect others to. Everything, starts, with you. Everything. Go.