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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Be Better Than Nice

 I was scrolling through Facebook, when I stumbled across an article titled "An Open Letter to the Girl Who Let The Nice Guy Go" (feel free to read it for yourself). Based off the title I was expecting it to be written by a heartbroken/slightly jilted young man, but surprisingly it was by a girl (Though she sorta writes from the guys POV, so that was a little confusing. But I checked the authors bio and sure enough feminine pronouns, it's a girl). I wasn't surprised however when it felt like the article was shaped by less than stellar relationships, a tinge of regret, and a sprinkle of bitterness.Personally I wasn't too impressed with the article, while reading it I couldn't help but think that nice was not the appropriate word to use. She would have been better off  in my opinion referring to him as a good guy rather than a nice guy. But if she did indeed choose that word deliberately, as a girl who has been accused of letting a "nice guy" go (and feels no regret about doing it), I can't help but wonder aren't there better things to be than simply nice.

First off, gentleman if a girl calls you nice, and nothing else, it means you're boring (and most likely in the friendzone). Ok maybe not boring (but definitely in the friendzone) it just means that nothing else in your personality/being, besides your ability to be friendly and courteous, struck her as interesting enough to mention/remember. Don't get me wrong, being friendly and courteous are important, nobody with good self-image wants to date someone who treats them mean or rudely. But nice is typically a cop out that girls use when they don't want to be mean to a guy who has been "nice" to them (and I'm sure guys have done this too).

But am not writing this blog to attack nice guys or nice girls or even the concept of being nice for that matter. There is nothing wrong with being "nice". I'm not suggesting we walk around this world being jerks to one another. But I am proposing that we stop using nice as the only means of measurement when it comes to evaluating whether or not someone is a good person, and furthermore a good potential spouse. I just looked up the definition for nice and the results (via Google) were pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory, fine, and/or subtle. Now there is nothing inherently wrong with those things but considering that the original article was about a significant others desirability being exclusively centered around them being "nice", are you really sure you want your future spouse to just be nice.

I mean what if you flip that around, is that how you want to be described. I'm sorry I personally don't want my future husband to say I am satisfactory (hello that sounds like you are talking about a stay at a Best Western or Comfort Inn) and unless he is using the word fine as an adjective to describe me as good looking, I don't want to hear that either. Am I the only one who wants their spouse to find them more than satisfactory?

To me choosing someone just because they are "nice" is like choosing a vanilla wafer in a world filled with chocolate tortes, strawberry rhubarb galettes, and creme brulees (Pinterest may have influenced the direction of this blog). There is nothing wrong with a vanilla wafer, it is a fine snack. And sometimes when you're on a diet or simply trying to satisfy a craving for something sweet but don't want to consume 1,000 calories or go through the hassle of making something/going out to get it/waiting for it to get done, a vanilla wafer is fine. But as someone who has settled for the vanilla wafer figuratively and literally, I know that it may satisfy the craving momentarily, but it never takes away the want for something more. Because the reality is the vanilla wafer is never going to hold up in comparison to a real dessert. I mean imagine going into a bakery, filled with wonderful sugary buttery smells, with cases filled to the brim with every amazing dessert you and pinterest can think of, and all you walk out with is flippin vanilla wafer (whomp whomp how disappointing).

And honestly when I think about what kind of person I want to be, with or without a significant other (now that was a good blog) I want to be more than a vanilla wafer. Just like the amount of pins of pinterest, the possibilities of who we can be are unlimited, so why settle for just being "nice". In the same way Ryan Gosling told Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love  to be better than the Gap, I'm telling you to be better than nice <insert me saying that in nicest tone possible>. Nice is so one dimensional. Do things that add dimension to you and to your life. Develop your personality. Cultivate hobbies. Refine your natural giftings. Be passionate about something. My advice for you (and myself included) is that when choosing what kind of person you're going to be/who you are going to be with don't be on "diet", don't be in a rush, don't settle for what is easy, choose to be exceptional. Because the reality is we all have the potential to be a strawberry rhubarb galette (seriously I had this dessert recently and I've been dreaming about it ever since then). Choose to be better than just nice.

My final thoughts are this, maybe the people you classify simply as nice, do have other dimensions to their personality but you just haven't noticed or you have a limited vocabulary. Get a thesaurus and invest in people. And maybe the expression is nice guys always finish last because satisfactory attempts don't usually win races. In the same way a vanilla wafer probably won't get you a blue ribbon in a baking contest. In the end, I believe we all have the capability to be something extraordinary, but it depends on whether or not we are willing to go after that. Again there is nothing wrong with being nice, in the same way there is nothing wrong with a vanilla wafer. But to be a well rounded person, or an actual dessert that can't be all there is. In the same way a vanilla wafer goes perfectly on top of banana bread pudding, let being "nice" be a topping to your personality and not the main component.

-Amanda XXOO

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