Shouldn’t Nice Be Normal?

Game tiles reading "BE THE KIND ONE"
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember people have always said to me, “wow, you’re so nice.” This is kind but it always catches me off-guard. Because, if I’m being perfectly honest here, I’M NOT NICE!

I’m a big believer in treating people the way I want to be treated. If a friend has a big appointment coming up, or an interview, I make sure to make a note of it and check-in not only to wish them luck but also to ask how it went. Because who doesn’t like to feel remembered and valued? Of course, I’m not perfect and there have been times when I’ve dropped the ball. It’s impossible to catch everybody’s everything, but I try to be intentional about showing the people in my life that they are cared about.

Still, the idea that I’m a particularly nice person is silly to me. Caring is something everyone craves and wants, but we all get so busy with our own stuff,- lives, families, work, etc…-that sometimes we forget. Then when someone does something “nice” we are taken aback. When a friend does something as simple as sending me a check-in text, it can change my whole day because it reminds me I’m not alone and they care.

When did it become the norm to not check in on people? I don’t say this to guilt anyone or make anyone feel bad, but how did we get here? It’s crucial to me that the people in my life know I care about them and want to see them at their happiest and to also let them know, that I’m there for them at their worst. But this doesn’t make me “nice.” It makes me a decent person. My main goal in life is not to be a jerk. Seriously. I don’t want to make someone’s day worse, so I’m aware of my tone, my mannerisms, and the words I use. (Granted, I’m not perfect and if you try to have a serious conversation with me before coffee, you’re going to get a lot of eye-rolling and grunts in your general direction.)

The sad thing is when some people do something nice or ‘check in’ they feel as if they are going out of their way when in all actuality they are just being a kind person. Remember that saying, “It doesn’t cost anything to be kind?” Well, it’s true.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that. So, I’m not a nice person, I’m just someone who treats others the way I want to be treated in hopes of leaving this world a little better and a little brighter. And maybe just maybe, a little nicer.