Posted by: Judy | June 10, 2015

Meme debunking…

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

This meme has always bothered me. It’s usually paired with a picture of Jesus. I’ve finally figured out why that one bothered me: Jesus is both important and nice… okay, after reading the below article, I’d say He’s kind. The picture was a contradiction to what was being said. It verbalized an either/or while it visualized both.

My sister posted this article:

http://marciasirotamd.com/psychology-popular-culture/the-trouble-with-being-nice

I found the contrast interesting and sometimes disheartening. I recognized myself in both.

I’ve grown up hearing about how nice NM and EF are. It was such a struggle because they often are nice. After reading the article, it makes more sense.

I want to learn to be kind.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. It’s funny that you mention your parents being considered “nice”. Is that by themselves, or do other people tell you they are nice people? I ask because my mother and father consider themselves to be nice. My dad, yeah, he can be, but my mother? I’d be hard-pressed to think of a single person she’s helped. She’s been polite or well-mannered, but neither nicer nor kind.

    Conversely, I don’t think of myself as a nice person at all. I see too many cracks in my thoughts and behaviors. But then, I don’t think that there’s such a thing as altruism either. I do, however, wish I were a better person.

    Fwiw, I think you are a very kind person.

    • Interesting that you should ask. My parents do consider themselves to be nice, endeavoring to be good people. I stopped making the effort to go to church because people kept saying, “Your parents are so nice. You are so lucky.” My parents have helped a lot of people. It is the surface pleasantness. The performance.

      Strangely enough, there is a complete disconnect between how they are in public and how they are in private. They both see themselves as the people they portray in public. Neither one admits to lies or living in denial.

      The problem comes with long-term exposure. I notice that many of the people who think my parents are nice have very limited exposure to them. I think most telling is they don’t have visitors more than two or three times a month, including family. Come to think of it, they don’t visit their children or grandchildren. They only go out to lunch with friends once or twice a year. They never go visit friends together. If someone is in the hospital, they’ll visit. NM has a friend she calls most evenings… how does she describe it? She needs someone to check on her and appreciates the phone calls… it isn’t because NM enjoys chatting with her. She has to be “doing good.”

      Wow. Hadn’t realized how much they isolate themselves.

      The mask is slipping more. My sister says that the younger people at church do not think NM is nice. EF arranges to be involved with other things outside of home.

      Stepping back and looking at it as more of an outsider, it’s really quite sad. They both declare that family is the most important thing, and yet they aren’t truly welcoming. Family will come to visit, and they will go do something else.

      Wow… just wow… the more I write the more weird it all is.

      Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

      • My parents are much less nasty publicly than they are privately. But most people who have interactions say my dad is cool but tend to prevaricate around describing my mother. Most are too nice to say she seems to have a stick up her backside.

        It sounds like your parents isolate much like mine do. My dad used to be more social before he retired, but my mom makes things unpleasant for him if he’s not always around for her now.

        • Yes! Scary how our parents are so similar. EF is the cool parent, and everyone thinks he’s great. Actually, what’s sad about him is his willingness to back NM, even in her lies. EF continues to be involved in other things, and I encourage it. NM can make it difficult and does, but I egg him on anyway. 🙂

      • And it is a sincere compliment 🙂

    • BTW, helping those girls is very kind. How many women volunteered and failed to follow through? You’re also supportive to others, without expecting anything in return; that’s kindness.

      • I guess I think about all the things I don’t do that I feel I ought to want to do. Basically, I think I’m kind of lame. Lol.

        • You aren’t.

  2. I like this article a lot. It helped me understand the difference. My IL’s are similar to your’s I believe. Everyone thinks that they are ‘nice’ and their circle of friends being ‘nice’ means visiting them in the hospital and checking in on people, not b/c they enjoy it but to boost about how much they do. They don’t seem to be ‘nice’ when things are going well with their friends. They don’t talk about that. I think what has been interesting to see in our unhealthy friendships is that ‘nice’ is about being there when the chips are down. Not when stuff is going okay, good or calm.

    • Interesting you should mention how they don’t talk about what’s going well. I’ve watched NM and EF brag about some things, like the birth of a baby boy or the accomplishment of someone’s son, but in some cases point out potential problems, stealing the joy of the moment. Then they wonder why people don’t want to share good news with them. Then again, I don’t want to share bad news with them because they tell others… a way for them to look good for being so supportive of me. Wow. Just wow. The insanity is mind boggling.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: