I am a nice person and that’s not a good thing

At least not for me…

I was one of those kids who didn’t bother her parents much. I did my homework, ate all the vegetables, participated in extra-curricular activities and was always on my best behaviour. I never got into fights (except the occasional sibling war, which I guess is pardonable to all) and was super polite, never saying no to anyone, and living with a guilt for a while if I really had to.

I tip-toe around the room if someone is sleeping, being super careful about not waking them up; I am willing to undergo discomfort but not tell the person causing it; I give up opportunities so that others do not miss out.

And for a long time, I was naive enough to allow people to take advantage of me. I truly believed that everyone is good. I couldn’t comprehend that people would actually just pretend to be nice because they want something in return. Or, just be mean for fun. Somehow, I just couldn’t digest this fact.

As I grew up, being nice became more and more difficult. I saw the real faces behind the masks. Though I have been lucky enough to meet some great people in life, I have also met some who were not that nice to me. Some were difficult, some were mean. Some got on my nerves. Handling them was the true test of my behaviour.

I am guilty of lashing out in my moments of weakness. I have said some mean things that I regret till date. Now I wish I could take it all back. And I have learned this the hard way:

I have to be nice, not stupid.

I need to clearly understand where to draw the line. And here is something I try to follow (I still feel guilty about putting my foot down at times):

Being nice does not mean you have to suffer while the other person reaps the benefit. Think before you take a decision. Learn to be a little selfish. You have to be nice to yourself too. Be nice to those who really need you. When you have nothing to lose, go ahead and be the hero. But when you have to make a sacrifice, be a judge of whether the person who you are helping out is really worth it.

It is okay to say NO.

It is okay to give things up in life. But you should know when to give up, what to give up and for whom. And until such a situation come by, be nice to people. Smile at someone, let someone go ahead of you at the billing counter, spread the joy and cheer. After all, what goes around comes around.