Being mean is easy. Being nice is not.
(This was written almost a year ago, elsewhere. I thought perhaps I should move it here.)
I’ve learned, through experience and observation, it’s entirely too easy to be mean. It’s easy to quip, it’s easy to put-down. It’s quick and un-thinking in some cases. Or a matter of not thinking twice before speaking. And I say twice, because for many, it is a matter of thinking before speaking, that gets them the quips and cuts they come up with. Thinking twice would give them time to ponder whether or not they should vocalize it.
Yes, I’m incredibly guilty of being mean. Sure, not nearly as bad as some other people. And some of you might never have seen a mean thing out of me. That doesn’t mean I’m a saint. And neither are you. We’re all guilty of it, whether you want to admit it or not.
Yes, it’s EASY to say the mean thing. Which is why it’s so addicting. Saying the first thing that comes to mind, regardless of it’s impact.
It’s far harder to be nice. To smile and turn away. To bite your tongue and swallow the lines, the quips, the biting remarks. It takes far more will-power to swallow the feelings of disgust, ire, maliciousness, and condescension. It takes a lot of practice to get into the habit of taking the time to think past initial reactions, to the heart of something, and either say something neutral, or to walk away.
I’ve found a far more heightened feeling of self-worth by being “nice”. No, I don’t let people walk all over me. I’m no doormat. I’m not “too nice”, or blind to stupidity. I’m rather well aware of those things. But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where it’s just too much fucking hassle to deal with the after-effects of being mean.
I’ve found a lot more worth in myself, and people around me, when I make a quiet attempt to lead by example, by being the quiet voice of reason, the neutral position in a sea of extremes. I’m far more self-content this way. And I don’t plan on changing that.
What can I say? I feel like I’ve grown up.