Stop Instructing Girls To “Be Nice”

healthy child memeLadies, don’t “be nice” until your kindness is earned. Be civil. That’s enough. There’s nothing wrong with being compassionate and magnanimous. Altruism is how our species survives. But being nice, too sweet, only makes one accessible to users and losers. This is the mistake I made, and the mistake I see many women making. See the exact definition of “nice” below. Basically, when someone tells you to “be nice” they’re instructing you to be agreeable, enjoyable, satisfying, entertaining, etc. Girls and women are commonly told to “be nice” to stop us from taking up for ourselves. If you “be nice” to the wrong people, you open the door to being regulated to doormat status, or at the very least making yourself as your last priority.

Now, compare and contrast nice with compassionate and civil. Being civil and polite still allows for safe boundaries and will help discern who deserves your compassion.

nice
adjective
1. pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory.
“we had a nice time”
synonyms: enjoyable, pleasant, agreeable, good, satisfying, gratifying, delightful, marvelous; entertaining, amusing, diverting, lovely, great
“have a nice time”

com·pas·sion·ate
adjective
1. feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.
synonyms: sympathetic, empathetic, understanding, caring, solicitous, sensitive, warm, loving; merciful, lenient, tolerant, considerate, kind, humane, charitable, big-hearted
“a compassionate concern for the victims”

civ·il
adjective
2. courteous and polite.
“we tried to be civil to him”
synonyms: polite, courteous, well mannered, well bred, chivalrous, gallant; cordial, genial, pleasant, affable; gentlemanly, ladylike
“he behaved in a civil manner”

*definitions via Google