As an English teacher, I often stress to my students the importance of using creative words. Instead of the word “bad”, use “terrible”. Instead of the word “pretty”, use “gorgeous”. One of the biggest offenders when it comes to nondescript words is “nice”. The dictionary defines it as fine and satisfactory…not exactly the most flattering or sophisticated adjective.
I remember when I was in my 20s, I met a guy through a mutual friend. Afterwards, she asked him what he thought of me and his response was that he thought I was “nice”. I remember being offended by this and over analyzing it- “What does that MEAN…nice?!??” I thought it indicated that he wasn’t really interested in me. It felt like an insult.
I didn’t realize the significance of this simplistic, four letter word until I was 30. To put it bluntly, my ex husband was mean. After getting divorced, I remember saying to my sister that all I cared about when it came to meeting someone new was that they were nice. After experiencing my dad not being nice and my husband not being nice, that word took on a new, deeper meaning. I am very happy to say that my new boyfriend is truly nice. It took being with some unkind men for me to appreciate someone who is genuinely a good, kindhearted person.
I can honestly say that I am a nice person. I strive to be. I try to do things to make other people happy. I am thoughtful. It is kind of weird to write this because I feel like I am bragging (and trust me that I have many flaws). During the time my coworkers were teaching from home during quarantine, I mailed out 70 cards, just to say hi and keep in touch. I also sent congratulatory letters to the 120 graduating seniors who were my students from last year. This is one of the ways I know how to show love and appreciation.
Today, I gave my mailman a card and a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card because tomorrow is National Postal Workers Day and clearly I love mail (who knew?!?!) My boyfriend was saw me do this and said, “you are SO nice. You’re the nicest person I have ever known.” I just smiled and accepted it for the lovely compliment it was. There are far more creative and glamorous synonyms that can be used, but I now understand the simple beauty of being nice.
I clicked on your post today to finish reading it when I came to your blog. I have to first of all, thank you for sharing/writing it & say that I can relate to everything you say regarding growing up a child of an alcoholic & all the wonderful crazy feelings that come along with it. I look forward to reading & relating more!
Stephanie, thank you so, so much for your comment and for reading. I’m sorry for you and for all of us who can relate to being a COA, but I think knowing other people have experienced what we have helps us feel less alone (and less crazy!!). xo
I am so SO pleased you are doing better (and have a nice new boyfriend to boot). Your strength through everything you have gone through…just wow. I have been following your blog for a while so just wanted to say thank you for all you have shared!
I don’t know how I missed this comment- I am so sorry it took so long to respond. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response- I appreciate it more than you know!
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They say, “nice guys/girls finish last” but I disagree. Personally I like a nice person & feel the world needs more nice people!
Keep on being nice & have a nice day! 🙂