Nice. It’s not the strongest of adjectives. A sweater is nice. A kind gesture is nice.
My boss tends to think anyone who is too nice is either fake or weak. Or both. Which would be really upsetting, but this is the same woman who gives me kudos for a neutral, peacekeeping, diplomatic communication style. Two sides of the same coin…
I am often described as nice. Variations on the theme are sometimes kind or sweet.
Because those are compliments paid to me, I tend to discount them. Nice is bland, tasteless. It’s not the worst value to have – I’m unlikely to lie ever awake in a fit of self-loathing because I was too nice – but it’s not a high value in the grand scheme. I understand that. Niceness, kindness… these are just generally table stakes. The only people who put a premium on niceness as a value are people whose lives are pinching for the moment; where kindness is temporarily in short supply.
We wish for the compliments that aren’t common to us, and under-appreciate the ones we hear often.
My thought for this week is my Second Beautiful Niece, then-six when it was written, telling me:
And you know… suddenly nice is the nicest compliment in the world.
I hope you’re having a nice day.