Wednesday 20 January 2021

Nice vs Niceaholic? (Part Three): Connection, Not Sheer Niceness.

Let's Connect.

So, what is wrong with being nice? NOTHING! Absolutely, nothing! There is nothing wrong with giving people the benefit of the doubt. There is nothing wrong with caring. There is nothing wrong with making others happy. However, it must have its boundaries. Otherwise, it loses its effectiveness, at least, as far as relationships are concerned.

"I don't need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better." Mark Twain.
We see a synonym in the way sound is perceived. It is either perceived as noise or music, depending on some defined criteria. In music, Wikipedia defines noise as unpitched, indeterminate, uncontrolled, loud, unmusical, or unwanted. All those adjectives used in the same way for niceness or goodness will produce the same effect. 
"A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you today.— Unknown.
That is, your niceness could be perceived as noise and repugnant if it is without boundaries. A niceness that controls you is no more genuine. A niceness that you feed off is not one with the receiver in mind. And, will be since for what it truly is sooner or later. It is not sheer niceness and holds a relationship. It is the expected product of niceness, that is, connectedness.

Niceaholism (acute niceness) comes from low self-esteem. The victim is working overtime to fit in. You cannot truly love until you have dared to accept yourself. Loving yourself is the beginning of loving others. The reverse is never true. If you don’t love yourself, why should anyone else? The love you give yourself is the minimum standard you are willing to accept from others. 
"Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on." — Maxwell Maltz. 
Hence, the love you have for yourself determines the boundaries of your niceness. If you are still wearing a mask in your marriage, there is a problem. If you cannot be naked in your marriage, there is a problem. If your spouse does not know your weaknesses, how can he or she help and or support you? What is marriage without being naked to one another? 
"Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within." — James A. Baldwin.
It is time to wake up to the reality of why you came together. It is not to show off to one another. It is to be a help and support of each other's destiny, dreams, and aspirations. Let us build together. Let us write the story together. Let love have its full place in your home. Relationships are all about connecting, not necessarily being nice. 
"To love is to see light." — Victor Hugo. 
Hence, the niceness that produces a connection between the people involved is what makes the difference. Being nice is not the same as being blind. A person’s niceness should not cause one to be blind to bad behavior. Call a spade a spade, even if you have chosen to bear with it. Let it be clear it is a choice, and not foolishness or stupidity.
"Friendship is a deep oneness that develops when two people, speaking the truth in love to one another, journey together to the same horizon." — Timothy Keller.
Being quick to excuse away bad, hurtful behavior is not the same as being nice, in the real sense of the word. Love does not cover the truth. Love faces up to the situation at hand and works on it, not run from it. Love is not a mere feeling. Love is not blind. Love is not overly protective. The same love that holds also, let's go. Love releases. It does not imprison. I love the way Herbert W. Armstrong defines it. He says,
“Love is unselfish. It is not an emotion, though it may be expressed with an emotional content. True love combines the rational aspect of outgoing concern—desire to help, serve, give or share—along with sincere concerned affectionate feeling.”

 Yes, one can NEVER love too much, for when it becomes too much, it stops being love. Love never loses control. Love is intentional. Love is purposeful. Love is true. Love makes all things beautiful. It saves us from our own self. Love looks out for good, not evil. It looks out for the commonalities, not the divisions. It puts together, not tear apart.

"If I had to define love in four words, I would say, "Love is an unselfish outgoing concern" for the good and welfare of the one loved. Love is primarily on the giving, serving, sharing side of the fence-not on the getting, taking, factional, striving side. It is not selfish." — Herbert W. Armstrong.

"The only thing that you can never have too much of is love." - Brian Tracy.
Yes, one can be too nice. One can be too nice or good to a fault. Yes, one can be scary nice. Yes, one can be scary good. Like the old saying goes, “if it is too good to be true, then it is not true.” There is a catch somewhere. 

© 2016 Akin Akinbodunse.

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