So, perhaps you’ve picked up on the fact that being nice doesn’t necessarily stop at social courtesy. Being nice usually entails one being compassionate, considerate, and outwardly aware. This is not always easy to do.
Most people are trying to improve the quality of their lives, and in many circumstances this means improving oneself. Some people (like myself) are perfectionists about it, and the cycle of self-critique and outward-critique is never ending and often hinders the growth we are strivng for. Some people work so hard to achieve things that it wears on them to the point they get sick or their quality of life dwindles unnoticed.
And when these things happen, being nice to people can seem impossible. That’s when it’s time to be nice to yourself. Remember this:
1. No one is perfect. While it is commendable to try to be the best person you are capable of being, making allowances for the times you aren’t 100% nice/compassionate/considerate/focused/et cetera is a very important part of personal growth. This is self-forgiveness and self-compassion. This is self-awareness at its highest level. In the end, those that accept they are human while simultaneously reaching evermore toward effective self-improvement usually yield the most positive results in their lives (and the lives of others) overall.
2. Listen to your body and spirit. Don’t run yourself into the ground. Take an R & R day. Take 5 minutes to relax and clear your mind. Go spend a few bucks on your favorite smoothie or coffee. Take the time to cook a really exciting new meal for yourself. Be present to the moment you are currently in. Do things like these when you have reached your limit for the simple sake of self-preservation. And then you will likely have more energy to move on with your day and you will likely be more purposeful and genuine in all that you do.
3. It is all a balancing act. What is most important to you? What is next in line? What can slack off a bit? What can you do to make your day a little better? How can you make mundane tasks a little more enjoyable? How can you make a sad day brighter?
So when you go out and try to be courteous, but nothing seems to work; when you feel down and then feel guilty because you are such a drag to be around; when you snap at someone you love without meaning it; when you forget something important because of over-working yourself; when you just don’t have the energy to be 100%, be nice to yourself. You know you deserve it. And once you’ve had enough of that, you’ll head out into the world refreshed, a little more capable, and ready to be more effective than if you had simply pushed through. 🙂
© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.
I think that when it comes to being nice and courteous, you shouldn’t expect anything in return. Having those expectations sort of defeats the purpose. You should do it because it’s the right thing to do. I do agree about your “be nice to yourself” point. It is important to treat ourselves well, pat ourselves on the back and reward ourselves for the good things we do. Thanks for sharing!
That’s a great point. I think the same goes for a lot of things: giving to charity, treating someone to dinner, giving affection/praise to loved ones. All that should be done without expecting a return on the investment. I think that’ll be my next post! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
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