The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Nice

Nice is a town on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. It is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and is known as a vacation destination. Nice has a long history of welcoming visitors, including notable painters such as Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, and writers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Anton Chekhov. The city’s clean air and soft light have also inspired many other artists, including photographers and composers.

People who are considered nice are genuinely interested in others and want to make them feel good. They show this by listening attentively, asking open-ended questions and doing things like baking a cake or sending a text to let their friends know they are thinking of them. Nice people are patient and understanding, knowing that it takes time for some people to work through problems. They believe that everyone has something to offer and aren’t judgmental of those who may have different values or beliefs than themselves.

There are a few downsides to being nice, particularly when it’s used as a mask for a person’s negative traits or as an excuse for bad behavior. This can lead to an inauthentic relationship and repressing of true emotions, which can build up until some trigger causes them to emerge – such as a short temper or an outburst of anger. Nice people can also have trouble separating their own feelings from those of others, which can result in them taking on other people’s problems and feeling overwhelmed.

Nice people are often so focused on pleasing others and making sure they are seen as a good person that they don’t set their own boundaries, which can cause them to get walked all over by those who have nothing but disapproval for them. However, if they truly are nice at their core, they will stand up for themselves and what they believe is right, no matter the consequences.

The meaning of the word ‘nice’ has changed over the years, with its semantic evolution influenced by the etymology of related words and obsolete senses. In the past, it was often used to describe a person who was foolish or stupid. It then became a synonym for pleasant or agreeable, and in modern English it is used to describe someone who behaves well and is respectful towards others.

Being nice can help us to be more effective in the workplace and with family and friends. However, it’s important to be able to differentiate between being nice as a way of gaining favor and being kind because we are genuinely concerned about other people’s happiness. The latter is the only way to create lasting positive change in society and in the world around us. So next time you are thinking about how to be ‘nice’, remember that true kindness comes from the heart and will inspire others to follow suit. It’s worth it in the end! (Source: Forbes.) —Alexis Clemmons, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University and the author of “Being Nice is Not That Easy” (St. Martin’s Press, 2018).