One of the things I love about being a mom is the fact that I get to impart my wisdom to my daughters. Wisdom that, in a lot of cases, took me a lot of years, a lot of mistakes, and a stack of bad decisions to gain. I’m not naive enough to think that they take in everything I have to say, particularly at 12 and 14, but my hope is that what they don’t use now, they will at least tuck away for future reference.
Not that I have all the answers, of course. None of us do. But I think that most of us can benefit in some way or another from the advice and experiences of others. I sure as hell wish that I’d had someone providing me with helpful advice over the course of my life.
Pfffft. What am I saying? I still wish for that.
One of the things that I often tell my daughters is that they shouldn’t be “nice”. Being “nice” is something that I feel got me into a lot of bad situations in my life. Being nice meant that being liked was made a top priority. Being nice meant not standing up for myself. Being nice meant that I should acquiesce to the wants and needs of others, for fear that I might be seen as NOT nice. Nice people are taken advantage of, railroaded, dumped on, and rarely respected. I know you know that old saying that “nice guys finish last“. Well guess what? It’s even worse for nice women.
Before you go thinking that I’m a crummy mother who gives terrible advice to her children, allow me explain. For me, the word “nice” conjures up images of a weak person, who is largely disregarded by others because hey, “they’re SO NICE”. Nice just isn’t that great. It’s bland at best. Don’t believe me? Consider this. Let’s just say you had a great time in bed with someone. You’re happy, you’re satisfied, you’re feeling all the warm and fuzzies that you normally feel. They turn and look at you say, “That was nice.”
So I tell my daughters that they should not be “nice” to others….because there are many better things to be than just “nice”. They can be kind, generous, thoughtful, intelligent, funny, considerate, assertive, brave, reliable, creative, compassionate, fair, loyal, polite, trustworthy…so many things.
…just never, ever “nice”.