Why being told to be nice all the time is disempowering.

I recently made a post on facebook about how I have a sarcastic sense of humour.  I do.  I also have a silly goofy sense of humour.  I have a bunch of parts to me and it’s taken me a long time to love myself just the way I am without feeling like I need to be more ‘this’ and less ‘that’.

Someone I don’t know proceeded to write out the definition of sarcasm and snide and said it’s not nice to be around.

My first thought is can’t she see that is not a nice comment to make to someone? My second thought was fuck nice.

I know what your thinking, what’s wrong with nice? This world could use a lot more kindness.  I agree, internet trolls and the things people post in the comment section are some of the most hate filled, unkind, hurtful negative things.

But what the world needs is a lot more kindness, not necessarily niceness.  There is nothing wrong with niceness. There is a whole lot wrong with niceness when used to force women into a singular way they are allowed to show up in the world, at all times, in all situations.

Be nice.

How many times as little girls are we told to be nice.  Especially when our intuition is telling us full force to not be nice.  That something isn’t right, that it feels off, icky, unsafe.

I’ve been re-reading the book “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and in one chapter she tells the story of Baba Yaga.  To summarize, the overly good girl who only tries to be pleasing is sent to her death by the very people she is trying to please.  While spending time with the wild Baba Yaga her intuition is activated and she is taught how to be discerning.  How to become one who sees, to see the hidden truth behind things.  “Like Vasalisa we may try to be nice when we ought to be knowing. We have been taught to set aside acute insight in order to get along”

I feel like I’ve been setting aside my power, my insight, my very nature in order to get along for a lot of my life.  The “be nice” of our culture is poison to me.  I need to be knowing.  I need to speak from my truth and directly.

People believe that if you aren’t nice then you are mean.  It’s simply not true.  I would argue you are being true.  True to yourself, what you think, your experience.  You are acting from a place of integrity.  How is being true to yourself, not nice? It’s only people who are uncomfortable with who you are that call it not nice.  You can be like Vasalisa and try and please those people who ultimately send you to your own death (the death of your personal power) or you can be knowing.  Powerful.  True.

How many of you have friends who tell each other why they are upset with someone else but never feel empowered enough to actually have a direct conversation with that person saying, “this is how I feel.”  No one teaches girls how to speak their hurt feelings, their disappointments, their feelings of being taken advantage of directly to the person.  No one teaches them how to say, no actually I don’t want to, or no that is not ok with me.  Or no I don’t agree, I see it this way…

But boy have we been taught to be nice.  If you’re a girl you are told that being nice is the best thing you can be in the world.

I want to start a revolution.  I want women to start speaking their beliefs, their feelings, their point of view. I want to know peoples stories, all of it.  The good the bad the ugly.  But so often we edit it so we can look nice.  Be Good.

The women who took offence at my saying I have a sarcastic sense of humour and I didn’t feel like I needed to change that, she went back and edited her original post to sound more nice.  It didn’t mollify me or make me think she was nice.  My knowing is too strong now.

I’ve spent too long learning to be KNOWING.  I know who I am and I’m not here to shrink so others feel comfortable.  I am accepting of who I am, more and more each day. I have been told I’m too positive, too accommodating, too stubborn, too strong.  Am I supposed to shrink in all those situations so the other person feels better somehow?  So they think I am nice and approve of me?  No thanks I’d much rather approve of myself.

“Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.”

Happy international women’s day.

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