#WednesdayWisdom

Be nice to people and they will be nice to you.

Of course, with the cynic in me, you can expect a lengthy disclaimer for the above. There are different people all over the world. Some people are nice by default, and some are not so nice. I need you to be cautions. I do not want you to get taken advantage of. Having someone walk all over you is also not something I envision for you.

However, I urge you to give people the benefit of the doubt. Your guard can be up and running, but do not be disrespectful and/ or aggressive when you first meet someone. Be polite, respectful and nice once you interact with ANYONE. It does not matter whether the person is the Pope, the President, a janitor, or a homeless person. They should all be initially treated in the same way. They are all people. Just like us.

Once someone gives you a reason to change your behavior, you can re-think your “nice” strategy. But not a second sooner. Think about how much better things would be that way. We would all be less stressed if we did not have to waste so much energy of attacking others and handling tense situations. Life is difficult already. Why make it even harder by giving ourselves more anger related headache?

I recently encountered someone whom everyone describes as “polite and nice”. That does not surprise me. What surprises me is that people are surprised to see/ hear/ witness such behavior. When did this become extinct behavior? When did we start expecting rudeness instead of politeness? In a situation like this, where rudeness is considered default, we forget to shun it. We expect it. We should not be applauding common courtesy. We should be condemning rudeness.

My friend always says: “You will catch more bees with honey.”

Are you polite by default?

What is your strategy when dealing with people you do not know?

Stay golden,

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28 thoughts on “#WednesdayWisdom

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  1. I think a lot of people honestly are decent by default. There aren’t many outright rude people but the ones that are out there are so loud and obnoxious they tend to outshine the genuinely decent humans that outnumber the rude ones. On the other hand, I think a large number of people are generally distant these days. They aren’t rude or mean or discourteous but they are blank. Unremarkable and generally just go through the motions when it comes to interactions and strangers. This is different from being polite to me because there isn’t really an interaction at all. When someone says “she’s really polite and nice” I think of someone who is welcoming and encouraging. Someone who smiles and says “good morning” in passing to those who smile back or appear equally welcoming. Someone who doesn’t lash out at strangers when the drive through line is slower than usual and even tells the staff that it’s completely ok and wishes them a happy day despite the inconvenience. I try my best to be that kind of person. I love smiling at people and I always love small encounters with new people. Though I’m far from a cynic 99% of the time so I may just be in my little happy sunshine world with this mindset. Overall, I think “normal” behavior is just minding one’s own business and not really being nice but not being rude either. Being nice, polite, and kind is actively choosing to be a positive influence on the world that day in whatever small ways one can. Great thought provoking post!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really liked reading your analysis.
      Great distinction between both extremes and the middle. I can tolerate “normal”, because I have my off days, during which I don’t feel like being overly nice. However, negative energy attracts negative energy. So if you can’t be positive, at least be neutral. I try to remind myself that often times the people I interact with randomly have nothing to do with my stress/ anger, and I should not be taking it out on them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s an excellent point. I’m totally fine with normal and think a lot of people probably act mean or rude as a result of their own stressors. It’s sometimes hard to make that distinction and not take it personally but it’s important to be compassionate I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Treat them the way that I would like to be treated and, if they prove disappointing, treat them the way I would like to be treated anyway. They could be dealing with health issues; loss of loved one; loss of job; romantic betrayal etc. etc. etc., and so I give them the benefit of the doubt. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s always the situations that can either bring out the best or the worst side of a person. Sometimes we react strongly without knowing what the other person might be going through or what made him rude to you. Maybe something triggered him. What I feel is without judging someone we should maintain our calm and we never know that is all needed to bring out the best maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Words to live by!
    I am not a “too nice person ” I am not rude or anything but I won’t be grinning ear to ear when talking to you or saying hi.
    I just have a resting bitch face most of the time although I am working on it.
    A lot of my friends today admit to being surprised I am nice because I used to I give off the dont-talk-to-me vibe a lot.
    So I give people the benefit of doubt untill they are rude to me.
    However, annoys me when I meet a person with a very shitty attitude and then someone tells me: “She really doesn’t have a shitty attitude IF YOU GET TO KNOW HER”.
    I tell them, not everyone will get to know you in life or be patient enough to tolerate you until they get in your good graces. You should treat everyone nicely regardless.

    A shitty attitude is a lot like mouth odour. More often than not, everyone one knows it except you.
    In nigerian pidgin we say: “na only person wey like you go tell you say your mouth dey smell”
    Loose translation: It is only someone that likes you that will tell you the truth to your face not matter how bad it sounds.

    I don’t know if that made any sense to you but it made sense to me. Instead of defending their inner goodness, I feel telling them they have a shitty attitude is one step in the right direction.
    I hope I did not digress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sometime ago now, there was a story going around about a man and his 2 out of control young boys in a subway car. The boys were running up and down the aisle and generally annoying the other passengers. After much complaining among themselves about those unruly boys, and why their Dad was doing nothing about their behavior, one of the passengers approached the man and asked “Why don’t you control your two boys? Can’t you see that they are being totally disruptive?” The man was very apologetic. “I am really sorry.” he said. “I wasn’t thinking. Their mother just died in hospital, and I am trying to work out how to tell them.” The mood in the subway car totally changed.

      As for meeting people with shitty attitudes? I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may just have a very tangible reason for their shitty attitude. Just thinking.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Indeed. Giving people the benefit of doubt is good.
        However I believe that like the passenger in the bus did, letting them know how their attitude affects others goes a long way for both parties.
        Sometimes the offended would get to see things from the offender’s perspective or vice versa which is great.
        ..they may have a very tangible reason for their shitty attitude SOMETIMES and other times, they may just be shitty people.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I enjoyed reading your story. And it reminds me of when I was going through a rough time, and even though I tried to compartmentalize, people still expected me to pretend like it was all sunshine and rainbows.

        There’s a lot to this story. The man’s reaction was proper. He was apologetic, and he explained his absentmindedness. The passengers now had more information and could be more understanding (instead of doing nothing and just being frustrated). This way, the father was reminded to keep a closer eye on his kids. What if that person who made a remark saved their lives? What if the kid did something silly and would end up getting hurt. On the subway. Or outside of it at a later time. Also, there is a chance that the passenger who complained ended up sitting down with the father and talking to him to help out. Maybe they had a similar experience?

        There might be some good coming from this story, too.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That made total sense to me. My dad says: “Only close family will tell you the truth.”
      Great comparison with the mouth odor.
      I’m not a big fan of fake people grinning ear to ear, either. I just want a happy medium.

      Liked by 1 person

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