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Friday, March 7, 2014

Why I'm so nice

I find it quite natural to smile a lot, be generous, be nice to people and all that, but not so much to make people happy as to make myself feel good. I believe that I am nice only as long as it fulfils a need within me to externalize and express different sorts of emotions, or to achieve certain goals – enjoy vicariously through my friends when witnessing or perhaps just imagining the pleasure they derive from my largesse? Make people like me more? Feel better about myself? All of the above.

It might sound like a terrible thing to admit, but that’s how I feel. If it didn’t make me happy to make you happy, I wouldn’t do it. It simply wouldn’t be worth my time and effort. Although you might be taken aback, if you ponder about it for a moment, it will seem less shocking. That might either be the result of you rationalizing and reaching logical conclusions, or just your brain activating a coping mechanism to make it seem less horrendous than you initially thought. Either way, I would have achieved my goal, so keep reading.

I posit that I am not alone in having these motivations behind altruistic and seemingly selfless actions. I believe that most people who are nice and act kindly do so for the very same reasons I think I do. And I don’t judge them at all for it, because I feel it’s very human indeed. Anyway, I hope we can all agree that whatever the motivation behind the kindness and niceness of people in general, it’s really a good thing that we are as nice as we are. I’m not discounting of course, that there are assholes and fartfaces who break everyone’s balls, but really they just make life more interesting – but I digress.

Think about it. No, not the word fartface. Stop thinking about that. I made it up. I can do that now. I’m making this whole article up right now. It might be totally wrong, but keep reading. At least it might be exciting. Or funny. Unless it really irritates you, in which case it’s only funny for me and all the other open-minded people who understand what I’m saying. No, I’m not subtly implying that I am absolutely right while nonchalantly admitting that I might be completely wrong. You just think that. Naughty, naughty thinker. Now, stop thinking for yourself, keep reading and let me do the thinking. Think of it like a vacation for your brain. But think of it like that later, because right now I just told you to stop thinking.

I did not mean for that impromptu disclaimer to be that long. Now I shall continue from where I left off, about one paragraph ago:

I think that if you’re nice to someone, it’s because you have something to gain from it somehow. Perhaps it helps you deal with your insecurities? Maybe you’re not sure about how well the relationship is going, and you really like this person (for whatever combination of a plethora of reasons known to mankind for liking anything) and want to make a good impression perhaps; so that they hang around you more, thus keeping you feeling good and nice more often? Maybe you're nice to some people only because you’re obliged to, because you see them all the time, and you would rather avoid the discomfort of being a social outcast? Maybe you’re nice because they were nice to you first, and then you feel guilty and indebted, and you want to purge yourself of those feelings. Maybe, you even want to outdo them, just to feel better about yourself! Hah! Selfish dogs!

I recall now that I only just said that I think it’s indeed  a very human character and that I don’t judge, which I think my last remark might run slightly contradictory to. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. I got carried away by the excitement of the win of my astounding arguments and spontaneous examples that I totally did not bring up from personal experiences. Did I just apologize and brag at the same time? Yes, yes I did.

But in all seriousness, you are not selfish dogs. You are my beloved human readers, all demonstrating lovely human kindness. Awww, you beautiful things. I hope you are not upset now that you realize that you’re really nice only for yourself. Don’t worry, everyone else is doing it for themselves too. It just so happens that the system is so brilliantly designed that even though we’re driven by selfish desires, the good in us makes us choose the nice ways to achieve those desires, by helping others help ourselves. By making ourselves feel better by making others feel better. By bettering the people we like to keep around us because they better us. I’ve used the word better too many times; it’s starting to sound strange to me.

Good night, beautiful, lovely people. Stay nice :)

1 comment:

drifter said...


"Treat others the way you want to be treated" and its derivatives pretty much means, you know, this whole post.

Except the bragging part hahaha

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