Friday, June 6, 2014

Would it kill you to be nice?

Yes, actually, it would!  And while we're about it, I would like to ban the word nice from the dictionary.

Call me 'nice' and you may as well describe me as 'kinda blah' and I don't belive anyone has come to be that; we've all come to be amazingly, fabulously, daringly, wholeheartedly ALIVE - just like we were as kids.

As far as I'm concerned being nice means smiling through gritted teeth whilst hiding resentment, passion, rage, creativity, fear, joy and wild abandon - all the things that are part of truly living.

Being TRUE - now you're talking.  Being honest with nyself about how I'm feeling, being honest with others about what is going on - that's where things come alive.  I don't mean beating others up with blame, judgment or criticism, I don't mean 'speaking my truth'  (a cover-all justification for dumping bad feelings on others).  I mean being open and honest and willing to be vulnerable.  I mean having the courage to speak up about what's not working and being willing to be part of the solution.

In the story The Emperor's New Clothes the little boy who declares 'the Emperor's naked!' is a Truth speaker.  He names what is going on not because he wants to shame the Emperor, but because he can see the truth

Now if the Emperor wanted to be naked, that's one thing.  Someone could have explained to the child that this was how things were going to be from now on and the Emperor was leading the way.  But no, no-one wanted any fuss, no-one wanted the Emperor to get upset, people were intimidated by the tricksters who'd shown their Emperor up as a fool and no-one was going to go there for fear of the consequences.  So everyone was NICE - and shushed the child up!

That's how it happens.  That's how we learn to be nice.  As children we are sensitive, we feel it when things don't fit together.  If we say something that exposes the truth, that upsets the people around us and they don't want to address what's going on, we get told that we're wrong, that we've misunderstood, that we're stupid.  And we believe them because they're the adults, they know stuff.

Feelings are never wrong.  They may not be processed well, they may be difficult to communicate, but I will always trust feelings over what is said.  It makes life messy at times, but it also makes it much richer, alive and full of possibility.

Relationships die in the world of nice, where no-one wants to talk about the real issues.  Eventually the hard conversations are had in the heated furnace of an argument where they do terrible damage and everyone gets hurt.

You may need to practice being true, you'll probably need to work on your delivery.  You may need a bit of guidance to understand how to communicate what you're really feeling, but the benefits will far outweigh the discomfort of learning new skills.  You'll get back all that amazing, bubbling, fizzing enthusiasm for life you had as a kid and you will light up the world, just like you promised!

Don't be nice, be true.  You're amazing when you're true.

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