One of myNew Year’s resolutions was to be nice(r), but actually it was somehow made way before the start of the year when our landlady told us she wanted to sell our flat (but I believe G has started writing a post about how taxing renting in the UK is for Germans so more about it later).
Nothing is worth pursuing without some degree of challenge or difficulty, and so far, being nice has been challenged by (a) the moving process and (b) other peoples’ sporty New Year’s resolutions. Technically b) should not get to me as New Year’s resolutions almost always include ‘getting fit’ somewhere on the list (similar to the female French New Year’s resolution which almost inevitably includes ‘le régime’ (going on a diet)). But somehow, even after years of living with chronic illness, I am still competitive, and I still like to move, so seeing other people doing sport while I can’t is niggling – especially if joggers run you over when you leave a bus at a bus stop or shout at you, because your dog doesn’t jump out of their path quickly enough. No matter if he is on a lead or not you can’t win here… and then I think (and on bad days I say it out loud)… uh-oh – untrained jogger running in 4°C in shorts and t-shirt? Hellooo, bronchial problems … sorry, really trying to be nice…
So, clearly a building site that requires attention to be redirected into positiveness.
Having said that, being nice doesn’t mean letting people trample over you (or at least it shouldn’t). I believe you can bring your point across while being nice – however tempting it may seem to pay back rudeness and thoughtlessness with insults. Being nice is not about holding back any form of criticism. Although living in the UK it sometime feels as though things get constantly sugar-coated for us non-UK natives.
It’s also not about not having an opinion – you just voice it differently. Be warned though: it might take you longer to get your point across, because people will think you don’t have one. Stay firm and friendly (or so I tell myself).
It is definitely not about paying compliments when they are not deserved. Although you can always find something nice to say if you feel that something has to be said. A classic after years of going to concerts you didn’t like at all… ‘thank you for this very nice concert, you have a lovely …ehm, dress’ try to be a little more creative here…).
In a nutshell, I’m trying to get my point across in a nice way. Later this year we will see how that works out…