When Being Nice Was Bullshit

The sign on the wall said, “BECAUSE NICE MATTERS”. I’d look at it, groan inwardly, thinking, “Bullshit.”

Being nice is overrated. Why does nice matter?  I literally didn’t believe in being nice. Nice is annoying.   It’s the thing someone says about someone who has  no personality.

“She’s nice.” What does that even MEAN?! It was the worst thing you could say about someone.

Like, that’s the best you could do?? Be nice?

I grew up thinking being smart, funny, or witty was much more important. So I became smart, funny, & witty.

But I did it by being sarcastic, mean, and judgmental. Here’s what being sarcastic, mean, & judgmental does: it takes your sense of self and cuts deeply into it.

  • You start to believe that everyone else is thinking sarcastic, mean, and judgmental thoughts –  just like you are.
  • You start to wonder who is judging you – because you know damn well you are judging them.
  • You start to live with self-doubt, self-hatred, and fear of – wait for it – judgment from others.

It makes you hard on yourself because you know how damn hard you are on everyone else. It’s ironic, cruel, and debilitating. It’s exhausting.

I was tired of being so hard on me, but I didn’t know how to stop being mean to me.

Since I couldn’t be nice to myself, I simply tried just noticing others being nice to others. And I had to be very intentional about not getting irritated about it.

For example: The guy in front of me who flashed his lights to let two cars turn left & cross traffic!

That was nice. I noticed. And I had to have a little conversation with myself about how it didn’t hold me up at all. It was not an inconvenience. It took maybe one whole extra minute.

Seriously, Jen. CTFD. I did this for a long time. Noticing. And self-coaching.

  • The grocery check-out person who took the time to engage in conversation. That is nice.
  • The friend who offered to pick up another friend – out of our way. That is nice.

Small things like this used to irritate me. It seems so silly now. Embarrassing, really. 🤦🏻‍♀️

And after a while of noticing and self-talking, I noticed I wasn’t irritated by other people being nice.

That was my first step out of the judgmental circle of self-hatred hell I’d been living in for decades.


Many more steps would come, and I will write about those someday, but first, I had to see the value in being nice. Kind. Thoughtful.

Being judgmental of ourselves – or others – is harmful. It’s damaging.

You might feel tired of worrying, tired of being snarky, tired of keeping it up, tired of the energy it takes to judge so much.

Admitting you do this to yourself is literally the first step.

This is hard work, my friend. I’m here with you, doing it too. Every damn day.

It’s easy to be hard on ourselves when maybe we grew up with people being hard on us.

It seems normalized, right? Like, jeez: why should I be nice to me? No one was very nice to me for years!


If you are tired of being mean to yourself, of being hard on yourself, I have good news.

You. Can. Change. It.

Stop wishing. Stop wondering.

Just start noticing how other people are good.

See the good. See the wins. See the nice.

To come full circle, let’s revisit why NICE MATTERS?

Because it makes YOUR life better. It’s kind of awesomely selfish, really, to see that NICE MATTERS.

Not for them. But for you.

Unsure how to take the first step to reduce burnout? Find time? Create balance?

Book your free Discovery Session.

It’s on me – and there are no strings.

Let’s see whether I can help you get back to your old self – but better.


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