You’d think it would be a given, right? Whenever you meet someone, go to a new place, start a new job, or even when you’re hanging out with a group you’ve hung out with a thousand times, you’d think it would just be a given that people would be nice. However, you have to remember that everyone has different backgrounds. Different experiences, and different things going on in their lives. The thought of being nice may not register with everyone.
“Nikki, why are bringing this up?” You may ask. Well, to answer your question, I’ve been seeing a lot lately that being nice is a skill that some people need to work on and they may not even realize it.
My team at work has quite a few people on it. We work together to make life the best it can be for our shelter dogs. However, with how many of us there are, it can be a struggle communicating. We all come from different backgrounds, were raised different ways, and our ages are all spread out from 19 to 31. So, when someone recently hired is older than someone who’s been there longer, opinions differ on who should be listening to who. Not to mention there’s how things are communicated and I don’t mean by text or email. I mean by tone of voice.
That’s the kicker isn’t it? Tone of voice. I could ask one of my teammates: “Hey, can you go do that?” But if I’m not careful of my tone, they could take it as demeaning or obvious like “Hey. Can you go do that?” I know with writing it’s hard to deliver the proper tone, but I think you get my picture.
Tone isn’t just in the asking though, it’s also in the response. Let’s say the team is having a group huddle. Someone brings up something that needs to be done and someone responds with a reminder along the lines of “well, if you do that, you’ll have to do this.” What if you were the one making the initial suggestion? How would you respond to the person giving you the reminder? Would be a calm and simple: “I understand. I planned on doing that.” Or would give attitude? Give them a: “So? I can do that.” Maybe for you it depends on which coworker asked you in the first place?
It’s kinda sad how human beings can treat each other. If you’re having a bad day and that comes out in the form of an attitude with someone else, you’re often the one who gets shamed. People blame you and accuse you of your attitude without trying to understand why you have it in the first place.
I’ve been watching my favorite show a lot lately. It’s DC’s The Flash on Netflix. One of the reasons why I love the show so much is because of how the characters fight for each other and not just physically. If one of them is having an off day, another one will help them through it. They’re selfless when it comes to each other. In one scene, a character named Iris has an outburst with her father. She’s frustrated with things going on and when he tells her news she doesn’t agree with, she lashes out on him. His response is what makes her father a great character. He doesn’t immediately lash back. Doesn’t get mad or defensive with his decision. He just leans back in his chair for a moment, raises his eyebrows, then says something along the lines of “okay, what’s going on with you?” The characters in the show are vulnerable with each other and they even take the risk to be vulnerable with their enemies to understand why people act the way they do. That’s something that isn’t seen often in real life.
I dare you to be vulnerable. When the attitude starts creeping up and you find yourself not caring how you treat others, figure out why that is. What’s the root behind the attitude and what will it take to pull it out? If you need to talk it over with someone, find someone you trust. If you feel like you don’t have someone like that, then write your confession in the comments here or on my Facebook or Twitter Pages. No one deserves to be in their fight alone.
The same goes for when you see someone with an attitude or just not being nice. Try to be the bigger person and pull them aside to ask: “hey, what’s going on with you?” They may not tell you, but at least they’ll know you cared enough to ask.
So, I dare you to be better. To be nice because you don’t know what everyone is going through. If you’re having a bad day and are taking it out on people, they might think they’re the problem and I know how horrible a feeling that is. The world could use a little more vulnerability. So, I dare you to be the change.