I'm tired of being nice

Thursday, September 20, 2018

I've been thinking about this for a long time. In fact, I think this is the title of my next book. It's such an important topic, and one that I suspect just about every woman can relate to in some way or another.

First, let me define what I mean by "nice."

I don't mean that I don't want to be kind, compassionate, or generous. I hope I am those things, and certainly want to continue to cultivate them in my life.

But I'm totally done with being "nice."

"Nice" is:

  • always acquiescing to others
  • not voicing your opinions because you're afraid of others' reactions
  • people pleasing
  • allowing others to dump on you; putting up with rudeness
  • not speaking up
  • being afraid to say "no"
  • always scanning the environment, making sure you aren't displeasing or offending anyone (and, of course, you don't want to be purposefully offensive; I think you know what I mean here)

Many of us, especially of my generation, were raised to be "good girls," expected to be nice and polite and accommodating. Of course, much has changed, but old habits and ways of thinking can be hard to change.  I'm way better than I used to be regarding all this. I had to be; being "nice" contributed, in part, to a worsening of depressive symptoms, leading to a major depressive episode I experienced some years ago.

Met this wonderful llama at a lavender festival this summer.
Do you think he cares what anyone thinks? No, he's not afraid to be his own, delightful self!

A lifetime of being "nice" can lead to all kinds of problems. Repressed anger, frustration, depression.

And we may end up squelching or tamping down all the wonderful, quirky, fun parts of our personality. The strong and ambitious parts. The creative and adventurous sides.

An interesting idea occurred to me recently. I've always thought I was an introvert. I based this on the fact that being with people usually wears me out. Instead of being renewed and refreshed after spending time with people, I'm usually exhausted and need some alone time. This, I've read, is characteristic of an introvert.

But what if I'm so busy trying to be "nice" and kind and understanding and a good listener, etc., etc., that I'm just worn out? What if I spend so much time worrying about what others are thinking and feeling that I don't just be myself? All this trying to be the "perfect" person, the person you think  people want you to be, is exhausting.

(Of course, this is why we all need close friends, friends that we can be ourselves with. Thank God for them!) 

So how do you counteract this tendency to be "nice?" Some ways to start could include: 1) start saying no to things you really don't feel called to do (remember that not every need is a call); 2) give yourself permission to express a differing opinion, respectfully; 3)learn to speak up when someone's being rude or taking advantage of you; and 4) walk and sit and talk with confidence (and fake it 'til you make it) -- you are greatly loved by the One who made you.

We may feel we are being rude, selfish, or bossy when we step out of the "good girl" role. No. We're just being reasonable, confident, adult people. It takes practice, but don't you think it's time?

What do you think? Is this a good book idea?

Finally (sadly) getting rid of my (high) heels

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wedges are usually easier to wear than stilettos, but at 4 1/2 inches high,
this pair just isn't a good idea anymore. So sad.
I might have posted a while back about getting rid of my heels. I might have thought about it, but I just couldn't bear to part with them. I love heels. There are so many gorgeous ones out there, and I would wear them every day, even to the grocery store, if they didn't hurt so much.

But, facts are facts. They really are killing my feet. I was at a wedding this summer and was practically hobbling by the end of the evening.

Both have 3 1/2-inch heels. You'd think the block heel would be more comfortable, 
but I think the thin strap at the toes did me in at the wedding.

Then a couple weeks ago, I fell in our church parking lot. Thankfully, I wasn't hurt. I hit a patch of crumbly asphalt and down I went. I was wearing wedges (not the ones above), which you would think would be more stable, but they were tapered to the heel as I later discovered, and so more susceptible to wobbling.

So I came home, gritted my teeth, and packed up all my lovely heels (3 inches and higher). I'm not risking life and limb! 

So now what do I wear? I don't like athletic shoes. Or ugly old lady shoes. And flats hurt my feet (weird, huh?), so they're out.

I'm thankful fall is upon us, because I've always loved my booties, and I think they look great dressed up or down. They're super comfortable, flat or with a 1- or 2-inch heel, which I can handle.

I have found a couple pair of very comfortable and cute shoes from Jambu. I've been wearing them for the past three summers. Even walked the Great Wall in China in them as they were more comfortable than the walking shoes I brought.

The Jambu shoes are the red ones. I've had three pair of these shoes, one of which I completely wore out. Sadly, they don't seem to be making this style anymore. The boots are Lucky Brand. So comfortable and I think they're cute.

But what about a dressy shoe? The 1- to 2-inch block heels and the kitten heels out there can look matronly sometimes. Do you all have any suggestions?

I had a dozen or more pair of heels. But I don't need to replace all of those. I really only need a couple pair of dressy shoes, for events. Low-heeled sandals and booties will be my go-to for every day.

How about you? What do you wear on your feet?
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