Can I classify myself as a nice guy?
Yesterday at work a senior college dropped her key and I was close by,
so I bent down and picked it for her and she sounded impressed (like it was a
big deal) and called me a gentle man. Later in the day, another college sought
for a person to do her a favour (don’t ask me what the favour is), and I was
quickly recommended by the earlier lady and of course, with the reason that I
am nice and wouldn’t decline doing the favour. I did not disappoint her either.
This was just yesterday. There are numerous examples in the past of me being
nice to people (male and female alike) without even me giving my action a second
thought. But now I have come to realise that I should give it a second thought.
It has become more apparent to me that
generally, people take advantage of the niceness of nice people. You might be
nice and love it because it is good to be nice, but the other person who has come to realise it (usually, indirectly) sees it as a (your) weakness and takes advantage of it. He
always comes to you knowing you won’t refuse him. Now, the time you would have
spent looking out for yourself or doing something that will be of gain to you suffer for the other persons sake.
Funnily, your being nice can be a reason
for people to be suspicious of you. There is this common say I heard while
growing up; nothing goes for nothing, this is just how many people view life.
Your actions, though from a sincere heart, seeking no gains whatsoever, is seen
as a move by you that targets an interest sooner or later. I remember when I
was in school, a lady walked up to me and asked if I had plans of contesting
for the Student Union Government (SUG) leadership, I smiled and asked her why
she felt so and she simply told me that the way I was becoming prominent all of
a sudden and being nice… I later realised that those that wanted to vie for
leadership positions all of a sudden become very nice to everyone, just because
of their aspirations. You know how people become nice to you all of a sudden, just because they want a favour from you.
I once complained to myself about the
quality of friends I have around me (especially the female once) and just
recently, I have come to also realise that being a nice guy or a gentle man
seems to be the major cause of it. Truly nice people can take a lot of shit and
somehow, those with loads of shit tend to linger around their world since it
feels accommodating. She is overly emotional, she knows this and the fact that
she has to work on it, then she finds him, Mr nice guy – he accommodates her excesses.
Why won’t she stick to him? She will do all she can to remain in his world and
so will her likes. This is just an example and I probably speaking from
It’s good to be nice o, but as they say,
charity begins at home. To all the nice guys out there (gentlemen and ladies),
I recommend that you should learn to be nice to yourselves first. You can’t
spend all your time for others; you must have time for yourself too. You should
be able to know how to strike a balance in your life, know when to draw the
line and give others the courage to do things themselves and be there for
themselves too. One thing you don't know is that you are dispensable. If you are no more in the picture, life goes on for them as they will simple find another.
It makes sense to me when the legendary afrobeat artist and human right activist Fela
sang the “I no be gentle man at all o”. I see it as meaning I may be nice, but
will not allow myself to be taken for granted.
Gata go... Have a great day being nice, but use your head.