“Amelia is SO nice.”

by Amelia Kanan

Stranger (1 of 1)

No. I’m not. In fact that word “nice” is the exact word I use when I have to describe someone who I don’t like. I mean, if you can’t say anything “nice” than don’t say anything at all, right? And…let’s be real, it’s way too difficult for me to keep my mouth shut.

“What do you think of Eddie?”

“Oh, Eddie is so nice!”

Eddie – the guy who took me on a date to Red Lobster and drank boozy milkshakes all night and told me he was drunk. (And..no, that isn’t Eddie pictured above…)

“What do you think of my new girlfriend?”

“She’s so nice!”

She was nice – but she wasn’t funny, she wasn’t cool, she didn’t say anything intelligent and I didn’t like what she was wearing.

Before you think I’m a cold hearted bitch, when was the last time you were honest about your inner dialogue? My inner self is kind, sweet, generous and full of love for all humans but that doesn’t give me the responsibility of having to “like” everyone or for that matter, pretend to “like” everyone. That’s fake – and homie don’t know how to play that.

I don’t like how we make our kids invite everyone to their birthday parties. Or force individuals to have the obligation of including everyone. That’s highly unrealistic and, in my opinion, unhealthy. We’re encouraging fake relationships devoid of honesty. “Hey kid, ignore how you feel and put a smile on your face.” Sure, exclusivity isn’t cool but, I don’t think it would exist if we could all just be a little more honest in our relationships. Different strokes for different folks, you know?

I used to be a “nice” person. You know how some people bring home stray animals? Well, I used to bring home stray people. Also during those days, I hugged random people every day. I never kept a tally because that would’ve been weird but, I probably hugged at least 20 people per week. Homeless men, an old lady I met waiting in line at Jewel-Osco, the embarrassing drunk girl at a party, saying goodbye to someone I met on the train or the maintenance man in my building. People around me thought I was so nice. But, the truth was, I didn’t actually like any of those strangers, rather I felt sorry for them. Those “nice” gestures were inauthentic because I thought I was better than those people. My motives were completely self-righteous. Never once did I consider that maybe, just maybe, one of those random strangers didn’t want me to hug them. Or, maybe they weren’t sad at all. Or even worse, they were the ones who were pitying me and thought I was the one who needed the hug. Here I thought I was this Queen of Hearts, gracing all the sad, little people with hugs, rainbows and sunshine. #ignoranceisnotbliss

Today, I’m proud to say that I’m not nice anymore. No longer do I hug strangers nor do I pity anyone. And, if I don’t like someone, I have enough love and respect for them to call them “nice” and avoid hanging out with them. Yeah, I’m totally not self-righteous anymore.