I became a teacher where I practiced all of these qualities in my teaching. I was a nice teacher, but I was firm and had rules. My basic rule was, “Treat everyone and everything in my room with respect.” This encompassed pretty much of everything and worked on the whole. Those who disrespected my rule were punished accordingly and my class seemed to agree with these terms.
Now that I am a senior who has had many life experiences, knowledge growing skills, and “tests” on hospitality and pleasantness, I am wondering if I have become too nice.
I drive those seniors in my apartment complex who do not drive any longer to the doctor, the drug store, the grocery store, or anywhere they need to go for a very low price. I pick them up at the covered entrance to avoid inclement weather, and I bring them back to that door when finished. If they need help entering the car or if they have walkers they must use, I provide them with assistance. I open the car door for them, store their walkers in the trunk, and even provide an arm for support, if needed.
At first, everyone seemed to be thrilled and grateful for this service and its very cheap rate. Then some started to give me less money than the quoted price (saying they would pay me back next time…they didn’t). Then some started arguing over the price and negotiating the rate. The ultimate insult was being “stood up” while waiting at the door and finding out when I went to their doors, that they had made other arrangements and did not think to notify me.
So this instance has caused me to evaluate my “niceness.” I have determined that I might be too nice. These people would hesitate to treat a cab or scheduled van this way. I am a neighbor who is nice enough to do this (and I do count on the extra funds), but they think that I am so “nice” that I will overlook their bad behavior.
Well, this “nice” person is going to be more mercenary and less soft. You treat me badly and I will act in kind. No more “turning the other cheek” to be slapped around. It hurts me that I have to act this way because as I said before, I am a nice person and always have been. But I guess “nice” is now a sign of weakness and this trait must be trampled down by others.