Nice-ness is, after all, a social construct.
It’s a set of rules and guidelines put together by a few people to govern many. Society’s rules, so to speak.
Religion, sex, politics. Is it easy to talk about these things? No. They are divisive. And people don’t like to be divisive. They would rather be accepted and blend in. Most people, anyway.
So what happens? Misinformation. Disinformation. Anything but good information is spread further and faster.
Because no-one wants to rock the boat and talk about the hard stuff. Nobody wants to be the odd one out. Nobody wants to be ostracized.
And we all suffer as a result. Society suffers as a result.
Nice-ness is a disease.
It spreads and contaminates everything, turning everything into boring, bland, mundane things.
Go to any hawker centre and you will find 2, 3, 4 chicken rice stalls.
If I did a blind test on you, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between any of these stalls. Boring.
Prices? The same. About $3.50. Nothing unusual.
But what if one of them does something different? What if one of them decides to use premium chicken flown all the way from Japan, with organic rice from a remote village in Cambodia, high quality ginger and garlic from Thailand, superb chilli from a special farm in Malaysia? What if that stall charcoal roasts the chicken, serves it with 8-hour-boiled soup, and serves it at the perfect temperature every time?
Is it going to still cost $3.50? Definitely not. It’ll cost much more. Let’s say twice as much. $7.
Now, obviously, they are going to lose customers who want to or have to only pay $3.50. But those who are willing to pay the $7 for such unusual quality, don’t you think they’d be better customers?
They’ll Instagram it, bring their friends, blog about it, talk about it. Because it’s different. It’s also harder to afford. But it’s good.
So why don’t chicken rice stalls do that?
Because they are afraid of sticking out, they don’t want to put in the extra effort, they just want to sail along.
Anything wrong with that? Of course not.
But they’ll always be un-remarkable.
Because they want to play nice and play safe and not spoil the market or do anything too different or attract negative comments from their family and friends.
Finally, I put to you that Nice-ness is holding you back.
If you are a boss, an employer. And you are too nice, maybe that’s why your employees are walking all over you, coming in late, taking long breaks, being unproductive. Discipline them or fire them. Stop being nice!
If you are an employee. And you are too nice, maybe that’s why your colleagues are pushing their work to you, maybe that’s why your boss doesn’t respect you and keeps giving you extra duties. Learn to say no! Or quit! Either way. Stop being nice!
If you are a business owner, an entrepreneur, a freelancer. And you are too nice, maybe that’s why you keep getting paid late, your clients are hard to handle. Get rid of these problem clients. Fire them. Stop being nice!
I don’t have a lot of difficult people in my life. Because I got rid of them.
But to do that, I had to change. I had to become different. To some people, that’s the same as being difficult. I don’t care. I’m not nice.