I’m a nice person. That’s it. I could probably end this post right then and there. Except there’s more to say here. I like helping people. It makes me happy to help others. I suppose you could look at it in a selfish way. It makes me feel good about myself to do good deeds for others. So if you want to characterize that as self-motivated go right ahead.
That doesn’t make me less nice.
Often times, when I compliment someone for no reason, or I do a good deed for another person they find it confusing and don’t know how to process it.
When I was on my way to be interviewed by The Huffington Post the other day, I noticed this woman on the subway. Her coat was beautiful. So I said:
“Excuse me, I really like your coat.”
“Oh, thank you so much!” She replied. Then her face changed. “You must not be from New York.” She said with a frown. I knew what she was getting at. She said it because she wasn’t used to interacting with nice people. New Yorkers have a reputation for being abrupt and rude.
“Actually,” I corrected her, “I am from New York. I’m just a nice person. We still exist in the world you know?” She and I shared a laugh together. Then we started chatting. I broke the ice with her and it turned out she had raised three kids in the city. So we bonded over the fact that we were both mothers.
Still, I came away from this interaction with a funny feeling. I was put off by the fact that this woman wasn’t used to people being nice to her. It made me think about the culture of New York City. Have New Yorkers become so jaded that they actually think something is wrong when someone is nice? I think so.
That appears to be the case.
I think it’s wonderful to be kind. I believe in kindness for no reason. If you can make someone smile just because, then do it. If I have something that you need, I’m gonna give it to you. I have no problem with that. I love to be generous because it makes me happy and it makes you happy.
So the next time I do something nice for you, don’t look at me with a confused face. Just say “Thank you Sarah,” or “Thank you Fader.” Lots of people call me Fader. And let’s call it a day. You don’t owe me anything. I wanted to do that nice thing for you because that’s my way of telling you you’re pretty awesome.