I’m Taking a Stand for Kindness, Damn it.

in Too Serious For Words

I’ve been reading lately, and have read in the past that women are too nice. We smile when we want to growl, we let people walk over us, We give away our power and we should be teaching our daughters to be powerful, not nice.

I don’t think either of my daughters is in danger of being too nice. Ever. But that’s neither here nor there. They are a couple of tough cookies and more power to them.

I’m talking about me.

I like being nice. It works for me. I enjoy smiling at people and making their day just a little brighter. I don’t see my niceness as negative. It often gets me what I want because people are more willing to help someone who makes them feel good. And it’s not as if I’m spineless, it’s just that my spine is protected by layers of lovely squishiness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t have to be hard and unyielding to be a powerful woman. I make my way in the world. I go for what I want. But I try not to step on people. I offer people a hand up. I smile. I like people, I don’t need to be barking at them to get my own way all the time.

I mean it’s okay to be powerful in a bitchy way, if that’s what floats your boat. You want to demand what’s rightfully yours? Go for it. I’m not judging you for how you want to live your life. But excuse me if I don’t want to sit next you you on the journey.

Being nice to people isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of compassion. And when I’m trying to make someone’s day a little happier I am not diminishing myself in any way. I am not weak. I’m not namby pamby. The power to spread goodwill should not be taken lightly.

I think the power to give is as important as the power to take. I know how to make things happen in my own life. (Well okay, maybe not financially so much.) I can push forward when I need to. I can build, create, drive onward. But I can also spread warmth. Give away a little happiness. Bring light to the darkness.

And I’m not about to give that away because someone else sees kindness as being weak. Not all strong women look or act the same, and you may not recognize it, but I am a feminist.

 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Edward September 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I agree with the other comments. Being nice is great, you just need to be sure nobody is walking all over you. And it is important not to repress your anger, but that doesn’t mean you have to express it all over the place.

Thumbs up for smiles!

Reply

Skye September 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I agree with you Kate. I want to get one of those big wooden signs I’ve seen in decorating magazines and catalogs that says “Because Nice Matters” and I’m going to hang it on my front porch or in my entryway or living room. It does matter. It’s part of being a connected, kind, compassionate person.

So go you! Strong and nice go together like milk and cookies!

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Nan September 25, 2013 at 9:46 am

Kindness is important no matter what gender you are and sadly, so many people mistake it for weakness. Strong and kind…that’s a great combo, Kate!

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Kate George September 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

Oh, I agree, Karen and Judyx3. It’s not about giving in to be nice. And I couldn’t give a hoot about being feminine. But kindness is important to me. I don’t think you have to be mean to be strong.

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KarenB September 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

I think that the problem lies in the definition. It’s not that women are too “nice,” it’s that they are conditioned to be weak, to give in, give up, not stand their ground. And that’s different than nice or kind. Kindness and niceness are good things and we need more of it, not less.

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Judy, Judy, Judy September 25, 2013 at 5:00 am

I don’t think there is anything wrong with kindness. I do think that if I have to choose between giving in when I don’t want to just so that I can be nice and feminine, if it’s something important to me, I’m not giving in.

Reply

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