Dezvoltare personală și profesională, cu cap și cu drag 'Smart with Heart' personal&professional development
Niceness is a rare commodity these days. I don’t know if, evolutionary speaking, our generation is nicer than the previous ones or if it’s an attitude we are loosing because of today’s obsessive orientation toward results by any means necessary.
However it has come to it, I am sick and tired of this Machiavellian state of things. Whether at work with our boss or colleague, at the doctor’s office, in traffic, in one of state’s too many institutions or in relation to a firm or a person whose services we acquire, we have to endure rudeness, nastiness and condescension almost every day, all in the name of the “almighty result”. Over and over again, we are reminded that The Result is far more significant than our expectations to a human treatment: the boss/colleague brings a lot of money to the company, the doctor cures us (if only!), the taxi driver gets us to the destination, the state clerk registers our documents and so on and so on.
Well, I am sick and tired of the boss who yells at his/her team members or threatens with firing them (subtly or directly) at the very first sign of divergent opinions. I am sick and tired of “diva” like colleagues who discredit the back office work of those who help them and whom they call at every and any hour of the day, all in the name of the big sale, since everybody’s role is to serve the Diva, right? (otherwise known as God’s gift on Earth, whatever the sex…) Sick and tired of the condescending doctor who completely lacks empathy or at least basic communication rules and who finds in our sickness the right time to manifest his repulsion. To what? To everything, including us and our health problem. I am sick and tired of the taxi driver who smokes without asking for our permission, who crosses the red light, listens to loud music (never the kind we like) or swears all throughout the ride. Sick and tired of the state clerk who never gives the complete info we need and passes us over to another state clerk, annoyed by our presence that impedes them taking a coffee break all day long and who has no problem in using a tone that undoubtedly says “WTF do you want?”!
If nice is such a hard thing to be and requires an effort these people won’t do, partly because society isn’t taxing them for their despicable behavior and partly because – as some even nonchalantly say – they are not being paid to be nice or aren’t paid enough to be nice, why should we make an effort for such characters and be nice to them? It’s not like we’re smarter, luckier, healthier, richer – you name it – and we should understand and accept that they behave like this out of some complex. It’s not like we don’t bring money to the company or we don’t entirely deliver on any promise we make, under contract or not.
No objective reason entitles these people to behave as they do. We are the performing and nice boss and colleague, the talented and nice doctor, the experienced and nice taxi driver etc. There is no differentiation as to the results we all bring that would entitle these people to such an attitude. Why should we both pay them for their services – or work hard to be part of their team – and keep smiling, say “thank you”, calm them down, listen to their stories, their complaining, their everything?
I know, I know. Because this is how we are, this is how we choose to be regardless of what others choose for themselves.
We can’t change them, we can only change ourselves. I know, I know.
But I’m sure you understand what I mean, especially because all of them expect us to be nice to them and they start a conflict the moment we don’t find the energy to listen to their “eternal needs and problems” or we tell them we prefer to be addressed in a different tone of voice and to be treated with respect. At the very first sign that people would want their services only, free from the ”exhaustive” addendum of their “wonderful” personalities, these people become mean, vengeful or violent. Because our nice behavior towards them entitles them to think that we accept them as they are, therefore, rude.
To them, I say: Listen! Being nice is hard work. It requires an exercise in empathy and self-control (What? You think we’re lobotomized and we don’t deal with what you deal with every day? We can’t get pissed off, like really really pissed off? Oh boy, can we!), being wise enough to know that conflict can only create conflict and a willingness to create a harmonious environment to share with everybody else, so, if not altruism, then a lack of selfishness. If you want to be rude among yourselves, “the never satisfied” and “forever above the humanity and the Universe itself”, go ahead! But when you see that someone is being nice to you, stop for a moment and consider the possibility to respect that person’s hard work to not make your day worse than it already is and, if you don’t find it in your heart to respond the same, at least refrain from being rude and condescending.
We need a Revolution of Being Nice. We need to find a way to stop this degeneration of the human being that affects us every day for no reason at all.
One way would be to show them the benefits of being nice.
Any ideas on how to do it?
(foto: Frățiorii, Alexandru Ciucurencu)