On yesterday my friend’s felt the need to do a friend-ter-vention for me.
“You’re too nice”.
“You do too much for people.”
“Stop protecting people that hurt you”
We were all on the phone and they kept giving example after example about how I’m too nice, do too much and protect the wrong people and go out of my way to make someone’s day. But what can I say…I enjoy giving and I honestly don’t know how to be anything other than nice. I grew up seeing my father go above and beyond for complete strangers. I watched my mother volunteer to help others when she could barely help herself. I remember seeing my grandmother repeatedly come to my moms aide even though she knew the outcome would more than likely result in her pain. So it confuses me when I see people go out of their way to be rude or pass up on the opportunity to possibly make someone’s day. Apparently this really bothers my friends about me. They reminded me about an incident that happened last year.
I found myself in a situation that I honestly felt like was a lose lose. I felt like I was caught in the middle of two friends. I felt like their bond was solid and the joke was on me. I met the one that I really like first. Very cool person and guaranteed to have a great time. I met the other individual through the first friend. Since the first individual is so cool and fun, I naturally assumed that the other had to have some of the same qualities. So I allowed myself to be cool with this other individual.
Initially the conversations appeared innocent. You know the typical “just calling to check on you” “just calling to speak” etc. Then the conversation slowly started shifting to my personal life which came with comments such as “I cant believe you go out on dates and dont sleep with these dudes”. Then it turned down a road I wasn’t at all prepared for “let me buy you a sex toy” “lets have phone sex” “you lucky I don’t live in your area”. I initially tried to laugh it off, I assumed he was just being silly. But the more I brushed him off, the harder he came back at me. It was almost like he thought this was a challenge. I finally got serious and told him I was A- uncomfortable and B- not that girl. He quickly shot back with “stop being so green” “live a little” “grow up”.
It took all of that for me to finally address it. But even after reaching my breaking point, I still couldn’t be mean. I couldn’t convince myself to turn into the rude nasty person I probably had the right to become. I had a handful of ammunition and a loaded gun, yet, I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. I was pissed, hurt and disappointed but I couldn’t allow myself to break character. I don’t know, I guess I just feel like I’m capable of cutting you out my life without being a bish. I can state the facts with a smile on my face and without raising my voice. I would much rather let my character defend me. This is what bothers my friends. They don’t understand why I won’t hit below the belt. They don’t understand why I still defend and protect people that don’t have my best interest. They don’t understand why I let things go on for as long as I do.
My response to them as it relates to that situation is…I honestly feel like my friendship with the other individual is intact today because I calmly stated the facts. I didn’t flip out, I didn’t expose everything I could about the other and I didn’t stop being me. My response as it relates to their concerns in general…I’ve learned that being nice costs nothing. I’ve also learned that it’s only fair to try to give a person a chance to redeem themselves before throwing them away. Just because I don’t agree with what someone has done doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong nor does it give me the right to try to destroy them. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems cutting someone out my life, but I can do it in such a way that still allows me to sleep at night. Have I been taken advantage of? Absolutely! Have people tried to get over on me because I let a lot of things slide? Sure! Do some people take my silence as naiveness? Definitely! But being nice works for me and I refuse to allow a few not so pleasant experiences cause me to stop doing what I love and being the person God called me to be.