If you read my post about the nice guy, you will get a glimpse into why I run very far away from any guy who claims to be one of the nice ones. So if guys who claim to be nice, really aren’t, why is it that I constantly see people give the advice that it is better to just be nice? The honest truth is the day I broke away from striving to just being a nice person, my life started to improve. Why? Because nice is boring. Nice, is plain, and is just not an authentic state of being. Nice, is façade.
By not being nice, I have maintained my position of having clear,
calm, and level headed responses in my day to day life. I am not striving to just placate the masses,
instead I am living my authentic self.
Kill the world with kindness we shout from the rafters… Well no! I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t want to live striving to rise up to
an impossible ideal. Who do you know in
history who is remembered for just being nice?
And no, that statement is not made because I am trying to become
famous. We shouldn’t live trying to all
make a mark on the world, but it should give you pause, what are we hoping to
achieve as a society by being nice?
I don’t want anything to do with a nice guy, and in turn, I
don’t want to just be a nice person myself.
I am comfortable being assertive, driven, and someone with goals and aspirations. I know, I will not crush anyone to get what I
want, but I also won’t sacrifice my desires just to please someone else. I, have had many relationships whereby I
tried to just please the other person, especially work relationships. Always trying to be the do-gooder, striving
to get ahead by always being the person that could be counted on, sacrificing
my own time, mental health, and energy for someone eles’ dream or business. You know where that left me? Drained, isolated, and oddly guilty.
Saying no, should not affect how people perceive you. It should not make you bitch, or an
asshole. And yet, we constantly tell
people that they should be nice. Just
play along, don’t make a fuss, or go with the flow. Well, quite frankly that is bullshit. And in non-monogamy, some of my worst moments
are from me just being nice and letting things happen.
So, after ranting for a few paragraphs, let me get to the crux of this. I am supremely nervous, talking to women, and showing my assertive nature. I will not play nice, or pretend to be all sweet, and kind, just to get a female to talk to me. I won’t say what they want to hear, nor will I just placate them. With all that being said, I will be my funny, engaging, and optimistic self. I am good natured, easy going, and I like being around me, so there is that… haha! And yes, I will share with you all how this works out for me. I am fairly confident though, that I will not meet anyone of quality and substance by taking the cliché advice of just being nice.
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When two people spend a lot of time together, for instance,
working together, it is common for a few lines to get blurry. People in close connection to each other
develop a rhythm, a way of speaking, joshing around, and often times a set of
inside jokes that perplex the outsiders.
Human’s make connections, it’s what we do. We bond, and create social order out of
chaos, which if any of you are currently working have had experience with at
least one job that needed a sane shoulder to lean on to get you through your
days. As a result, the bond you create
with this comrade in arms, often grows beyond the friendly co-worker stage and
into this hazy, maybe not quite on the up and up territory.
Now here is the thing about this, if this type of
relationship is mutual, then by all means, you do you and love it. I personally know a great many people with
whom this pair bonding extended far beyond the workplace and into lifelong
friendships, and in a few cases, incredibly strong, full on,
relationships. While many may judge a
sexual relationship developing in the workplace, the reality is, it happens,
and let me tell you first hand, the majority of them work so well that you have
no idea they are even happening.
However, that is not what this post is about. I want to discuss what happens when one party
is not on board with anything happening outside of the workplace, and in fact,
wants to put the brakes on the intensity of the workplace bond.
It took me years to learn how to be my assertive, and defined self. It was not how I was raised, and I fought hard to find the balance between being a bitch, knowing what I want, and finally figuring out to say no, in a way that made me comfortable. If you read my post about The Nice Guy, you already know that this type of dynamic really throws me for a loop. Having an adult man cry because I asserted myself is a feeling that can leave me feeling drained, and horrible. It also makes me question if I am borderline bitchy, which is not a sensation I enjoy. As a result, I have more than once, been in a position where I have to walk this fine line because I have a co-worker who is crossing that line.
In regards to this post, the so called Nice Guy, is showing
the true colours that I knew were going to come out. Since my last post, I have told him no. I have texted him (so he has in writing in
case he forgets) that talking about personal stuff, touching me, or sharing
feelings at work is completely out of question and I do not want any part of
it. And yet, he reverts back to the same
behaviour after only a few days of “trying” not to be that creepy, touchy,
How do you explain to a boss, that someone just makes you
uncomfortable? How do you get through to
an individual who has a lifetime of feeding off the negative feedback loop of
rejection, poor me, and ultimately tears?
How do I ensure that I am worth keeping at the job, and not just one of
those troublemakers who is complaining about feelings, rather than tangible
violations of policy or procedure? Why
am I writing this post? Because it is
something that I have faced at every single job I have ever had, even when
working with an all female staff (Yup, this is not a gender specific problem,
but for the sake of clarity in this post I have written it that way). It is something that countless women have
faced in their workplaces. It is a
question that we all ask, and more often than not, choose to keep our feelings
to ourselves, and try to find ways to work around the uncomfortable situation. In short, we enable the problem. We do not call the individuals to task, and
we get creative in how to avoid the person, overcome our emotional discomfort,
or worse, our denial hacks away at our self worth because if there is no
evidence maybe it is all about perception and just in our heads.
Men, if you are reading this, and you feel like a female
co-worker is avoiding you, I want you to pause a minute. Or if you have notice a co-worker that you
used to feel close to has changed the dynamic and frequency of being near you,
breath, and reflect. Could it be
possible that you have made them uncomfortable?
Have you perhaps over stepped your boundaries? Have you at some point made a personal
question there financial security at work?
By that, I mean, are you aware of processes and procedures that a
personal can comfortably use if they felt that something was making them
uncomfortable? If you were ever called
into HR, how would you react? Would you
be in shock? Defensive? Would you lash out, and destroy that person’s
career? For you see, that is what I have
feared in the past. Losing my livelihood
over something without tangible proof.
Something that made me not want to even go into work, and yet, I
couldn’t prove happened. Could it be
merely a misunderstanding? Did that
invite for drinks, or brush of my butt, or lingering look that just squicked me
out be all in my head? Was it all
If I say no, to anything sexual happening in the workplace, or even discussing my personal life while on the clock, I want that to be the end of it. Graciously accept my assertiveness and NEVER cross the line again. Don’t plot, how to get me alone, or plan ways for us to hang out after work. Just be a co-worker, who respects your job, and much as you respect your fellow employees. If you have a cutie in the workplace, just appreciate that you have a little eye candy on the job, and move on. Do not obsess over the fact, because I guarantee that the person on the other end can tell! As someone who frequently crushes over co-workers, I assure you, it can be done in a healthy, sex positive way, that does NOT turn you into a creep.
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I can be an intense, and passionate person. I articulate my thoughts and feelings in a way that for most new people in my life seems attractive, confident, and refreshing. I approach people and their relationships in a thoughtful, attentive, and what comes across as a well-balanced way that gives off the impression that it just comes naturally to me. The truth is, it took me decades to reach this point. To understand myself, and articulate my thoughts and feelings in such a way that I know exactly when to ask for a hug, ask for space, or just break down and say I have no idea what I need and require help or support.
Now, having this personality is refreshing to people. I blossom in one on one conversations, and usually, I can get a persons life story or deepest secrets within a first meeting. And the range of people I meet this way is fascinating and incredible. But for purposes of this post, I need to shed light on a specific personality type that has plagued me, over and over again, the nice guy.
When I meet a nice guy I usually steer clear of them, because I will admit, I know the pattern our friendship will take, and I never like the final outcome. First, we will become super fast friends. He will feel an incredible high knowing I shared something intimate about my life, and will cling onto that. He will share, what he feels is similar information and create this overly powerful bond in his head. Instead of feeling that we are equals, he will start to idolize or fantasize that what we have is special and unique. And it is. But… there is a catch. Men like this, do not recognize that the are getting a high from this. And that they crave this feeling of being special. So they start asking more intimate questions. They start to delve deeper into your world, in an almost invasive way. Not out of malice but to re-play that initial feeling. And they poke, and prod into your relationship looking for cracks and dirt so that they can “return the favor” and help you solve some monumental moment in your life.
They, in short, feed off of your negative situation and crave it more and more. They want to feel special, and the problem is that it is not in your accomplishments but in your failures. That’s where their emotional boost comes through most strongly. That’s the role they have found in your life, and the experience that they want to relive.
Now, as I mentioned, I avoid these people whenever possible because the reality for me, is I hate having the confrontations with these people. A few more noteworthy ones include, telling a guy exactly what he has been doing and watching him just melt. It was gut wrenching and I couldn’t handle it. Or the guy who got so angry that he called me a tease, and bitch, and well… it got really messy. Then there was the guy that I tried to coach and deal with more gently. For this particular guy I ended up having to finally end the friendship because I got so sick and tired of calling out his bad behaviour because he was incapable of breaking this cycle. And the more I write these the reactions the more I solidify why I just am not equipped to handle this personality type. It’s icky for me, and I would rather just close the door from the onset.
But, here I sit, realizing that there are situations that I cannot avoid. Co-workers, mutual friends, and the worst of them all, the men who I thought were normal friends, but see opportunity in something I shared and basically preditorially pounce, thereby changing the entire relationship dynamic, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, feigning as the nice guy to get closer to me.
So, let me be clear, I believe that the majority of people can
change their behaviour once they recognize it for what it is and actually see
value in overcoming it. I’m an optimist
and do see overall good in individuals. From what I have seen, people are mostly devastated
when I point out this energy cycle to them, and honestly, I don’t enjoy
crushing people like that, because I do not have the energy, expertise, or
drive to help anyone like this fix themselves.
This is a hard limit for me. And
why, whenever I have full control, I give a hard NOPE to this particular negative
thriving person (again, I know it’s not on purpose, but that doesn’t make it
better!). So, what then do I do with the
unavoidable nice guys? What do I say to
them? Why do I constantly have to be
clear, put them in their place, or worse, re draw lines in our friendship to
ensure I don’t become prey to their need to “just help me”? I am not someone who wants pity. I just want equality in my friendships and authentic
communication. I want to be free to vent
about another person in my life without having a reaction of judgment, and the horrible
“if I were you” or the life draining sentiment of “ I would never treat you
Can we just be there for each other during the rough times, and build each other up on the day to day? Can we find a way to communicate without putting others down? Or better yet, realize that humans have a great capacity to hold more than one soul dear in their lives. We don’t need to always vie for that one coveted spot of primary or best friend, or any other of these titles. Just be a good friend, a good person, and stop the cycle of feeding off of negativity!
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