It's no secret that I'm a nice person. I enjoy small conversation with people I don't know, I like giving my neighbors and friends baked treats, and I think I excel at finding that "perfect little gift" for my family and/or friends that they didn't expect. I consider myself thoughtful, and yes, NICE.
Once I overheard someone talking about me, who I thought was a friend. I didn't want to eavesdrop, but I was curious as to what this person was going to say about me. She mentioned that I was a nice person (this is what friends are for). Then she went on to say that by being nice she did not consider me to be a confident person, she considered me to be WEAK (OKAY, not a friend after all). I was quite surprised because 1) I thought she was a friend, and 2) she thought that being nice was a BAD thing.
More recently someone told me that I was a nice person (I smiled), which made me BORING (no more smiling). Hmmm...I thought this person was my friend as well. I need to be more selective in who I classify as "friend." You know, the funny thing is that neither of these comments bothered me (too much) because I knew that they were wrong. I am going to guess that these two women have not reaped the great benefits that come with being nice (maybe because they are NOT NICE).
I decided to put my "nice" to the test, and I began jotting down things that I received FREE by being nice. Here's a small list that I began about 2 months ago(there's more stuff like free parking passes and $5 coupons for groceries, but I had to stop somewhere). Almost daily I receive FREE stuff, and I think it's because I'm nice and I have a good attitude about people (we're all human and mistakes are made). Here's a small list:
1)I stopped into a boutique where the owner recognized me, as I have frequented her shop in the past. I was commenting that I liked some of her new wall hangings. I decided to purchase a piece of jewelry, and she asked if I wanted to purchase a wall hanging as well. I said, yes, but they were a little out of my price range- maybe next time. Then she told me to wait a minute. She went to the back of the store and returned with a wall hanging that was new, but slightly damaged (very slight, like undetectable as the damage was on the back of the wall hanging). She went on to tell me that I could have it, if I wanted it because she wasn't going to sell it. I was so surprised and pleased. The wall hanging is proudly displayed on my dining room wall.
2) I asked how the day was going to a drive-thru employee at Taco Bell. He wasn't busy, so we chatted for a few minutes before I pulled up to retrieve my oh-so-delicious-tacos. When I got home I realized that the employee had given me an extra taco.
3) I always smile and chat with Dunkin Donuts staff (who wouldn't? Their donuts and coffee always put a smile on my face). I almost ALWAYS get a free donut or a handful of munchkins with my purchase.
4) I ordered a Domino's pizza over the phone for pick up. I had a nice chat with the staff member. When I went to pick up my pizza, the gentleman told me he had given me an extra topping (there was no apparent reason why, but it was a topping I mentioned that I was considering, but chose not to purchase in order to say $1.50).
5)I was chatting with another local boutique staff member. I wanted to purchase a jacket that cost over $100. I really wanted it, but it was expensive. I joked that I would love a discount. She kindly declined. I kept talking with her while I looked around the store, asking her about different trinkets and about the merchandise they carried. In the end, I decided that I just had to have the jacket. When I went to pay for it, she whispered that she was going to give me a 10% discount. She didn't want other shoppers to hear her, so she couldn't tell me until I was standing right in front of her at the register...what a wonderful, unexpected surprise. I saved $12!
6) I ordered a series of photos on disks (700 pictures between two disks and I ordered 6 sets of disks). The order required several hours (the Walgreens employee told me that I wouldn't qualify for the one hour printing, which I fully understood). The next day I picked up the 12 disks and brought them home. 6 of the disks were fine, but the other 6 disks were blank. I went back into Walgreens with the disks. The same employee verified that the disks were in fact blank. Then she asked me if I could give her 2 hours to correct the mistake. I was a little frustrated, but I wasn't mad. When I returned to get the disks, three were still blank. She corrected them while I was there, which took another 20 minutes. She felt really bad about all of the trips I had made to Walgreens, so she gave me the 6 disks FREE and then she gave me a coupon for an extra 50 FREE photos (coupon with no expiration). This was more than a $50 discount! That's what I call a good deal.
So, what do you think? Is being nice a weakness or a strength? Personally, I think I do pretty well as a nice person. :-)
There are many things that make me happy in my life. I love my family, Chunky Monkey ice cream, lint rollers, Barnie's Coffee Coolers, crayons, P90X, and soap from Sabon. I like to gather people. Breakfast is my favorite meal. Crayons and paper make me giddy. My first chapter book manuscript is complete. I'm working on editing right now. Ideas for the second chapter book are already in place. One thing at a time. I am currently reviewing five children's books a month for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. Put me in a classroom, teach me something new, and I am tickled pink. I could be called a Night Owl, although I'd rather be an early bird. People call me "active", but please don't talk to me until I finish my first cup of coffee. I am a busy mom of two, and I like to think I'm a successful multi-tasker. My husband is the voice of reason, thank goodness I have him. I love to dance (in my mind I am really good which is really funny), I enjoy eating to a fault, and I consider myself to be a runner. I find that I cannot stand still (most people will agree). When I open the door, my cats and dog run to greet me. My life is nutty, but I'm the one to blame for that.