Sitting at a table by the restaurant window, my friend asked my opinion about what she thought the message was in our new book, Big Fat Love: The Book of Possibilities.
She got the idea that one of the book’s messages was just about being nice and that confused her.
So, she asked me…
“Do you have to be nice to be loving?”
As I floated the possibility that being loving includes not only being loving to others but also to yourself, she seemed to relax.
By listening deeply to yourself first, there’s an opportunity to speak with authenticity from a place of knowing inside instead of from patterns of trying to be nice to please the other person.
I can certainly understand her confusion because I too have had plenty of drama within myself around “being nice.”
I grew up in a family where being nice and agreeable no matter what you were feeling was what was acceptable.
I had to learn that this wouldn’t create the relationship I wanted, especially with Otto.
I had to be open to other possibilities of being.
By taking the focus off being nice and what I “think” might keep the peace…
And instead, focusing on what’s genuine and honest…
I’ve found that the opportunity for a true loving connection emerges.
Being loving means deep listening to myself and the other person, looking for possibilities instead of blame or trying to please.
Being loving means not reacting from old assumptions and instantly getting defensive. (I certainly know this one!)
Being loving means calmly expressing myself from my inner knowing instead of from “shoulds.”
This is a moment by moment decision and some times I’m better at it than others.
And I just keep practicing and keep loving in the best way I know how.
So am I being “nice” with all the people-pleasing connotations?
If you focus on being your truth with love…
You’re going to be guided to what’s appropriate in the moment.
Being nice is important if you want connection but it’s a result that comes from being loving to yourself as well as to the other person…
And not just “being nice” in ways that you’ve given yourself away in the past or thought “nice” meant.
There are other possibilities!