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Happiness is not the same as…

being nice.

Niceness is a measurement of how kind or pleasant others perceive you to be.

Happiness is a measurement of your internal state.

Nice people can be unhappy and happy people can appear to be unkind.

People who say “yes” to everyone, because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, are a common example of how being happy and being nice can come apart; such people are frequently tormented with feelings of guilt, resentment, and frustration. Yet, they are usually regarded by everyone as nice.

Conversely, some of the happiest people in the world are thought of as unkind because they set strong boundaries and demand respect from others. Since it’s impossible to say “no” without rubbing SOMEBODY the wrong way, all happy people must make choices that will cause someone to see them as unkind (even when happy people go out of their way to prevent this).

This is not to say that happiness and kindness are completely unrelated.

Some people are kind because they’re happy and some are happy because they’re kind.

Also, some people are unkind because they’re unhappy and some are unhappy because they’re unkind.

Nevertheless, the two are not identical.

So, remember to keep the distinction clear.

You’re nice when others are at peace with you.¬†You’re happy when you’re at peace with yourself.

“No” can be a very kind word to say

Saying “yes” is not synonymous with love.

Sometimes we use the word “yes” as a tool to end conversations, calm people’s anxieties, give them hope, prove we care, avoid causing hurt feelings, or to sum it all up in a simple phrase, “be nice.”

When we say “yes” for any other reason besides truly wanting or intending to do what we promise, we not only create the very misunderstandings and hurt feelings we sought to avoid, but we also lose trust and respect in the process.

If you really want to show someone you care, then practice saying “no” to them. “No” is a way of saying the following:

“I take you seriously enough to tell you the truth. I see you as someone who is mature enough to handle a relationship that’s based on honesty. I trust you enough to believe that your assessment of my value goes beyond my ability to do everything you ask me to do. Furthermore, because I want you to get what you want, I’m going to dispel any illusions that you can acquire it through me at this time. Rather than waste your time by giving you the run around, I’m going to free you up to immediately act on any other options you may have.”

People may experience a little frustration when you send such a message to them, but they will appreciate that a lot more than you leading them down a winding dead-end path for days, weeks, or months.

Besides, whenever you do get around to saying “yes”, they will know you mean it and will value your word.

The next time you’re asked to do something that’s not right or possible for you, do the nice thing and just say “no.”


T.K. Coleman

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

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