“He was so nice,” is often the phrase people use to describe someone who has attacked them. The signs preceding violence are always there. The reasoning we do with ourselves it to our detriment. You will never see a rabbit on the same trail as a mountain lion thinking to itself, “Well, he seems so nice,” but I see us women do it all the time.
NICENESS DOES NOT = GOODNESS
Charm does not = goodness.
Think of charm like a verb with a motive. Charm and niceness is an ability some use to further their agenda. Sure, some people are just nice people. Most everyone that meets me says, “I’m so nice that it makes me hard to read.” So how do you know if someone is nice, charming AND good? Read on.
University at California at San Fransisco psychologist, Paul Eckman says, “The face tells us subtleties in feelings only a poet can put into words.” One way to charm is with the smile. It is the typical disguise that masks feelings.
I can’t speak for men as I am not one, but as a woman I can say it was difficult when I was young to explicitly reject unwanted advances or “niceness” from men I was not interested in. As I get older it is not so difficult, but I will say…it is learned behavior. It is something I have not a lot of tolerance for because it has gotten me in hot water more times than I care to admit. And while in that hot water, I am using up valuable time and energy trying to get out of a mess that I could have been spending doing things I want to do!
It takes time to see if someone’s niceness really is goodness. When trying to figure it out ask yourself a variety of questions like these:
- How do I feel about this person and this interaction? ANYTHING but warm, fuzzy feelings is a red flag.
- How does this person treat everyone around him/her and I mean everyone? Are they good to everyone? If not, red flag.
- How does this person deal with things not going their way? Do they roll with the punches? Do they throw a fit and get mad? Red flag. Or…do they talk about their feelings in the midst of that in a positive problem solving way?
- How do they accept, No?” If they don’t accept it the first time in a respectful way then, you guessed it…red flag.
- Do they have clear boundaries of their own that they KINDLY keep in place. The ones that are cutting about their boundaries deserve another red flag.
Those are just some ideas, but the basic premise is observing how you are feeling and how they are behaving….not necessarily what they are saying. Always trust patterns.