Being Nice is Selfish?

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

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My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is Keep Moving Forward


Some psychologists believe that ‘being nice’ isn’t really so nice after all. They believe being nice actually comes from a fear. We ‘act’ nice towards someone because we want to be liked or we fear what others will think of us if we are not perceived of as a ‘nice’ person. As kids, especially little girls we were constantly told to ‘be nice’ and to ‘be sweet’ even to people we didn’t like. We were taught to keep the peace at all cost even if we were filled with hate. Some little girls learn very young how to use niceness as a way to get what they want and as they get older, as a way to gain power. Being nice is telling your boss to have a nice day because it sounds good but actually you could care less what kind of day she has.

Adriana and Peyton w cow

Overly nice people usually have very low self- esteem and are only nice so they can feel better about themselves and so others will like them.

Being overly nice can put you at risk of being used and mistreated. It can leave you feeling powerless and out of control. It can cause unhappiness and even illness.

Being nice can actually be selfish.

Kindness on the other hand comes from real love, compassion and empathy towards fellow human beings and all living things. Compassion and empathy are real needs that some people have to help others or ourselves. It makes kindness the total opposite of being nice. Being kind is looking your boss in the eye and saying, “It looks like you are very busy today. Is there something I can do to get you out of here faster so you can go home and relax,” and meaning every word. Being kind is opening and holding the door for an elderly woman, looking her in the eye and then taking her bags to her car for her. It is easy for kind people to be assertive because they have a healthy self-esteem and care as much about themselves as they do others. They earn and expect respect.

Peyton Avery Morgan petting horse

Kindness is not a feeling it is an action. It is a character quality that we can work on until it comes naturally. It is choosing to do the right thing even when the right thing is the hardest to do. There is a direct correlation between being kind and being happy. When we are truly good to others out of love we feel real happiness.

Being kind is being selfless.

I am excited to be a member of A.J’s Team

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8 Responses to “Being Nice is Selfish?”

  • I loved this post! I had never really thought of it that way before. You are so right! I also think that being overly nice just comes across as so fake. I don’t want to interact with someone who is overly nice. It isn’t fun at all! I love interacting with people who genuinely love and care for me! What an awesome world we would live in if everyone could have compassion and care for those around them!

  • Interesting! I know they’ve done studies that have shown that many people who do charity work actually do so for “selfish” reasons–because they like the way it makes them feel. And the health and well-being benefits to someone who does charity work have been proven many times. But people who are rude and blunt definitely know how to state their feelings! I just couldn’t go through life that way.

  • There really is a big difference between kindness and being nice. I am always suspicious of someone who is overly nice. I’m a cynic sometimes, but usually, a good judge of character and the ‘nicey nice’ ones are pretty transparent to me. Kindness is something I work on daily.

  • Oh, there is definitely a fake niceness, one that manipulates. Also, there is a huge danger in teaching girls to “just be nice.” It takes away their power. Kindness, on the other hand, is a true gift to be the giver and receiver.

  • Hi Doreen – I did K is for Kind this time too and couldn’t agree more with what you have to say. Kindness comes from the heart and is intentional (niceness can so often be a false lid we put on things to avoid conflict – but at the cost of our own integrity). Leanne @ cresting the hill

  • I agree there’s a huge difference between being nice and kindness. With kindness you always know when you are the recipient. Well said. Thanks!

  • I like people who happen to be nice. I loathe “Nice” people. I agree that it’s the being genuine that counts. I do try to be kind. Kindness is balm for the world.

  • I’ve never considered the difference between nice and kind, to me they kind of go hand in hand with each other, and as long as people come across as genuine I don’t really care. Better nice than rude, for sure!
    Overly nice behaviour does make me feel uneasy, though. I want to tell those people to cut the c*** 😉

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