I am starting to discover that there is a smidge of a problem with me being nice to just about everybody- many people take this as a sign that I like them. My, somewhat clueless, mind does not necessarily notice this until other people point it out or until I am in an ‘oh dear goodness- you didn’t really think I…’ type of situation. It has made me take a step back and think about what messages my being nice has sent to people over the years.
I harp on and on about how I don’t like being given false hope and how I don’t want to give false hope to others. It is by no means fair and it is not something that I enjoy feeling myself. The problem that I have is that I don’t know how NOT to be nice to people. I know how to ignore them and things like that, but I don’t know how to not have polite chit chat. Being from the southern states- chit chat is a premium and everyone knows how to chit chat. My goodness- I’m sure there are even places that have lessons on how to talk to people in the Wal-Mart line and politely inquire about their unknown children. I have seen this in action. I do not really meet strangers and I can talk to just about anyone if you leave me in a room with them long enough.
The key difference for me is if I am actually enjoying the conversation. If a guy thinks that I care about the specifics of computer programming it is far above and beyond anything that I give a crap about. I do good to be able to use microsoft office most days- don’t expect me to do anything miraculous with computers. However, if you talk to me about baking or football- I’m pretty much all ears. If you can crack a joke, that is even better. Still the point is- I talk to tons of people that I am not necessarily particularly fond of.
One of my good friends husband’s answered a general question that I had about advice with men and what he said was pretty simple- if a guy is nice to you he likes you. Before anyone starts jumping to conclusions that this is one thousand percent true and that every guy that opens a door for you is actually secretly interested in you- you should probably take a breath. There is a difference between ‘manner’s and being nice. I honestly view polite chit chat as manners and that is obviously sending some mixed signals that I do not wish to send.
So am I going to stop being nice to people? No. I can’t do that, I don’t know how to do that. But the one thing that is really bothering me is that something that I view as a good thing is having some negative repercussions that I would have never thought of. And sadly, it seems like the guys that I am genuinely interested in are just like me- they have really good manners.