Why It’s Impossible to Always be Nice

My five grandchildren are nearly perfect. They are polite and kind. They listen to me and knock off the arguing when I give them the look. They don’t complain and pick up after themselves. For me.

I often see/hear a different side of them with their parents. They’re still fantastic little monkeys but the bickering, griping and whining ramp up dramatically on occasion.

Being good for grandma is easy. Layla (they call me Layla -short for Abuela) doesn’t demand or expect too much. Layla plans in advance to make things special and fun. Layla isn’t spread thin, rushing or preoccupied.

Because Layla only has them for short bursts of time, of which they are the total center of my universe.

It wasn’t like that with my own kids. (Forgive me kids.) I was always on the go, busy and often tired. Parenting them was lumped in to all the rest of what was going on in any given day, it wasn’t the sole action item to accomplish. That’s real life.

It’s easy to be nice and patient and sweet to people who are bending over backwards to make us happy. But people typically are trying to load 29 hours of crap into a 24-hour day. They don’t pause and smile just because it’s YOU. They don’t quit what they’re doing so they can meet your needs and make your day a little better.

As purposeful women, it’s essential that we plan for delays and expect rudeness to come our way. The bakery will lose the order for your kid’s birthday cake. The hotel won’t have a record of your reservation. Your boss will forget to thank you. A neighbor will get ticked off because your sprinklers are watering their gravel.

The question is, are you prepared to respond with kindness and dignity? Or are you only able to be nice when things are going your way? I can cough up a few reasons for why it’s impossible to always be nice.

I’ll confess I struggle with this, especially in the business world. When I have to wait 45 minutes for a wedge salad or my cable company doesn’t seem to give a rip that the service isn’t working, I sometimes forget that grace and kindness should be applied as I respond. The selfish, whiney, arrogant part of me emerges in living color. Yuck.

Being a woman that God is pleased with can be really hard when you’re as imperfect as I am. Fortunately, He is much more concerned that I’m aware and care about it when I flop.

It’s easy to be good for Grandma, or anyone who makes your life easier and better. It’s a lot tougher to “be good” during the course of another hectic day. But I think a little attention and prayer of preparedness to start the day can make a big difference and help you with contentment in the rough spots.

What causes you to lose your cool and not “be good” to people?

  • Linda S Fitzgerald

    Oh Diane, you must have written this for me. The Lord is pressing me to greater boldness; but so often when I’m bold; I’m also bossy, pushy and very very impatient. So the lesson for me is to learn to be bold with out all the brass that goes with it! Thanks for the helpful reminder. . . Blessings, Linda

    • Diane Markins

      You and me both Linda. I get aggravated when people don’t do the job they’re being paid for with care and excellence AND I FEEL COMPELLED to let them know. Often in a not-so-nice way. My adult kids sometimes pretend they aren’t with me I’m sure. It doesn’t happen often but I pray every day that it happens less! God’s got his work cut out in my case. 🙂

  • Linda S Fitzgerald

    Oh Diane, you must have written this for me. The Lord is pressing me to greater boldness; but so often when I’m bold; I’m also bossy, pushy and very very impatient. So the lesson for me is to learn to be bold with out all the brass that goes with it! Thanks for the helpful reminder. . . Blessings, Linda

    • Diane Markins

      You and me both Linda. I get aggravated when people don’t do the job they’re being paid for with care and excellence AND I FEEL COMPELLED to let them know. Often in a not-so-nice way. My adult kids sometimes pretend they aren’t with me I’m sure. It doesn’t happen often but I pray every day that it happens less! God’s got his work cut out in my case. 🙂