When I hear someone describe a person as nice, I often want to scream, “How do you know?” The problem with nice is that the word is frequently handed out like penny candy to people who have done nothing more than show their facade to the person applying the label. Nice is seductive because its connotation has been elevated to the level of a super power.
A single encounter with a person who smiles sweetly, makes deliberate eye contact, offers an innocuous joke, or an innocent pat on the back has the power to send a nice-sensitive person into a full on fantasy. Because we are slow dancing with our own projections of that nice person, we tend to miss something kind of important: seeing who that person really is.
Here’s the lesson: don’t be so quick to give away your nice cards.
Melissa Brown Levine is a copy editor, proofreader, manuscript consultant, and writer.