I used to hate the word “nice”. To me, it screamed boring and bland. It was the word used to describe me in school. “Nice girl”. My mom used to use those two words to articulate our last name: N G as Nice Girl. But really what nice was…it was because I barely spoke. I was quiet. My face may have brimmed with thoughts, but my voice was always absent.
So in college, I decided to build a different persona. Deliberately, I wanted to be hostile and cold. I wanted to be mean. I wanted to be anything but nice. And yet, that’s the very odd thing. I didn’t want to be treated not nicely.
I have trying to backtrack. And to just simply start with the intention of being compassionate. I learned how to voice my feelings and thoughts with the greatest of intentions. That to really show empathy is believe in the empathy.
With the same piece that I had critiqued yesterday, the instructor today encouraged everyone to start with the good parts. “Start with what you like,” she said. It felt oddly different than yesterday when the other instructor began with 5 seconds with what she liked and more than a minute of what didn’t work. Being creative requires a thick skin, yet I never expected a backlash of that level. So today, in an in-person class of seventeen, I felt more at ease, understanding for why what didn’t work…really didn’t work. Where once I was about to delete sections, I could help build better context.
People often say they have good intentions. Yet if they are buried so deep, they almost don’t matter. And those of us who don’t have the thickest of skins, we let it hurt us. But at least for now, because this is the only way I can learn, bring it on.