Tuesday, June 1, 2010


IN some cases in life, being nice is typically the best possible thing to do.

If someone trips, it's nice to help them up.
If someone cuts themselves, it's nice to give them a band-aid.
If someone puts on a fluffy red shirt with a minx collar, it's nice to tell them to go back inside and change, because you're soooo not going to the bar with them in that outfit.


there are other things where being polite or nice is actually the wrong thing to do. Nice becomes, mean.

For example, take the mixed signal. These occur when one party decides that in order to not hurt someone's feelings they instead take the easy way out and act nice and essentially leads on the other party. At the end of the night they politely ask for the other party's phone number (see previous blog) and politely hug and kiss you goodbye.

All of these are very nice things to do.

Unless you're not into the other party.

People in today's society have established that it's ok to lead someone on in order to allow people to keep their dignity, but at the end of the night and the morning and days following it only succeeds in breaking down the other person's spirits and beats down their established self confidence.

A friend of mine recently spent a couple of weeks entangled in the arms of someone whom she believed to be very much interested in her, but when they separated he neglected contact and succeeded in creating a system of mixed signals which negates all the happy memories previously locked away. It's this idea that mixed signals make people rethink themselves and rethink their style and personality, which is truly the worst part about mixed signals.

From the instigator's point of view, mixed signals are a way of trying to ease the disappointment of the receiver, but instead the instigator is only succeeding in eventually making the receiver feel worse about their self image than they already did.

Nearly everyone is guilty of sending them out. I'm guilty, but there are ways that we can fix the negativity we send out into the world. Honesty. A girl walks over to you, batting her eyelashes, smiling, and touching your arm. She's nothing that you are even remotely interested, well you could be nice and send her these mixed signals or you could tell her the truth, "you're not my type, I've been eyeing up that chick on the other end of the bar, I'm sorry I hope you find someone worth your while."

It's not that we are completely tossing away kindness by saying "I'm not interested." Instead we're allowing the other person to move on and find someone else with whom they could possibly find happiness.

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