I have been doing a lot of reading as part of my yoga teacher training. As a result, I have really started to think about what we, as humans, do and think.
One concept that resonated with me is the difference between being “Nice” and being “Real.” I read in the book by Deborah Adele – The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice – that nice is an illusion, a cloak hiding lies. It is an imposed image of what one thinks one should be. It is a packaging of self in a presentable box, imposed by an outer authority. People who are “nice” hold the truth inside until they reach a breaking point and then they become dangerously inappropriate. Who can relate? I know I can.
Being “real” comes from the center of our unique essence and speaks to the moment from that center. Real is bold, an essence, a spontaneity. Real asks us to live from a place where there is nothing to defend and nothing to manage. This seems so much easier and requires less energy than being “nice.” When one is real, there are no surprises, you know where you stand. Although not always pleasant, it is trustworthy. The older I get the more real I am. I no longer worry about being “nice” and rather choose to be honest and real with my fellow man. In the past, constantly being “nice” and worrying about hurting others’ feelings has gotten me into some pretty difficult situations.
What do you choose, being “nice” or real? What is driving you to say yes when you mean no?