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  1. #41
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    There's a difference between being nice, and flattering someone.
    I do think there's sort of a gradient, though... Like being kind and respectful in some aspects but not, say, very generous or flexible.
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  2. #42
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    I think non-manipulative kindness is built-in for humans. If you remove fear and anger, kindness is the baseline behavior that makes the most sense both logically (because it maximizes ease of communication for both parties) and emotionally (because it encourages positive emotions). It's behavior optimization. Which, on the bright side, means that assholes are literally selecting themselves for gene pool removal.

    So my answer to your wondering this -

    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety
    I just dont get it, why would I be nice to anyone, but I am...regardless and I hate it.
    - is because you're essentially programmed to. It's better for the species.

    But what if that is a necessary demonstration of emotion and conflict? It may result in something like murder maybe, but murder is not intrinsically evil, it's just the taking of life by violent action of a conscious or self-aware creature. And yet I recognise it as an evil.
    IMO, this is another example of instinctual drive. Philosophically you can understand murder (intentional killing of your species) in a neutral light. Instinctively, you have a harder time because your body and mind are wired against it. Perhaps this is part of your feeling of black-and-white versus color. I think it's the same way with fear... I used to hate fear and wish I could eliminate it entirely. But fear is also my greatest protective tool - it literally keeps me alive. It's almost like a homeostatic mechanism. You need some... but not too much.

    I'm thinking that maybe instead of escaping persay freedom lies on the middle path - the golden mean. If you can balance your natural inclination to be kind with your desire to allow conflict to arise as it encourages progress, you will attain freedom from the constraints of either manipulative kindness or forced conflict.

    As for "being nice" - I think there's a way to be nice without being disingenuous. You can still be honorable and have integrity even if you're not the happiest burst of rainbow sunshine.

  3. #43
    F CK all I need is U ilikeitlikethat's Avatar
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    I don't know.


    Shit, I'm not even polite, but; I am nice.

  4. #44
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    Being nice is a grown-up kind of easy.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Thought breeds thought." ~ Henry David Thoreau

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Well a person could be "nice" in the sincere sense of being truly kind or caring. A person could also be "nice" because they see it as the respectful and socially acceptable thing to do.

    Or you can be "nice" for manipulative reason, to either get what you want, or to keep the peace and not cause trouble.

    I am nice for all of the above reasons at different times. I, however, do not do it because I am intentionally avoiding conflict (unless I'm just not wanting to cause trouble FOR MYSELF) because I'm not conflict-avoidant. I also have less of a sense of "dutifulness" about being "nice" and it's just generally because I genuinely feel kind or cheerful, or because I just want things to be quiet and easy, or I want to achieve some ends.
    this, exactly..

  6. #46
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    This makes it almost seem like being nice is a bad thing I think I'm nice just because that's the way I am....no particular reason. As for being nice to get something you want, I would rather deal with someone who is nice to get what they want than someone who is an ass and tries to bully people to get what they want!
    I dont know really, I didn't mean to upset those who would come under the heading of nice, more so that such a thing is so floppy and undefined and I dont know how to grasp what is actually nice. It's a gradient that I wish to throw under the bus of certainty, but the driver keeps reacting in time. I dont know why this annoys me but it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Sounds pretty bitter. You had some bad experiences with nice people? Is it the inauthentic niceness of these people that bothers you? Do you think everyone has always got to have another agenda?

    Niceness is something I'd like to be more commonplace like rain at night rather than in the day time or a cool consistent temperature during sunny days, the only draw back with those kind of things is that its impossible to engineer them. Trying too usually has consequences.

    To me niceness is synomynous with thoughtfulness, if its characterised by any sort of manipulation then that's dark triad bullshit and not niceness at all.
    But how do you differentiate between the 'dark triad bullshit' and the true niceness?

    Is this a judgement I have to make? Someone else has to make? Or one that the collective groupings of people can generally agree on? How would you know the true value of it? And how to recognise it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    Nah. That's just acting nice.
    What's the difference? If being nice, (even if meant genuinely for no literal gain; by however you might quantify it), gives the person who is judged to be nice a feeling of pleasure, surely over time it will become automatic and is therefore just an act for that feeling of pleasure, like a drug?

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I think non-manipulative kindness is built-in for humans. If you remove fear and anger, kindness is the baseline behavior that makes the most sense both logically (because it maximizes ease of communication for both parties) and emotionally (because it encourages positive emotions). It's behavior optimization. Which, on the bright side, means that assholes are literally selecting themselves for gene pool removal.

    So my answer to your wondering this -



    - is because you're essentially programmed to. It's better for the species.

    IMO, this is another example of instinctual drive. Philosophically you can understand murder (intentional killing of your species) in a neutral light. Instinctively, you have a harder time because your body and mind are wired against it. Perhaps this is part of your feeling of black-and-white versus color. I think it's the same way with fear... I used to hate fear and wish I could eliminate it entirely. But fear is also my greatest protective tool - it literally keeps me alive. It's almost like a homeostatic mechanism. You need some... but not too much.

    I'm thinking that maybe instead of escaping persay freedom lies on the middle path - the golden mean. If you can balance your natural inclination to be kind with your desire to allow conflict to arise as it encourages progress, you will attain freedom from the constraints of either manipulative kindness or forced conflict.

    As for "being nice" - I think there's a way to be nice without being disingenuous. You can still be honorable and have integrity even if you're not the happiest burst of rainbow sunshine.
    This is interesting and identifies the duality of conflict with my thoughts on this, however I dont believe that it is inherent in humanity, I think we are morally and consciously blank until something imprints itself onto us from the environment.

    They are of course some inherent traits in humans, but these appear to be mere instincts which are dulled by our ability at self awareness.

    Therefore how could anyone ever really define being nice. Is it something I just have to leave up to the whims of people around me and my own consciousness?

    Humans are pack animals, but being nice in a social pleasantries way does not affect that it is a product of our so called civillised times. Decency on the other hand is separate from niceness to my mind. With decency you can produce a man who is abrasive and offputting in any social situation, but he is possessed of actions and words in need which would confuse others when crossed with this outward appearance.

    The world does not thrive on nice, it thrives on decency and I think people get the two mixed up far too much. I suppose the cliche to sum up my point here is when someone is described as a 'diamond in the rough'.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  7. #47
    right on the left wing Philosorapteuse's Avatar
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    Niceness can be the outward expression of decency.

    I'm not sure why you think that finding pleasure in being nice means that eventually one ends up doing it for that reason alone. The foundation of that pleasure is likely to be the more enduring aspect. Rather ask, why is there pleasure in it? I find pleasure in it because it's a way of acknowledging that other people matter, and I value that. Because I value it, I try to invoke it even when it doesn't give me any pleasure at all - I don't enjoy being nice to people when I'm in a vile mood, but I try to be. It isn't fundamentally a selfish act, because the pleasure aspect is founded on something different and more fundamental.
    "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." --William James

    I'd be a card-carrying sensotard, but I can't find the goddamn card.

  8. #48
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philosorapteuse View Post
    Niceness can be the outward expression of decency.

    I'm not sure why you think that finding pleasure in being nice means that eventually one ends up doing it for that reason alone. The foundation of that pleasure is likely to be the more enduring aspect. Rather ask, why is there pleasure in it? I find pleasure in it because it's a way of acknowledging that other people matter, and I value that. Because I value it, I try to invoke it even when it doesn't give me any pleasure at all - I don't enjoy being nice to people when I'm in a vile mood, but I try to be. It isn't fundamentally a selfish act, because the pleasure aspect is founded on something different and more fundamental.
    Hmm I can see your point. But I still dont understand how I am supposed to grasp when someone is genuinely being nice and how to define that....and for that matter WHO defines it?
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Can anyone tell me? Is there a point to niceness that isnt mired in manipulation?
    I'm often nice to my friends. They already like me, even my not so friendly side.

  10. #50
    right on the left wing Philosorapteuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Hmm I can see your point. But I still dont understand how I am supposed to grasp when someone is genuinely being nice and how to define that....and for that matter WHO defines it?
    You can't, basically. Just the same as you can't provide a reliable metric for knowing when someone's being truthful, or brave, or generous. Sometimes people who come off as gushy and insincere really do have foundations for that behaviour that they find important. It's always going to be a judgement call. Possibly a good question to ask is whether they actually have tried to manipulate you. Manipulation is something that people do really, rather than some sort of abstract state of being. If they've never flattered you and then asked you unreasonable favours, never played you off against anyone else, never (to your knowledge) simpered and smiled and then bitched behind your back... why not assume that their niceness is an expression of decency? Some decent people don't show it; others take the trouble to do so. Does it really matter that much if it's not being used against you or others? I don't really think it does, particularly. And if you really want to know why they do it, there's no substitute for getting to know them really well. Everyone's different. Unfortunately this is time-consuming as an approach.
    "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." --William James

    I'd be a card-carrying sensotard, but I can't find the goddamn card.

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