Monday, September 14, 2009

The Power Of Positive No

Being a "nice guy" is often a nicer way of saying you're "too nice" (Just don't mention that to Christian Bale. Yes, we still get entertainment news up here.). One of the major symptoms of being too nice is having trouble saying, "No." You're too focused on the other person's feelings to even remember you have feelings of your own. There's a lot of, "Sure, I'll do that," "Yes, that's ok," and the pathetically proactive, "You need a hand with that?" People who do that often get stuck with responsibility, and sometimes fancy themselves as the good Samaritan. It's a little more appropriate to use the term "martyr," because the reward for all good deeds is usually the labels of "sucker," "chump," and the inevitable, "loser."

If you think I'm being overly harsh, then just think about how I feel. This is my attitude, and I'm an angel. My feelings have lightened considerably since I died, but I feel more in the joy of saving than the inherent good. I save humans in part because I feel they need to be saved; if they were inherently good, they simply wouldn't need us as much. And the "nice" stigma is something I still have to deal with.

I think that's why I relish the opportunity to say "no" to people. I don't do it for the sake of it, it's when it comes at a time when it's beneficial, and I just leap at the chance. Sometimes people need to hear what they want to hear, sometimes they need to hear the truth. Learning when to do what has been a continuing education process. The other day, I was watching over a lawyer. He was sitting at a bar, depressed because he was prosecuting a man he felt was innocent, not so much to further his career but more for the sense of loyalty to his job. He didn't tell me this, I'd been watching him in court, but when I sat next to him at the bar and started to chat over the score of the baseball game on the tv, he asked, "Do you think you always have to do what you believe when you're not believing what you do?"

I said, "No." The man was later found innocent. Did the guy throw it? Don't know. But it looked like he felt better, and regardless, I moved on.

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