This is why I love being around you!

People who are seen as ‘nice’ are often interpreted as weak or passive.

It’s possible that there are some passively nice people out there, but in my experience, most of the nicest people I know are stubborn, angry, articulate, active, wildly intelligent and deeply caring. They bring immense effort to being pleasant, helpful, useful and supportive, even sometimes to just not saying the mean thing, even though it would be easier. Perhaps even because it would be easier.

And for some of us it can be really damn hard but goddamn, we are trying.
Iam not saying that leaving a stupidly high tip for your waitress at the diner just because it’s Tuesday, would fix things and make your sads go away forever. But perhaps it will help. Sometimes just to be nice. Just to be good.
Sometimes it is really damn hard, but the point is to try.
I just do what I feel like doing, that’s it for me.

Frankly most of us rarely face such compelling circumstances that aren’t of our creation.
Iam going to talk about myself here, as an illustrative example.
Many of my friends are genuinely, quite fervent in their conviction that Iam a good person. This is a result of many conscious decisions and deliberate actions, I perform, of a good person.
Some of my friends are also aware of another side of me. Because there is bound within, also the capacity of mundane evils. These go unexpressed because I so choose. It is a slow lesson.
I’ve always thought of it like a campfire. You can’t just toss some wood in a pit and make fire: it will fizzle out assuming it even starts. You have to nurture it, slowly feeding it more and more until it’s ready for the big logs. Then I have got a fire that will last. Being good, I understood is the same way. You start with the small things: holding the door open for the person right after you( this is a big one..no one likes the door coming back rushing to their face), tidying up your own mess wherever you are, supporting your friend’s business.
Then come the big ones: listening to someone’s troubles, not snapping back when someone insults you (this I have come a long way), smiling first when you lock eyes with strangers accidentally. Like in the case of great fire, this kindling is necessary for great friendships, I am learning.
It all comes down to personal choice. Keeping away from negative vibes, slowly, politely and then permanently, is my favourite game these days.
This was a huge comfort to write and aah, I really hecking needed it!

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What’s up…buddy!

1. Human 1: Hey! What’s up?
Human 2: ” hey! Going on” (most common response, Iam more or less sure 99% of people say that)

2. Human 1: Hey! What’s up?
Human 2: “The sky” (smart person answer: also: “the ceiling” or, “da roof”)

The second one sounds more like my son.

There are some annoying social protocols that are non-rational (i.e. not irrational, but not rational, either — just there). This is one of them. I find it quite irritating.

Sometimes I suspect, most people who say this phrase(or equivalents, like “How’s it going?”) don’t want a true, non-terse answer. They simply want to fulfill the “mutual acknowledgement protocol.”

Believe me, in my case it could lead to few minutes of nerve-wreaking mysterious silence, or if you really take the initiative, it could lead to a nice conversation.
It’s bothered me before because I couldn’t answer it.
But depending on the situation, “what’s up” will be interpreted differently.
As such, I stick to neutral and short responses which is socially acceptable. “Not much. How ’bout you?” “Great day. Hope you’re having one too.” “Enjoying the weather.” “Looking forward to the weekend.” Or anything along those lines.

I generally vary it up, sometimes coming up with a date-specific response in advance. Otherwise you risk appearing unfriendly due to a disingenuous/unoriginal/stock response.

I find it peculiar.Sometimes, the wrath on their face builds up as they know they are approaching the answer which they weren’t willing to gather with great interest anyway. At other times, it is fuelled by a comical ‘I-dont-know-what-else-to-ask-you-first’ look pasted on the face. And them I imagine, either they quite don’t enjoy knowing me or obviously the person asking is either bored and wrote 10 messages like that to other people, or has little imagination.

I have special affection for people who come up with an endearing ‘how are you doing! Hope you are well! So nice we meet today!’ It’s almost romantic and filled with an assurance that the person did indeed like seeing me.

Over the years however, my expectations are stoically aligned with the larger choice. And I gradually adjusted to the knowledge that..the most common answer to what’s up is “I am fine, thank you, what about you?”
I have begun to assume that irrespective of what the person who is asking intends, they are enquiring about my well being, at that very moment. And as for my answer..yeah! I have worked on a bunch of alternate responses, sometimes hilarious, based on the age of the person.

It may start from a ‘Life is good’ …or a ‘not much, what’s up with you?’…to ‘same ‘ol’…and then inching towards a pressing ‘everything that’s supposed to be’ or an ouch! ‘we’re gonna find out soon enough’.

And there is always that person to whom I might say..’aah! Shit you know… living the dream!’

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