being "nice"

So, one of the things that’s been said about me in the past is that I can be “too nice.” It doesn’t sound like a bad thing really, when you think about it. But, several of my friends in the past have said that I have a tendency not to draw good boundaries. Around work. Around people and their eccentric personalities. Around whatever.

What can I say? I’m a people pleaser in many ways.

(I’m also secretly not always a nice person, and I think that’s what I’m trying to cover up most of the time.)

Facebook is one of those places where the yearning – like Willy Loman – to be well-liked can come to the forefront. I mean, come on. The more “friends” you have there, the more you feel connected, worldly, dare I say popular?

It was shocking to me how many people came out of the woodwork on the day of the shootings. It was both incredibly touching and a little bit disturbing how people who never spoke to me in high school, who kicked me out of their sorority, and my old roommate that used to yell at me routinely, somehow found me on that day to make sure I was alive and safe. I think that there was a strong need to find some connection to the story ultimately. Anyway, many of the folks who found me that day did so through Facebook.

I think Facebook has this tendency to create a sense of false intimacy because suddenly someone that you barely know is scrolling up your screen with sometimes hourly updates of

  • having just had coffee,
  • having just returned from vacation,
  • having recently become single,
  • having a bad day.

These are things that I’m not sure I want to know about someone that otherwise I would have never seen again for the rest of my life.

Well, the point of this is that I had a very interesting thing happen last night.

Over the weekend I received a “friend request” on Facebook from a person that I couldn’t remember but who’d clearly been a contemporary in high school. I accepted the request, took the voyeuristic opportunity to discover that she has a 15-year-old child (and took a few minutes to freak out about the fact that someone I went to high school has a kid that age)…and then I moved on. I didn’t think another thing about it.

Until, last night.

Exhausted from a long day at work, I sat down at home with my computer to watch something mindless and heard that annoying little pop that indicates someone is trying to “chat you” on Facebook.

When I tabbed over to the page, I discovered it was this new “friend” of mine. She asked how I was doing, what I’d been up to, etc., etc. She told me about her life with four children, her blood clot, her love of animals.

But, the thing is, I really have no recollection of who this person is. I can’t remember her at all. She clearly remembers me though.

And I couldn’t bring myself to tell her.

I mean, how would you begin to say that? I couldn’t do it. I just kept carrying on the conversation as if I was soooooo glad to reconnect. And then I cut it short with tales of my long day at work.

I’m left with this very panicky feeling every time I return to Facebook because I don’t know what I’ll do if she chats me again. Can I keep up the charade?

Your stories of overnicety would be welcome.


Add yours →

  1. 1) This made me laugh out loud – sorry it was really funny.

    2) It is a very modern dilemma isn't it? Kind of like trying to figure out how to get the last few crumb chips out of the chip bag. Would George Washington have known to tilt the bag up to his face?

    3)I am typing this completely naked or am I wearing my sister's underwear or is ESPN on? The reality is we only ever know about others what they choose to show us.

    4) Companionship and connection need not have a historical context only a start and some honesty. I think coming clean to her isn't mean it's just a reality. It'll most likely make for another great entry.

    good luck meany 😉


  2. I have never been accused of being overly nice, so I can't help you there. I do have a friend request that I'm ignoring right now. She's an admin at my company. I know who she is, although she was never an admin in my department. But do we need to be “friends” just because we work at the same gigantic company?

    I have had to friend people then ask them who they were. I could tell I knew them based on their other friends, but couldn't actually remember who they were in HS.


  3. PS – LOVE the Jimmy Stewart/ Jon Stewart thing!


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