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Thursday, October 22, 2009

"It's nice to be nice to the nice"

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of M*A*S*H. When I was in college, we would sometimes watch the show 4 times a day. I remember some of the scenes and a few more of the quotes. If I remember correctly, one of them is from MAJ Frank Burns to his girlfriend, Hot Lips Houlihan, when she is complimenting him on being nice. He replies "it's nice to be nice to the nice" and then the laugh track yuks it up while he makes a silly face.

Well, duh. It is nice to be nice to the nice. Maybe that's what's so inane about his comment. However, what do we do about people who aren't so nice? Do we just give up on them or do we try to make a connection?

There are some people around who take unfriendly people on as a challenge. They say to themselves, "I bet that person really is OK, way down deep" and they don't give up. Some of the ways I think they do it are:
  • Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he or she is having a tough time. Who of us really knows what troubles so many of the people around us may be going through in their private lives?
  • Be approachable. Be willing to let the other person reach out, just in case they might.
  • Look for good in the other person and then let them know what you have seen.
  • Be persistent. These people just don't give up on others. They just keep chipping away until they make some headway in a relationship.
I don't believe the bullets I just pointed out will work with everyone. These are just a few of the actions I believe are taken to try to build a connection with folks who don't seem the nicest ones around.

Can you think of any other actions you've seen?