Faking Nice

Be Nice

I’ve always said that civilizing students is part of my job.

While discussing how to improve classroom relationships, one of the girls said she didn’t feel the need to be friendly to girls she didn’t like.  “That would be like faking nice,” was her argument.  I explained that the world revolved around people “faking nice” to each other.  In the adult world, “faking nice” is another term for courtesy, tact, and manners.

For instance, when a senior citizen meanders down the supermarket aisle ahead of me, I wait for an opportunity to smile and go around.  It wouldn’t do either of us any good if I yelled at her to move faster.  And when someone greets me with a cheery “Good morning!” before 10 a.m., I refrain from biting his head off and instead reply with a terse “Morning.”

Learning to be genuine without hurting others’ feelings is an important social skill, despite what teens may see on reality TV.  But “faking nice” doesn’t come naturally; parents have to teach – and model – appropriate social behavior.  It’s helpful to point out to your teen when you’ve said something contrary to what you were thinking, and then have a discussion about why tactful responses are kinder than hurtful ones.

(By the way, if you run into those judges from American Idol, please tell them I’d like to talk to them.  Thanks!)

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5 Comments

  1. Very true!
    One of the best things I learned from previous teachers was ‘faking nice.’ It also leads into ‘fake it until you make it.’ Both are essential to success, especially with anything customer service related.

  2. This one is definitely worthy of comment. Common courtesy should be taught as a foundation when raising your child. I’ve noted those who don’t learn it as children do bring it into their adulthood. This leads to clicks (social groups that exclude others), it is an excuse for lack of compassion and unbecoming behavior. Every action leads to the impact of others lives, think about your action and words and their effect on others. Make courtesy and social acceptance your new foundation!

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