Why nice is pretty close to mean, in terms of social capital

Blags, blags, blags,

Gather ’round. Today I’m going to talk about something that all of us already know, deep down inside of our shrivelly, vagina-colored human brains.

You’ve read the bumper stickers. Mean people suck. It’s a harsh stereotype, to be sure. But we need to make harsh generalities about people, or else we’ll just sit around all day, thinking about stuff and why people think or feel or do things, and who has the time? Not me, I can assure you – I have a BLAG to run.

After years of anecdotal study, most humans agree on this, or else it wouldn’t be a marketable automobile (or guitar case) decal. If people buy it, it’s true. Perception is reality. I don’t think there’s any room for further debate on this topic. But the fact that mean people suck is not my thesis.

There is another, parallel reality out there. Much like whichever time-space wormhole theory that I don’t feel like looking up where the Universe folds upon itself such that two distinctly different points also coexist in exactly the same time and place, there is a point at which social extremes meet, in terms of just fucking turning people off. Point A is being mean, which sucks. Point B is being nice.

While Point A is rarely debated, Point B is a highly argued topic, by people who like to live in denial. “Being nice is good!” say people who probably aren’t really all that nice, or else they’d know better by now. Yes, being nice “is” “good,” for other people. But it’s bad for you.

You see, as much as mean people suck, they suck inward. By which I mean, they suck people towards them. Granted, there are myriad variables to consider. Wretched misanthropes aren’t doing themselves any favors and probably turn other people away (unless they’re rich!). But there are other kinds of mean. Aggressives, insulters, shallows, power-seekers and manipulators are likely better off than those who could be defined as “nice.” To paint the picture, I mean the kind of nice where people typically preface the word with a sound they’d make for a kitten. “Awww … he/she’s nice!” Translation: “I am cataloguing this person as someone who maybe later I can get to do things for me, but I don’t really have to respect them, because what the fuck are they ever going to do about it? Nothing, that’s what. I’m also not sexually interested in them as their niceness betrays infertility, means they won’t put out, or mating carries the risk of passing the ‘pussy’ gene on to my offspring.”

Mean v. Nice

Here, it's a graphic.

So yeah, people will “like” you better if you’re nice. But they won’t respect you, and it basically just means they’ll ask you for favors that they never plan on returning. And, if you’re anywhere under 24 years old, it means your peers will treat you like shit for no reason. So, mean people are in roughly the same spot, only people can (and often do) still respect them. Consider the following examples:

“That Bill is a son of a bitch, but he sure as hell knows how to run a laundromat!”
“Suzie’s a cunt, but she also doesn’t take shit from anyone, and I envy that.”
“Randy is such a jerk … it’s so mysterious!
“Ted’s an asshole; it’s fucking hilarious, dude.”

Revisiting nice, consider the following examples:

“Pete is SUCH a nice guy, we’re ALWAYS hanging out! He’ll totally help me move into my boyfriend’s apartment!”
“You’re staying late? Fuck that, it’s happy hour. Give it to Jimmy. Guy’s a human carpet.”
“Yeah, Wanda’s a ‘nice’ girl. Nice if you don’t wanna get your dick wet, youknowwhatimean? Up top!”
“Uh, yeah, I don’t want to hang out with Reggie. Why? Cause he’s a fag.”

As you can clearly see via the above empiricanecdotal evidence, neither group is particularly cherished by the mainstream population. Mean people can still garner respect via their expertise, their liberated “who gives a shit?” personalities, or the fact that they’re really funny as long as they’re being a dick to someone else. Nice people, however, are often viewed as pawns. People like pawns, as long as they’re useful, but they’re almost always a means to an end. For flat-out mean people, they’re simply resented. When comparing the two, it appears it’s better to be respected than it is to be superficially liked.

I am not in any way advocating meanness. As I mentioned before, it’s been proven that mean people suck. Would that I could live in a world where nice people gain respect as often as they should. The key is moderation. Be fair and kind when it’s reasonable. But also be kind of a dick, so people know they can’t fuck with you whenever they want. That’s how you get people to like and respect you, kind of. A lot of it still just depends on if the other people are assholes.

Anyway, that’s basically how politics works.


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