Two favorite quotes I've been trying to live by lately:
"I'd rather be respected than liked." - Gale Ann Hurd
"Better to be an asshole than a chicken-shit." - Sheldon Patinkin
There's nothing wrong with being kind, but there's a fine line between being nice and allowing one's self to be walked on. And this is a hard thing to learn. I've slammed the lid on my own Pandora's box of thoughts, words and needs so many times that people who know me often say, "What do you want, really? You have a right to say," while they try to drag it out of me.
To say "No thank you" is not the same as the more definitive "No," which in turn differs from "No way, you jerk," if the situation warrants.
Learning to say any variation of No is a process for me. Or Yes, for that matter. And I'm not the only one.
This one's post-war. You can quote me.
Being my best self is easy at home with my loved ones (none of whom are jerks, by the way). But out in the world, being myself means being honest as well as politic, and being glad of my achievements as well as my weaknesses. It means not hiding behind "nice."
Damn. I guess that means I'm a person.