Niceness is a choice. Charm is a form of persuasion
Why is it that we place charm and niceness so high on the list of what we look for in people?
In my workshops we discuss how we perceive people and what we look for when meeting them. The problem is that, for many of us, our daily profiling typically doesn't go deep enough.
One of the questions we ask in our workshops is: "You're out with your girls, and you see a guy walking towards you. What things do you notice about him?" The answers usually include - how he's dressed, how he carries himself, if he looks friendly, if he is smiling, and many have said that you can tell if he's nice by his eyes.
Next question: "When you meet him, what do you notice, and what do you look for?" Most common answer? How nice he is, or how charming he may be. Again, niceness and charm being our gauge for a persons character. (Keep in mind these questions could be asked of any situation, not just a night out. It could also apply to meeting someone during travel, bumping into someone while shopping, etc.)
Here is the problem. Niceness and charm do not equal goodness.
Being nice is a choice not a character trait. Charm is a form of persuasion. Think of it as a verb versus an adjective. If you ask "why is he charming me?" instead of saying "He is charming" it makes it easier to see around. The answer may not always be sinister, but in some cases you'll be glad you asked.
"We must learn and then teach our children that niceness does not equal goodness . Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait. People seeking to control others almost always present the image of a nice person in the beginning." - Gavin DeBecker, "The Gift of Fear"
Posted on Tue, January 26, 2016
by Jessi Cargill filed under