Why I don’t want to be a nice girl anymore
There was a time in my life when I was (or tried to be) a “nice girl”.
I used to be that the kind of girl who tried to be a good citizen by being polite, quiet, obedient, serving, endearing, sweet, gentle – and nice.
In my understanding, being a nice girl was equivalent of being a good Christian.
And because I know that I was not the only one with that upbringing, and that many parents have this very same idea about the purpose of their education today, I decided to share with you, why I don’t want to be a nice girl anymore. Why I won’t teach my kids – not my three boys and certainly not my girl – to be “nice” people when they’re grown up.
I will talk mainly about “nice girls”, since I talk from my personal experience. However, this applies pretty much to boys to.
The bright side of being “nice” is that one might be liked and applauded.
These characteristics are wonderful indeed and “nice girls” like that are truly liked just about anywhere. “Nice girls” is what many teachers, employers and even spouses to-be (in my experience even more possible mother in law-to-be!) are looking for.
Nice girls are not complicated to handle. A good girl adapts to any situation, behaves politely, obediently and servingly.
Nice girls will not cause problems with own opinions, different views or a defiant attitude. They will simply take basically anything, trying to be liked, appreciated and complimented for their effort to be “nice”- at almost any cost.
The problem I experienced was that I was seen as that “nice girl” but that was pretty much it.
In the French part of Switzerland, where I lived around my twenties, being that “nice girl”, there is a saying that goes like this, describing such a person:
“Elle est gentile, gentile et gentile”. (She’s nice, nice and nice).
And that’s exactly how I felt. I was nice. That was it. No other qualities displayed in my life.
And herein lies the problem.
I experienced, that trying to be sweet and gentle, serving, endearing, polite, quiet and obedient is not so cool anymore when I actually feel and think completely different. When I’m scared and insecure to be myself, this authentic, present me, acting nice seems like a betrayal of myself..
The truth is that a “nice girl” like I was, will not know how to be authentic, present and herself in everyday life situations.
However, those three characteristics – Authenticity, being present and being myself – are dearly needed to engage in life. Needed to live meaningful relationships. Needed to be who I truly am. Needed to be connected with my loved ones in a real way. Needed to be that friend, sharing myself in an authentic way. Needed to be that parent, who is capable to have a real connection with her children, and true intimacy with her spouse. It is difficult to experience God in an honest, personal way, trying to be that “good girl” for him, too.
On my journey of unbecoming that “nice girl” I learned that “good girls” may be nice and liked, may be appreciated and even celebrated for being so easy to handle – but being real and authentic, engaged in live and myself is surpassing all of the conveniences of being a nice girl.
Thomas Jefferson (An American founding father) is credited with saying:
“Free people are the most difficult to lead”
And I believe this is true.
You will not find any “nice girl” changing anything in this world.
There are no “nice girls” influencing our society, with the courage to stand up for what they believe.
- However, free people turn out to be powerful life changers.
- It is the free people that will not simply follow any philosophy, idea or opinion this world has to offer.
- Free people are people with rectitude, who are not living their life trying to please other people – but who walk their path with diligence, wisdom and self control.
- Free people will be able to withstand outside pressure and walk in integrity to their values and hearts.
- It is the free people who are able to recognize their strengths, who they are made to be and step into their calling.
- It is the free people, who don’t act religiously out of obligation, but who life a fervent life out of a love to their God.
Free people, serving a living God out of love, are the people I want to imitate.
Free people, serving a living God out of love, is what I want to teach my children to become.
Looking back at my journey of “unbecoming” this nice girl, I remember how scary that was for me. Of course, this journey was not done in a few weeks or months. It took me years of growing and maturing, years of experiencing the faithfulness and love of God in my fears and failures.
Benny had a big part in that journey.
In the beginning of our marriage, while he was showering me with his love and acceptance, telling me “how he loved me and how amazing I was”, my (serious) response was:
“Are you crazy”?
Because I know the challenges unbecoming that “nice girl” and becoming a free, powerful one, I am more than determined to teach my children that freedom right from the start.
Like I said above, that doesn’t mean that our children don’t have to behave, or that they can do whatever they want. Since this is not freedom.This website is full of ways to how we are trying to implement this freedom into the lives of our children. The recent two articles about honor, which you’ll find here and here, are both an important part to get there.