Being Nice Is Nice And All, But Being Kind Lasts Longer

Being Nice Is Nice And All, But Being Kind Makes A Bigger Impact

Nice is holding the door open for the elderly woman behind you. Kind is asking if she needs help with her groceries.

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There's a difference between being kind and being nice.

One takes empathy and mindfulness, while the other is a behavioral expectation intended to keep up appearances.

Remember that classic episode of "SpongeBob," the one where he meets Sandy for the first time? When he is invited to her house, Patrick prepares him for it by explaining that air actually means "putting on airs," and that if he holds his pinky up, he'll be OK.

That's an exaggerated version of what being nice means to me.

For those of you unfamiliar with who lives in a pineapple under the sea, being nice is defined differently by different people and different cultures. Being nice is being polite. It's the decent way to act in most circles, but being kind is universal.

Pleasing, agreeable, appropriate and well-bred are all terms used to define nice, according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. Whereas to be kind is to be compassionate, helpful, warm and understanding.

Kind has substance and meaning.

Kind requires no translation.

Kind takes time, effort and forethought.

Nice is palatable.

Nice is having good manners.

Nice is expected and fleeting.

Nice is holding the door open for the elderly woman behind you. Kind is asking if she needs help with her groceries.

Now, if you've read to this point, you may be wondering what the significance of this distinction is. Well, here goes: I'm not always a nice person. And anyone who knows me isn't shocked by this.

I'm sarcastic and a little judgmental.

I'm a work in progress and the first to admit that about myself. But I remember people's birthdays, and I'm a pretty great gift giver. I volunteer and make sure I return people's messages when I can.

But I don't always greet people when I walk into a room, and Irish goodbyes are sometimes my go-to.

I'm honest to a fault because I know that, in the long run, the truth yields more positive results than a lie does.

I'm not always great at asking how someone's day was, but I probably know how they feel about immigration and how many kids they have.

Wow, OK, that doesn't make me sound too good. But I'm kind, or I try to be.

And maybe all this piece accomplishes is in an attempt to convince myself as I convince others, but I'll take it.

Bottom line: I'd rather be kind than nice any day.

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."
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Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me," but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is, to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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