This One Is For the Nice Girls At Work

Attention all nice girls, let’s really talk. Being the nice girl is honestly nothing nice. Both in our personal lives and on our grind (a.k.a our work life) we get treated as outsiders. Before I get into this, let me describe what a nice girl is: the girl who puts their best self forward every day with a positive attitude and tries their best to avoid the negativity that surrounds them. We are the opposite of the girl who always gives you an attitude, has nothing nice to say, and well— somehow finds the wrong way to talk to you.

In this new age of social media people are continuously trying to put each other down, and somehow it is all becoming normal. With all of the conflict around us, I’d rather be the light at the end of the tunnel. There is no reason to feed into all the negativity, but instead, I believe it’s important to put my best foot forward each day with positive affirmations and a level head. Someone needs to be the positive one in the friend group, right?

Growing up through adolescence and now in my adult life, people have always tried to take advantage of my nice girl attitude and have attempted to discredit my ability to get things done (as if being nice would ever prevent me from being successful anyway). I’ve had friends who have teased me for not being “tough” enough and coworkers who’ve advised me to be more “stern”. A message to everyone out there: my presence of niceness does not mean the absence of a backbone. It also definitely does not mean you can run over me; I can and will speak up for myself when I feel I need to and not when you feel I should - I can do that with a smile, too.

The nice girl side effects don’t stop in your personal life, however. Like I’d mentioned, you’re expected to be even more stern in the workplace. Personally, I’ve been told several times to be tougher, and worse - it’s often been implied directly or indirectly that I might not make it far. Question is, what’s so wrong with holding on to good character? Are we really a little too positive? Does not conforming to the ideal “boss attitude” intimidate you? Do you feel that you can take advantage of me? Does my good character offend you? All hell no’s!

There has been several (and I mean several) instances in the workplace that has really made me rethink if I should shift my attitude - should I conform and be rougher on the edges? I’ve had a boss feel that she could scream at me. I’ve even had a coworker be rude to me daily (and we all know that’s uncalled for). I felt that I got those responses because somehow being nice meant, “I am less than and I don’t deserve to be respected.” Don’t get me wrong though, as I said before, I will speak up for myself, but somehow when you show too much niceness people forget what respect is even on the days you demand it. Even if you speak up when needed, it’s somehow laughable and isn’t taken seriously because you’re “just the nice girl”.

Somehow the nice girls get painted as a villain. I’ve had people get irritated with me because I’m too nice. We even get victimized for following our authentic behavior because we don’t want to be the “mean” girl everyone else wants us to be— well, at least I do. It’s a double edged sword - a lose-lose game.

You know what— yes, I am the nice girl and I am proud of it. I’d rather spew positivity into the workplace and in my personal life. I’d rather respond with a smile and a nice comment. I really want to help you, and no I don’t want to be lunged into any work drama. No, I am not faking any of it. I’m beaming with the utmost sincerity.

You know what— yes, I am the nice girl and I am proud of it. I’d rather spew positivity into the workplace and in my personal life.

Advice to those telling us not to be who we are: let us, the nice girls, speak our truth. We are nice but that is not a green light to take advantage of us - we’re human just like you. We decide to pick positivity over negativity because we believe it makes a better atmosphere for everyone. We decide to treat others the same exact way we want to be treated. Most importantly, we decide to not emerge ourselves into drama. We will not stoop down to some petty level of negativity because we will kill with kindness (a skill few can master and most are fearful of). We like the nice girl that we are and man, it feels good to be nice. What can we say, we’re living our best life. Nice girls are total badasses.

Guess what? We don’t have to turn into this grumpy person to be successful. We can greet you with smile. We can be morning people. We can be okay with someone you may not be okay with. You know it’s acceptable to be likable, right? Sometimes it’s not necessary to have something mean and criticizing to say.  Ladies, you don’t have to be this mean girl to get ahead, because guess what - men definitely don’t have to follow the same standards as we do to reach the same end goal.

Listen ladies, don’t be afraid to be exactly who you are. There will be people will try to put you down or cramp your style, but you are a special kind of person. Find your place at work and don’t move for no one. Trust me, I know, you are the positive person everyone wish they could be. Continue to live your truth. Continue to be that light wherever you can be. This world needs more of us, more nice girls.

Written by: Epiphany Ciers. Follow her here: Online Portfolio