From 7/5/2004: #BarbieBallpoint teaches #BillyBallpoint that sometimes folks don't want help!

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This isn't me being critical of women. This is me being critical of nice people who insist on being nice. Some...

...nice people aren't really nice.  They think they are nice but are only in it for themselves.  They want to feel better when someone appreciates them.  So, they are nice only to get that feeling of worth.  What's worse is that they don't even ask the question "can I give you a hand there?" They just do it and when you aren't immediately 100% grateful, they are annoyed or even upset with you, telling you that you should be thankful and not rude.

That's right--they're the one who 1) didn't bother to ask if you needed/wanted help and 2) assumed you weren't capable of doing whatever thing it is on your own.  Thanks for the vote of confidence jerk!  One of my bugaboos about life is how often we are expected to be thankful for things good or bad, invited or not.  You shouldn't expect pretty much anything of anyone unless you are looking for disappointment.  Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I don't expect politeness or thoughtfulness from pretty much anyone and I have less stress in my life.

So, yes, there was a time when I wanted to do what Barbie does in this comic to anyone trying to give me a hand when I truly did not want or need help.  Since then I have grown to just ignore people who try to be nice.  I pre-empt them by wearing big headphones and never look anyone in the eye.  But sometimes it's not enough.  Sometimes people just reeeally want to be helpful at a time when you just need to focus on solving problems yourself--or worse when the person who wants to be nice has no clue what the problem even is!

Case in point: a few years after moving to New York City, I had just swiped through the turnstile at the subway stop local to my apartment.  I then realized I'd left my smart phone at home (my head was NOT attached that day).  I stopped immediately and thought "Oh, CRAP! Do I go home, get it and blow an extra subway fare? Or do I go the whole day without my smart phone!?!?!"

Well, some dude on the same side of the turnstile as me decided that I was an idiot who didn't know which train to take--the uptown or the downtown train.  What's worse was that he was insistent.  He kept asking me where I was going and was annoyed when I didn't answer him immediately.

The problem was that I was busy trying desperately to weigh the value of a $2.75 subway fare and possibly being late, against spending a day without my most treasured device.  I had no mental energy to be polite and fully explain my situation, or to be rude and say #STFU. So, I just muttered something about being fine and then exited through the turnstile.  This is a minor example from the outside, but inside my head?  My brain wanted to make the best possible decision as soon as possible so I wouldn't miss my train and be late.  It is rude to barge into someone's personal focus even if it's because you want to help.  Think twice before bugging someone with your "niceness."  Especially, here in NYC, you may not like how thankful we are.

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