Being Nice Is Oppressive

Stop using it as an excuse to accept mediocrity

If you got past the title then welcome! I promise this isn’t a rant about self-pity and lack of self awareness…

Just kidding — I couldn’t possibly be the judge of that.

This article is about how the desire to be nice is oppressive. I will give you three examples:

1 — Yes Amanda, that dress does not flatter your figure.

If your name is Amanda. I am sorry. It’s not a direct attack, it's a (sort of?) compliment that somehow your name came to my head first. I don’t even know an Amanda.

It’s not body-shaming, it’s camaraderie. Don’t let your friends go out looking not their best self. Fix their lop-sided bra. Tell them about the tag. And for god’s sake. Don’t let them walk around with toilet paper in their shoe.

Quick practice:

Your novel sucks — here is why [constructive criticism here].
That color looks terrible with the choice of furniture — you should watch a YouTube video or seek professional help.
Your mom IS a bitch babe, I hate visiting her because of [insert bitchy behavior here]. What can we do to make this experience palatable or avoid coming here as much as possible?

People use niceness as an excuse to suck at communication. Stop. It’s holding everyone back.

2 — You can be good at your job and still have a space online to complain about the realities of life. Being YOU.

Think-shaming is what I will call it.

Example: When an employer or coworker doesn’t mind their business and snoops on your social media. There they find out you’re not the nice worker in the office you performative-ly become to pay your bills. In fact, in your time off you spend most of it complaining about the shitty practices of your own industry and how messed up it is. Congratulations HR, you have a critical thinker in the midst. Give me a raise.

People have to hide behind pen names because even though we switch our iPhones every year we can’t fathom people can have a growing, ever-changing persona that needs to express itself in an honest way. Imagine that? Personal growth manifested plainly! Crazy.

3 — Populations hiding behind made up decorum to not go against their oppressive government regimes.

I just came back from a trip to Puerto Rico, where I was born and raised. Corruption is almost normalized at this point. People are complaining. People are asking questions. But no actual work is being done. Where is the critical thinking? Where are the protests against BLATANT, and dare I say, MOCKING abuse. How long will we let corrupt politicians run our island to the ground? “It’s too problematic to stand up.” “It’ll ruin your career.” “Your family will judge you.” “It’s too small of a community — you’ll ruin yourself.” “Someone else is taking care of it, just relax mija”

But nobody is.

The societal conditioning of niceness is oppressing our capacity to grow as a species. It is ruining our cultures. It is forsaking our progress.

Let’s practice!

“Your politicians look unflattering hiding behind all those shitty policies that only benefit the wealthy and your unpatriotic pockets, you suck at your job — (we know daddy put you there) you corrupt dumb fuck.”

Stop being nice.



Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.

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Andrea Arias

Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.