Don’t be “nice”

Don’t be “nice”

You read that right…

The origins of “nice”, according to, is as follows:

1250-1300; Middle English: foolish, stupid < Old French: silly, simple

People want you to be “nice” because it often benefits them. “Nice” people get exploited easily and pushed around because although nice people are good people, they can also be foolish and silly.

Adam Grant’s Give and Take talks about how givers, people who are consistently willing to help other people, are at the end of the success bell curve because of such.

But wait. I am not saying be mean, or be a selfish taker. (In fact, takers or exploiters are actually not among the top.)

Because what you also learn in Dr. Grant’s book is that although the least successful people are givers, the most successful people are also givers.

The key to distinguishing yourself as a successful giver from an easily exploitable giver is by being effectively nice.

It means being kind to other people who deserve your help, and not letting yourself be exploited by takers.

It means positively influencing the world while making intelligent decisions about where you allocate your resources.

It means achieving maximum productivity and efficiency, minimizing careless giving, but also being kind.

“The intelligent altruists, though less altruistic than unintelligent altruists, will be fitter than both unintelligent altruists and selfish individuals.” – Herbert Simon

Be Effectively Nice.

bell curve nice.jpg

Inspired by Owen Stark and Adam Grant’s book Give and Take

Gratitude Day 3: I am grateful for people who share the same interests as me and are able to create insightful and interesting conversations.


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My name is Jeff and I like to write sometimes.

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