Being brave and valiant can get us killed. Being kind and generous can get us ripped off. Being honest and straightforward can lead to public condemnation. But not being nice leads to social isolation and an early demise! Do you want that for him?
Men don’t get this, although it’s not nice to say so. Fortunately niceness is only required in public. So in private, browbeat your partner to cooperate with this quiz to determine how much work will be required to make him nice. Have him choose his reply, A or B, given the scenarios below:
Your rich auntie believes we never landed on the moon.
A “Are you out of your freaking mind?”
B “That truly freaks out my mind!”
The neighbor confides that God sent AIDS to punish Gays.
A “And God sent idiots like you to punish me!”
B “Conversations with you are a godsend.”
The woman next door tries to hit on him.
A “I’m not that nauseatingly desperate!”
B “Unfortunately, I’m desperately nauseated right now.”
Their dog poops on his lawn.
A “I’ll pay whatever it costs to put him to sleep!”
B “It would cost me my sleep if you punished him.”
After a potluck, a friend asks how he liked her casserole.
A “I had the runs for a week.”
B “Seven days later it was still fresh in my memory.”
Explain that answering “A” leads to discord and hurt feelings, and that he must internalize the conflict and anger he experiences answering “B”. Of course he will eventually find himself heading to the Water Tower with an AK-47, prepped for an appearance on Breaking News. But at least we will have the satisfaction of hearing our neighbors say to the reporters:
“He seemed so nice!”