My answer: Yes! Being the nice guy (or lady) gives others the opportunity to take advantage of you and make you look like the fool. You might come across as soft and as a push-over and as someone who does not enjoy saying no to others. Being nice also has a way of making it look like you don't have opinions on things (or intellecutal thoughts), because maybe you don't feel the need to criticize or voice an opinion if it risks hurting the feelings of someone.
Please read my story. It's pretty funny.
It was Monday evening when I opened my email; a classmate named "Jaycee" had written me a message asking for help with a worksheet that we had to complete for lab.
I was wondering if you could help me with the Mohr lab worksheet...
To tell the truth, I could not picture myself ignoring her request for help. I consider Jaycee a friend, not a close friend but a friend nonetheless. Maybe that mindset of lending a helping hand was a result of math tutoring for three semesters; as a math tutor, your duty is to help others who are struggling. It becomes part of who you are.
And so I began.
I began to type step-by-step procedures on how to complete the worksheet. I saw it as an opportunity to learn the material myself. Math tutoring at the university has taught me that teaching the material is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the material. After an hour or so, I clicked "Send".
A few hours later, I received an enthusiastic reply from Jaycee:
Thanks for the help!
As it turned out, Jaycee wasn't the only one who needed help with the homework. "Kristian" initiated a chat with me on google.
yo did u do your lab yet?
Kristian is also a friend of mine and he's in the same class with me and Jaycee. I like the way he uses "yo" in his sentence. You can almost picture him as the cool, relaxed, laid-back ex-popular-jock-from-high-school that he is. He may come across as lazy at times but he's able to reach his potential and promise when he puts in the effort.
me: im almost done.
me: need help?
Kristian: i think so, i gotta find my worksheet lol. is it due tomorrow?
Kristian: geezussss. im so behind
Well, I hate to see a friend struggling. Maybe being a math tutor does that to someone. You acquire a mindset that tells you that you're supposed to offer help when someone is struggling with their homework.
And so I began.
We began a vigorous back-and-forth chat. I explained to him how to complete the worksheet and he would give me feedback, communicating to me the things he understood and the things that confused him. After 3 hours, he thanked me.
thanks for all the help man. i owe u big time
Some time later, we said goodnight to one another. The funny thing was that I still hadn't finished the worksheet myself. However, it was getting late and I was ready to go to bed. So I laid on my bed, closed my eyes, and decided that I'd finish it before lab class tomorrow.
The next day...
My lab was at 2:30pm and that gave me just enough time to finish my worksheet. A couple minutes before 2:30pm, I had completed my worksheet. I rushed to the lab, walked into the classroom, and noticed that everyone was already sitting in their seats as if class had already started.
Wait... hold on a minute... that's odd. Why is everyone looking at me weird?
Even the teacher was looking at me like I was some kind of juvenile delinquent or rebellious teenager.
What is going on?
I began to feel embarrassed and I rushed to my seat. After a while I realized something:
The lab starts at 2:00pm, not 2:30pm!
I had mistakenly looked at my Friday schedule instead of the Tuesday schedule. Maybe it was the lack of sleep that had caused this to happen. I really did feel exhausted. I sat there feeling humble and stupid. Then I smiled and thought about the irony of it all.
The guy who helped his friends out so that they wouldn't look like idiots...
Ended up looking like the idiot.
Question: Do you believe that being nice makes you look like an idiot sometimes?
My answer: Yes, but in the end I don't regret helping Jaycee and Kristian with their homework. I really enjoyed helping both of them and I hope they continue to ask me for help when they need it.
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