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I’m Not A Nice Guy. Why Do People Keep Saying That?

September 25, 2015

Are you a nice person? How do you know? 

I’m not. Or, at least I don’t think so. 

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t think I’m a mean person either. But, a particularly nice guy? I don’t see it. 

I  got a call from my friend Carson last week. Carson, despite his name, is not a car guy. He’s a great guy, but not into cars. Shortly after I first met him I asked him,

Do you know anything about cars?

Sure. I know my mechanic’s phone number.

Carson drives a Jaguar. It’s a nice car, but not perfect. I got a call from Carson.

Hey, my car won’t start. I tried jumping it, but it still won’t start. I know it’s a Sunday night, but would you be available to come look at it?

Here’s a secret. I’m not much of a car guy either. I know a true car expert. He’s my neighbor and he helped me restore my Lexus. He offered to go with me. We swung by and picked up Carson and headed to his work where the car was located. 

A Jaguar has the battery in the trunk. At least this one did. My buddy tested the battery and it was low. He pulled out Carson’s jumper cables.

Rodney, do you have jumper cables? 

Yeah. Do you want to use them instead of Carson’s? 

Not exactly. I want to use both.

He attached both sets of jumper cables. Carson’s car started right up. His needed more power to start then a single set of jumper cables could provide. I learned something new. Carson was appropriately grateful, of course. 

We followed him to the auto parts store to get a new battery, but the store was closed. I gave him my neighbor’s phone number and they agreed to get together and replace the battery. I then took my neighbor home. 

Here’s the problem. Carson posted on Facebook about what a great guy I was for coming to his aid. Let’s be clear: I was the DRIVER. If we’d been robbing a bank, I’d be an accomplice, not the main bank robber. I posted a comment trying to explain that I didn’t really do anything. And in fact, I don’t really know that much. I didn’t know how to use two sets of jumper cables. My only skill was that I know people. 

Carson wasn’t buying it. And not only that, but mutual friends jumped into the thread saying what I wonderful guy I was and how I helped them out multiple times. 

They have it wrong. I wasn’t doing those things because I’m a nice guy. They are my friends. You do things for your friends. You have time for the people you make time for. I wasn’t being a nice guy. I was simply acting like a friend is supposed to act. 

My reputation for being a nice guy is largely undeserved. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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