You can tell something is wrong when you think a nice gesture means someone wants to marry you. Everyday niceness seems to be dead, don’t you think? Our potential to be kind seems reserved only for those we know, so that when something surprisingly pleasant happens you think ‘oh goodness, that person must have an awfully strong crush on me to make such a grand gesture.’
Case in point – when I was in Italy and my bag was stupidly heavy, I ventured into a shipping company’s store in Sorrento and arranged to have my bag of excess crap posted home. Whilst I had a genuine-looking receipt, there was no tracking number and everything was in Italian, rightfully so, so I wasn’t sure how long it would or should take or what to expect.
So when months went by and no package – I was worried. I emailed the tour guide we had in Italy and asked if he wouldn’t mind doing me a favour and contacting the company. Which he did, and he followed up with them and got it resolved and kept me in the loop and then suddenly – my box finally arrived! I was over the moon! I didn’t mind if I had lost the clothes in there but I had beautiful souvenirs that I definitely didn’t want to lose.
So anyway, I got warm fuzzy feelings at this kind gentleman who helped me. ‘I think I like him,’ I thought. I told him he would always have a place to stay and an amateur tour guide if he ever came to Oz. I secretly hoped he would visit!
Hold on a minute, I thought. You don’t like him like that. He’s done you a really big favour and helped you out. He’s being nice and that made you feel nice too. Niceness is that rare we mistake it for something bigger than it is. (Maybe it’s just me which is entirely possible!)
Even acts of chivalry, which I assume some morons now consider acts of sexism, have implied meaning – but they shouldn’t. This past weekend I went to Derby Day and after a spot of rain, a gentleman at the next table offered his kerchief to wipe down our chairs so we wouldn’t get wet. He was impeccably dressed and very attractive.. but also sporting a wedding band – i.e. there was no hidden agenda there, he genuinely saw he could help us out, and did so. We told him his wife was a lucky lady.
So if kindness is simply that, how do we know when someone actually likes us? How do you drop hints?
Image source: Know your Meme