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Sledgehead

Why are we so impressed by niceness?

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Have had to suffer several trade / professional service recommendations from relatives recently where the chief criteria of approval revolved around a sentence that went something like "xyz is such a nice person."

The services concerned ranged from roofers to dentists.

Problem of course, is that the approval lacked any justification in technical competence. The roof was too high. The dentistry too endodontic etc. And none of the services had been allowed to bed in to give time for a proper assessment.

Today a relative imparted "information" about a dentist they themselves had no experience of, saying "his receptionist tells me he's ever so nice!"

My heart sank.

Question is, should I be ashamed to admit a genetic connection to this relative? Or am I alone in thinking how dim-wittedly trusting, not to say irrelevant, this sounds?

It leaves me wondering whether degrees in niceness would serve our country better than anything technical. Why bother being capable when the mask of a warm persona seems to be the necessary and sufficient condition for approval? And why do people present as so infuriatingly dumb?

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It's a fairly British focus area compared to my Swedish upbringing. If someone abides to the "please, sorry, thank you" and a smile - you win. If you don't, then you're "rude". I was very rude for the first few years in the UK without obviously intending to be rude, at all as I didn't know the game. 

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I am with Mrs Bear on this topic.  Politeness and being nice to people is a key part of the social lubricant that defines being British.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_Stanshall

In 1968 the Bonzos scored a surprise top-ten hit with a "I'm the Urban Spaceman" produced by Apollo C. Vermouth aka Paul McCartney.[9] The band toured incessantly and recorded several albums, which led to a tour of the United States that was so successful they were booked for another soon after. Neil Innes remembers that the band were reportedly stopped by a local U.S. sheriff and asked if they were carrying any firearms or drugs. When they denied both, the officer asked how they were going to defend themselves. Stanshall piped up from the back of the minibus, "With good manners!"

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1 hour ago, Mrs Bear said:

Presumably because it's more pleasant than rudeness or grumpiness.  

See, unless you are trying to be funny, that's just not a very intelligent answer.

By definition, 'nice' is more pleasant than 'rude', because 'pleasant' is a synonym of 'nice', whilst 'rude' is one of nice's an antonyms.

What you have said is pure tautological gibberish. And, this being Britain, I suppose I should preface this comment with "with all due respect". But would you be fooled?

It's just the kind of flabby thinking that I believe goes on in the heads of those recommending so called 'nice' people.

We can do better than this Britain: c'mon!

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An Irish friend said something insightful about the English - they are polite people, but you never really get to know them, often because they are so reserved and controlling of their emotions in public.

Then you do get to know them like dating one of them, and realise they are some of the most neurotic people on the planet.

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1 hour ago, buckers said:

Because politeness is everything you daft twit

And as a cynical sort, I am immediately won over by your casual contempt. Prey, do expound.

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1 hour ago, Errol said:

This is a really great thread. I love it.

Next thing you'll be telling me it's strong and stable.

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Curt / bad work..doesnt get my custom..

Nice / bad work...doesnt get my custom..

Curt and good work..doesn`t get my custom .. I want to be able to talk with a trader with ease.

Nice and good work..gets my custom and usually a tip..easy to communicate with ..(even if a pretense of nice)..I don`t much care as long as the work is good.

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2 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

See, unless you are trying to be funny, that's just not a very intelligent answer.

By definition, 'nice' is more pleasant than 'rude', because 'pleasant' is a synonym of 'nice', whilst 'rude' is one of nice's an antonyms.

What you have said is pure tautological gibberish. And, this being Britain, I suppose I should preface this comment with "with all due respect". But would you be fooled?

It's just the kind of flabby thinking that I believe goes on in the heads of those recommending so called 'nice' people.

We can do better than this Britain: c'mon!

Mine your gibberish of definition different be must from. 

 

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Niceness is to wish someone well, good fortune, prosperity, and happiness........so often people  think the opposite about others although they will not say it to their face.....I think they call it being two faced.;)

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I think its generally pot luck how the quality of workmanship turns out (usually, "slightly disappointing"), so you may as well base it on how pleasant a person is.

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Doing business with people I like is an important consideration. It really is that simple for me. Naturally, if I left the dentist with a toothless smile on my face then that would be probably be taking it a little too far! I'm not really sure how "British" this is as I've never lived anywhere else on a permanent basis to compare it with.

 

 

 

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I think most people lack the knowledge and expertise to adequately judge someone else's professional abilities, so they fall back on more simple features to judge (do they like them and trust them) and make their business decisions on that.  And by commenting that "so-and-so is a nice guy" they are effectively saying that they can't adequately judge but like/trust the person, without actually saying it.

 

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Just now, Butthead said:

I think most people lack the knowledge and expertise to adequately judge someone else's professional abilities, so they fall back on more simple features to judge (do they like them and trust them) and make their business decisions on that.  And by commenting that "so-and-so is a nice guy" they are effectively saying that they can't adequately judge but like/trust the person, without actually saying it.

 

Agreed, sort of goes without saying. Afterall, you either give someone the work because you're time poor or you're not qualified to do it yourself. Trust is obviously important when you don't know what is in a job.

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6 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

Have had to suffer several trade / professional service recommendations from relatives recently where the chief criteria of approval revolved around a sentence that went something like "xyz is such a nice person."

The services concerned ranged from roofers to dentists.

Problem of course, is that the approval lacked any justification in technical competence. The roof was too high. The dentistry too endodontic etc. And none of the services had been allowed to bed in to give time for a proper assessment.

Today a relative imparted "information" about a dentist they themselves had no experience of, saying "his receptionist tells me he's ever so nice!"

My heart sank.

Question is, should I be ashamed to admit a genetic connection to this relative? Or am I alone in thinking how dim-wittedly trusting, not to say irrelevant, this sounds?

It leaves me wondering whether degrees in niceness would serve our country better than anything technical. Why bother being capable when the mask of a warm persona seems to be the necessary and sufficient condition for approval? And why do people present as so infuriatingly dumb?

Fixed your computer, you're stupid and people like you need a lawnmower, not a PC - give me £200.00 and f*ck off!!

Better??

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5 hours ago, Errol said:

This is a really great thread. I love it.

Well, us eastern Slav lovers have had lessons in surly, rude and charmless, have we not Errol?

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Island culture- lot in common between Japanese and British. Over the top politeness on the top, underneath, in silence, really judgmental and hard nosed. monoculture for a 1000 years or so a factor.

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5 hours ago, Snafu said:

It's a fairly British focus area compared to my Swedish upbringing. If someone abides to the "please, sorry, thank you" and a smile - you win. If you don't, then you're "rude". I was very rude for the first few years in the UK without obviously intending to be rude, at all as I didn't know the game. 

Yeah this is true at work too. You are expected to be nice to everyone even if they do not deserve it.

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Just now, debtlessmanc said:

Island culture- lot in common between Japanese and British. Over the top politeness on the top, underneath, in silence, really judgmental and hard nosed. monoculture for a 1000 years or so a factor.

3

I agree with a lot of this. But I would like to point out some differences. British and Japanese people are both very judgemental but British people are more shallow than Japanese people. Also I think Japanese people are genuinely nicer on average.

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disagree that that there is a real difference "genuine nicer" i  expeirenced some real strange time out in japan. rather like a non british person in the UK i suspect. when i travelled around japan the very last seat to be occupied was the one next to the gaijin - i.e. me

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Nice used to be a term for feebleness. English people can insult someone, but leave him glowing and elevated by the verbal transaction.

On the topic of the thread, even multiple first-hand encounters with a professional or tradesperson are not statistically useful, since all it lets you know is how he treats *you*, so no-one's recommendation has any value. Taken in aggregate, though, they probably do have weight, and reviews are available on websites like https://www.trustatrader.com/ 

I suspect doctors and dentists dispense different qualities of treatment ; the "what do you do for a living?" question being abused a bit, not to inform them of potential occupational disease, but for them to decide how worthy they think you are. Opposite to that, i suspect trademen give wealthy nobs the runaround, or I might have picked that idea up from watching "Only fools and horses".

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I have a simple rule, if someone asks me nicely to do something I will do my utmost to oblige. If they tell me to do something then Hell will freeze over before I will do their bidding.

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