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What Happens When "Nice" Erupts

May 15, 2018

The following is an account of personal measure. It was documented as soon as possible after the occurrence itself to maintain authenticity of experience. Here's what happens when nice erupts.




“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”            Corrie Ten Boom


A few weeks ago we wrote about how the wisest among us regularly choose kindness; a concept that often gets mistakenly interchanged for this week’s theme - nice. There is a distinct difference between the two.


A Nice Abyss


Have you ever reviewed the actual definition of the word nice? It is the black hole of superficial kindness. Take a look:


A quick Google search takes you to the definitions on Dictionary.com as well as a not too positive origin story. 


As it turns out, the word nice, originally meant foolish, which is something that might still ring true today. While being kind stems from goodness or benevolence, being nice is asking someone to be more agreeable or palatable to your own tastes. Indeed being nice and being kind are very different. I haven’t heard anyone mention a negative impact of an overabundance of kindness, but I have seen the impacts of superficial kindness that we call nice firsthand. Too much nice, when used to coat or attempt to erase stressors usually builds to a point of eruption. All that worry, boils over.


I’ve been witness to several panic attacks throughout my life, usually students. They are generally stirred up by stress, accepting others' responsibilities, and heightened worry over things we cannot control.  The most recent panic attack I witnessed, however, was my own.



A Nice Panic Attack


It was a night of troubled sleep. No sleep actually. Lots of worry which led to anxiety. The anxiety begat tears which clogged my sinuses to the point that clearing them through blowing - no matter what force - made no difference. That in turn, clogged my ears and within seconds closed my throat. Then the world shifted on its axis, by 45 degrees and the walls of the room began to rapidly close in on me. Even the lightweight sheets felt like they carried the weight of an entire army. I threw them back and jumped out of the bed asking for help between breaths. I dropped to my knees and paused for a split second before bolting from the room to find some air - air, that was unmistakably missing. I ran to the bathroom and turned on the hot water in hopes that