Social Question

Feta's avatar

Why is being nice to strangers considered weird?

Asked by Feta (773 points ) February 20th, 2014

A kid in my class today was asking if anyone had change for his single bill and everyone else ignored him but I remembered I had dollar bills in my bag so I started rummaging for change for this kid and my friend looked at me weird and was like, “You’re too nice.”
And I was like, “What?”
And she goes, “He’s a jerk and you’re doing him a favor.”

I mean I didn’t know him…he’s never been mean to me and he told me thank-you for the change.

Should I have ignored him like everyone else?
Is that what’s socially acceptable?

I just didn’t understand why I was made to feel uncomfortable by my friend and the rest of the class (they stared at me) for helping this guy.

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15 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Your friend sounds like she’s a bitch… It is not weird to be nice to strangers. We are all strangers here and we are mostly nice.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable, and the rest your class should learn from your example.

Most of the people we encounter are strangers. They briefly pass through our lives, most likely never to be seen by us again. We hold open doors for them, we say “thank you” for small courtesies, and, yes, we break their single bills if they ask for help.

chyna's avatar

Have you ever seen the commercial on TV where people notice someone being nice to a stranger and they end up being nice too, and someone notices them being nice and on and on?
Being nice is just the right thing to do. If your friend thinks it’s ok to make you feel bad for being nice, maybe you need new friends.

ucme's avatar

#kindnessismagic

ibstubro's avatar

You did exactly the right thing, in my opinion. You didn’t have a bad history with the guy and you were able to help, so you did. Don’t let your classmates make you question doing what’s right.

JLeslie's avatar

It isn’t weird where I am from. Thank goodness. It isn’t weird most paces I have been either. Strangers have done amazing things for me.

Paradox25's avatar

The parents of your surprised peers were probably either anti-humanitarians or hedonists. I really do feel that the behaviors of most kids are a reflection of their parents.

Cruiser's avatar

Kudos to you for realizing this painful dynamic that infects our society especially the younger more impressionable ones. My son at 10 years old was awarded the chance to have lunch with the school Principal and bring a “guest” along with him. He chose the kid who bullied him daily on the bus and the playground. Of course we were shocked at his choice and when we challenged him as to why he chose this kid who caused him so much grief….his reply was….“I just wanted to show him what is was like to be nice to someone”!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

In spite of everyone believing they are good, being nice or loving the socially unlovable really puts that to the test; it is where most are shown to be frauds. To some if you are nice to a Boorish person it is tantamount to your supporting their behavior . That is why most just go with the flow, however wrong the flow is.

Adagio's avatar

Is it? Not in my book.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I think it’s a huge shame the bad behavior is so commonplace that you are actually doubting the “rightness” of your of your kind gesture. Hang in there.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I’m guessing that you’re in high school? All those people who tell you that these are the best years of your life? Please don’t believe them! High school is a pressure cooker, packed with teenagers at varying levels of growth and maturity. You’ll find a much nicer world after you graduate.

When you helped your classmate, you acted the way any decent adult would act. Clearly, you’re more developed than your friend. As for the rest of the students in the room, they likely joined-in with the cattiness because they want peer approval.

JLeslie's avatar

Listen to @SadieMartinPaul. Life is better as you get older and people are better to each other, even strangers, as they get older.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You were the one in the right in that situation. If you can be kind, you should be, as long as you are not put in danger or anything.

Juels's avatar

I have always relied upon the kindness of strangers.

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