My Grandmother taught me that you "catch more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar." She also taught me that "pretty is as pretty does." I took those lessons to heart. When I was younger though, I was guilty of saying things like "I would rather someone be mean, but honest than nice, but insincere." I don't believe that anymore.
Even when I know someone doesn't mean it, I still prefer them to be nice, even if they are pretending. For one thing, it makes things just a little easier. A spoonful of sugar, so they say (I'm just full of cliches today!) For another thing, I believe that the more we pretend to be nice, treat others with respect and kindness, the more we will actually feel those things.
I also believe that there is just as much benefit for the giver as the receiver. Being nasty just makes you feel worse in the long run, whether you know it or believe it, or not.
I know this blog entry is going to make much sense. I've just been through a hard few weeks and people that have been involved have failed to just be nice. Being mean doesn't work. Next time you are tempted to smart someone off or tell them what you really think of their behavior, stop and think about how the ways in which you react will bring about different results.
I would consider it a personal favor it everyone out there in blogblog land could just give it a try.