Forget frogs, vermin, locusts, darkness, blood, and even seders themselves. I’ve discovered another plague on humanity. And it’s an even bigger problem than, say, lice.
We’ve got snice.
What’s snice, you wonder? It’s a personality trait I’ve coached thousands of people to dial down because, truth is, there’s not only no truth in it, it’s costing us our happiness, our trust in ourselves, and our personal pride. Snice is when you’re being fake nice. And a little slithery, like a snake. And, well, SNAKE + NICE = SNICE.
Not me, you might be saying. I’m not snice. Eh, not so fast. Think about it. It’s when you smile, shake hands, and say nice to meet you, when you’ve not only met them before, you didn’t like them then either. It’s when you tell your friend you love her new Bob (her boyfriend and new hairdo) because 1) you know it’s gonna take at least a year for her hair to grow back and she can’t do anything about it now, and 2) Bob, the new guy, is the first one in eons she digs. And just because he ghosted your other friend, doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll do it to her …
Yes. Welcome to the Snice Age.
The Snice Age: (noun) The Snice Age denotes a period in time where both the earth’s surface and its inhabitants are unseasonably warm. Where, in the name of niceness, loyalty, and our own comfort level, we quiet our true voice, without realizing that our sniceness not only undercuts our relationships with the people we care most about, but our relationship to ourselves.
Let’s be honest. Most of us suffer from bouts of snice-aholism, or certainly know someone that does, and even know someone that doesn’t. You know, the ruthlessly honest kind. And, no doubt, your inner snice-aholic is chiming in right about now, thinking I’m making a play for you to go rogue and be brutally honest with people. But who said that honesty has anything whatsoever to do with brutality?
I certainly didn’t.
I mean, why isn’t telling someone your truth gracefully, actually the nicest thing you could do for someone?
But, boy oh boy, do we humans feel strongly about defending our “it’s your fault I’m snice-niceness.” In fact, the majority of the world believes in it, fights for it, and defends it. We even think not telling the truth (yes, lying) in the name of niceness and obligation has got integrity to it.
But does it?
Most of us aren’t even conscious of our inauthenticity and the cost of it. We miss the fact that our hypocrisy keeps us not only stuck appeasing people, but locked into a number two position, where other people’s feelings (or, better yet, what we ass-u-me others will think and feel) are more important to us than our own ACTUAL thoughts, opinions, and feelings.
In the name of nice, of thinking we know how another will react, we lie. We let our seemingly psychic inner-chicken’s predictions matter more to us than our honesty than our own true happiness and well, true orgasms. Yes. I went there.
Come on, how many of you have ever made a snice comment in the bedroom? Faked an orgasm? Or lied to your (play or permanent) mate that you don’t care about having an orgasm? You know––you didn’t need to. It’s okay. But is it really? And for the men out there, have a sn-eat, yes, she might be faking.
Remind me again, how faking or foregoing is nicer than nicely put honestly?
I have a client who recently really saw the impact of her sniceness in the sack. You see, as of late, she was a bit bored in bed with her husband. She felt that he’d become more and more disconnected during sex, and well, she wished he had bigger muscles. Yep. But, come on, how could she tell HIM that? It would devastate him and the last thing on earth she’d want to do to him (besides not have sex with him) is hurt him. He was one of those guys. Oh, you know the kind––kind. He’s appreciative, unassuming, generous, terribly sensitive, sweet, and sure, slightly passive aggressive.
So, she avoided sex (and telling him her feelings). In her mind (you’ve read enough blogs by now to go, “uh oh” at this moment) her ONLY choices were: door #1: tell her nice husband the truth and break his heart, door #2 be snice and have boring sex with her man, door #3, pick a fight with him on date night so it looks like she would have jumped him but for the dishes in the sink, the hard day she had, his unhappiness about his current job, etc.
Sadly, sneakily, and snakely, for most of us snice folks, door #2 seems like the nicest and only viable option and #3, though not so pretty, an acceptable emergency s-exit plan. Door #1?
Yeah, right. Snice try.
But the more my client, in the name of niceness, stayed snice in bed, kept her mouth shut, picked door #3 and a fight, the less sex they actually had, the more disconnected from him she felt, and the more her thoughts felt like the end all truth.
So, I sat my snice-in-bed client down and together we went sniffing for what really was going on with her and her man. After all, it’s not like he used to be Popeye and now he’s Olive(r) Oil. What we uncovered was awesome. If you’ve worked with humankind (kinda unkind) as long as I have, you’d know where to snoop.
Here are the steps I took:
Step 1: First, I needed her to believe that the truth once spoken and dealt with is actually sexy. It’s where intimacy lives. As this was not her first rodeo with me, she took a deep breath and agreed to believe.
Step 2: We did an integrity check. We went through her weekly promises, making sure she was keeping them: i.e. no smoking cigarettes, keeping to her food and exercise regimen, date night, sex once a week. Uh oh.
Step 3: Cackle.
Step 4: You see. She had a promise to have sex once a week with her husband and was not keeping it. And, instead of dealing with her lack of her integrity, she was busy trying to wipe it on him.
Step 5: Take a deep breath. Say ‘hi” to the species. Cause, yes, if you are human, especially a partnered-up one, you can certainly relate to #4.
Step 6: Once my client could cop to #4, she could see that the more she sniced her man and lied, the more disconnected she (not he) was in bed and the more she was ruining their sex life.
Step 7: She fessed everything to him, and, yes, big time apologized. It’s true she had the plague—snice, and as a result of it, in her mind’s eye (a scary place) his muscles atrophied.
Step 8: He forgave her.
Step 9: Her once seemingly very real thoughts re: his lack of muscles—once they hit the air and she saw his sweet, slightly hurt, forgiving face, and actual hot body—disappeared.
Step 10: They had the best sex of their life.
You see, if you keep your thoughts locked up in the darkness of your mind, like my client did, they have no place to go. They fester, feel like the truth, and spread like cancer. They F with your sex life. They let your sneaky, snice, and stingy inner-chicken and brat get away with not having sex with the person you love most. They advise you to lie to the love of your life so as not to hurt them and blame them for it. However, once you turn on the light to your dark thoughts—in the name of love and truth—those thoughts honestly have the chance to disappear and dissipate in the light of day and/or get dealt with.
Your mate can even opt (quietly) to work out a little harder…
So you see, Jack Nicholson was wrong. We can handle the truth. That is, if we Handel it. There’s an art to honesty. There are nuances and protocols to telling your truth. There’s seeing that if done beautifully, truth-telling is an act of kindness where the person you are telling your truth to gives permission and not only hears you, thanks you. Where you can have real intimacy. Where you can even learn to trust yourself, because it turns out, you haven’t only been snice to others, you’ve been snice to yourself.
But those days are snover. [You try and make funny SN words.]
Love, Lauren P.S. Ready to put an end to the Snice Age? Try a subscription to Inner.U, our new digital coaching course. Learn how to get real—and get happy.