I’m nicer than I think I am.
It’s true. I have a terrible opinion of my own level of kindness. When I was twelve or so I came to the firm conclusion that everyone is born with some light in their hearts and some darkness, and I was born more dark than light. This bothered me, but it was nice to finally admit it to myself.
On the other hand, my parents have raised me pretty well. Despite the fact that I was pretty much a total teenager from age three on up, they managed to teach me consideration for others (and manners). Meanwhile books taught me empathy, and both together taught me compassion. I’m still sometimes careless or forgetful, but I try never to be spiteful or cruel. I think I manage, all in all. In fact, I think I manage so well that no one really knows how self-centered and cynical I really am. Several people have made a point of telling me that I’m nice and sweet and so on, though to be honest it kind of freaks me out. I keep worrying that if I think of myself as being a nice person, I’ll forget to actually be a nice person. And I like being nice. I don’t like guilt or other people’s pain. So I’d rather if people kept that kind of compliment to a minimum, much as I appreciate the thought.
On the other hand, I’m not nearly as intelligent as I think I am.