I am so grateful that I had a chance to do an internship with the wonderful Willingness Team. All these years I eagerly studied psychology and finally I had a chance to see how therapy works in real life. Thank you Willingness!
If I had to choose one thing I have learned throughout this internship it would be not to be nice. Yes, you have read it correctly, but let me explain to you what I mean by that. A lot of people think that nice is good, right? It means you’re caring, you don’t hurt people, and you do the right thing. You put others first, avoid saying critical or mean things and try to make others feel happy. Of course, this is all good, right? However, people who are trying the hardest to be nice are usually people who feel the most anxious, guilty, and frustrated. They have difficulty standing up for themselves, feel obligated to please others, and worry about what people think of them. Before Willingness I felt that I was a pleaser and I couldn’t directly ask for what I wanted, I couldn’t freely say “no” when it was the right thing to do, or openly disagree with others’ opinions. During this internship we had to work together with people from different countries, with different personalities which sometimes was challenging. I often asked myself how can you work together and reach your goals despite different views? The answer was simple, by being the opposite of nice. The opposite of nice is not to be a jerk. It’s not insulting others, saying bigoted or highly antagonizing things, bullying, or attacking people’s characters. It’s not telling others to “shut up,” and intimidating them. It’s being real. It’s saying what you really think, expressing how you really feel, and sharing what’s true for you at that moment. This authenticity allows others to see and know the real you, which allows you to really feel love and connection. Not nice means speaking up and asserting yourself, your opinions, ideas, and desires. It’s challenging others when you disagree, standing behind your convictions, and being willing to have difficult conversations. You do this because you want full contact with life and other humans instead of hiding who you are behind a polite wall of fear. When you do have a conflict or disagreement, and you inevitably will if you’re being not nice, then you are as vulnerable, skillful, and compassionate as you can be in your communications.
Willingness way is to work with different professionals from different backgrounds. They are a strong team which helps each other to grow as professionals and individuals. So how do they do it? The answer is simple, by letting themselves be real selves which allows them to be direct, honest, and truthful to each other. Thank you again, Willingness for teaching valuable life lessons and I wish you all the best in the near future.
Neringa Razbadauskaite is an intern at Willingness. She is from Lithuania, 3rd year psychology student. She has a keen interest in health psychology.