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When is it OK to be nice and unhappy?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Recently, I had a chat with a reader till about 1.30am in the morning. It was on the topic of insurance. Mind you, I wasn't giving any advice. I am not allowed to and I know it. We were just bouncing ideas off each other, she said, and she overheard me talking to myself.

In a recent blog post, I said that we often meet nice people in life and the reader I chatted with is a nice person and so is her husband. How could I tell?

Many of us are nice people who are considerate towards others. Unfortunately, nice people very often get taken advantage of in life. In the case of the reader, she had wanted to make adjustments to her insurance policies but her insurance agent had objected because:

"he said he'll have financial penalty if we withdraw some policies after buying 2 new ones this year from him"

So, what is the reader's plan?

"so, we decide next year, we'll be firm with what we think is least he said within 1 year, if we terminate old policies after getting new policies, he suffers. So, next year, after the 1 year is over, we'll want to terminate some."

Isn't the reader being exceptionally nice? I think so. She really has no obligation to behave like this but she is being considerate despite being rather unhappy. I hope her agent appreciates it.

Personally, I had one such experience too when I bought an insurance policy when I first started life as a working adult. It was a whole life policy bought from a relative.

When the policy was delivered to me, it had riders which I didn't want (and I told him beforehand that if the product must be sold with the riders, I would not be interested) because it bumped up the premium by some 15% and it was a lot of money for a young working adult. He ignored my wishes because he needed the sale to hit some quota to qualify for some incentive trip.

I had wanted to cancel the policy but the relative objected and sought my dad's help. My dad told me not to cancel the policy because it would jeopardise the relative's career and I kept the policy despite being very unhappy. I lost all respect for that fellow (the relative, not my dad) since.


Sometimes, it really doesn't pay to be nice, does it? To be nice, sometimes, we end up unhappy and paying more. So, how? Is it OK to be nice and unhappy? It depends.

We have to learn not to be nice and not care what some people think of us. Some people don't matter to us and, therefore, what they think of us should not matter at all.

Do you find it hard to tell who these people are? Well, if we know who are the people who matter, then, it becomes easier. The people who matter to me, ranked in order of importance:

1. Immediate family.

2. Close friends. Extended family.

3. Co-workers we work closely with.

4. Boss (whether we work closely with him or her does not matter.)

5. Friends less close. Co-workers less close.

So, anyone else should not matter much, if at all.

What should matter more to the golfer? The golf ball or the grass?

Over the years, I have become more discerning with requests for help and mindful about taking care of my own interests. There will always be people out there who would covertly or overtly try to take advantage of us. We should know this and beware.

There is still that boy scout in me but boy scouts grow up too.

Related posts:
1. To let go or to hold on to a position?
2. Nobody cares more about our money than we do.
3. Response from AK to accusations regarding seminar.


Steven said...


Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Growth ;)

AK71 said...

Hi Steven,

There is definitely truth in that saying but it would be a very sad world if there is no 善 left in the world. :(

The kindness of strangers.

AK71 said...


OMG! Really? You see it? Where? Where? I hope it is not cancerous. -.-"

Kamsiah. :)

EY said...

Hi AK,

Some people are good at making use of relationships or the weakness of others to further their own interests. Make them pay what they sow.

For such people, regardless of how I'm related to them, I would cut them off. Only for immediate family members I would be more forgiving and sacrificial.

I recall cancelling an endowment policy which my husband bought with his CPF that had a yearly premium of $6K+ after 2 years when I realised that this amount was recurring. He innocently thought that it was a one-off amount that he had to pay. No prize for guessing who sold him the policy. Obviously someone whom he had a soft spot for and whom he trusted. That decision cost us $12K+ and taught him a lesson never to buy anything based on trust. What more from an ex-girlfriend! LOL~

Well, maybe he shouldn't trust his wife that much too. Haha.

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

I think it is the ex-girlfriend getting back at him! OMG!

But ex-girlfriend?!

Make him pull his ears and kneel on durian shells (and I mean on the spiky exterior hor)!

SGYI said...

A very good post. Very long never comment on your blog already. Haha. Always on FB :p

Some people try to be nice for some benefits. Some people are genuinely nice. We have to discern. I'm still trying hard to learn this :/

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


You go girl!

AK71 said...


FB is still a relatively new toy for me. I have only been active on FB for slightly more than a year. ;p

When I find genuinely nice people, I am very thankful. I try to be genuinely nice to people too. :)

EY said...

Hi AK,

The key to a man's heart is through his bank account. Physical torture is sooooo outdated. 'Chiong gong' all his money then his heart will become numb oredi. ROFL!

Thanks for cheering for me hor! :P

AK71 said...

Hi EY,

You are soooooooo EVIL!!! Dripping venom, even. -.-"

You good. ;)

Lizardo said...

Sometimes, have to consider how much sympathy costs?

And how much longer one has to work for the sake of others' interests.

Unknown said...

Hi AK,

I tried to be nice when I apply for credit cards.

Even if I just needed that one card, I didn't mind filling up a bit more so that the person servicing me can earn a little more commission.

And after 6-12 months, I would cancel those unnecessary cards.

Just a little inconvenience on my part. =)

But to be so nice as to become unhappy?

Nah. You are right that it's not worth it for most people.

My 15HWW

AK71 said...

Hi 15HWW,

Yup. There will be some things which rank higher than personal happiness. :)

This is one reason why kids have to be taught well because kids are very simple in the way they think and behave. Otherwise, they could grow up childish or even selfish.

Cory said...

I no agent but no surprise they start from immediate family in their career. And then expand to friend. For relative, just make sure they know they owe you one and not the other way. So requesting for cancellation is the first step. He/She coming forward that they need help makes your point they owe u. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Cory,

Have relatives and friends who sell us insurance policies know that they owe us a favour? I think this is something we cannot depend on. ;p

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