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I (and my family) use the word 'nice' in a very particular way which I seem to have trouble conveying to other people; so I've come here to see if there is anything remotely analogous.

I describe myself as "not a nice person", and that I'm " not particularly fond of nice people". By that I don't mean I'm unkind, nasty or bad natured, but that I'm just not... Nice?

I think it's illustrative of what I mean to say that a 'nice' person pities a bad situation, whereas a 'kind' or 'good' person offers help; a 'nice' person avoids conflict at all cost, whereas a 'kind' person will rock the boat for a good cause.

I feel my distinction of this niceness/kindness separation isn't unique to my circle, but I can't find it documented or described anywhere in dictionaries. Is this something that exists? Are there any better words for it? How can I eloquently explain this distinct meaning of the word?

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    You are reading a lot into your idiosyncratic version of nice. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect strangers to share your special understanding. – Robusto Jul 27 '15 at 14:33
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    "nice" is one of those words that can convey different meanings depending on context and intonation. What's a nice umbrella? A beautiful umbrella? A practical umbrella? What's "a nice guy" in "Here is a real nice guy" What you may think of "a nice guy" may be different from what I think. POB. One's man meat is another man's poison. :-) – Centaurus Jul 27 '15 at 14:35
  • You could try to find a better label for the kind of person you wish to describe, but it's probable that there isn't one that encapsulates all the meanings you've piled together. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Jul 27 '15 at 14:48
  • I've always thought of "nice" as namby-pamby. (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/namby-pamby: too weak or gentle : not strong or strict enough) . There's nothing in the quick scan of on-line dictionaries I did to support that. I remember reading a diatribe against the word "nice" long ago, but I can't remember who wrote it. The tenor was that it had become meaningless, except in the use of "a nice distinction." – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Jul 27 '15 at 19:51
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I understand the distinction.

A nice person is passive; a kind person is active. Maybe you could explain it as simply as that.

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