Every culture has some unwritten social rules that (most) people abide to. For Brazilians being nice a big thing. For example you offer anything you are going to eat to others before taking a bite, you nicely refuse the bite and only after further probing and being asked 2 or 3 times do you actually accept a favor. Now, this is not to say we did not want the sandwich, or that we did not need help, it is just a social norm. And I follow it... which turns out to be a problem sometimes.
Like when A. and I rented a cabin for the weekend for some friends back in the US, we arrived early and had put our stuff in the master bedroom. When the last couple arrived I (out of habit) asked if they'd like the master bedroom to which they (as good Americans) quickly replied: Sure! A. laughed a lot at the look of dismay on my face, until he realized that I had given out his bed too... meaning we were both bedless.
Fast-forward a few years in which A. tried hard to make me "less nice" with people... And now I'm in Norway, living in an apartment full of boxes (Apt2) with a roommate that is too busy to organize. I asked if I could help (and I really meant it) and she said "no". I asked again... another "no". Yesterday I probed further, as having the apartment as is makes it impossible to cook (which is a must at Oslo prices) and that is getting on my nerves. My roommate again declined, but now she said that she'd rather be the one organizing as she wants things in the place she thinks they should be (meaning she does not trust my organization skills). I understand some people need to be in control of their lives... but to this point?? And then she went on to say that her life is pretty busy right now (work and what not) and that she is hoping to have some time to organize things during the holidays... WHAT??? That is at least 3 weeks away... But I, again, was too nice and said "sure, no problem I know you are busy". And then there is the apartment layout issue...
Here is our new apartment (not drawn to scale... but almost):
I can be nice... but sometimes "nice" is so tiring!