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In a recent conversation with someone who is in the same loosely connected group as me, I tried to tell them that they have been a crucial member in the group. We are comfortably on ため口 terms. I tried to tell them they had been very nice to everybody in the group. And I think all the options I thought of works, but I am not sure which one would've been the most natural/idiomatic/works best.

(グループの)誰にも優しくしてるよね
(グループの)誰にも優しくしてるじゃん

I can't seem to detect much of a difference between よね and じゃん in this context. Then I start to worry about あげる・くれる・∅. We are slightly closer to each other than to the rest of the group and I didn't think they'd mind being included on the same side with me, so my first thought was

(グループの)誰にも優しくしてあげてるじゃん

But I didn't want to assume false familiarity that may or may not be there for them, also they have been teaching group members stuff, me included, so I then thought maybe I should go with

(グループの)誰にも優しくしてくれてるじゃん

to mean they have been nice to everybody and I have also benefitted from that niceness. But I felt slightly weird putting myself in the same band as the rest of the group, because I identify much more closely with the person I was having that conversation with, culturally and in a lot of other ways too, than with anybody else in that group, so I wasn't sure if I should speak for everybody else or siding with them, so to speak. So eventually I went with

(グループの)誰にも優しくしてるじゃん

Which one would have been the most natural option?

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    The choice between よね and じゃん is also affected by whether you see yourself on the same side as your listeners or not, but not in terms of which side of the giving-receiving relationship you see yourself on, but in terms of whether you assume they have the same opinion as you or not. じゃん sounds as if you are trying to convince them that they have been kind to the rest of the group (whether or not you are include) when they don’t necessarily think so. The choice between あげる, もらう and no subsidiary is rather straightforward, and I think you get it right already. It’s your choice.
    – aguijonazo
    May 16 at 5:32
  • @aguijonazo One reason I was not so sure about よね was I was under the impression that よね seems to be used in arguments. For example, 「昨日言ったよね?何でやらないの?」, so I didn't know if it would sound too strong.
    – Eddie Kal
    May 16 at 7:15
  • @aguijonazo I put some thought into the difference between よね and じゃん and I still find it pretty difficult, feeling iffy about choosing one over the other. Not sure if this is worth another post, but I looked at some common expressions and tried to make sense of why they use one form instead of the other. 「めっちゃ褒めてくれるじゃん」 You mentioned よね suggests the speaker assumes the listen holds a similar opinion. But how do I understand 「めっちゃ褒めてくれるよね」? Does this sound too strong, because it doesn't seem to be used a lot? Also めっちゃ褒めてくれてるじゃん doesn't occur often either, is it idiomatic?
    – Eddie Kal
    May 17 at 4:42
  • It may be worth another question, or you might repurpose this question to ask that because the choice between あげる, くれる (I put もらう by mistake above) and no subsidiary is highly subjective. It’s all up to you. I can’t promise I will be able to answer the new question well, though. It’s so nuanced...
    – aguijonazo
    May 17 at 5:06

1 Answer 1

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In a similar vein to this answer, the difference is the following. I guess the subtlety comes from the general ambiguity of being nice.

  • 優しくしてるじゃん refers to something noticeable. The listener must be very nice, in the way that mostly everybody agrees. Or the listener's contribution is something concrete/specific.

  • 優しくしてるよね is natural when pointing out general niceness of the listener. For example, the listener may be doing a lot of small things that help people, but each one is not a big deal. As such the listener may not think herself being nice, but you want to thank her for the cumulative merit done by her.

くれる/あげる difference is, as you correctly understand, a matter of which side you attach yourself to.

Probably I personally would go with 優しいよね rather than 優しくしてるよね for mentioning the general niceness of somebody's daily doings. Without くれる/あげる, just for neutrality.

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