Having a shortcoming pointed out is never comfortable in the best of times but being accused of being too nice for your own good always stings a little more. I should know. I believe every one of us is a bit of a people pleaser in varying degrees. And when someone says you are too nice it is not really a compliment. It is a sign that you need to take action to make some behavioral changes.
“Sometimes being too nice is dangerous, you have to show your mean side once in a while to avoid getting hurt.”— Ziad K. Abdelnour
I personally believe that a genuinely nice person is a blessing to those that come in contact with them. It is a great quality—especially when we think of the spite and hate that seems predominant in the world today. We have access to a stream of bad news—and people are bent on establishing what they believe in and proving themselves right to the point that they don’t even mind it if violence is involved. The end, it seems, justifies the means.
In such a world, we can definitely use some kindness. Life would be better if there were more kind-hearted people among us. Right?
But then, when you are good and simply too nice for your own good, it can bring you more harm than good.
There are two aspects to this:
- People will always take you for granted and take advantage of your good nature.
- When these nice behaviors are for the wrong reasons, they can be an unhealthy barrier to self-growth.
How do you know if you are being too nice for your own good for the wrong reasons?
Here is a quick questionnaire to help you figure out if you are too nice for your own good.
Hint: “yes” is the wrong answer
- I try to get attention by pleasing people.
- I please people to get them to appreciate me so I can feel good about myself,
- I am afraid of being rejected if I don’t please people.
- I am afraid of being yelled at or hit if I assert myself.
- If I don’t please people, I am afraid of being attacked by my Inner Critic.
- I expect other people to get their way.
- I want to avoid conflicts by pleasing people.
- I try to please people that I believe can help me get ahead.
- I try to get love by pleasing people.
- I try to stop people from judging or shaming me by pleasing them.
- I please people to get them to like and accept me so I can feel good about myself
- I am afraid of being dismissed if I assert myself
- I am afraid of being judged or ridiculed if I assert myself.
- If I don’t please people, I am afraid someone will be hurt and I’ll feel guilty.
- I assume that someone I’m close to will run my life.
- I am afraid of getting into fights if I assert myself.
- I please people to get them to take care of me.
- I try to stop people from attacking me by pleasing them.
- I feel guilty or that I’ve let someone down if I were to say no
- I am the go-to person for family and close friends
- I agree to help others even when I don’t really have the time or resources to do so
- I am often pressed for time or late
- I am afraid of being called selfish
- I avoid conflict and confrontation
- My relationship or friendships feel one-sided; I do most of the work
- I fear that people will stop liking me or wanting to be my friend if I say no
- I feel taken advantage of
- I sometimes feel angry or resentful of the person asking for my help but would never say anything
Being too nice for your own good has its risks and hidden dangers.
Here are at least five reasons why you should not be:
1. You feel a growing resentment that you cannot express
Are you that person who is always available to others and is overly generous with your time? If you said yes, it can affect your self-worth and confidence. Why? When you are busy pampering others and pandering to their needs, you will probably forget your own needs. You push yourself to the end of your priority list.
As a result, you’ll start feeling resentful towards situations and people. But since you are too nice for your own good, you will never express how you feel, as you are afraid to disturb things the way they are. This unhealthy cycle becomes difficult to get out of. And so, your self-esteem will take a solid beating.
2. You will attract the wrong type of people into your life.
Nice people often end up attracting toxic people into their lives. People only come to you when they need something, knowing they can easily get what they want without you expecting anything in return. How sad! Soon you are surrounded by people who don’t care about you – they only care about what they want.
3. People will be wary of trusting you or respecting you
Trust and respect are two things that must be earned. When you are too trusting and too nice for your own good, people don’t see your value. And because you give your trust freely without making people earn it, people don’t respect you very much and you end up being disappointed. These people know you won’t get mad. They see you as someone without boundaries. This can be quite painful.
4. Your expectations of others is unrealistic
Since you are nice, you are probably naïve enough to believe that others have the same regard for your welfare as you have for theirs. Reality bites. Life does not work that way. More often than not, we have to be clear about our expectations if we want some relationships to work. If we are not, we just end up resenting others, never realizing that we didn’t make things clear from the start.
5. People will take advantage of you
Look, people are people and while they may not always have bad intentions, it is safe to assume that most people are opportunistic. They will take you for granted if you are not assertive. Worse, they’ll take advantage of you because you’re too nice and may even use it against you.
Thing is, when you see the best in others, the world can seem cruel when people take advantage of your niceness or use you. But this is not unusual and it happens to the best of people.
So – before going overboard by being too nice for your own good, make sure you practice self-love first. Being a nice person is wonderful, but you also need to be resilient. Be kind, but don’t expect others to do the same. Remember to love yourself first. Create boundaries so people respect you. And when you do this, being nice will actually work to your advantage and you’ll be happier for it.
Here’s something to reflect on:
Many people believe they are “too nice” and that this is why they are treated poorly over and over. Remember The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you’d have done to you.” If you treated someone poorly, would you expect them to just put up with it? Of course not, so you shouldn’t put up with it either. Being “too nice” to someone who treats you poorly is not a sign that you love them very much, but rather a sign that you don’t love yourself enough. You are worthy of more.– Unknown
You might like to check out this wonderful book.
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.