Are You Too Nice?
Being nice is a great quality to have. The world could definitely use more kindness and generosity.
But there are times when you can have too much of a good thing. There is such a thing as being too nice. People who are too nice end up agreeing to do things they really don’t want to do. They sacrifice independence for a false sense of safety and belonging.
Here are three characteristics of people who take niceness to the extreme.
- Do you say ‘yes’ when you mean no?Why this is a problem: When you agree to do something that you don’t want to do, you cut down on the control you have over your life. Resentment will build up. You’ll be stuck doing things you don’t really want to do because you’re afraid of upsetting someone else. At work, you may become overwhelmed with tasks you’ve agreed to do, and end up not being able to handle it all.
POINT TO TAKE AWAY: I have a right to live my life the way I want to, and to do the things I want to do. I am allowed to take care of myself and not be overwhelmed by tasks and responsibilities. My job is not to please everyone. I can be honest with people.
- When someone asks “what do you think/feel/want,” do you try and figure out what they want, think or feel, and respond in the same way? Why this is a problem: You are an individual with valuable thoughts and feelings. If you construct your statements to match what you think someone wants, you not only prevent yourself from being able to freely express your thoughts and feelings, but you deny others the chance to hear what you really think. You’re choosing dishonesty because you want to be nice and make someone else happy, but the cost is high.
POINT TO TAKE AWAY: My thoughts, feelings, and desires are worthwhile. I have opinions that are good contributions. I don’t have to be the same as other people to be accepted and valued.
- If you disagree with another person, do you feel guilty? Why this is a problem: Disagreement is not a bad thing. It’s a perfectly acceptable human reaction. It is normal and healthy to have your own opinion on things. Different thoughts and ideas add to conversations, bring forth new ideas, and can bring about changes.
POINT TO TAKE AWAY: I am allowed to disagree with people, even people in authority. I am not responsible for their feelings, and my job is not to always say ‘yes’ to things if I don’t feel like it. Disagreement isn’t something to avoid or be afraid of.
Being nice is a wonderful characteristic to have. It’s a valuable to be kind, to help out other people, and to try and not hurt people unnecessarily. The problem comes when being nice becomes a burden, and ends up ruling your life.
It’s vital to find a balance between being a good human being, and being taken advantage of. A person can be kind and generous, and still say no.
People who struggle with being too nice are often afraid that people won’t like them if they don’t conform their personality, desires, and thoughts to those of other people. But the truth is everyone has something valuable to add to the world.
What is needed is not more conformity, but more honesty, more truth. Who and what you are is truly enough. By hiding under the guise of niceness, you take away the amazing gift of your authentic self.
Harmon, J. (2012). Are You Too Nice?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/your-life/2012/06/are-you-too-nice/