Let’s get one thing clear: there is nothing wrong with being a nice, kind, or caring person. So don’t think you have to change your essential nature.
But there are definite drawbacks to being ‘too nice’ all the time, and you should be aware if this is true of you. Think back.
How often do you agree to do things you don’t want to do, just to avoid making someone feel bad? How often do you endure a long, boring conversation just to be polite? How often do you feel that people are taking advantage of you?
You can have the best intentions, but you could be asking for trouble in the long term. You may come to feel overwhelmed or used – and this could build up until you explode one day and damage the relationships you have struggled to preserve.
Here are some warning signs that you may be too nice for your own good – and what you can do about it!
1. You Say SORRY All The Time
Saying “sorry” is perfectly appropriate if there is something you really regret.
But if you catch yourself saying “sorry” every time you sense some disappointment from people, it’s a sign that you are too concerned with others liking you – or that you feel a false sense of guilt.
When someone wants you to do something for them, but you have other plans; or if someone bumps into you, why should you feel guilty? Why should you say “sorry”? Try to avoid saying the word for a whole day.
You’ll be amazed how often you catch yourself about to say it. Pause and ask yourself if there is anything you have to be sorry about.
You could replace sorry at times, with other phrases like, “unfortunately, I have other plans… or “unfortunately I won’t be able to attend, because…”.
State your inability or unwillingness to comply with others’ wishes as facts. You can use words like “unfortunately” to take the sting out of it, but don’t apologize for it.
2. Your Needs Always Take A Back Seat
More often than not, people will take advantage of you if you are too nice. Once you show them that they can get away with this, they will constantly ask you for help or favors.
It’s not entirely their fault. You’ve trained them to expect your compliance. There is nothing wrong with being helpful.
But when you find out that others are not there for you when you ask for help, you know you’ve gone too far.
Being a friend to someone in need is one thing; being a doormat is another.
Insist on your own needs and be honest with how you feel. You don’t have to be mean, but you should stand up for yourself.
Real friends will feel bad about taking advantage of you and show more consideration for your needs.
3. You Feel Resentful After Saying YES
You should be nice if it gives you pleasure to help someone. However, when you feel forced into saying “yes”, you will resent it or feel overwhelmed by the demands that others are putting on you.
How you feel right after you consent to someone, tells you whether you are merely kind or whether you are compulsively “nice”.
Do you feel pleased to do a favor, or are you resentful? If you catch yourself automatically saying “yes”, you really need to do something about it.
The best technique is to practice saying “no”. Just say it. State a reason if you want, but don’t feel that you need to provide some elaborate excuse.
If you don’t want to do a favor, you don’t have to! Insist on your own priorities, and people will come to respect you for it.
4. You Never Express A Preference Or Opinion
When you go out with people, are they always the ones choosing where to eat or what movie to see?
Do you even express your own opinion? If you never do this, you have a problem.
You probably do this just to go along and avoid any possible conflict, even though you do have your own preferences.
This is not good, because you may become resentful that others don’t take your feelings into account – even though it is your fault! Try making your own opinion known.
You can start with rather “unimportant” matters until you get used to it. This will get others accustomed to the fact that you have your own opinions. They may even appreciate them!
5. You Agree Without Thinking
Do you tend to just agree to something without really thinking about it? And then wonder why you said “yes”?
This could mean that you’ve gotten into the habit of agreeing with everything – no matter what it is or whether you really want to agree.
Take some time before agreeing to anything. Think about your options. Do you really have the time for it? Do you have other priorities? It’s Ok to say “yes” if you really want to, but don’t be afraid to say “no”.
6. You Avoid Confrontation
Few of us like to argue, and many of us usually prefer to avoid unpleasant confrontations. Yet, if you find yourself always giving in, just for the sake of “preserving the peace”, you are not a peacemaker; you are a pushover.
You don’t want to be “impolite”, but if you are unwilling to stand up for yourself, how can others learn to respect you? Now, this does not mean that you should go around picking fights.
But you should practice being assertive about matters that are important to you. You don’t have to be insulting or mean. You can be diplomatic and reasonable about it, as long as you let others know where you stand.
7. You Fear Rejection
Perhaps you are as nice as you are, simply because you want people to like you and you’re afraid of being rejected.
This could mean that, deep down inside, you don’t think that you deserve the friends you have or the love of good people.
So, you think that being extremely nice will help you avoid losing them. The best remedy for this is to work on your own self-confidence.
When you can boost your sense of self-worth, you will become less afraid of rejection. You will actually become more capable of loving and feel deserving of love.
8. You Don’t Have Time For Yourself
Look at your calendar. How many of those appointments do you really want to keep? How many of those tasks do you actually want to complete? Is your planner filled with entries that benefit others rather than yourself?
If so, you are probably being much too nice. Your time should be valuable to you. Take care to spend it carefully, and be sure to reserve some time for yourself.
9. You Find Yourself In Codependent Relationships
Remember that nice people are often exploited by others and easily attract “users”.
A relationship between exploiter and exploited is a type of “codependent” relationship.
This describes a relationship in which both parties depend on each other to fulfill their needs.
However, when nice people find themselves in such a relationship, it is only the exploiter who really benefits.
Nice people only get some sort of perverse emotional satisfaction from it.
Are you in a friendship or romantic relationship in which you constantly support your friend or partner because it gives you a sense of usefulness? Is your sense of self-worth totally dependent on how you serve another person? Then you are in a very unhealthy kind of codependent relationship.
Once again, you need to realize that you are also worthy of help, support, and consideration. You have a right to fulfill your own needs!
So, begin by setting clear boundaries in a relationship. You have to limit the time you devote to your friend or partner. Spend time with other people as well, and save some time for your own interests.
10. You Constantly Feel Overwhelmed At Work
When your employer assigns you extra work, it is usually a sign that he or she knows that you are dependable. This is, on the whole, a good thing.
But if you are too nice, your boss will simply assign you even more work. After all, you never say no, so why should he or she find someone else to do the work?
Your willingness to be a workhorse can be good for your career, but it may lead to you becoming snowed under with so much work that you barely have time for your own life.
It is OK to turn down extra work. As long as you have a good reason, a boss should have no problem with it.
In fact, by making employers aware of all the tasks you have on your plate, they may come to appreciate you all the more.
Just be diplomatic and reasonable about it. The trick is to say “no” without actually using that word. It’s nice being nice, and you should be – as long as it is on your terms.
It is actually unhealthy to always sacrifice your needs and desires for other people. And it’s not unreasonable for you to expect consideration from others.
This type of ‘give and take’ is a very normal part of a healthy relationship. Just as others have a right to their own lives, you do too. Life is meant to be experienced.
So, take time for yourself. Enjoy your interests and explore new experiences. Devote time to find out who you really are, what kind of person you want to be, and what you really want out of life. After all, it is YOUR life!
What do you think? Are you TOO nice? Which of these areas do you need to work on the most? Share your thoughts and comments below, or visit TJ on Iynk.in
Written by TJ