Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Coming from someone who was known for his assertiveness and confidence in all aspects of his life, led a happy and respected one as well. Psychology Today’s recent article, “Are You Too Nice?” sparked a few questions in my mind. In current day, is it really possible to be “too nice?” And if so, is this really a bad thing?
Don’t get me wrong, there should be more inherently nice people in the world. In current day, kindness often seems rare. But those who are nice, for the sake of themselves or others, may find that being too nice may limit their own personal aspirations and happiness, as well as allowing people to take advantage of your niceness. When being too nice turns into a guilt trip is when it may become unhealthy.
Some tips that Psychology Today has for those who seem to be “too nice” are good to take into consideration for personal mental health and overall wellbeing.
1. Know self-respect & individual rights. Know when and how to say no without feeling guilty. Respect your inherent wants and needs. If the people you are trying to please don’t care about your own happiness, they aren’t worth your time.
2. Don’t feel guilty, selfish, or fear rejection by saying “no.” Instead change your attitude from the negatives, and focus on the positives, such as, “If I treat myself with respect, I will be more respected in my relationships.”
3. Being kind to people instead of taking orders. Doing favors for people only last so long before you are taking orders from them. This is when people start to stomp all over you. Be courteous and kind, but don’t feel like you have to do things for them in order to be nice.
4. You can’t please everyone. By understanding this simple fact, you can alleviate the guilt and fear of rejection from having to please everyone all the time. The truth is, not everyone can always be pleased. It’s more important to be respected than be liked. Those who are respected can be nice, but sometimes those who are nice never get the respect they deserve.
5. You aren’t responsible for anyone’s happiness but your own. People who depend on your for their own happiness don’t truly respect you. Take care of your own feelings before you can help anyone else. Being accepting of yourself and your feelings are the only way you can make the most out of your relationships with others.
Being respected in the workplace by being courteous, working hard, and getting the admiration you deserve are key points to not being taken advantage of. When doing work, make sure that you aren’t personally taking on more than you are getting credit for. Working hard should be recognized, but there are always those people that will take advantage of other employees for their own benefits.
Some people follow orders, and follow through on favors simply to be accepted by other. In a school setting, the fear of rejection rises and the more likely people are to be “too nice” in order to avoid confrontation. For example, if you are in a group project, make sure the work is distributed evenly. If it isn’t, make sure to say something to a teacher or professor in order to be recognized. There’s nothing wrong with being vocal about the hard work you put in to your education.
With Your Family:
Sometimes parents and other loved ones can take advantage of the fact that you are family. Somehow, because you are family that means you’d love to do their chores when they’re gone, come over late at night to help out, or host Christmas for a certain side of the family. Family obligations are important, and because family is the best relationship most people keep, it’s hard to say no. Learn to stick up for yourself. If it’s becoming overbearing, make sure you tell them they are being too demanding.
This is one of the most common places that people can be too nice and not receive enough respect. Some men and women treat their partners so nicely out of love, but sometimes, this can be mistaken for taking demands. Relationships should always consist of even effort, and your partner shouldn’t depend on your for their happiness. Feeling obligated to be the source or reason for someone’s happiness causes pressure, and leads to a burdened relationship.
Learning how to be assertive, gain appreciation, and receive the respect you deserve, can be lost by being “too nice,” however, learning how to be kind, courteous, while still being firm and assertive are important to leading a happy life. It isn’t selfish to put your own happiness before others because after all, if we aren’t happy with ourselves, we can’t be able to dictate someone else’s happiness.
How do you find balance?
Photos: Thinkstock; h/t Psychology Today