Do Nice Girls Finish Last? How to Tell if You Are “Too Nice” and What to Do About It
We all know the golden rule – “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Simple, right?
Well, yes and no. There’s nothing wrong with being nice and in general it’s a wonderful trait to have. The world could use more kind, generous, and caring people. However, it’s definitely possible to be too nice and this can become a problem. When you are constantly putting the needs of others above your own and giving all you have, the person who ends up suffering the most is you. And let’s face it – no one wants to be a doormat. As someone who lives by the mantra “be nice, work hard, stay humble” – it was definitely a shock when I realized that there is such a thing as being “too nice.”
While I’m not saying you should quit being nice to people in general, it may be worth rethinking the way you’re giving your time and energy, especially if your giving ways leave you feeling drained or taken advantage of.
Why can being too nice be a problem?
For the most part, being nice is a good thing. But there are some negatives to being too nice.
– People may perceive you as weak. When you’re always putting others first and trying to go above and beyond, you could be viewed as weak or easy to take advantage of. If you don’t set your own boundaries and put yourself first, no one else will. If you don’t want to be treated as a doormat then don’t allow others to perceive you as such.
– It can be draining. Do you always say yes to every invite? Are you always taking on extra work or putting in the most effort in a group project? When you don’t know how to say no, you can end up exhausted and unhappy.
– You attract takers. You know the saying, “your vibe attracts your tribe?” When you’re always giving and giving, you can end up attracting the wrong kind of people that are looking to take advantage of you.
– You have unrealistic expectations for friends and family. When you are always going above and beyond for the people you care for, it can be easy to expect that treatment in return. In reality, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.
– You don’t put yourself first. Again, self-love is so important. When you forget to be kind to yourself, you invite stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.
How to tell if you are “too nice”
– You don’t know how to say no. Have you ever looked at your calendar and thought it was filled with things you didn’t actually want to do? That’s a sign you say yes to everything, even if you don’t actually want to.
– You care about what other people think of you and are willing to do and say whatever it takes to be accepted and well-liked.
– In group situations, your opinion is never heard. You avoid confrontation at all costs and let others make driving decisions because you’d rather let someone else make the decision than voice a contradicting opinion.
– You find yourself doing favors for people you barely know (and feeling resentful and taken advantage of for saying yes).
– You never have time for yourself.
What to do if you’re “too nice”
The older you get, the more like yourself you become.
Have you ever heard this saying?
My thoughts on this: at some point it becomes too exhausting to try to be someone else. We are who we are and while we should always try to improve ourselves and be the best version possible, there are certain things about us that we can’t really change.
If you’re a nice person by nature and your nature inclination is to always help and say “yes,” you shouldn’t have to fight it and change who you are. Every quality is a strength and a weakness depending on the situation – the key is making the most of the positives while avoiding the negatives.
You should still be the nice person you are – it’s so important to be authentic, and people will appreciate you for being yourself. What you can do, however, is be more choosy with your time and energy.
Learning how to say no, voice your opinion, and hold your ground is an invaluable skill to have. You only have time to say “yes” to so many things, so be picky about how you spend it. Honestly, it’s ok to be selfish sometimes and put yourself first.
At the end of the day – keep being yourself. I really, really believe in the power of kindness. Yes, in the short term you might get taken advantage of or encounter some negative people. But – I’m all about the long game. And in the long run, giving more than you receive the way to go. If you’re not sold I highly recommend reading Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take. After a couple interactions recently that left me feeling drained and stepped on, I was questioning my mantra and the extreme value I placed on “being nice.” Re-reading Give and Take helped me gain a renewed sense of belief in the power of giving and squashed any notion that I should be more of a taker.
On that note – I’ve had a tough time getting my creative juices flowing of late, but these types of topics help with inspiration and writer’s block. Is there anything else you’d like to see more or less of on the blog? As always, thank you so much for stopping by and reading.