All extremes are bad, so being “too nice” is no exception. These are some indicators that you suffer from this condition of being too nice which may be causing problems in achieving your goals and managing your relationships.
The following are some of the most common signs that I have found among my customers and what we have done about it. Keep in mind that human beings live within social contexts, so it is possible that these situations apply in different ways to you depending on where you are and who you are with.
- You apologize too often
If you do something wrong, like dropping someone’s baby or are canceling plans last minute, it makes sense to apologize. If that is your case, I am not referring to you. I am talking about people who seem to receive money every time they say “sorry”. This is their way of showing the world that they are submissive, harmless, and that not a threat. In time it becomes a reflex response that takes away your power.
What to do: Count the number of times you apologize during a day and analyze if it was valid to do so. Try to apologize only about the things that really require it. It will take time; you won’t get it at first try. Just make each day a little bit less apologetic.
- You feel like people use you.
Think about this: What you do for your friends, family and others would they do it for you? If their answer is no, they are probably using you. The magic word in successful interpersonal relationships is reciprocity. at least of some sort, since you most likely do not have the same needs as the people around you. Also, when it is you who needs them in some way, they should be there.
What to do: Ask favors from those who constantly ask you. They don’t have to be the exact same favors you did for them but something that is important for you in which you honestly need their help.
- It is hard for you to say “No”
How many times have you agreed to do something you didn’t want to do because of your inability to say “No”? Feeling some kind of emotional hangover after saying “yes” to something is a strong indicator that you do not want to do it and only said yes because of pressure, obligation, or not wanting to be perceived as the bad guy.
What to do: Listen to your emotions. If you feel that you should say no to a request, do so. Avoid giving explanations for your answer, as this is just a pressure method to force you to agree.
- It’s hard for you to say what you really want to say
Ask yourself the following questions: Would you rather silence your opinions than create controversy over something you said? Do you admire people who have the ability to say exactly what they think? Do you prefer to show that you agree with everyone rather than express what you really want? If your answer is yes, you have the risk to not be taken seriously in several areas of your life.
What to do: 1. Start small. Express what you want in situations that are not so intimidating to you, and defend your position. 2. Practice, take the opposite arguing with people who are not an emotional treat to you.
- Your mindset is “If everyone is fine, I’m fine” even when you are not.
Have you convinced yourself that as long everyone else is fine so are you? Do you feel that you bother people if you express your wants or needs? Do you indulge the wishes and whims of those around you while ignoring your own desires? Do you find yourself agreeing to other people’s plans like vacation destinations, places to go, things to do, meals to eat?
What to do: It is time to think of yourself first. Before doing something nice for others, do something nice for yourself. Ask for what you want and don’t wait to make sure everyone is okay before you do.
If any of the above recommendations are difficult or feel like you are against your beliefs, you are too nice. And I reckon it is causing problems in your professional, personal or love life.