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Are You Too Nice for Your Own Good?

Being too nice presents a lot of challenges. The main issue with trying to please everyone is that people take advantage of you. People eventually lose respect for you, too. If you don’t care about your needs, no one else will either. It’s important to be your number one advocate. When you respect yourself, others can respect you, too.

Use these techniques to be good to yourself and stop being too nice:

1. Do something you want to do, but are afraid others won’t approve. Get that tattoo of a falcon you’ve been dreaming of since 10th grade. Go see a movie by yourself or go to the store without combing your hair. If you’re not hurting anyone, just do what you want.

  • Practice not caring what others think. That’s not a license to be inconsiderate or rude, but if you want to dance around in your front yard, why would you let the opinion of anyone else stop you?

2. Be assertive. Let others know what you want, need, and think. They’re free to ignore your requests, but you’re just as free to make those requests. Start by giving your opinion when the situation is appropriate. If your friend suggests a certain restaurant, be comfortable saying, “I’d rather go to Harry’s for lunch. Is that okay?”

  • You might think you’re pleasing others when you let them have things their way, but that’s not always true. You’re boring and irrelevant when you don’t have an opinion. Avoid being bossy or rude, but let others know what you think.

3. Realize that you can be a great person without being subservient to everyone else. Those that are too nice often believe that the more they do for others, the worthier they are of admiration and love.

  • Sacrificing yourself excessively isn’t admirable. You’re being irresponsible toward yourself by ignoring your own needs.

4. Many overly nice people aren’t actually nice. The mindset of many nice people is, “If I give everyone else what they want, they’ll be willing to give me what I want. I just have to be patient.” That’s not kindness. That’s manipulation. This group of people tend to become resentful when their strategy fails.

5. People that are too nice are often overly passive or aggressive, with little behavior between these extremes. Being nice all the time grows to be frustrating. Invariably, you’re giving more than you’re receiving. Unless you’re Mother Teresa, there’s a breaking point. You’re either controlling others or being controlled by them.

6. What’s the worst that could happen if you failed to please someone? Does the idea of disappointing someone feel uncomfortable? What’s the worst that could happen? You probably please them 90+% of the time anyway.

7. Review your boundaries regularly. As you act in a manner that takes your own needs into account, your boundaries will change. Evaluate those boundaries and make the necessary adjustments. You don’t want to be a pushover, but you also don’t want to take advantage of others.

Are you too nice? Always trying to please others is a poor strategy for navigating the world. It’s not an effective way to meet your needs or gain the respect of others. Be kind, but ensure that you’re taking care of yourself, too. Spending too much time pleasing others will result in your own displeasure.


Thank you for reading our blog!

- Mike Acker

Check out my new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.

A breakthrough to develop confidence in speaking, leadership, and life. A follow-up book to my best-selling book, Speak with No Fear

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