“I do everything for everyone all the time. I give and give and give. I never ask for anything. I try so hard to make everyone else happy. Why doesn’t anyone try to do anything for me? I never ask for anything, I guess no one sees my value…”
Does this sound like you? Are you always going out of your way to keep the peace? Heck, I know that this was me at one time.
In a recent INC. article, Julia Kristina MA, RCC, explains that those sentiments don’t come from a mature, responsible, emotionally healthy individual. In fact, being nice and giving, giving, giving all the time can make you feel cheated or mistreated when, other people don’t lay down their lives for you, when you feel like you’ve done a lot to deserve it.
Please, don’t misunderstand me. My mantra is: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” Be considerate and thoughtful, but only doing or speaking or acting in ways we think other people want us to because we need them to think we are nice is a complete disservice to yourself AND them.
That behavior almost always leads to problems. Here are 3 reasons to understand why:
1. Being too nice keeps you from having close relationships.
When we don’t speak up or show up as who we really are it actually keeps us disconnected and feeling lonely.
No one can connect with you in an honest, deep, and meaningful way if you are not yourself.
People thrive on connecting with people. REAL people. We want and need real. And yes, real sometimes can get messy, but it’s human. This is certainly a choice.
2. Being too nice leads to a victim mentality.
I do everything for everyone all the time. I try so hard to make everyone else happy…blah, blah, blah. Anyone?
It takes courage to stand up and say, “This is who I am, this is what I need, and this is how and what I can and want to give.”
That’s a better and healthier approach than keeping inventory about how many times you’ve been nice to others and/or feeling ripped off if other people don’t treat you the same way.
I am responsible for myself, and guess what? You are responsible for yourself. See how that works? If I want or need something, it’s my responsibility to voice that. I can’t expect you to drag it out of me, and definitely not expect you to read my mind to see how much I think you owe me because of how nice I was to you.
3. Being too nice makes you a stranger to yourself.
When we go navigate life trying to make everyone else happy and never consider our desires, we are rejecting and avoiding who we really are.
It’s not always about you, but it’s also not ever not about you. There are times and places for both.
But if you never allow yourself to play an active and equal role in your relationships and in your life, you will never give yourself the opportunity to appreciate your true self.
Turns out you might even realize that when you look in the mirror, you are uncertain of whom you see.
So give this a shot: Practice being more genuine and authentic with others and yourself. Practice sharing your thoughts, opinions, and ideas…and here’s the big kicker…do it even if some people may not agree with you.
Be kind to others, but also be kind to yourself!
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