Being nice is a beautiful trait. Sometimes, I think it’s even undervalued. Nice people are the unsung heroes who help us feel good about ourselves when we’re down, take care of us when we’re sick and are always willing to go above and beyond to help us shine. But just like anything, niceness in excess can become a bad thing. The main victim of over-the-top niceness is, unfortunately, the kind soul that’s just too nice for their own good.
When the people pleasers cross this fine invisible line, their excess kindness starts wreaking havoc on their self-confidence, their boundaries and especially on their relationships with others.
These people pleasers are so concerned about others that they forget to put their own oxygen masks on first. But as we know, in case of emergency, if you try to help others put on their mask before putting your own on, you’ll pass out before you can even help anyone. Your kindness will be what makes you fall.
So, to help all you excessively kind-hearted souls, here’s a list of moments where it’s easy to end up on the wrong side of the niceness line. Use these as reference points to make sure your “too nice” ways aren’t hurting you.
Saying yes when you really wanna say no
Helping build a friend’s porch, watching the neighbors kids on a Saturday morning or working overtime to finish the brief before the weekend might not be your idea of a good time. But when asked to do either one, a niceness over-doer will always say “Yes! I’d love to!”.
Being a Yes Man or a Yes Woman was super trendy a few years ago. The idea was that by saying yes to every plan that came their way, they’d experience incredible things and meet tons of new and inspiring people.
And although for some people, throwing themselves into this “Yes to everything” mode is exactly what they need to add a bit of spice to life, for people who already have a natural tendency to people please, this trendy fad might not be beneficial.
To build healthy boundaries, you gotta know how to say no. It’s fine to help a friend build their porch if you’re really feeling up for it, but if not, you gotta know how to say no without feeling bad about it.
You gotta know what you want and have to guts to say what that is, even when it’s not what your friends are looking to hear.
Inconveniencing yourself for others
You have a jam-packed weekend planned doing tons of fun things with different people. Then, your cousin calls last minute to say she’ll be in town for a visit.
It’s one thing to squeeze in a quick catch up before spinning class on Saturday morning and telling her to tag along to your dinner plans, but it’s a completely other thing to rearrange your entire weekend to spend every single moment with her.
People who are too nice tend to do a lot of things for others to force others to like them. They forget that they are super cool people that can be liked even if they don’t allow themselves to be super inconvenienced or stepped on.
Don’t be that doormat. It’s cool to wanna see your little cousin who’s in town visiting, but if she’s last minute planned her trip to see you, I’m sure she’s independent enough to entertain herself while you get on with your life. And if she really cares about you, she’ll want you to do all the things that most make you happy, whether that includes her or not.
Say things that you don’t believe are true
I love your super bright blue eye makeup! Oh yes, it’s true, Trump is an okay guy! Ya, relish is tasty on everything!
These are examples of ridiculous shenanigans people that are too nice might say to make sure that conversations and interactions flow pleasantly and without disagreement.
For people pleasers, socializing isn’t about honestly expressing what they think, who they are and what is important to them, but instead, the priority is placed on avoiding conflict and making others feel great about what they’re talking about.
How are people ever gonna like you for who you are if you don’t show them who that is?
Use your words wisely. They are a major representation of who you are.
Letting yourself get pushed around to avoid conflict
You may not like Freddie’s aggressive attitude when it comes to talking about politics or find your girlfriend’s bossy tone a bit excessive. But instead of mentioning this to them, you just shut up and deal with it, time and time again.
And I’m not trying to suggest that you should give others shit every time they do something in a way that you don’t like. But I do think it’s ok to tell people to ease off when their way of being isn’t sitting well with you.
There’s nothing wrong with telling Freddie “Hey Freddie, I’m happy to chat with you about politics, but can you try to keep the tone a bit more friendly. It makes it hard for me to wanna keep chatting with you if you talk like that”. Then, if you’ve told Freddie to calm down a few times and he insists on being unpleasant, then maybe more drastic steps can be taken to make sure Freddie doesn’t suck up all your energy.
Which brings me to my next point…
Spending time with people with toxic people
Toxic people are those annoying people that suck out your good vibes all the time. They bitch and complain and provide nothing beneficial. And they have a sneaky ability to cling onto your social circle and stay there indefinitely ruining lunches and hangouts with judgment, aggressive demands and ignorant opinions.
In life, my #1 rule is: You can’t change people, you can only change how you react to them. And for toxic people that often means learning how to keep them at a distance.
You don’t celebrate your own victories
You run a marathon, found 20$ in an old jacket and get promoted all in one week, and yet when you see your best bud, you don’t even tell them all about it. Not because you’re not super excited about your amazing week, but because you don’t want to make your friend feel bad about himself. A classic habit of people that are too nice.
The beauty of friendship is being able to share each other’s ups and downs. And if your friend can’t handle hearing about your ups, maybe they aren’t as high of quality a friend as you thought.
But we’re not talking about how shitty your friend is, the focus here is on the super, excessively nice person. The one hiding their news, in case it hurts the other person’s feeling. This idea of hiding your good news is ridiculous. A real friendship develops when both people get to share their stuff, all of it, good, bad and ugly.
Stop holding back your news in case others don’t like it. If others don’t like hearing about your great week, they can tell you so. And then if others don’t like that you had a good week, they probably aren’t very good friends anyway.
This list is a massive generalization. I hope that’s clear. I’m not suggesting that if you inconvenience yourself for others sometimes or say things to avoid conflict other times that you’re necessarily too nice.
But if you notice that you are doing a lot of things on this list often, then I’d say it’s time to double check whether you really did put on your oxygen mask first. Make sure that you focus some of that niceness towards yourself before giving all way.
I also hope that it doesn’t sound as though I’m suggesting we don’t do nice things for one another. That is completely against the point I’m going for here. Doing nice things for people because you genuinely want to is great. But if you’re doing the nice thing with another motive (to get them to like you, to get something from someone, to have control over them or to win somehow), that’s when niceness goes off track. You can read more about that whole idea here.
I’d love to hear about other things you think might make someone too nice or like a people pleaser. Leave your comment or idea below.
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