When you think of someone nice, you’ll probably picture someone who is agreeable, easy to get along with, thoughtful, caring, and polite. They do favors for their loved ones without ever asking for anything in return and are happy to help everyone out with their dilemmas. While being nice is a wonderful quality we should all aspire to have, there are certain drawbacks that come with taking it to an extreme.
Being too nice can hurt you in a lot of ways. People who are like this often have a hard time saying no to others, and they rarely ever stand up for themselves. They tend to have a savior complex and constantly make it their business to fix everyone else’s problems, because they like feeling needed. They are selfless, trusting, and fiercely loyal – to the point where they may even start to let others treat them like a doormat.
Are you starting to worry you might be too nice for your own good? Here are 8 signs that can help you figure it out:
1. You don’t prioritize your own needs
When you’re overly nice, you are constantly putting other people ahead of you and selflessly devoting most of your time, energy, and attention to them. You make sure all of their wants and needs are taken care of, but never once ask them to do the same for you. If you’re not careful, you might end up being exploited and taken advantage of by a lot of “so-called friends”. Take better care of yourself and prioritize your own needs from time to time, because anyone who actually loves you will understand and want what’s best for you.
2. You’re constantly saying sorry
It’s great that you’re humble enough to admit your mistakes and apologize for them, but don’t overdo it. You don’t owe anyone an apology for things that aren’t even your fault. If you’re too nice for your own good, you may suffer from a guilt complex that compels you to say sorry every time you feel like you’ve let somebody down. You’re so preoccupied with making sure you don’t hurt anyone else’s feelings that you are quick to offer a hasty apology and take the blame for something you shouldn’t.
3. You agree to things you don’t want to do
Being nice and doing favors for other people should make you feel good about yourself, not worse. If you’re too nice, you may find yourself agreeing and going along with what everyone else wants because you feel like you have no choice but to say yes. You start to resent others for asking so much of you, but you never speak up about it. You let them walk all over you and blame yourself for not being brave enough to tell them how you really feel.
4. You often say yes immediately
Similar to the last point, overly nice people are often quick to say yes to everything, especially if it’s someone close to them asking. They agree without thinking things through first because they worry others will think badly of them if they don’t. But that’s simply not true! You should only say yes to things that you want or are willing to do. It’s okay to have other priorities. Don’t let other people’s happiness come at the cost of your own.
5. You never tell people what you want
You don’t express your opinions or share your preferences with others because you’re afraid of seeming too bossy or demanding. You never suggest where to eat, where to go out, or what movie to watch so everyone else ends up making the decision for you instead. You might feel hurt that they don’t take your feelings into consideration, but when they ask you what you want, your default response is usually “Whatever you want” or “I’m good with anything.”
6. You’re very conflict-averse
Are you afraid of a little confrontation? When a friend or family member is upset with you, do you just avoid them and hope they’ll get over it soon? Of course, nobody really likes to argue or fight with other people, but being too conflict averse isn’t good either. You want to keep the peace so you just give in to what the other person wants and agree with the things they say, but how can anyone ever respect you if you never stand up for yourself? You can state your side of the argument in a calm and reasonable way, and others will appreciate your honesty.
7. You have a strong need to be liked
People who are too nice for their own good often act this way because they think it will make everyone else like them more. Do you think this is true for you, too? Be honest with yourself about where this compulsion to be overly nice comes from. Do you define yourself according to your relationships with others? Have you made your sense of self-worth too dependent on their approval? While it’s normal to fear rejection and crave acceptance from others, you shouldn’t let this need control your life. People should like you for who you are, not because of what you can do for them.
8. Others often take advantage of you
Have you ever been in a co-dependent relationship? Do people always turn to you for help fixing their problems? Do you have a long list of favors you promised you’d do, even if you didn’t actually want to? All of these things are definite signs that you are too nice for your own good, and other people are exploiting you for it. You never have any time for yourself anymore because you’re so busy helping everyone else out, and you constantly feel overwhelmed by their incessant demands of you.
In the end, while there’s certainly nothing wrong with being a nice person, it’s not just right for you to sacrifice so much of your time, energy, and emotional well-being for the sake of others. Set healthy boundaries for yourself and don’t be afraid to put your foot down from time to time. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself, and you deserve to be happy just as much as anyone else does.