There are a lot of bad things happening in the world, and I think we can all agree it could use some more kindness — to a point. Having too much of a good thing is definitely real, and it even applies to kindness. Too much kindness can be taken advantage of and makes the person trying to be kind miserable. So let’s talk about some of the signs you’re too nice.
Why being too nice isn’t a good thing
We just wrote about how being nicer is good, and now we’re talking about being too nice?! The difference is being nice in general and being a doormat for people who want to take advantage of you.
Being too nice means never saying no and letting people push you around to get what they want, regardless of how it affects you. Even if you don’t want to go along with it, sometimes the people around you can put pressure on you to go with the flow anyway. This can be common in families, especially when the golden child gets whatever they want, even if it hurts someone else.
Sometimes, being too nice can even make people lose respect for you. After all, it’s frustrating to watch someone get pushed around and taken advantage of. Seeing it happen again and again can turn that frustration into more negative feelings like contempt.
Research has even shown that being too nice can make you more likely to accumulate debt. So not only does being too nice irritate the people around you, but it also makes you miserable and poor.
Signs you’re too nice
Now that you know why being too nice is a problem, let’s talk about the signs you’re too nice. Knowing the signs can help you correct the behavior and will go a long way toward standing up for yourself.
There are obviously bigger problems in the world than being too nice, so if you are, don’t feel too bad about it. You’re being taken advantage of, and you don’t have to feel guilty over it! Just do your best to learn about the signs you’re too nice, so you can work on changing them.
You agree to give things away because someone else wants them.
Letting go of the things you want just because someone else wants them is not a good way to live. It also teaches you not to want things in the first place because, in the back of your mind, you’ll be afraid that you won’t get to have them anyway.
Even if you don’t want to give things up, sometimes other people around you will pressure you into doing it. It’s funny how in cases like this, the people pushing you to do it never seem to do it themselves. When it comes to social pressures like this, it seems easier to give in to avoid drama, but it will only cause you more pain in the long run.
When someone takes something from you once, they’ll understand that they can probably get away with it in the future too. It only encourages their behavior and reinforces a defeatist attitude from you.
You feel like you need to swallow your feelings to avoid upsetting someone else.
So this sign can be a little tricky to recognize. It is best to keep your thoughts to yourself in certain situations to avoid conflict. You shouldn’t have to do it all the time, though. If speaking your mind upsets someone else constantly, it’s time to reexamine your relationship with them, even if they’re family.
You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells all the time just because someone else doesn’t like what you have to say. If anyone tries to put you down or gets upset at you for sharing your feelings, it’s time to tell them to shove it.
Healthy relationships involve people who want to hear what you have to say and want to know how you’re feeling.
You exhaust yourself by taking care of other people’s responsibilities.
This is one of the classic signs you’re too nice. It was even in a Spongebob episode and an episode of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Don’t overload your schedule trying to please everyone else. It’s great to help people when needed, but you’re allowed to say no! In fact, you should say no if you’re starting to get burned out doing things for everyone else.
There are only so many hours in the day, and in the end, it isn’t your fault if someone else can’t get something done. 9 times out of 10, no one else is going to make you a priority. If even you aren’t making yourself a priority, you’re really going to have a rough time.
You bend over backward to avoid confrontation.
Avoiding confrontation and swallowing your feelings to avoid upsetting people can go hand in hand—a lot of the time, they do. There is a difference between them, though.
Doing everything and anything you can to avoid confrontation goes further than just swallowing your tongue. It means going the extra mile (or ten) to please someone and placate even the most entitled people.
Granted, sometimes anxiety is what pushes people to avoid confrontation rather than being too nice. Anxiety can also push people towards being too nice as well though. Confronting people isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary, especially if they’re taking advantage of you.
You put your own needs second.
We all have needs. Physical, emotional, and even material needs. Putting someone else’s needs first is wonderful, but it isn’t something you should be doing all the time. It’s certainly not something people should expect from you, either.
No one is entitled to you putting them before yourself, even if they try to make you feel that way. Whether they are your family, your significant other, or your friend, if they want you to put them before yourself, they probably don’t care about you.
You deserve to have your needs put first, but if you’re constantly putting someone else’s before your own, you will not have them met. This will make you miserable, and you’ll suffer in silence because you’re too nice. You are not selfish in putting yourself first, especially regarding things you need, and that’s why they’re called needs, not wants.
You forgive people easily… Even when they aren’t actually sorry.
When people do something wrong, it’s hard to apologize. It’s even harder to apologize and mean it. No one wants to accept that they did something wrong, and it’s just in our nature. If we admit we did something wrong, then we feel guilty about it. To avoid that guilt, sometimes people make apologies that aren’t real apologies. (We even wrote a blog about how they do that!)
That’s why when people make fake apologies, it’s easier to accept them because at least it’s something. They don’t mean it, though, and they probably aren’t going to change their behavior.
Because of this, one of the signs you’re too nice is accepting fake apologies. It’s easier to accept them than to stand up for yourself and demand a real apology. Or hold them accountable for their actions. They said they were sorry, so it’s fine, right? Even if that sorry was followed by “if you were offended.”
Accepting fake apologies teaches people that they can do whatever they want around/ to you; as long as they say sorry, you won’t do anything about it. Like the people who think they can absolve all their sins just by attending church. That’s not how it works. Or at least not how it should work.
You agree with others even when you think they’re wrong.
There are a few reasons you may agree with someone, even if you disagree with them. Maybe you’re trying to avoid conflict; maybe you’re trying to get on their good side; whatever the reason is, you shouldn’t be doing it too much.
Going along with someone you think is wrong is a one-way ticket to becoming a doormat. They will walk all over you because you will agree no matter what they say. It’s kind of begging them to take advantage of you. It shows them you won’t stand up for yourself because you’re more interested in being their yes-man.
I’m not saying you need to flat out confront someone whenever you disagree with them. Just don’t blindly agree, either. Calmly talk about other options or bring up reasons why you think differently. If you can’t have a conversation with them, you probably need to redefine your relationship with them.
The importance of setting boundaries
After understanding some of the signs you’re too nice, let’s talk about what you can do about it.
The first thing to do is start setting boundaries. Assert yourself and let the people around you know they can’t take advantage of you anymore. That doesn’t have to mean cutting them off completely or saying no to every request they give you. It just means sticking up for yourself and beginning to put yourself first.
People who are used to taking advantage of you may or may not react well. Their initial responses could get ugly; I won’t lie. Hopefully, they aren’t malicious, though, and move on. Sometimes people take advantage of others without meaning to. People like that will be taken aback but won’t hold it against you.
Even if some people do, it will be better for you in the long run. Being too nice is only going to hurt you in the end, and you don’t deserve that. You deserve nice things and to be treated well without being taken advantage of. So don’t be too nice and learn the signs.
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