10 signs you’re too much of a nice person (and people are taking advantage of you)

There’s a fine line between being a nice person and being too nice.

When you’re too nice, you often put other people’s needs above your own to the point where they start taking advantage of you.

Being nice is good, don’t get me wrong, but there are times when you need to put yourself first for a change. It’s important to recognize the signs and learn how to protect yourself.

In this piece, I’ll share with you ten signs that indicate you might be too much of a nice person and, unfortunately, people are taking advantage of your kindness.

These are warning signs that it’s time to set boundaries and start treating yourself with the respect you deserve.

1) You’re always the go-to person

There’s a difference between being helpful and being overburdened.

We all love to lend a hand, especially to those we care about. But there’s a problem when you’re always the first person everyone runs to when they need something.

It starts to feel like you’re a 24/7 convenience store, always open, always ready to serve. And that’s not right.

This is the first sign – when you’re the constant go-to person for everyone. It might be time to consider if people are genuinely in need or if they’re just exploiting your willingness to help.

It’s okay to say no sometimes. You have your own life and your own needs too. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care.

2) You’re always saying sorry

Here’s a personal story that might ring true for a lot of you.

A few years back, I had this habit of saying sorry. And I mean, all the time. If someone bumped into me, I’d apologize. If I didn’t respond to a text immediately, I’d say sorry. Heck, I’d even apologize for apologizing too much!

It took a close friend to point out that I was always putting myself in the wrong even when it wasn’t my fault. And she was right.

Apologizing too much can be a sign that you feel responsible for things you really shouldn’t be. It’s a subtle way people can take advantage of your niceness without you realizing it.

3) You rarely get time for yourself

Ever heard of the term ’emotional labor’? It’s the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job or relationship. And here’s the kicker – it’s often unrecognized and undervalued, especially when done by those who are too nice.

When you’re constantly available for others, constantly helping, constantly listening and supporting, you’re doing a tremendous amount of emotional labor. And the cost? Your own time and energy.

If you find your calendar filled with commitments to others with little to no time for yourself, it’s a sign that people could be taking advantage of your kind-hearted nature.

It’s not just okay but necessary to set aside time for your own needs and interests. Your time is valuable too.

4) You feel guilty saying no

Do you ever feel a pang of guilt when you think about turning down a request or favor? That’s another sign that you might be too nice for your own good.

It’s natural to want to help others, but feeling excessively guilty for not being able to fulfill a request isn’t healthy. It’s a sign that you’re putting others’ needs and wants above your own, even when it’s not practical or possible to do so.

Learning to say no without feeling guilty is an important step in maintaining your self-respect and preventing others from taking advantage of your kindness. It’s a skill worth mastering, not just for your sake, but for the sake of healthy relationships as well.

5) You feel unappreciated

Here’s a reality check – if you’re always going out of your way to help others and rarely receive a thank you or any form of appreciation, it’s a clear sign that people are taking you for granted.

Being nice and helpful should not equate to being invisible or undervalued. You deserve to be recognized and appreciated for the good deeds you do.

If your kindness is met with indifference or, worse, an expectation that it’s your duty to be helpful, it’s time to reconsider your relationships and set some boundaries.

Appreciation is not a privilege, it’s a basic courtesy.

6) Your own needs are often neglected

It’s a wonderful feeling to help others, to know you’ve made someone’s day a little bit easier. But in the process of being there for everyone else, have you forgotten about yourself?

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes in our quest to be the best friend, partner, or colleague, we ignore our own needs. We push our desires, dreams and even health to the back burner.

If you find yourself constantly putting others first and neglecting your own needs, it’s a warning sign. It doesn’t make you a hero, it makes you vulnerable. And trust me, it’s not worth sacrificing your happiness or wellbeing.

You matter. Your dreams matter. Your health matters. Don’t let your niceness rob you of the care and attention you deserve.

7) You often feel emotionally drained

A few years ago, I found myself constantly tired, yet I couldn’t figure out why. I was sleeping well, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. But still, I felt emotionally drained.

It took me a while to realize that it was my constant need to please everyone around me that was sucking the energy out of me. I was giving so much of myself to others that there was hardly anything left for me.

If you’re frequently feeling emotionally exhausted without any apparent reason, do a self-check. Are you spending too much emotional energy on others while neglecting your own emotional needs?

It’s important to keep your emotional tank full. It’s not selfish, it’s self-preservation.

8) People get upset when you can’t help

Here’s a surprising one. You’d think people would be understanding when you’re unable to help them out, right? But sometimes, the opposite happens.

If people get upset or disappointed when you are unable to assist them, it’s a sign that they’ve become too accustomed to your ever-ready helpfulness. They’ve started to see your willingness to help not as a favor, but as an expectation.

This reaction is more about them than you. Don’t let it guilt you into saying yes when you really need or want to say no. Stand firm. Kindness should never be taken for granted.

9) You’re often taken advantage of in relationships

Relationships should be built on mutual respect and understanding. But sometimes, when you’re too nice, you might find yourself being taken for granted.

If you’re always the one making sacrifices, always the one compromising, and always the one going the extra mile without any reciprocation, it’s a red flag.

Relationships are a two-way street. It’s not just about giving, but also about receiving. If you’re giving more than you’re getting, it’s time to have a conversation about balance and respect.

Being nice should never equate to being a doormat. You deserve as much love and respect as you give.

10) You struggle to stand up for yourself

At the end of the day, being too nice often means having a hard time standing up for yourself.

If you find it challenging to assert your opinions, express your feelings, or defend your rights, it’s a clear sign that your niceness is being exploited.

Remember, standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you’re not nice. It means you respect yourself. And when you show respect for yourself, others will follow suit. You are just as important as anyone else. Don’t let your kindness silence your voice.

Final thoughts: It’s about balance

There’s a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi that says, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” This quote always resonated with me, especially when it comes to being too nice.

Being kind is not a sign of weakness; on the contrary, it requires strength and courage. However, it’s important to remember that true strength lies in balance.

Being too nice can tip the scales, inviting people to take advantage of your good nature. But maintaining a healthy balance between being kind and standing up for yourself creates a shield of respect around you.

The key is to be kind without compromising your self-respect, to help others without ignoring your own needs, and to forgive without allowing people to walk over you.

Balance is strength. And with this strength, you can continue to spread kindness while also practicing self-love and self-respect.

Remember, being nice is a virtue but never at the cost of your own well-being.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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