10 signs you’re too nice for your own good (and what to do about it)

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While it’s important to be nice, there is such a thing as being too nice.

This is when you find yourself so focused on not letting other people down that you forget about your own happiness.

When you neglect your own self-care in favor of others, a study shows that it can actually backfire and be a turn-off for other people.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop being nice, however.

By all means, help your friends with their problems or support your cousins and extended family.

What it does mean is that you should find a balance between being nice to others and being nice to yourself.

Below are 10 signs that you’re too nice and what you can do about it.

1. You’re Afraid To Say No

Your friend comes up to you and asks you a favor that you don’t really feel like doing.

Do you tell him the truth and say “No” or do you say “Yes” because you don’t want them to feel let down by you? If you chose to say “Yes”, then that might be a sign that you’re being too nice.

Wanting to please everyone you meet or wanting everyone to like you is a toxic habit to cultivate.

Not only does it turn away other members of the group, but it can also cause personal distress.

So what can you do about this?

If you’re uncomfortable with saying “No”, realize that you already subconsciously say that in your daily life.

When you eat pizza, you’re saying “No” to fruits and vegetables.

When you’re focused on your work, you’re saying “No” to a nap, video games, watching TV, and other distracting activities.

Try acting more assertively; which doesn’t mean aggressive, it just means that you mean it.

Act confident and respond with a “No” on the next small favor someone asks you.

Remember: “No” is already a full sentence.

2. You Have No Time For Yourself

Are you finding that your schedule is filled with tasks for other people?

Maybe you have to tune in on your friend’s Livestream while also having to read your friend’s written work to give them feedback.

When the tasks fill your calendar and you can barely find the time to manage your own to-dos, then that’s a problem.

This can lead to burnout and undue stress on top of your job and your own personal matters.

What you can try doing is plotting out your own personal time on the calendar before anyone gets the chance to ask you to do something for them.

That way, you’ve guaranteed yourself time to breathe and do the things that you need to in your life. Keep in mind that this tactic only works if you strictly stick to your schedule.

3. “Sorry” Is Your Go-To Word

We’ve been taught, growing up, that we should always apologize for our mistakes.

While that may be the case, that doesn’t mean to apologize for everything that you do.

There are things in life you don’t have to apologize for; asking for small favors from your close friends, asking questions, and even sharing your opinions.

When you over-apologize for even the tiniest things in your life, the word “Sorry” begins losing its meaning.

Instead of saying “Sorry”, you can try showing your gratitude for someone’s understanding and patience and say “Thank you” instead.

If you arrive to your meeting late, try to stop yourself from apologizing to everyone.

Instead, thank your colleagues and your boss for their patience. This shows them your gratitude and even respect.

4. You Downplay Yourself

When you’re in a meeting and you want to share your idea, do you have the tendency to laugh it off afterwards?

Or you can’t help but end it with “Or I don’t know” or “Or whatever” and then let your voice trail off?

What this might show you is that you’ve become so concerned with the opinions of others that you don’t feel confidence towards your own ideas; even if they might actually be good ones, no one’s going to take you seriously if you sound hesitant about it.

What you can try doing is avoid saying “just” and keeping your sentences short — that means avoiding the “Or whatever”.

While it might sound intimidating, cutting these words will allow people to consider your ideas more seriously.

They’re not just an idea. They’re your idea. You’re a part of the team; you matter too.

5. You Regret Saying “Yes”

Have you accepted watching over your friend’s dog even though you planned on taking the night off for yourself?

Or agreed to pick up your friend that lives inconveniently far from your place even though you know you had somewhere else to be?

Do you feel an immediate sense of regret when you say “Yes” to one of your friend’s favors?

The post-”Yes” regret can be frustrating. But it isn’t the end of the world.

The way to overcome this feeling is to be confident in yourself and considerate of your own wants and needs.

No one’s going to respect you if you don’t respect your own needs first.

6. You Always Think About The Opinions Of Others

The fact is that not everyone is going to end up liking you, and that’s okay.

It may be difficult to hear but it’s true; you might not even like everyone, so trying to please everyone is impossible.

While it’s easy to begin worrying about what other people might think of you, it shouldn’t be the defining reason why you go through with your actions.

There’s nothing wrong with saying “No” to your friend when they ask you to do them a favor you honestly don’t feel like doing.

What others think about you is outside of your own control, so stressing about it won’t get you anywhere.

What you can try doing instead is focusing on what you think of yourself. Focus on your own self-care because no one else will.

7. You Don’t Share Your Thoughts

Have you ever felt uncomfortable with the favor that you were doing? That may be a sign of you being too nice.

It’s important that you learn to speak up for yourself and voice your feelings. People aren’t mind readers.

If you don’t say that you’re uncomfortable, they won’t understand you.

Bottling up your feelings inside of you will only cause you further stress.

Expressing it, letting it out, and talking it through with a trusted friend, family member, or even therapist are healthy ways that you can cope with these complicated feelings.

8. You Avoid Conflict As Much As Possible

Has your friend said something that may have rubbed you the wrong way?

Do you hold back on talking to them about it and just agree because you just want everyone to have a good time around you?

Avoiding confrontation at all costs is a shared trait among people who are too nice.

It’s because they believe that any form of conflict is immediately bad. This isn’t true.

Not all disagreements are friendship ending. Real friends who are honest with others are still able to find solid ground together.

When you withhold your feelings, it’s a form of lying to your friend; telling them that everything is alright when in fact it isn’t.

The next time your friend says something that you don’t agree with, don’t be afraid to tell them so and give them your honest reason.

This doesn’t mean you have to be rude or aggressive either.

Stay calm, be honest, and be respectful of your friend’s opinion.

9. You Regularly Feel Drained

Are you finding yourself always exhausted because there’s another thing you have to do for someone?

Do you feel distracted in your work? Or are you losing interest in the hobbies that you once enjoyed?

If you do, there is something clearly wrong going on.

Taking too many favors can take a toll on your mental and physical energy; it’s a lot of balls to juggle in the air.

If you’re feeling drained, you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking your much-needed rest. You deserve time to get your energy and enthusiasm back.

10. Focusing On Yourself Feels Selfish

Being nice to yourself doesn’t automatically mean that you’re being rude to others — it just means that you’re prioritizing your self-care first; it’s being kind to yourself.

Try taking a day off for yourself doing what you enjoy.

Block out a day in your calendar and tell others that you’ll be busy that day because you have to attend to personal matters (which is true).

Everyone deserves time to take care of themselves; you might even find that it’s just what you need.

There’s nothing wrong with being nice and polite.

The important thing to remember is to not stretch yourself out too thin to the point of burnout or even self-inflicting frustration.

Just like with any habit you’re trying to change, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort.

The most important thing that you can do right now is putting yourself on your list of people to please. You matter too.


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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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