If you fancy yourself a good person, someone probably accused you of being “too nice” at one point.
With your best interest at heart, they gently explained that sometimes it’s okay to be the bad guy.
Did they have a point?
As a people-pleaser, I often ask myself where’s the line between being nice and being a doormat.
Perhaps you’re in the same boat.
If that’s the case, here are 8 signs you’re not “too nice”, you’re simply a good person.
You can tell your well-intentioned friend that things are under control.
1) You stand up for yourself
Being too nice can come with an inability to say “no” to others’ demands, even when they lead to personal inconvenience or stress.
Thankfully, that’s not you.
You can (politely) stand up for yourself and ensure your needs are acknowledged and honored.
This can mean that:
- You don’t take on more tasks at work than you can manage
- You don’t stay in romantic relationships where your partner doesn’t treat you well
- You don’t put up with toxic friends, even if you’ve known them for a long time
- You don’t ditch your plans to do a loved one a favor that can wait
- You don’t give up your subway seat if you’re exhausted
While being too nice comes from a genuine desire to help others, you need to make sure that you don’t help them to the point where you invite them to walk all over you.
Unfortunately, people may try to take advantage of your friendly nature.
Before you realize it, you’ve done more for them than you’ve done for yourself.
Don’t let your niceness get out of hand.
2) You don’t let others mistreat you
If you’re overaccommodating, you can give people the wrong impression.
To quote Lana del Rey, they mistake your kindness for weakness, assuming you won’t object if they treat you poorly.
Take credit for your work. Borrow your stuff without asking for permission. Invade your personal space.
If you’re too nice, you put up with it because you don’t want to upset anyone.
If you’re simply a good person with no people-pleasing tendencies, you speak up.
It’s that simple.
I struggle with this, but I’m getting better at calling out people for their bad behavior.
For instance, I’m a great listener, so friends frequently like to complain to me about life’s many indignities.
In the past, I used to ignore the fact that we usually talk about them whenever we hang out.
After a recent night out with a friend, however, I realized that she asked me no personal questions.
Which is weird, right?
Now, when they completely dominate the conversation, and I also have stuff to vent about, I suggest we focus on my issues for a while.
Practice makes perfect.
3) You’re assertive when the situation calls for it
Being assertive is an essential skill for resolving conflicts and maintaining your well-being in a respectful manner.
When you’re too nice, you have problems with this particular ability.
Instead of advocating for yourself, you either go with the flow or accept that things won’t turn out as you want and there’s not a lot you can do about it.
Which is a shame because there very much is.
Good people who aren’t too nice find a way to get their point across, even if they risk upsetting others.
As a bonus, they do it in a way that doesn’t escalate the situation, ensuring a more productive conversation.
For instance, when someone becomes aggressive, they insist on their right to be treated respectfully.
Maybe they say something along the lines of, “I won’t stand here and let you talk to me that way.”
When disagreements arise, they propose compromises to find mutually agreeable solutions.
Reflect on your interactions.
Is assertiveness something you need to work on, or do you have it covered for now?
4) You have boundaries
Overly nice people have trouble setting personal boundaries.
There’s no limit to what they’re willing to tolerate, and they don’t know how to protect themselves:
- They say “yes” when they would much rather say “no”
- They take on too many obligations, often to the detriment of their sanity
- They experience guilt whenever they stand their ground
- They are easily swayed by the opinions of others
- They are reluctant to speak their mind, even among loved ones
Do you see yourself in any of the behaviors above?
If not, you don’t have anything to worry about.
5) You make yourself a priority
A good person who isn’t too nice recognizes that their physical and emotional health are vital.
As a result, they make themselves a priority and don’t let energy vampires prevent them from engaging in self-help practices.
This means you take your friend who is having a tough time drinking, but you leave the bar early enough not to miss your morning work presentation.
Or that you give your friend the housewarming gift of hiring movers but don’t break your back lifting their too-heavy sofa just because they want to save a buck.
With you, it’s all about balance.
And your relationships are healthier for it.
6) You advocate for your interests
When did you and your partner last do something you wanted?
Your group of friends embraced one of the activities you proposed? Your team at work went with your idea?
If you can’t recall, you might be a little too nice, and others might be taking advantage of you.
But if you have no problem advocating for your interests, you’re on the right track.
7) You’re supportive without being an enabler
A nice person will support and encourage someone without perpetuating harmful behaviors.
Someone who is too nice, in contrast, might accidentally become an enabler in their efforts to assist.
Let’s say a friend is struggling with an overspending problem, and they ask for financial help.
An enabler will repeatedly lend them money, even when it’s clear that their irresponsible spending is an ongoing issue.
Someone supportive yet willing to set boundaries will sit the person down and have an honest talk about the consequences of their actions.
Then, they might offer to help them create a budget and manage their money.
However, they don’t enable their financial irresponsibility by constantly approving their Venmo requests.
They know this would spell disaster in the long run, so they set a boundary.
You might remember those from number 4).
8) You’re a positive influence on those around
Finally, the world looks up to good people.
They strike a balance between kindness and assertiveness, promoting healthy interactions.
Consequently, their upbeat and helpful nature makes them a positive influence.
Others are more likely to speak highly of them and see them as role models.
When someone is perceived as a doormat, on the other hand, there’s little chance anyone will think of them as heroes or mentors.
Excessive niceness is generally associated with exploitation, weakness, and a lack of self-respect.
Would you look up to someone who doesn’t respect themselves?
If you recognize yourself in the above, you are kind and compassionate up to a point.
While you like to cater to others, you also know how to exclude yourself from the narrative when being considerate isn’t in your best interest.
You’ve found the sweet spot.