Defaulting To Being Nice Does You No Good

Most of us are habitually friendly or agreeable in social situations, even when we probably shouldn't be. While friendliness is generally tactful, sometimes it's won't serve you well in the long run.

Photo by mardy78

Nisha Balaram at Tiny Buddha rarely spoke up when she was upset, which eventually allowed others to walk all over her.

When faced with challenges or confrontations with other people, I would automatically act nice, without actually feeling that way. It was as if I was set to automatic, where by habit, I was agreeable. However, on the inside, I felt depressed and anxious whenever someone did something I did not agree with.

Nisha let her friend off the hook for flaking out on lunch plans three times in a row. She realised that by telling her it was alright, she was only encouraging her to do it again. Being automatically agreeable, even when the situation called for a little more friction, wasn't doing her any good.

This isn't to say you should scream at your friends whenever they do something you don't like. But you could try voicing a contrary opinion in a meeting, or occasionally saying no when someone asks you for a favour. These are small steps you can take to avoid becoming a doormat.

Are You Too Nice? How To Be Kind and Be Good To Yourself [Tiny Buddha]


    I agree with the sentiment, and I think it would probably work in the circumstances.

    But the article is just one persons experience - no studies, no quoting other references about the problem. The article doesn't even mention how others have reacted to the change in behavior, nor does the author get to reporting feeling any better as a result.

    Where's the lesson here, other than being a doormat can make you feel bad?

    This article seems to imply that being nice is the same as being agreeable. I don't believe this to be so...

    I've got to agree with Tim here, there is absolutely no reason why you can't be nice AND assertive.

    Not speaking up when things upset you isn't being nice, or agreeable, it's being a pushover. You can still let someone know something doesn't work for you or say no to a favour nicely.

    This is the main reason people get suckered in by telemarketers.

    They start by asking questions which you'd feel rude not to answer a certain way, and once they've got you in that pattern, the consistency principle locks you into keeping the call going.

    If the person you're interacting with is simply pretending to be nice to you for their own self interest, then you have no obligation to reciprocate, and people should treat 'phone spam' the same way they treat email spam.

    This makes no sense... I think what you are talking about is people with no boundaries...
    I know plenty of people that are really nice people but have decent boundaries so they don't get walked over.

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