In a #MeToo world, knowing the difference between nice and too nice is vital!
Good parents teach their children to be nice. Being nice is a beautiful thing and the benefit is that it makes us likable to others and who doesn’t like being liked. But is there such a thing as being too nice, too likable? I believe there is. A person is too nice when she repeatedly gives from a place of:
• To avoid feeling guilty
• Fear of abandonment rejection, or being seen as selfish
• Needing to rescuing others from their irresponsibility
• To receive approval
• To avoid someone’s wrath
• To feel valuable, useful, and loved
What about you? Can you think of a time where you were taken advantage of, used, controlled or even harmed by others because you were too nice and unable to say no? Do you live with any regret because you’ve spent years feeling like a chameleon changing your colors to best suit the whims and wishes of your parents, boyfriend, spouse, friend, child, or boss? How much have you lost financially, physically, in your time, or energy? This relational style is called co-dependency.
It’s like there is a magnet that attracts those who cannot SAY no to those who won’t HEAR know.
How does it happen? How is it that time and time again it is difficult, if not impossible, to say “no” and mean it! You’re asked to, say, commit to another obligation by a controlling person or lend money to an irresponsible family member and while your head is screaming NO! you just can’t get yourself to say it. Or maybe you’re asked to work late…again… or cover someone else’s shift or show up for a holiday with toxic family members.
Being too afraid to turndown a request from an unsafe person can be downright dangerous. A person with weak boundaries or even non-existent boundaries will allow a person to get way too close. If you have been raised in a home with violence and abuse, you may not trust your instincts to protect yourself. Thoughts in your mind and symptoms in your body may be alerting you, but you just ignore them.
It’s like slow dancing with the devil with your dress on fire and not smelling the smoke or feeling the flames until it’s too late.
You may envy those who easily say “yes” when they mean “yes” and “no” when they mean “no.” Is it that they’re strong and you are not? Is that they have uber confidence? The reality is that you may have never taught healthy boundaries or worse you were not allowed to have them. You had to go along to get along. Walking on egg shells was the norm and likely an act of survival. Or it may be possible that someone else’s needs or demands took up so much space leaving little room for you to have your longings fulfilled or even be noticed.
And, so, you find yourself saying Yes when you really want to say No! and the next thing you know you once again acquiesce to somebody else’s wishes at the expense of your own. And that hurts… leaving you to wonder when do I get to live? When do I get what I want?
I want you to know that it is possible to be nice and honest…
Healthy boundaries and setting limits is the way to protect what is valuable to you. They represent a property line that says this is mine – my thoughts, my beliefs, my values, my body, my hopes, my dreams, my money, my time, my energy. I take care of them because I AM valuable. I AM worthy. I only allow people that are respectful, truthful, and safe into my inner circle.
If you could say no and mean it… How would that feel? What would your life look like? Who would you become? What could you accomplish? How would your children’s lives be different because of it?
When you’re ready to say YES! to yourself, I am ready to support you!