Pushover. Doormat. People pleaser. Wuss.
Sadly, as harsh as these words may be, they’re just some words used to describe people who are excessively nice, sometimes at their own cost.
Don’t get me wrong. Being nice is always a good thing. In fact, the world could be a better place if we had more nice folks around.
But think about this:
How often has being too nice resulted in sacrificing your own wants and needs?
Do you see my point now?
Again, nice is great. But when you cross the line and reach the too-nice zone, it becomes detrimental to you.
And here’s the kicker:
Because you’re way too nice, you rarely realize that you’ve pushed yourself further down the priority list, putting your own well-being at risk.
So take this post as the universe giving you a wake up call with these 7 signs that you’re way too nice for your own good:
1) “No” rarely comes out of your mouth
If your default response to every request is “yes” or “sure,” we’ve got a problem.
I heard an interesting thing the other day that makes the perfect analogy for this point. It went along the lines of, “When you say yes to something, you’re saying no to another thing.”
Think about it:
Agreeing to your boss’ request for overtime means more money for you but it also means saying no to your personal downtime or quality time with your family.
When you say yes to babysitting your nieces so their parents can go on a weekend date, you might be saying goodbye to your only day off.
It’s okay to be helpful and considerate of others occasionally, but don’t make prioritizing other people’s needs over your own a habit.
A good rule of thumb is to always ask one of these questions whenever you are asked something:
“Do I really want to?” or “Can I truly handle this?”
Remember that “no” is an option. Declining is not selfish – it’s sometimes essential.
Be selective with your YES’s and learn to embrace the power of saying “NO”.
2) “I’m sorry” always comes out of your mouth
You may not say NO a lot, but is “sorry” a constant part of your daily vocabulary?
Apologizing is the right and mature thing to do when you’re at fault. But over apologizing becomes your downfall, especially when it’s not your wrongdoing. Here are a couple of examples:
You’re at a party, and someone spills their drinks on you, but you’re the one apologizing for not being too careful. Or your partner forgets your date night, and you’re the one saying sorry for not reminding them.
A lot of people do this just to avoid conflict. But let’s step back and look at the bigger picture:
When you make unnecessary apologies and take the fall simply because you want to keep the peace, you end up diminishing your self-worth.
“The habit of over-apologizing is rooted in the desire to be accepted. Remember, you are enough as you are.” – Anonymous.
3) You’re the self-appointed peacemaker
Since we’ve already touched on conflict avoidance, let’s dive a little deeper:
Are you the one who always makes an effort to restore harmony in your circle of friends, family, or even in your romantic relationships?
I’m not talking about simply encouraging the other parties to find a compromise or a resolution. I’m talking about making sacrifices to maintain peace.
I’m referring to instances like when your family members have constant disagreements over money, and you lend cash to some of them to ease the tension.
Or when your teammates argue over a task, and you take extra work to get things done to avoid workplace disagreements.
What’s wrong with these pictures?
You haven’t addressed the root of the problem. You may think you’ve done something nice, but the reality is you’ve only created a temporary moment of peace – at your own expense.
Remember, you’re not responsible for everyone’s peace and happiness. You’re only responsible for your own.
4) You’re always the giver and never the receiver
They say it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and to some extent, I do agree.
But when you give way too much and giving is all you do, that’s a sure sign that you’re being way too nice for your own good.
And giving doesn’t just pertain to the material things. It also includes giving up too much of your time and your energy.
If you find yourself always being the designated driver, constantly being a sounding board to everyone’s troubles, or often canceling plans to accommodate others – yet you don’t seem to get the same response, then STOP.
I don’t mean stop being thoughtful and generous and start being selfish.
What I’m saying is it’s about time to voice out your needs and expectations, too. Don’t feel bad for wanting or expecting the same level of kindness and concern you constantly provide.
Remind yourself that relationships – personal or professional – should be reciprocal.
It’s not about keeping score, either. It’s just about achieving that healthy balance between giving and taking.
5) You can’t (or won’t) set boundaries
If you resonated with the always-the-giver persona I described before, this next one probably echoes with you too: You don’t set boundaries.
Think about it:
If you set healthy boundaries, you won’t allow your friends to vent out on you when you’re emotionally and physically exhausted. When you set boundaries, you won’t let your work function be the reason for canceling that spa day you scheduled for yourself.
Whether you can’t, won’t, or don’t set boundaries, the result is the same: you will eventually suffer from burnout and maybe even feel taken for granted (by yourself and others).
Start by defining what’s acceptable for you and follow it through by communicating it clearly to the people around you.
It’s okay to tell your friends you’re unavailable for a chat. It’s okay to say no to dinner with your colleagues after work.
Again, it’s not being inconsiderate, rude, or selfish.
Boundaries are an essential part of your self-care and self-respect. Boundaries protect your energy and your well-being.
And one more thing:
Once you’ve learned to set boundaries, make sure that you don’t let anyone walk over them.
6) You don’t ask for help
We’ve talked about the boundary thing. Now let’s talk about something related: the whole “it’s not right to ask for help” mentality.
You’re everyone’s go-to for help, and that’s amazing. But let me ask you this:
Why do you deprive yourself of the helpful hand that you constantly offer to others? Don’t you think you deserve the same level of TLC, too?
Look, I get it:
Maybe you do this because you don’t want to inconvenience anyone or because you feel it’s your responsibility to handle everything.
But there’s a huge difference between being self-reliant and self-neglecting.
Not asking for a hand because you can do it independently is acceptable. But avoiding reaching out for help because you feel guilty about burdening others is just plain and simple neglect for your own well-being.
If you’re always there for others, make it a standard to allow others to be there for you, too.
You’ve already mastered the art of giving help. It’s about time you learn to ask and accept help from others, too!
7) You struggle to accept compliments
That little voice that tells you not to bother others for help is the same voice that encourages you to deflect compliments: that’s the way-too-nice-for-your-own-good voice right there.
Let’s look at examples:
You’re the party host, and someone compliments your homemade dishes. But instead of saying “thank you,” you deflect and say, “I think they’re too bland. I could have done better”.
Or you’re on a date, and your partner says you look stunning. But you reply with, “Stop it. I think I look haggard”.
Do any of these scenarios sound like you?
You may say it’s not too nice; instead, it’s just being humble.
But here’s the thing:
When you constantly shrug off compliments, you subconsciously affirm that you’re not worthy of praise. Not only that, you’re actively undermining your achievements.
But that’s not all:
When you’re always downplaying praises given to you, people are more likely to hesitate to compliment you in the future.
Accepting compliments is not a sign of being too full of yourself. Instead, it’s acknowledging someone’s kind observation and recognizing your value.
So the next time someone says you’re amazing, take it as it is, smile, and just say “thank you.”
“By dodging the compliment, you’re telling yourself you’re not worth it. Break the cycle and embrace the praise.” – Unknown.
Kind vibes, smart boundaries
Let’s get one thing clear: Your kindness is a strength.
But as the saying goes, too much of anything isn’t good. So when you’re overly nice and end up sacrificing much of yourself, you’re turning that superpower into a weakness.
Balance, boundaries, and a healthy sense of self-worth are essential.
Always wrap yourself in the same warm blanket of kindness that you so freely cloak others with.