Relationships: Being too nice has some surprising dangers

Being too nice can hurt you in all your relationships—in romance, friendships, family and at work. We’ve got expert advice on how to draw the line between nice and too nice.

Aug 08, 2012
Laura L. Benn
Leda & St. Jacques
Being too nice

Sally Mead says she was completely stunned when a new acquaintance called her a people-pleaser with no sense of identity.

"She told me that I ditch plans because my boss calls on my day off, see movies I don't like because my friends want to, even take up line dancing at my mother's insistence," explains Sally, a freelance flutist and part-time nanny. "People always said I was being ‘too nice,' but this new friend told me that doing all of this stuff wasn't nice at all-it was misleading and resulted in me being unhappy most of the time. Turns out, she was right."

According to Krista Roesler, a Toronto-based life coach, many people suffer from being too nice - being nice is a win-win scenario and being too nice is a win-lose situation. "If you're nice, both people feel good and happy," she points out. "If you are too nice the other person probably feels good, but you don't."

The perfect balance is giving as much as you want without feeling resentful about it-in other words, maintain boundaries. Without boundaries, you tend to get walked all over. Roesler shared her expert tips on how to maintain the tricky balance between being nice and too nice in romance, friendships, in your family and at work.

Relationship expert advice: When you're too nice in romance
Do you find yourself constantly going out with your guy's friends (who you secretly can't stand), attending events, like curling competitions (oh joy), that bore you to the core, or watching your man play video games for hours even though you would rather be doing something else? Then chances are you're "too nice" in your relationship.

The danger of constantly giving in to what the other person wants to do is, of course, losing yourself to your partner. While there is something to be said for going above and beyond for your significant other, regularly sacrificing your likes, desires and interests for theirs ultimately jeopardizes your individuality. "Being too nice can prevent healthy open communication that is important for all relationships," Roesler explains, adding that in some cases repressing how you really feel can also lead to putting up with abusive behaviour.

Are you being too nice at work? Keep reading to learn if you are damaging your professional prospects on the next page...



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