You’re Too Nice
I remember doing a speech at a Toastmasters meeting, where I played a role as if I was a public relations person speaking at a news conference about a potential problem with a fictional company. My evaluator began her evaluation by saying that she did not find me believable. In her opinion I could never do that type of job because I was too nice. She really believed that about me — in her mind I was just too nice a person.
Wow — too nice. Is there such a thing? I thought about that for quite a while after her comments. Am I too nice – not just for this particular speech project – but too nice in general, as she seemed to imply? If I am too nice, what does that mean and how do I deal with it?
I believe it is important to be nice to others, to show compassion, and be kind. I want to treat others so they will feel comfortable and know that someone cares. A smile, a kind word, or doing a favour for them, if it is within my ability to do so, I will. These are things I saw my folks and grandparents do for others. It is the way my faith tells me to treat others. Also, I must admit, I want others to treat me kindly and show compassion.
I realized that I should not take the evaluator’s words of too nice, as a negative, for they reinforced that I was living what I said I believed about how people should be treated. Yet I know that there can be a drawback on being nice – too nice that is. I have experienced times when I have allowed others to take advantage or walk all over me because I hated to say, not right now. I have pasted on a smile that I did not feel reached all the way down to my heart, or provided a twinkle in my eyes. Then I took on yet another job to help out someone else, hoping they would appreciate it or reciprocate the favour. It took being dumped on a few times, and feeling used and hurt, to realize there is a time to say no. That is not being mean, but just honesty. It has not been an easy lesson to learn.
Helping others does not mean that I must put my needs on hold, stuff them down and hope for the best. I have needed to learn the importance of self-care – being too nice to myself at times as well, so I have the reserves, the ability, and the desire to continue to show kindness to others. Self-care is an ongoing process and at times I feel like a slow learner, but one step at a time, I will figure out what that means for me. When I practice good self-care, it will allow me to be too nice to others and to myself.
Is there such a thing as being too nice? Not when it is who I am, who I want to be, and who I should be. Not when I remember to look after me, too. I’ll just keep being myself with a desire to keep learning, growing, and improving into the best me I can be.