Basic sense tells you that you should be nice to other people.
I mean, you want other people to be nice to you, right?
So, it only makes sense to treat them the way you want to be treated.
But when you look at the world, and how people generally behave, you realize that there are a lot of not-so-nice people in the world.
And no matter how nicely you behave with them, they remain the same way.
In fact, they see you as weak and vulnerable.
And they are the first ones that try to take advantage of you.
Obviously, this can make you feel tired.
Tired of being nice.
Tired of people walking all over you due to your soft nature.
And it confuses you to your core.
On the inside, you want to be nice because that’s who you are. But at the same time, you realize that doing so often leads to negative outcomes for you.
So, what should you do?
What is the answer?
Well, fear not.
There are many things you can do to still be nice to people while stopping them from treating you badly.
Let’s look at a few of these.
1) Have Healthy Boundaries
There is a great quote by Henry Ford that sums up this point really well.
He once said:
“Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.”
I am sure you have experienced this to be true too.
Nice people are givers.
They give and give because they think it’s the right thing to do.
But, unfortunately, there are many people who just don’t respect that.
Instead, they see it as an opportunity to keep taking from you.
They think nice people are stupid and can just be exploited endlessly.
So, you have to create personal and professional boundaries to stop people like these from using you.
These boundaries will act as your protective bubble.
Of course, there can be people who genuinely need your support (like emotionally vulnerable people), but even there, you have to realize that you have your limits.
The rule of thumb is, if you are not feeling like it, don’t do it.
You are a human being, after all!
And you deserve your space.
So, if someone keeps asking for your help or support, and you have your own troubles weighing you down, “I am sorry, I have too much on my plate right now. I think you should talk to someone else or seek professional help.”
Trust me, there is nothing wrong with doing so.
And it doesn’t make you a bad person.
2) Learn To Say No
A common problem with most nice people is that they just keep saying yes to people.
When a friend asks them to come along for a movie, they say yes even if they don’t want to.
When a colleague asks them to help them with their assignment, they say yes even when they have their own work to do.
It’s just an endless streak of yeses that keeps wearing them down.
But guess what?
Nice people still keep agreeing to other people’s requests because that’s their nature.
In a perfect world, if everyone would be doing this, I would say that’s ok.
But we don’t live in a perfect world, do we?
So, it’s important to stand up for yourself and learn to say no.
The next time someone asks you for something, just say no if you don’t want to do it. ( check ou article about 24 tips to say no)
You don’t even need an excuse.
Just be polite and turn them down.
For example, if your friend asks you to come for a barbecue party, just say, “I am sorry, I don’t feel like going to a party right now. I would rather sit back and relax at home.”
3) Let Go of Wanting To Please People
Nice people often go out of their way to please other people.
Even when they are not asked to do so.
For example, as a nice person, you might want to lend someone money when you think that the other person needs it.
Even if that can put you under a little bit of pressure.
You might also get coffee for your coworker who sits next to you, even if they didn’t ask for it.
At a party, you might want to compliment people just to please them.
You see, there is nothing wrong with random acts of kindness.
You should definitely help people out of the goodness of your heart.
But the problem starts when you keep doing it over and over again, just so that people like you.
I understand that you have this need inside to please other people.
But going out of your way and causing yourself problems is not the way to do it.
And I think, somewhere in your heart, you already know this.
If you fear that not doing things for people will make them upset or angry at you, you need to realize that they will get upset or angry regardless of what you do or don’t do.
At the end of the day, there is no point in thinking about what other people think of you.
You have your own life to live, and you have to be true to yourself. You don’t owe anything to anybody.
4) Be Honest When Asked About Your Opinion
This is something that not many nice people think about.
When someone asks their opinion, they say something that they think the other person wants to hear.
Even if it is false.
For example, as a nice person, when your friend asks you, “How do I look in these clothes?” your answer might be, “You look so beautiful!”
Now, even if you think that those clothes don’t suit her, you still say that she looks good.
After all, you don’t want to hurt her feelings, do you?
But you have to realize that you are essentially lying to your friend.
You could have been honest with her, and she could have worn some other clothes in which she actually looks good!
What will happen when your friend asks other people the same question and receives honest answers from them?
She will then think that you are untrustworthy and might not ask your opinion in the future.
You can say anything as long as you say it with tact and empathy.
So, just be honest with people, even if it’s hard.
At least you will give them a chance to improve on something.
And they will respect you for that.
5) Make Your Needs Known
Nice people put other people’s needs in front of their own.
This might sound like a noble thing to do, but in your heart, you know that you shouldn’t do this.
You are not being true to your inner self, and you are jumping through hoops for people who might not even appreciate it.
Ask yourself, “Will the same people do it for you?” “Will they put your needs in front of their own?”
If the answer is no, why the heck are you doing it for them?
Is this your way of hiding your own needs?
No matter what relationship it is, you have to start speaking up.
You have to make your needs known to other people.
Don’t fear that they will turn you down.
If you don’t want to do something just tell them….
Don’t fear that they will judge you.
The ones who care will acknowledge your needs and even fulfill them.
And don’t think for a second that you don’t deserve that.
6) Nip Bad Behavior In The Bud
As a nice person, when someone says something rude to you or does something that hurts you, you may tend to keep quiet.
You may think that it’s not worth making an issue out of it.
Again, you are putting the other person on a higher pedestal than yourself.
And in doing so, you are giving them the power to repeat this behavior in the future.
Do you want that to happen?
Of course, not!
So, learn to nip bad behavior in the bud.
If someone does something bad, let them know loud and clear how that made you feel.
Let them know that you won’t tolerate such behavior in the future.
Muster up the courage to stand up for yourself.
I know you won’t feel like it, but this is the right thing to do.
And you know that in your mind.
There is no need to fear that you’ll upset them or make them angry.
You don’t have to keep making them feel good at the expense of your own feelings.
Put yourself first.
It’s not being selfish; it’s doing the right thing.