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9 Bad Things Happen When You’re Too Nice

9 Bad Things Happen When You’re Too Nice

I used to be a nice person.  I would always put others before myself, and do everything in my power to appease those around me.  I volunteered to do the bulk of the work for projects at my job.  I backed down from my requests if they inconvenienced anyone else.  And my free time was spent giving, giving and giving.

The end result, however, was not what I had hoped it would be.  I felt tired and moody, because I was not caring for myself physically.  As I volunteered to do more and more, people began to expect that I would do everything for them.  I became resentful as my dreams were put on the back burner, and I desperately craved the attention and validation that I was not able to give myself.

We all want to be selfless, but in neglecting our own needs, we diminish our ability to do so.  In the article, “How Selflessness Makes Us Selfish,” published on the Counseling Blog, the author states that when we do not meet our own needs, we begin to seek them from external sources, resulting in behavior that looks selfish.  If we want to be more kind and giving, we actually need to be a little LESS “nice.”

Here are some bad things that happen when you are too nice:

1. If you are always giving, people will expect that of you.

In the article, “5 Ways Being Too Nice Can Become Negative,” published on The Power of Positivity, the author states that if you don’t set boundaries, you will be viewed as a doormat and taken advantage of.  Valuing yourself, making sure your needs are met, and establishing limits does not mean that you do not have sympathy for those around you.  It just means that your needs are important as well.

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I thought that people would like me better and see me as more valuable if I gave as much as I could.  Instead, I found that people appreciated it less.  Those around us will value us as much as we value ourselves.  As I began to set limits and ask for help when I needed it, people began to notice and appreciate my contributions.

2. You will develop unrealistic expectations of others.

According to the Power of Positivity, when you are being too nice to others, you develop unrealistic expectations for them to do the same.  When they do not meet these expectations, you may become angry and resentful.

I have noticed this in my own life.  I would go above and beyond for any of my friends, and I took it personally when they were not willing to do the same for me.  What I did not understand was that they were taking care of their own needs, and that it was my responsibility to do the same for myself.

3. People will come to you only when they need something.

The Power of Positivity states that when you are too nice to people, they will only see you as a means to an end.  People will only come to you when they think you can help them out, because they are seeing you only as a tool to help them meet their goals.  This pattern can spiral out of control if you do not set boundaries to nip it as soon as it starts.

I saw this pattern starting in my own life, and it quickly became overwhelming.  Being able to gently say “no,” without providing too many reasons or arguing it, was key.  At times, I would offer to help the person get themself organized so that they could help themself, or I would refer them to other people and resources.

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4. You will forget about being kind to yourself.

According to the Power of Positivity, when you are busy taking care of everyone else, you will forget to be kind to yourself.  This can lead to your basic needs not being met, and spiral into depression and burn-out.

I found that my over-giving distracted me from the sources of pain and suffering that were within myself.  I was seeking validation externally, and I did not believe that I had any value outside of other people’s opinions of me.  When I backed off on the constant giving, I was able to spend some time looking within and learning to rely on myself for validation.  In the end, this allowed me to be more kind and understanding.

5. You will be seen as being weak.

In the article “5 Ways Being Too Nice Can Hurt You,” written by Jessica Stillman and published on Inc, Stillman reports that being too nice can lead other people to see you as being weak.  Not only can this result in other people taking advantage of you, but it can also lead people to not see you as a strong leader or authority.

In my job, I found that when I gave too much and didn’t establish enough boundaries, people did not give me credit for my accomplishments.  Because I did not value myself, they did not notice all that I had done.

6. You will attract needy people.

According to Stillman, when you are too nice you will attract people who are needy and manipulative.  These people see an opportunity to take advantage of you, because you have not established boundaries with them.

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I noticed this in my own life.  I would spend hours “supporting” friends on Facebook, to the point where I was not getting enough sleep.  I learned that it is okay to be a good friend and to be there for people, but it is also okay to let them know that I will only be available for a short amount of time on certain days.

7. People will not trust you.

Stillman states that because so few people are truly nice, when you are too nice, people will wonder if you have an ulterior motive.  You are likely to be met with mistrust, which will lead to difficulties in establishing relationships.

I found that before I learned to establish boundaries, I was never truly accepted into the group, both at work at in my social interactions.  When I began to set limits and show that I valued myself more, other people began to do the same.

8. You may become needy.

According to the Counseling Blog, when you are not meeting your own needs, you will subconsciously seek to get those needs met in other places.  This can result in clingy, needy behavior in relationships, as well as constantly seeking validation.

I found that, surprisingly, I engaged in both of these behaviors before I learned to stand up for myself.  I was always giving, rather than meeting my own needs for validation, so I constantly sought it from those around me.  When I learned to value myself, my clingy behavior stopped.

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9. You become more likely to engage in addictive behaviors.

The Counseling Blog states that when you are not able to see your own value within yourself, you are more likely to engage in addiction-type behaviors in order to deal with stress.  When you are constantly over-giving, you may seek escape by overspending, overeating, or other similar behaviors.

I found that I engaged in a lot of these behaviors.  I was always spending too much money and indulging in junk food, when I felt overwhelmed by obligations for which I received no credit.  When I began to value myself, my addictions lessened.

While it is great to be nice, giving too much and not establishing boundaries will limit–not increase–your ability to be kind to those around you.  Value yourself first, and you will begin to value everyone else around you.

Featured photo credit: Young woman in the field via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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