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Why Being Too Nice Is A Curse. Here’s How I Learn To Grow My Backbone.

Why Being Too Nice Is A Curse. Here’s How I Learn To Grow My Backbone.

Since we were toddlers, our parents, seniors, and teachers constantly tell us the importance of being nice. There’s nothing wrong with being nice, in fact, we should be nice to people. But have you encountered someone who goes overboard with their niceness?

There’s a fine line of being nice and TOO nice. Imagine the colleague who laughs at every single joke at work. Or the friend who compliments everything that you are doing. Or the stranger who starts a conversation with you and responds with “I agree”.

Do you find them nice or irritating? I think most people will say the latter. We might even find that person disingenuous. So what’s the key to be nice but not overly nice? Here are 3 tips for you to keep closely in mind:

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Don’t only nod and agree

Sometimes, it is difficult to balance being nice and voicing our opinions. For some reason, we think others are fragile, and criticisms or disagreements can easily break a relationship, so we decide to go the safest route — nod and agree at everything.

In a conversation, person X thinks the world is getting more dangerous with technology. You nod with concurrence. At the same time, person Y thinks technology will bring a brighter future to the human race. You equally agree. What will you look like? An attentive person or one who is not paying attention?

Instead, we should be listening attentively while disagreeing when necessary.

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Most people welcome disagreements during discussions. It is more important to argue with valid points than agree to everything. Of course, one more trick is to not our dignity at stake — this will make you nicer to talk to.

Praise with understanding

We all enjoy receiving compliments from others. And overly nice people shower you with praises almost too much. They say nice things about your haircut, lavish compliments on the minimalist design of your water bottle, or even admire your mid-day flossing habit. Unfortunately, their praises are often ill-targeted and give off a rather insincere impression.

The main reason behind is people who are too nice don’t truly understand the person they are complimenting. On the contrary, we should praise others according to what that particular person is actively proud of. People value accurate praises more than those stock phrases. So when we do bestow a compliment, we are more likely to receive a proper resonance from the other side.

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Sympathy speaks louder than cheerful words

Being positive is not wrong. But it doesn’t necessarily mean blindly spewing sunshines and rainbows to a person who is feeling blue. Overly nice people are often remorselessly upbeat, it actually does not help to comfort others.

The more effective communication and the last tip of being nice but not too nice, is to give proper responses instead of immersing the person you are trying to comfort into the pool of optimism. Sometimes, people just want a pair of ears to listen, and often, they only want someone to understand them.

Let’s think about this as the person who is going through tough times. What would you prefer? The overly nice person who emphasizes your positive attributes, or the nice person who doesn’t say much but listens?

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Needless to say, we tend to be cheered up by the ones who sympathize and are willing to travel through our sorrows, anxieties, confusions, frustrations, and hesitations with us.

It sounds pretty complicated, isn’t it?

Well, it seems difficult to truly be nice but not too nice. After all, being nice follows one simple principle — put yourself in the shoes of others.

One of the reasons why people are overly nice is because they are intimidated by others. They are afraid of social failure, and by expressing an excessive amount of humility, they are under a false assumption that being extremely nice and friendly is the best way to interact with others.

On the flip side, when a person understands the needs of others, s/he is able to make others feel satisfied. Spend the time to grasp what is pleasing to others and take the effort to build real and close relationships by being the “nice but not too nice” friend.

More by this author

Frank Yung

Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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