How to stop being too nice to people

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Are you exhausted with the habit of being overly nice to others at the expense of yourself and desire to turn a new leaf but have no idea where to start? Are you sick and tired of being a doormat and want to start standing up for yourself? Do you want to express your ideas and have people listen and consider them? Well, this is your lucky day.

It takes a while to understand the difference between being nice (good) and being overly nice (bad). The life lessons below if applied will help anybody experience a transformation while at university and in future career life.

1. Build your self-confidence.

With every action of an overly-nice person aimed at pleasing other people, there lies fear. Fear that you are not good enough. Fear that you must do something for others to gain approval. This is pure lack of self-esteem and it is the biggest culprit to this niceness menace. In fact, if you conquer this issue, all the rest will fall in place

When you walk around campus, you should understand that nobody is superior to you. We were all admitted into the institution to pursue our specific dreams which are all important to ourselves. Once you understand that, you need to start nurturing confidence which by the way, is a wide topic but here are some quick tips

  1. Know and love yourself
  2. Connect with people you love
  3. Stop comparing yourself with others
  4. Feed your mind with positive thoughts
  5. Stop pursuing perfection, acknowledge your accomplishments

2. Set boundaries.

We all have unique ideas and principles that dictate our lives. When these ideals are challenged by people who surround us, we ought to stand by them. But what overly-nice people do is compromise them against their wish in order to meet peoples’ wishes. Don’t allow this to happen.

You need to draw distinct lines and make it clear to your friends and colleagues that you will not violate your beliefs. You can never please everybody and even if you dedicated your entire life to do so, most people will never be impressed. Don’t cross your boundaries to please others and don’t let anybody cross them to get to you

3. Learn to say no

Perhaps one word I have dreaded to use in my life is ‘NO’. It takes a lot of guts to look into someone’s eyes and say the two-letter word yet it might be the only way to emancipate your life. Although you don’t want to do everything people want you to do, you choose to say yes to almost everything. You should learn to say no.

It might seem very straight and frustrating but it surely saves you money, time and a lot more. When learning to say no, anytime someone asks you to do something, the first thought as an overly nice person is that doing it will please the other person, followed by the second thought that, you will be doing it at the expense of your time, money or beliefs. When you get this second thought, say NO.

Once you have said no, you can choose to give a very brief reason why you can’t do it and then you are done. Yet if you genuinely like the idea and have nothing to lose, you can give them a chance to change your no to yes. It takes some time to learn but practice makes perfect.

4. Know your social rights

Just like in the world of law and order, if you don’t know your rights very well, you remain vulnerable. Social rights do exist and as lucidly defined by Manuel Smith a renowned author in his book “When I say No I feel Guilty” they determine what kind of person you are.

Some rights have been covered in other points but I will restate all of them again. You have a right to

  1. Think, feel, and behave any way you want
  2. Not take responsibility for other people’s behaviors or problems
  3. Say no
  4. Ask for help
  5. Not care
  6. Change your mind ( after saying yes earlier)
  7. Make mistakes
  8. Be incompetent (you don’t have to know everything)
  9. Disagree with others/express your opinion
  10. Offer no explanations

Having discovered these rights, you need to start practicing them in your daily life and never feel guilty to assert them.

Develop self confidence

5. Derive approval from within.

Whoever said that you need other people to be happy, made a big mistake. You will never totally understand people and one thing they are all good at is disappointing. They will congratulate you when you give in to their desires and scornfully shun you when you fail to meet their expectations

As a recovering overly nice person you need to start finding other ways of approval and stop depending on others. Discover your passions and pursue them without relenting, it will distract from other people’s lives.

Every day feed your mind with positive affirmations, you will feel more confident with yourself and ultimately people will stop seeing you as a weak person. Appreciate yourself whenever you stand your ground.

6. Do not shy away from conflict.

Don’t be afraid of conflict with your colleagues. Since they have known you as a nice person, they will expect you to give in to their demands with ease. And when you stand your ground, they might get disappointed and try to confront you.

Don’t be scared, such fights are inevitable. Don’t give in, even if they threaten to cut ties, the world has billions of people, the likelihood of meeting more amazing people is very high. Just don’t compromise your ideals. They might eventually come back apologizing and this time they will respect you.

Even when everybody follows a certain direction and you alone believe in something else, don’t shy from expressing it. Loud your beliefs and support them. The strongest person is whoever stands alone against the rest of the world. You will be respected for this show of braveness.

There you go, I hope you have seen some light today. Changes don’t happen overnight so don’t expect that within a short time your overly nice attitude will be gone. Focus on solving this issue for 2 to 3 weeks and you will notice a huge difference in your life. Thanks

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