Is Being Kind and Nice Working Against You?
Written by Elizabeth Stone
Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi FineWe do all kinds of crazy sh*t because we want other people to like us. But when does being kind and nice help and when does it actually hurt us when it comes to our relationships?
Wanting to be liked becomes a problem when you’re continually acting how you think that other people expect or want you to in order to please them. But often there comes a time when trying to people please in this way actually hurts you and makes you a doormat instead of kind and magnetic. So when is being nice bad?
When You’re Consistently Not Getting Your Needs Met
If you bend over backwards over and over and never get anything in return, you’re acting like a doormat, not being nice.
When You’re Hoping That Someone Will Respond in a Certain Way to Your Acts of Kindness
While there should be give and take in any relationship, the sole reason that you give should never be so that you can get. Giving because you want to get is manipulation, not kindness. Lots of people who feel like they have to go this route for approval are doormats in disguise— subtly hoping to buy people’s affections while resenting them when they don’t get what they want out of the deal.
When You Start Feeling Resentful About Doing Nice Things
If you consistently feel taken advantage of, or if you truly feel like you don’t get anything in return for your “niceness,” it’s a sign to pull back and/or an indication that you aren’t standing up for yourself.
If You’ve Ever Asked Yourself Why No One Likes “Nice”
Bemoaning the idea that people don’t like “nice” is a real sign there’s a problem.
Here’s a hard truth. People— both genders— really DO like nice when it’s in the appropriate context. What they don’t like is anyone spinelessly pandering for their affection. That is doormat behavior which is a turn off. They aren’t turned off by nice people who do nice things, they’re turned off when you selflessly toss yourself at them like you have no self worth. See the difference? Self confidence equals attractiveness. Striving to “prove yourself” is unattractive.
If You Start Feeling Like You’re Not Living Your Own Life
Ever felt like you’re “living for a relationship”? It’s a warning sign that you need to go out, pronto and get a hobby. Once you feel like the sun shines out of your beloved’s buttcrack, you’ve launched into doormat territory.
If You’ve Ever Used the Fact That You’re a Nice Person as a Reason Why You Aren’t Successful at Dating
Been dumped repeatedly and told, “you’re too nice” as a suspicious reason why they broke up? It’s enough to make you want to scream, “well if I’m so nice, then why are you dumping me?!” right?
What they’re really saying is that you either lost sex appeal to them, you don’t have a backbone, or you don’t speak up for yourself and they’ve lost respect for you. Being truly nice— showing kindness to others— is not boring. Being a doormat is— since you just float in whichever direction your partner wants. They eventually get bored, and you get dumped.
If you hear yourself complaining that people “just don’t like nice men/women” it’s more likely that you’re presenting yourself in a low value way— not that others truly don’t appreciate kindness. And anyway, if you’re actually being kind and not spineless, do you want someone who doesn’t appreciate it? Probably not.
So How Do You Stop Being A Doormat?
- If you’re upset, speak up.
- Don’t just go along with everything because you want their approval.
- Honor your own wants, desires, feelings and goals.
- Understand that hiding your real desires from your partner isn’t being nice, it’s actually dishonest. They can’t even attempt to make you happy or reciprocate your efforts if they don’t know what you want or how to give it to you.
- Let go of the idea that everything will fall apart if you stop doing everything.
Sometimes we’re hesitant to pull back and stop “doing” everything because we’re terrified that nothing will get done, or we’ll actually be forced to stop and realize that the other person just isn’t pulling their weight (they might never). It’s easy to ignore this harsh reality as long as we stay on the hamster wheel, striving and attempting to “prove” our love to them.
Just as relationships should be both give and take, realize that you have to stop giving for a second so you can actually receive.