From Too Nice to Kind


People have always said I am too nice; at my last job, the Regional Person they sent said that over and over. That was, however, not the first time I had ever heard someone say that.

What is too nice? I grew up in the South and being nice was what you were taught. Play well with others; Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or treat people the way you would like to be treated. All of the people who were my teachers spoke these things like they were statements carved in stone.

I looked up “nice” in the dictionary to see if I understood nice, since it was always a word used to describe me. Webster’s says that nice is agreeable; likeable; pleasant; satisfactory; enjoyable and other such words. I like these words – they are the way one should be proud to be described.

I have heard it said that you can never be too rich or too thin, but too nice…really!?

Living in the information age, I went to “Google.” I discovered many things about nice that surprised me. It actually can be considered as a weakness in the work environment. People seem to take advantage of nice people.

My mother always took up for herself. She did not let people take advantage of her. Unfortunately, she would often say to me, “You cannot be my daughter; you are just like your Father. You don’t just let people walk all over you; you let them wipe their feet on you.”

I have to say that after having been out in the world and having matured, I find myself being a mix of my mother and my father. I do let people take advantage of me sometimes, but I can also draw a line when I reach that magic point that shows in my eyeballs… the one that says TILT. If I get to that point, the taking advantage of me is OVER. But I am still considered nice.

In seeking improvement from friends I trust, they agree – I am too nice. I asked what being too nice meant to them. They all said the same thing, but without conferring with one another. The consensus was that I let people get away with things they should be called on. Further, they said that I let people take advantage of me, for example, using me for their own agenda.

I thought about what my friends said. Searching my soul, I have to agree with them, but… yes, there is a but: When someone uses me or takes advantage of me, I believe that the scales will be balanced – KARMA. If they do me wrong, somewhere down the line, they will get theirs, and I will be blessed or compensated in someway, not necessarily by that person. That keeps me from being upset and it allows me to “let go.”

I do not always “let go” of the wrong done me right away; sometimes I hold on to the disappointment and steam over it; finally, I reach that point where I know I have to let it go or it will harm me. My belief that the wrong will be righted helps me move forward and not be consumed by the atrocity.

So, is too nice a bad thing? I think it could be. I think I will opt for a new adjective to describe myself; I opt for kind – Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature. 2. Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable: a kind word. 3. Humane; considerate: kind to animals.

I do acknowledge after this exercise in self exploration that nice people are usually people pleasers. People Pleasers want desperately for people to like them. I do want people to like me. I have learned in my 66 years that if you try to please others and not yourself – that is, not be true to yourself – that you lose. You must always end any situation with feeling good about yourself; you can only do that when you are not too nice. Be kind, that seems a better alternative.

My new sticky note to place everywhere, and to read for 21 days, 3 times a day (it takes 21 days to create or change a habit):

Feel free to copy for yourself if you are too nice.

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