Yesterday was one of those days. I had a long “mental” to-do list. Most of it didn’t get done. I sat on the couch almost all day. I may have drunk a lot of coffee, and I may have taken a nap at some point in the day.
I was well-intentioned. Like I said, I had the list that included multiple errands and a trip to the grocery store, laundry to get done, letters to write, phone calls to make. I went to grocery store and then, because I was exhausted (thank goodness I have a diagnosed autoimmune disorder that I can blame it on), I went home and did absolutely nothing.
But you know, despite my day of nothingness, I was pretty proud of myself yesterday. Two different people called me and asked me to come into work, and I said no. And I didn’t feel guilty about it.
(OK, I admit I felt slightly guilty about it, but that didn’t last long).
Ah…my life long struggle with learning to say no, and saying no without feeling bad about it. It’s one of the ways that I am sometimes too nice…which I believe is synonymous with the term “pushover.” Yes, I believe that there is such a thing as being too nice. I know, because this is me. But the downfall to being too agreeable or too nice, is that you tend to forget about the one person that you should be looking out for the most: yourself.
These are the things that come to mind when I think about being too nice:
Too nice: When you give up your plans to go do something you don’t want to do but do anyways, because you know you will feel guilty if you don’t. Take work, for example. I don’t know how many times I have been called on my day off, asking if I can work. And, many times, even though I ‘ve had plans already, I’ve said yes. So I’ve cancelled my plans and have gone to work, and almost always end up feeling crabby about the things that I am now not going to get done.
Too nice: When you continue to do nice things for someone who doesn’t give you the same courtesy. How I have learned this hard lesson time and time again over the past couple of years. There is one person in particular who, quite frankly, has tried their hardest to make my life miserable in a variety of ways. This particular person bad mouths me constantly, doesn’t bother to respond to any method of communication when I try to initiate contact, and recently, flat-out refused to help me when I was in a desperate situation. When I posted about it on Facebook my friends were disgusted by the story and even then, do you think I could say anything bad about him? No.
I struggle with this one, a lot. As children we all learn about “The Golden Rule,” that is, “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Done Unto You.” So this means that if you want someone to be nice, you should be nice to them first, right? But what if that person, despite the fact that you are continuously nice, insists on treating you in the same disrespectful manner? Does it mean that you should continue to be nice to them? Or does it mean that since they are treating you disrespectfully that you are now entitled to stoop to said person’s level and do vengeful things? I suppose I could stoop to that level, but (despite what lots of people advise me to do) I can’t just seem to go down that path. I’m too nice, remember?
But that makes me think of another point.
Too Nice: Allowing someone to treat you poorly. So when I asked this person for help, and he refused, I stood there for a brief moment, feeling completely helpless. So then I said to him “Please, can you just help me out?” And then he got up, as if he might help, but not without saying a whole slew of demeaning things to me in the process. My response? “Forget it.” And I slammed the door, and walked away. Because just like you can be too nice, you can also sometimes be too cruel.
On that note, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should allow someone to be disrespectful to them. If someone is berating you, putting you down, or treating you poorly, you have every right to say “Stop It.” In other words, you have every right to say to that person “NO. You will NOT treat me like this.”
And trust me; it is amazing how freeing it is when you finally say it.
Anyways, I still struggle with being “too nice,” although I’ve been told that I have more of a backbone than I used to. Progress, right? Yep. It turns out that people-at least, the people who genuinely care about me-do not mind if I say no every once in a while. In fact, they actually understand-imagine that!
As for the people who expect me to give into them constantly without the assumption that they don’t have to have the same standards, the people who attempt to take advantage of me, or the people who treat me poorly because they think they are entitled to behave that way, there is only one thing I have to say about that.
I just need to slam the door, and walk away.