I used to pride myself on being the “go-to” girl. I rarely said no to anyone. If I did, it came at the price of me feeling bad and eventually saying yes. I would hide what I was really thinking or feeling to keep the peace. My goal was to keep everyone happy even if it was at my expense. I was trying to be nice.
My over accommodation for others came at a heavy price of my sanity and self-worth, however. Now, I’m not saying to never help anyone out, or that life will feel comfortable all the time. What I found in my nice girl journey is that I harbored a lot of resentment and anger. It always felt like I was helping others, but no one ever had my back. I found myself in an endless cycle of last-minute requests and putting out fires I never started.
I knew I wanted that crazy carnival ride to end, but I didn’t know how to do it without hurting anyone’s feelings. Any plans that I created for my day would usually go out the window. All it took was one phone call, and off I went to save someone else’s world, leaving mine in shambles.
Although my life looked pretty on the outside, on the inside I was angry, anxious, and sick. I was Mount Kilauea in the flesh, pretty on the outside and ready to blow on the inside. There was a part of me that enjoyed being “My Girl Friday” (the “go-to” girl); nevertheless, there was a larger part of me that wanted to cap this and discover who I truly was.
My Journey From Nice to Kind
I’ve always been a solution-oriented kind of girl, so I knew that there had to be an answer for me out there. I came across a book called The Desire Map, and it changed my life. Once I got clear on how I wanted to feel and what I wanted from my life, things changed. This newfound knowledge allowed me to see where I had been giving my power away and gave me a plan to get it back.
As women, it’s like we’re automatically expected to yield and play along. Even if it’s at the expense of our self-esteem or safety. I wanted to shift that truth for myself and my daughter.
I spent a lot of time working on myself and clearing the paradigms that held me back. This is not an overnight journey. If you try it, you’re going to have to be OK with disrupting the status quo. You’re also going to have to be OK with changing how you view yourself and what you’re worthy of.
It was only when I upgraded my view of who I was, did this hamster wheel of chaos end.
How Being Nice is Stressing You Out
If your journey sounds like mine, you most likely already see how being nice is stressing you out. But if it does not, allow me to share how being nice is stressing you out. No matter which group you fall into, I’ll also be offering ways for you to hop off the nice train:
First, let’s start with some definitions.
Nice= pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory
Now there is nothing wrong with any of those words. But when you’re trying to achieve them at the expense of your soul is where the problem comes in. For me, the word nice is about external and keeping up appearances.
Kind= having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature
Kind is more of an internally-driven word for me. It describes your nature who you are on the inside.
While there is nothing wrong with being nice, doing it too much will cause you to fall out of alignment with who you are. Being nice will cause you to do things that at your core you might not do, but you want to maintain the peace and save face. As a wife and mom, sometimes we need to diffuse a situation. But that is to be the exception, not the rule.
Here are the three ways being nice is stressing you out:
- Allowing people to ignore your boundaries or having none set at all is exhausting. Taking on last-minute projects and allowing peeps to invade your day when it suits them adds to your burnout quota. It causes you to take the focus off of what matters to you to serve them. Again, sometimes that’s necessary but done in excess leads to burnout.
- It takes so much energy to be mad all the time. Trust me, I know. Smiling on the outside, a ticking time bomb on the inside. Keeping that duality up is exhausting. The resentment comes from not speaking up for your needs. It also comes from allowing people to ignore your boundaries. This makes you feel like no one has your back and you’re alone. Here’s the gag Mama: they don’t understand your sacrifice because they’re not making it…you are.
- Taking on the weight of the world is painful. When you are burned out and holding on to resentment, all that negative energy has to go somewhere. It could manifest as headaches, anxiety, muscle and joint pain, and the list goes on.
How do you avoid all three? How do you keep serving the family and community you love while showing love to yourself? Here’s my secret:
- Get clear about how you want to feel
- Get clear about what you want your life to look like
- Set boundaries and enforce them
- Communicate your needs with your family
- Create time for yourself daily
- Get support
To learn more about the dangers of being nice, I curated a few articles for you: