In 2019, I proposed that you be less nice.
Do you currently strive to be superhuman, always loving, kind, generous, and giving?
Do you care endlessly, and never become cranky, sad or irritable. Do you demand this of yourself, in all of your relationships?
Do you feel guilty when you’re not a saint? (I’ve put my saint crown down!)
Inside you may feel resentful, burnt out, and unappreciated. Being everyone’s saint makes you anxious, depressed, and tired. Who doesn’t want to be the most altruistic, generous, compassionate, graceful and sweet person?
We actually give awards for niceness ~ think of “Miss Congeniality.”
Being nice all the time… quite honestly, is going to kill you!
I’ll share the health consequences, but for sure, long-term nice-ness and passivity are bad for your health. It’s incredibly dangerous if you’re so busy, and so overwhelmed that you feel the need to check email or messages and respond immediately to people (because you’re NICE) and if you do it while you’re driving, it’s especially dangerous and could kill you or someone else. STOP THAT.
Here are some other examples that you might relate to:
Maybe you want him to respect the words, “No, not tonight.”
Maybe you want her to stop flirting with him, or wearing tops that expose too much.
It’s okay if you don’t want to go on a play date with the kids with HER, she is sometimes passive agressive… but you say yes because you’re nice.
Perhaps you want guests or relatives staying with you, to consult you before cutting down and killing a tree in your yard?
Maybe you want to go somewhere else for dinner, instead of where your friend wants to go? I mean… how many times can you eat BBQ in a week, or Mexican… or sushi… it’s good to change it up. But maybe you stay silent???
Is it selfish, or is it setting good boundaries with people?
Selfishness (aka self-love) is in the eye of the beholder. When you’re a nice person, the problem is that any act of self-interest is perceived as selfish and therefore bad.
It’s okay to be ‘selfish’ at times. It’s being nice to yourself. When did it become a four-letter word?
I need you to see how important it is to have healthy expectations, boundaries, and a little respect in your life. You want to be nice. We all do. Let’s talk about how “nice” might be defined:
Nice often includes the following:
Don’t interrupt a person, even if they’re boring, even if you’re late.
Always compliment, don’t tell the truth.
Text back within 15 minutes.
Take care of all those post-it notes
Do everything on everybody’s list.
Like everyone’s Facebook post even if you don’t.
Let the neighbor’s dog urinate and kill your lawn.
Eat where they want to, even if you don’t like the food or it’s fattening.
Don’t say a word about your friend’s excessive drinking.
Let her wear perfume when she visits, even if it’s unpleasant, or it lingers on your furniture for months, or you get a headache after she leaves. Doesn’t matter…be nice… shhh!
Let your co-worker pile more on your desk, and take credit for it.
Just say yes.
Say yes to everything!
You’re nice right? Saying no or calling someone out is not nice. I submit to you that I am not a nice person.
I sound harsh, don’t I?
Of course, I want to be… but you want to be the kindest and most forgiving and patient person, very empathetic and loving…and these things sound mean to you perhaps.
That’s why I proposed an interesting resolution for you, one you can keep… and that’s to love yourself by setting good boundaries, upgrading your life and your health by speaking up, and speaking out more!
You might be used to it, but you are NOT supposed to be abused, hurt or irritated by anyone. If it feels that way to you, it’s time to stop being so nice and speak up. Stop trying to please him or her. Stop accepting the nonsense. It might be time to cut off relationships.
I propose again, that you be less nice.
For your own sanity.
For your health.
For your mental well-being.
It’s good to be not nice sometimes.
Right now, I’d like to go over the 7 Startling Benefits of Not being nice. They’re startling because you’ve never thought of them before. You’ll be shocked when you see how the mind relates to the body, how emotional burdens connect to disease, and how these 7 benefits could be meaningful to your own health concerns.
7 Startling Benefits of Not Being Nice
1. You have more time.
More often than not, people want company for something they dislike doing, like a trip to the nursing home to see a relative, graveyard to pay respects, or pharmacy, or maybe just shopping or running errands… they’re bored and probably lonely, so when you go, you’re helping them in a way. And it does feel satisfying to be wanted, or have your company desired.
When you stop saying yes to doing things and going places that don’t bring you enjoyment, you regain precious time in your own schedule. If you don’t like to fish, don’t go fishing with your partner. If you don’t like golf, skip it. If you don’t like basketball, pedicures, loud concerts, scary movies… whatever.. then don’t go, say no to the invitation, but of course be nice and gracious.
Remember, people’s agendas are most important to them, but as they try to claim your time to go do something with them, keep in mind you can never get your time back.
Sometimes it’s not even balanced. Take my friend Matt, for example. He gets a call at 3am to help his buddy get a car out of a ditch but his buddy could’ve called AAA for that. It’s not that Matt helped him, he’s a nice guy so he was right there to help him; it’s that his buddy isn’t usually there for him. He never helped Matt when Matt needed a hand. Herein lies the trouble for many of you. You continue to let people lean on you over and over because you’re “nice” without caring a whole lot that they aren’t there for you. They set their boundaries tight – do you?
Are these people nice or not nice?
So say yes only when you can. Say yes when you feel there is balance in the relationship too.
Time is a huge huge commodity. When it runs out, we are sad, our family cries and we are missed. Time is all we really have. Spend it the way you want.
2. You have more energy.
This is startling because some of you have had chronic fatigue for years. Does it shock you that you could have more energy? It’s liberating sometimes, especially when you are disconnecting from a situation, person, job or relationship that has been weighing on you for years. The disconnection, or the mere thought of it, gives you more energy, lots of it.
When you have more energy, you want to wear nicer clothes, do unique and different things. It’s like a blanket of oppression gets lifted off you. The heavyweight of gloom gets removed. Many situations can reveal a new, energetic you. Perhaps it occurs when you quit a job, or a chronic illness is cured, or you move. It’s different for all of us. I remember this feeling after filing for my divorce in 1995, it was like the sunshine came out after a very long storm. I felt alive, happy, and light-hearted for the first time in my life. I had more energy than I knew what to do with! I felt it again when I moved to Colorado in 2011 and then again more recently when I moved into a new home last May that brought with it many perks, including a gorgeous view, as well as sweet new friends and neighbors. Very uplifting for my soul. There were many other times… my point is for you to do self-introspection and find out when you felt the weight lifted, it’s a clue to what was bringing you down.
On the days that you feel overly tired, or spent, ask yourself, “What is on my agenda, or who am I meeting with today that is weighing me down?”
Being able to say “no” can be done in subtle ways. You don’t actually have to say it aloud. It could happen during your moment-to-moment interactions. After 25 minutes of a long story, you can interrupt the person by changing the subject. “Hey, that’s all interesting but let’s talk about this instead…” Or “I don’t really understand much about flooring, but I’d love to know your thoughts about such and such.”
3. You will feel empowered.
Have you ever gone somewhere that you wished you hadn’t? Have you ever wished your time was spent doing something different, but it was too late? You have the power to be an adult now. You have the power to say yes or no and to decide where to spend your time. It’s not unlimited. Use it wisely.
Look around next time you’re berating yourself.
What if you don’t really want to be doing that with that person, or going to this event? What if your time is better spent doing something else?
When you say NO to someone else’s plan for you, you are simultaneously saying YES to your own plan.
Don’t be guilted out for NOT going somewhere either. If you’re going to sit home and feel guilty and berate yourself, you may as well go.
4. You’ll feel less anxiety and sleep better.
Being nice is exhausting, and at times, it might be inauthentic to who you really are. This will cause feelings of anxiety that play out in your mind over and over. “I should have said this…” or “I wish I had said that…” and so on. This rewind and role-playing over and over is a form of anxiety. Over years, depending on the trauma, the rumination will play in your mind over and over, much like a form of PTSD. It is a form of anxiety and it often occurs at night, so it could cause insomnia, either occasional or chronic.
Depending on how nice you are, as you age, you might experience insomnia, depression, minor compulsions or phobias, resentment and constant little nagging aches and pains. You might have an autoimmune problem as your body starts attacking its own organs, or maybe you’ll have frequent infections because your immune system is suppressed from all the mental stress.
5. You’ll develop real friendships and stronger relationships.
Being less nice will translate to deeper, more satisfying relationships, as people will like you for who you are. You’ll lose friends, you might become estranged from siblings, don’t be surprised. I’ve warned you. People don’t like to cut off from their source of help or their support system.
When you’re less nice, and you stop doing everything for everybody, they’ll get mad at you.
This is quite startling however, fewer more authentic relationships are a “benefit” in my opinion.
What you’ll notice is that over time, the neediest relatives, colleagues and friends will find someone new to lean on when they realize you’re no longer the go-to source for help. Your friend will find someone else to help her and your brother will find someone new to pick on and annoy and so on.
You might have fewer relationships, but those you do have will remain for years, and they should feel balanced and trustworthy. You will feel safe with certain people knowing that your flaws are perceived without judgement and you’re not being used for your time, money or knowledge.
6. Your schedule becomes more reliable.
Nice people have erratic schedules because they jump to it when others are in need. They may wake up knowing they have a very tight schedule, and sometimes live on a tight grid-locked schedule… but if someone is in need, it all goes to pot. Insert crisis X as you wish.
Assuming it’s not a true emergency, but rather a small issue (perhaps helping decide the color of the new rug), the person requesting your time and assistance will honestly be okay! This is the part you don’t see. These are powerful, capable adults who will move on to someone else for opinions and other needs. Saying no to another person’s agenda for you, declutters your day. It’s actually quite important to keep to your schedule if you work for a living, and interruptions cost you money.
7. You’ll stop apologizing and placating.
Disrespectful or strong-willed people can zap your energy. It’s subtle at first, but you’ll find yourself saying “Sorry” when you don’t need to. Then you wonder why you just did that?
Think about your apologies? Why do you say you’re sorry when a person bumps their shopping cart into yours or runs over your foot?
Or steals your parking spot and then has the audacity to yell at you when you’ve been waiting there for 3 minutes?
Why do you say you’re sorry after setting a reasonable boundary, for example to a neighbor, “I’m so sorry but I need you to ring my doorbell, don’t just walk into my house unannounced.”
WHY DO WE FEEL COMPELLED TO APOLOGIZE WHEN THEY OFFEND?
Can you be less nice this year? Your health is at stake.
Having been there myself, I know it’s going to be difficult because you’ll have to overcome decades of programming in your life that erroneously taught you that to be a good, nice person, you have to stifle all your own needs and desires. You have to say yes, you have to smile politely and listen attentively and allow people’s moods and bad habits to dictate your own. You have to let people annoy you, offend you or talk smack to you…
But that’s not the ride you want to ride.
Reclaim the new powerful YOU this year, the you who has been missing in action for years. Take back control of your life and find out how to be less nice. I can help you. If you’d like to receive my FREE ebook on this topic, it includes a lot of information to help you improve your health, by stopping being a people pleaser, a pushover, a sweetie pie, a saint, an Angel, a dollface, or whatever people call you as they take advantage of you… I will help you get to a place of empowerment and happiness.
Most of all, there’s a nice way to be not nice!
You can make big changes today.
CLICK HERE to get my latest ebook, “How Being Nice is Killing You.”
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.