BY GUEST BLOGGER LORENE BELOTTI
“You’re too kind.” I actually hear that a lot from the people in my life. I’ve been thinking about this and, seriously, how stupid does that sound? How can somebody be “too nice?” Above all, how can being a nice person be interpreted as a fault? Is it really bad to have a good heart?
Apparently, being “too kind” in our cynical society is related to either being stupid or hypocritical, but I realize that being nice is one of the best qualities ever. Benignity is one of the most honorable sides of humanity. Everybody needs a selfless person to trust and rely on; it’s comforting and healthy. The other side of the coin is that if you’re “too kind,” there’s a tendency to get involved in unequal and disrespectful relationships due to people taking advantage of your kindness, especially when it has no limit.
Trust me, I know what you’re going through. The people you spend time with pressure you, both consciously and unconsciously. They manage to make you go to a certain Indian restaurant even if you’re not a fan of that type of food. You’re so kind that you always place everyone else’s desires before your own.
People usually transfer their frustration over to you because they believe you’re “weaker” (yes, kindness can sometimes be seen as weakness). They drop mean remarks that hurt you because you’re supersensitive (that’s probably why you’re so careful). They release pent-up feelings to feel better, while you’re feeling more terrible every minute. In fact, these people don’t really care about hurting you because they know you’re supple, forgiving and understanding. Therefore, you let go and don’t react, but deep inside, you’re feeling such pain.
By letting people devalue you by strengthening their own ego, you allow them to not respect you and confirm that “silence is tantamount to consent.” So, it doesn’t matter if your friend cancels a date you took two hours to organize or lets you do most of the work in every team event. The bottom line here is that you must require respect from people, not just expect it.
Do not let anyone undermine your abilities or your choices. Do not accept the slightest sign of moral mistreatment, even a little incivility. Undeniably, people will respect you only if you stand up for yourself. Just try it and I bet they won’t want to mess around with you anymore.
Finally, I want you to keep in mind that you’re not being mean by pointing out to someone that they’re crossing a line. Don’t feel guilty because you’re doing the right thing by respecting yourself. It’s the base of happiness and everyone deserves it. Remember true self-confidence means respecting your true self. You’re far from being weak because being nice sometimes takes more courage than being feared.
Image courtesy of Makingmoves.net