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Thread: Question of the week: Are you too nice?

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  1. #1
    JoeSorge
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    Question Question of the week: Are you too nice?

    Ultimately I think it's human nature to want to be liked in your personal and professional life. But I find that the more I worry about people liking me the more I'm really just avoiding conflict. And the more I avoid conflict the more problems and stressful overtones I inadvertently create. Not good.

    What do you think?
    Are you too nice?
    Do you know why?
    Have you found a way to strike a balance that works for you?

    Eager to see how you manage this challenge.
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  2. #2
    interactive_218
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    Joe, I consider myself too nice, and I think that is because I want to be liked and recognized, but the more I do more people want, and less they recognize. I always have a feeling that they want more, and more.
    It's a big challenge for me to find a balance. Most of the time, even when I take the decision to stop being too nice in some situation, the problem stays in my mind, and I continue analyzing if I should have tried a little more, etc...
    Tell me the secret if you find it!
    Meire

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  3. #3
    angelwingsweb
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    I think I used to be too nice because I have been unable to put my personal needs first, and have always been a person caring for others before caring for myself.

    Then, I heard the well-known message that you need to put the oxygen mask to yourself first before putting it onto the one who needs assistance from you.

    It is not being rude to be doing so. Caring for others include caring for oneself in the first place.

    Joe, I do not know if you have children, but sometimes they teach us wonderful lessons. You can be "nice" to a child and still say "no".

    The question of avoiding conflict is a serious and interesting one. There is a distinction to be made between avoiding the conflict and creating it. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing, conflict creates energy, it is a dynamic process that often needs to be present so that life exists. In a world without any conflict at all, there is inertia. So you can shift your view on conflict as beeing a negative thing to a view that sees the positive in it.

    And once the shift is made, it is always possible to use kindness and the positive aspect of being "nice" while stepping in a conflict that exists anyway, either in the open, or as an internal conflict. There is no real way to avoid conflict, lest we suffer ultimately.

    I hope these random thoughts help.
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  4. #4
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    too nice or passive?

    Great question!

    I think one can be nice and assertive. Too nice, implies we need to be "not-so-nice" to get things accomplished.

    In the past,I was totally passive..just let things happen and others have their way so as to not upset anyone. I'm not sure people perceived that as nice or not, to be honest.
    Then I realized I was the one who ended up with the short end of the stick and upset!

    So I learned to be nice and stand up for myself, speak my mind. There are perfectly polite, resepctful ways to say "no thanks," and "I have other ideas..."

    But I still hate conflict, so I have to get better at managing the emotions that come up when I am assertive and the other person pushes back.
    It's a skill to navigate and I"m getting there.
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    Nice versus assertive

    Very interesting question. The perception in our society is that if you stand up and assert yourself, you aren't being "nice". My wife is an excellent example of someone who is very nice - but does not back down off of her stance. She remains very cordial and calm, but does not just roll over. I, on the other hand, have the tendency to just give in, especially if it is in an area outside of my expertise. I don't want to rock the boat.

    The difficult mastery is to first understand (which I do) and then to implement (which I am working on).
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  6. #6
    JoeSorge
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    Great thoughts and points so far all.
    I have certainly learned a couple of things already.
    You're right, there's no reason you can't be nice and assertive.
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  7. #7
    KatieFelten
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    Ahh this post caught my eye and I had to take a look because I feel that I am "too nice" and always want to help people. I am working to find a balance though.
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  8. #8
    deannal
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    I don't think I'm especially nice, but I struggle with conflict. I'm ok with people not liking me, I have a much harder time with them being angry at me.

    I took a class in assertiveness recently, which helped enormously. I think the issue has more to do with handling conflict than nice-ness. I have a colleague who is a people-pleaser but doesn't give in in conflict.
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  9. #9
    whitney
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    Being nice doesn't mean being a push over. We all need to set boundaries in our lives- with our family, friends, and in business as well. The trick is in setting clear boundaries and then re-affirming them when needed.

    With kids, it starts out as a gentle reminder "John, I think we discussed the importance of doing your homework every day." In business, it's a "I believe you were told during our initial discussions and in writing on the contract/invoice we expected payment within 30 days or interest will accrue. As I'm sure you understand from your business, getting paid in a timely manner is critical to our cash flow, so I will be unable to offer a refund of the interest and late fee at this time."

    Now you can flex on things, but know that once you are seen as flexible, people will start to expect you to be flexible all the time. Firm and fair gets more respect than wishy washy.
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  10. #10
    interactive_218
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    Now you can flex on things, but know that once you are seen as flexible, people will start to expect you to be flexible all the time. Firm and fair gets more respect than wishy washy.
    Excellent whitney, when I started the firm and fair I could see that worked better!
    Meire

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