Do Nice People Really Finish Last?

Oh, the plight of being nice. Kind. Polite. Harmless. Growing up, you’ve been told to put others first and give more than you receive. And kudos to all of the nice folks out there, you’re the heart-warmer of the group. The one that people go to for validation and encouragement. The one that would rather maintain harmony than cause a scene. People of the world appreciate nice people because of their willingness to help and listen. As a self-certified nice person, I will be the first to tell you that niceness, as fulfilling and pleasant as it may be, also comes with some serious baggage. Behold, the pros and cons of being nice:

DoNicePeopleFinishLast

The nice-person quandary is a tricky one. People begin to expect a certain level of empathy and consideration at all times. Think about the co-worker who assumes you’ll always take more work, or the peer that seems to always direct their favors to you, certain that you’ll make time for them. This makes being innately compassionate a draining distinction. It’s because of this that nice people finish last, in a sense that they put everyone before themselves. While the kindness gene in your body is screaming for you to save the world, there are situations in which you’d be better off passing up or confronting. So, how can you stay true to your caring nature yet create an air of authority?

Surround yourself with people that operate with a competitive edge.

They say you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Now this doesn’t mean you should outright ditch your core friend group, but spend more time than you usually would with people who react differently than you do. Try to examine how other people decline requests. Do they feel the need to explain why they are saying no? Are they steady in their response and apologetic only when need be? Know your boundaries when accepting opportunities to provide help. It’s also essential to command a presence that says you do more than just support, you can lead. Observe as many leadership styles as possible. Listen to how leaders at work, school, or in your community balance being assertive with being respected.

Maintain focus on your needs to succeed.

And furthermore, don’t feel guilty about it.

Nice people feel torn between serving others and tending to their own needs. If we start doing things that only benefit ourselves, we assume it’s out of selfishness. This is the nice person’s kryptonite. Realize that making yourself a priority is not selfish, but a sign of decisiveness and self-love. It is a true gift to be a thoughtful and intentional person. Keep that essence but be firm in your kindness, and never forget that being nice to yourself is a very good thing.

Image: Unsplash

One comment

  • sayeshas@uci.edu'

    As usual, your blogs are thought-provoking and give life a new perspective. Thanks Marian.

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