How nice are you? Are you so nice that you have negative emotions toward people who don’t appreciate you the way you feel you should be appreciated? Do you really think that it’s nice to feel that way for being nice? It’s not! Feeling used, taken for granted and unappreciated usually means that your version of being nice is also being a people pleaser or a DoorMat.
In my days of being a DoorMat, I complained as much as I gave to people and saw myself as the nice girl who people took advantage of and rarely returned my favors. I never really felt good about giving because it didn’t get me what I wanted from the people I gave to. I’d lament often that I was such a nice person and should get better from people.
* Why weren’t people nice to me?
* Why didn’t they do things the way I did?
* Why didn’t I have the kind of support I gave to people?
Those kinds statements are common from clients and people in my classes. they’ve painted their view of the world in rose colors and can’t understand why others don’t match their expectations of how they’re convinced people should behave. And like me, they feel angry about it. People often come to my Nice People Can Finish First workshops and declare that they don’t want to be nice anymore.
They’re sick of not getting what they think they should for all they do and are convinced that nice people always finish last. That was me too in my DoorMat days. But this isn’t true. I’m still very nice but I finish first now that I’ve changed my attitude and removed my rose colored glasses. I had to stop seeing the world though the vision of my belief that everyone should be “nice” like me and accept that even if you give and give and give, no on is required to give or do or act the way you do, even it you think it’s the ‘nice” way to be.
Self-proclaimed “nice people” want their reality to be the way they think it should be. People who complain about being nice are often nice because they think everyone should be nice to others, and they feel if they keep being nice, others will eventually get the message and join in. Forget it! I’ve been there, done that. It will never happen! These nice people always ask “Why do people do (this) or don’t do (that)? It’s common courtesy to be considerate. . .nice. . .etc..”
My answer is they don’t have to, just because you think they should and you try to show them the “nice” way to be. Not everyone sees things the way you do and you have to accept it or spend your life fighting the way it is. When you stop blindly following emotional paths and use both your head and heart to make decisions, you’ll make better choices. You can still be nice but put a lot more into being nice to yourself and setting boundaries. Looking at the world through rose colored glasses isn’t realistic.
You can’t change anyone but yourself. If you don’t like how people treat you, remember it’s YOUR choice to try to please everyone And it can be YOUR choice to stop. If you get more realistic about what you should expect from others, you can also get more realistic about what others should expect from you. Then you can set boundaries that feel better.
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