What do people mean when they say you are “too nice”?

Do people ever tell you, you are “too nice”.

Maybe at work? Socially? At the school gate? Are you the “nice one” in the family?

What do you think?

Is “too nice” a good thing…or no?

Is it a compliment…or…not?

And what does being “too nice” really mean?

I bet you have never really thought about it…being the helpful soul I am, I am going to short cut it here for you.

But you are not going to like it… (sorry)…

Ready?

I’ll tell you what people mean when they say you are “too nice”.

They mean you are a pushover.

Sorry lovely, but they do.

“Too nice” is NOT a compliment.

It means they can get away with murder.

They mean your boundaries are so permeable that you are picking up the slack for others logistically, emotionally, practically, mentally, way too often.

They mean you get taken advantage of in a subtle but consistent way.

They mean that you usually don’t stand up for what you really need, and defer your priorities behind others way more than is actually good for you.

I hate to say it but “Too Nice” is a code. And it’s code for “Pushover”.

I know, right?!

So – look, I know you ARE a nice person, and you want to be thought of as nice. Totally makes sense, and I support that. So, let me help you do that today.

Firstly, understand that there is a HUGE difference between being a Nice Person, and being “Too Nice”.

What does being a Nice Person mean?

For me it means I am demonstrably thoughtful. Generous. Compassionate. Honest. Trustworthy. Good. I try to do good in my interactions. I know it’s not always possible but that’s the intention.

AND, secondly, I ALSO HAVE BOUNDARIES of what’s ok for me in terms of my time, commitment, finances, emotions, opinions, logistics. Boundaries that I am aware of, have consciously chosen, will voice, and will stand behind if required in a calm, uncomplicated way.

Being Nice is BOTH those things.

I can be a Nice Person AND have Good Boundaries.

However, when we are “Too Nice” we are being Nice at the EXPENSE of our boundaries.

We are making it one OR the other. Niceness OR Boundaries.

Essentially it boils down to: if I am nice then I can’t stand up for what I need. I need to be liked by others more than I need to look after myself and what’s truly ok for me. It’s become an either/or choice. Be nice, OR, have boundaries.

But – it’s actually NOT mutually exclusive.

You CAN Be Nice AND have appropriate boundaries about what you will and won’t accept in your life.

My personal definition of Nice is: “I am a nice person (really nice!)….but, be clear, I won’t allow you to p*ss me about”.  

Nice: good personal qualities + good boundaries.

Too Nice: good personal qualities + low or no boundaries.

Yes, we want to be nice.

But we don’t want to be “too nice”.

You get to define Nice.

I highly encourage you to do it.

Define what it means for you.

Be nIce. Don’t be too nice.

That way, everyone wins.