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Are you too nice? - 26th October 2021
Is it even possible to be too nice? Surely not?
What would prompt you to describe a person as 'nice'?
That individual would probably be kind, helpful, friendly, polite, supportive, and a whole lot more besides. All good qualities, for sure. You might be forgiven for thinking, 'surely you can't overdo those attributes?' Well, read on to find out what might have gone wrong with your niceness!
When the meaning of 'nice' morphs into something less appealing!
In these blogs and in my FB Lives I speak a lot about conditioning. We all have it. Frankly it has a huge influence on how we live our lives and most people don't even realise what's going on. In case you don't know about conditioning, it's what happens as we grow up and are influenced by adults around us. Mainly parents but also other significant characters in our young lives. There is also the conditioning of society as a whole. What it boils down to is that many of our thoughts and decisions aren't really our own, they come from this early conditioning. Our reactions and beliefs have often been planted in us by others.
Consider this stuff to be a particular kind of head clutter - it certainly warrants your decluttering attention.
Little girls especially are conditioned to be nice and might be chastised accordingly. Your conditioning may have given you beliefs about yourself based on not being 'nice enough' and even what you must do in order to be considered 'nice' by others.
Do any of these strike a chord?
You've lost yourself in your niceness?
You always put others first, regardless of your own needs?
You say 'yes' to everything?
You feel like a doormat?
Others take advantage of you?
You don't feel valued?
You're scared to upset others by pleasing yourself?
All the above are characteristics of 'people pleasing' and most women have been conditioned to be this way.
Nothing changes - until you do!
Make it your goal to get to a place where you can:
Say 'no' and mean it
Realise that you have no control over how others feel, they are not your responsibility
Rediscover YOU and YOUR choices
Assert boundaries firmly and kindly
If you've been living a life of conditioned niceness for many years the suggestions above are going to feel out of reach, or at least a big stretch. Here are my tips for heading in the right direction.
1. Watch your own behaviour like a hawk. See how you act out your conditioned behaviour and practice doing things that are not wholly about pleasing others. Start with the really easy stuff like saying 'no' to some kind of request or invitation that comes via email or telephone. Notice how good you begin to feel when you've done this a few times.
2. You must also work on valuing yourself, this is the only way that others will come to value you. As someone who has struggled with low self-worth I know this can seem impossible. Your deep intuition, your essence, knows its own value. Unfortunately life events and conditioning have combined to be stronger than this wise voice inside you. Meditation has really helped me and in support of that the use of personalised affirmations repeated regularly and to my reflection in the mirror. Write the affirmation as the opposite of what your conditioning wants you to believe. Hence, if you hear "I must fit in with the plans of others" then you might write an affirmation that says, "I am my own person and I make choices to support my wellbeing". These are just suggestions, it's best if you use your own words.
Sometimes it's hard to see your own blind spots. Especially when you've lived most of your life according to that conditioned voice, believing it was your own. I continue to have sessions with my coach to help me continue on the path of expanding my universe! Based on techniques I've learned over the last ten years I also offer coaching to clients. Sessions are via Zoom, email me via email@example.com to find out how this could work for you and to set up a free introductory chat. You have nothing to lose!
Keywords: beliefs, head-clutter, self-worth