Too Nice for your Own Good

Are you ready to enjoy more freedom and satisfaction by getting more of what you really want in your relationships?  Are you tired of just being nice and accommodating to others while holding back your true feelings?  Do you feel stuck between the choice being a depressed doormat or an aggressive bully?  Deep down, do you long for another option where you assert yourself in an effective and responsible way while continuing to support the connection with others that you have worked so hard to cultivate?  If this applies to you, read on.


It’s been called many names “chronic niceness” – “anxious attachment” – “niceitis” – “Mr. Nice Guy / Ms. Nice Gal syndrome.”  I like to call it by the official clinical term “doormat.”  Here is my handy expert guide to diagnosing yourself – have a look to see if some or all of these apply to you:

  • You are so afraid of conflict that you prefer to feel dissatisfied by sacrificing your own needs and desires.
  • You feel powerless and overwhelmed by circumstances.
  • When you are asked what you want, you often don’t have an answer.
  • You often feel worried and anxious.
  • Your mood matches the moods of your intimate partner.
  • You are preoccupied with what other people think about you.
  • You apologize frequently, and for things that are not your responsibility.
  • You try hard to be perfect.
  • You hide what you believe are mistakes or personal flaws
  • You work to be sure others perceive you as having it all together, but in private your life is chaotic and disorganized
  • You try to avoid strong emotions.
  • You feel ashamed or guilty about your fantasies.
  • You feel responsible for making others happy.
  • You think that if you were to be truly honest, that you would end up not being nice.
  • You feel victimized by other people.
  • You settle for what is given to you rather than asking for what you really want.
  • You frequently second-guess yourself.
  • You have difficulty saying “no”
  • You tell little “white lies” in order to keep things running smoothly.
  • You enjoy helping, advising, or rescuing others.
  • You suppress your anger, or are not even aware of feeling anger very much at all.

Just wait a minute – isn’t being “nice” a good thing?  You’re a respectful and kind person.  You enjoy the fulfillment that comes from making a contribution to the well being of others.  You enjoy the gratitude from others when you are recognized for your contributions.  You have a reputation as a “nice” person, and you are glad for that.

Why, of course, when your niceness comes from genuine kindness, respect, and interest in others, it is a wonderful way to be!  But for the chronically nice, it is more often a product of low self-esteem, passivity, or loneliness.  These results can be awful:

  • Others around you feel uneasy, guilty, or even repulsed.
  • You attract people into your life who take advantage of you.
  • You have a dissatisfying sex life.
  • You experience severe anxiety or depression.
  • When you just can’t take it anymore, you erupt emotionally, lashing out at people close to you.
  • You suddenly do something seemingly inexplicable to sabotage your own life
  • You repeatedly fail to live up to your own potential
  • You increasingly become secretly bitter and resentful.
  • You become more desperate for your life to be different than it is.

You might be wondering, “how does he know this so well?”  I confess, I am a recovering Nice Guy myself and I have good news for you.  I assure you that there are proven skills and attitudes that when applied will take you on a journey from a life of chronic niceness to a life of effective, self-respecting assertiveness.  You will enjoy the results:

  • More happiness and fulfillment
  • More satisfying intimate relationships
  • Increased effectiveness and influence professionally
  • Realistic optimism
  • Increased resiliency, self-respect, and self-esteem
  • More decisiveness
  • More confidence and ease
  • The sense of strength that comes from living with integrity and healthy responsibility
  • The sense of meaning and purpose that comes from life fully lived!

If what you have read here speaks to you and you are ready to make this change now, I would love to hear from you! Please sign up on my email form and I will get back in touch with you as soon as possible!

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  1. mario says:

    so how can i recover from being a nice guy

  2. katie stout says:

    i need your help bad

  3. Colleen says:

    I’m 45 years old and ‘too nice’ to my boyfriend! I’m awesome when I’m my true funny, insightful, opinionated self( so I’ve been told) but just can’t seem to get there in our 6 month relationship

  4. Mcrea99 says:

    yes this is totally me and i am sick of living to please others, like i have no right to do my own thing. Can’t make a decision to save my life and always leave a situation feeling like i’ ve been taken advantage of, tired of it, i need to be myself for a change.

  5. souzem says:

    This describes me very well, and I feel this trait taking a heavy toll on my life and happiness. Show me the way out of this morass of personality…

  6. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this
    post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always
    kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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