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How do I stop being too kind/nice to people?

First of all sorry about formatting and English!
I’ve always been a genuinely kind/nice guy (not the bad kind of I think?) for as long as I can remember, even as a kid. I’ve been raised this way all my life and I finally think that I might be “over doing it”. It doesn’t matter who the person is, friend or not friend, I’ll always be there and try to help them whenever I can if possible, even if I end up being used. People have always told me that I was being too nice to them and I’ve just decided to ignore it I guess.
I’m starting to think that it might be also affecting, negatively, my relationships in general (friends, people I’ve breifely met, etc) and it kinda kisss.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately if I’m actually a “nice guy” or just a actual nice guy that should stop being too nice to people.
Any tips/advice?

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40 Comments

  1. Don’t stop being nice or kind. If anything, the world needs more of that more than ever right now.

    It sounds like you need to become more assertive. Do some work to figure out what you want in life, frame your decisions around that, and try your best to stick to your guns. And do it nicely and calmly. Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness.

    And if you’re doing stuff for people to balance some mental scales in your favor rather than because you really want to do it, that’s not nice. That’s a transaction.

    Good luck, bro!

  2. >I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately if I’m actually a “nice guy” or just a actual nice guy that should stop being too nice to people.

    Well the bad kind of “nice guy” typically thinks that he’s entitled to something because of his niceness. That’s what makes it bad. He’s not nice for the sake of genuinely wanting to help someone but rather it’s an act and he feels entitled to something(like sex) for his niceness. If that’s not you then you aren’t a “nice guy”.

    Now, you could not be a “nice guy” and still be reaping negative effects because you are ignoring boundaries or you’re putting yourself out so much that you start to resent the people in your life. I think what you need to do is stop and before you do any grand gestures, evaluate whether you are respecting another person’s boundaries. For instance, if they made it clear they don’t want help then you should respect that barring some extreme circumstances. Then, also stop and evaluate if you’re taking care of yourself. It’s fine to sacrifice for the people you care about every so often but it shouldn’t be something that you’re doing all the time. You will burn out, they might fall into a pattern if taking your actions for granted, and it will eventually hurt the relationship.

  3. This is gonna be some bad advice but it worked splendidly for me.
    I believe that mist things are the best in moderation, in this case, being social and kind but not too nice. In order to get it in moderation, you need to know where you stand, which you do so that’s already good. I think that in order for you to get the balance of niceness right, it’ll be most effective for you to try the opposite extreme, which means, that you should in certain situations and for a limited period of time, be rude and do things that you know will unplease the people you interact with.
    After trying that extreme for a set amount of time, dial it back, and I think that will balance your kind and nice nature, and make you have a better idea of how nice you should be where before it was maybe vague.
    I know this advice seems a little odd and like it might ruin your relationship with the people you know, but i believe that it can help you a lot in the long run as it has helped me.

  4. Every year during health class, I got my students to write down the top three characteristics that they would want in a boyfriend/girlfriend. Every year for 15 years for both males and females, the top answer was that they wanted someone nice.

    If you are nice, you are nice to yourself first. To follow the commandment “Love your neighbour as yourself,” you have to love yourself a lot to be able to love your “neighbour” a lot.

    Are you sure you’re not confusing nice with assertiveness?

  5. You should like a genuinely nice person. You sound like you’re having some kind of existential crisis. Like you’re having trouble processing your thoughts on what you should be and how you should interact with other people. I can only say that self respect is important and you should learn to love yourself.

  6. Don’t stop being nice, just be more selfish, think about yourself and how your actions will affect you first, if your actions will affect you in a negative way then don’t do whatever you were doing. It’s ok to tell people to fuck off and doing things for yourself once in a while.

  7. Agreed that being nice isn’t the problem, it’s asserting yourself, your needs, and prioritizing the things you care more about over the wants of others in the moment. Yeah, buying everyone dinner might make everyone happy, but your wallet is going to give you hell after.

    The trick is to treat yourself like as the person who you want to be the nicest to. Be nice to everyone, but be nicest to yourself. If someone needs to borrow money, first figure out if you can afford it, then decide how much you can afford to loan out. If someone is angry at you, think about how you feel before appologizing and repressing your emotions. Treat yourself like you matter. You have every right to be a little selfish and a little mean at times. And believe it or not, people respect that, even if they don’t realize they do.

  8. It can be very tough (but worthwhile!) to work on this. I second what others have said about focusing on your own preferences, however small they may seem. Carve out your own place in this world. Spend time and energy coloring in your own life, so that your own wants and needs seem more compelling, and it will help turn down the volume on others’ wants/needs. Ask yourself, what are some goals and interest of yours that have gone neglected? Be mindful to give yourself approval, even for small things— like be intentional about mentally giving yourself props, so that way you don’t need to get approval from others by doing nice things for them. Look for small ways to practice each day dialing down the “niceness”. Do you say thank you three times at the cash register? Just say it once. Etc. Practicing in low stakes situations makes bigger ones easier. Be kind, but remember nice =/= kind. Go get it!

  9. These kinds of things are hard to shake. I was always nice to people. As a kid, my classmates bullied me a lot, and I would still be nice to them, which is probably why they kept doing it. As a young adult I would help whoever needed it, even gave a ride to a stranger once, but slowly I began to realize it wasn’t reciprocated by the people I knew and worked with, and that behavior began to fade. I would still do anything for people who I believe would do the same for me, and am generally pleasant and friendly to anyone I encounter. However, I’m no longer a doormat. Learning to say “no” is an important part of that, and having confidence is another. It’s kind of a cop out, but really I don’t know what else to say but: it comes with time.

  10. I too am a very kind and nice person. Being too kind and nice isn’t something that you need to stop doing but it can lead to at least two different issues that I can think of. Either your kindness is being taken advantage of by other people or you are going out of your way to help people so often that you are not making any time for yourself and burning yourself out.

    Either learn recognize when you are being taken advantage of or learn to not burn yourself out but don’t stop being a kind person.

  11. I don’t know what to tell you. Just stop. you make your own choices. if you feel that you need to be nice then it is your decision to make in the moment. If you don’t want to do something, kindly refuse, but no one is able to overrule your judgment. it’s your life.

  12. What I was saying, the day you stop being too kind/nice to people is when you be yourself. Stay true to youself and love yourself.

    Cause when people dislike you for who you are, you give zero fucks about them.

    Being kind is not a bad thing, we need it. But never let people bullshit with you

  13. >Listen to me, Leela. I’m an expert at not caring. The secret is to stop giving a rat’s ass about anyone else and start thinking of the things that you want, that you deserve, that the world owes you.

  14. Ask yourself why “keeping the peace” so to speak is more important to you than your own personal happiness and fulfillment. I was dealing with the same thing, I would constantly just do nice things and be very kind even if it was something I didn’t want to do because no one would be mean to me that way. But it’s just not true, it’s far better to do what you want and live with not everyone liking you, because that’s how it was before anyways.

    There’s nothing wrong with being nice, and I think kindness is one of the best attributes a man can have, but never sacrifice personal happiness for it. Kindness is far better when it’s not expected of you and being a good guy is something all men should aspire to be in some way or another.

  15. Nothing wrong with being nice and a good person bro . I myself went through this kinda thing. You just have to be aware that there are sharks in the world , and once you can see the mind set of a shark and how people try to manipulate you . You will know who you can be nice and generous to and who not to be. Also aways fight for what is rightfully yours in business stand point.

  16. Yep. Start psychotherapy. Get rid of shame and anger that makes you surrender your personal boundaries. You ll have to work through trauma and the events that led to you learning this behavior. But you deserve to be treated as an equal to everyone else.

  17. It was the same for me, generally my family is really always there to help anyone, any time. So was I untill I saw that it really doesn’t help you, if you help others, life ain’t a movie or a dharr man YouTube video.

    I became a total douche bag, a toxic and vile person, I enjoy seeing others in agony and I thrive in others misfortune. Its quite simple, like a gym, set a goal to not help/ be a pos to someone every day, over some time you get used to it.

    Becoming a pos isn’t the worst part, it’s the fact that I enjoy it.

  18. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with being a kind/nice person, and I wouldn’t listen to anyone that tells you its a bad thing for a guy to be. It becomes a problem though when you don’t have any boundaries so you let people walk all over you and never assert an opinion, or when you are nice but always expect something in return.

    I’m a girl, but I’ve been told similar things all of my life. I like being known as a kind person tbh, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized I wasn’t always being kind, I was often just letting people walk over me/use me because I didn’t feel good about myself and I thought that was the only real trait that I brought to the table. I would go out of my way to be nice, and once people didn’t need me anymore they would dip. So, now I make sure that I set boundaries with my friends. I’m still kind to them, and I still enjoy going out of my way to do things for them sometimes, but I remind myself that I am my first priority, and that people are perfectly capable of doing things for themselves, I don’t have to pick up the slack all the time. I often ask myself, “Am I doing a nice thing for a friend, or are they perfectly able to help themselves in this situation, and giving a helping hand is putting me out?” Hope that helps, good luck!

  19. If you are nice to people and they are nice back, then you keep those ones, they are your people. You can be nice to people as long as you aren’t being taken advantage of, being overworked or neglecting your own interests to do so.

  20. A “Nice Guy” is someone who is nice in an effort to make other people provide favors to the “Nice Guy” in the future. Think of the guy who is “Nice” to a girl but flips out when she won’t have sex with him. He was not really being nice. He was being “Nice” with the intention of a future reward. If you are not acting in this way, you would be a legitimate nice guy, and am happy to hear people like you exist. However, if it is causing you issues, you can always learn to say no, by saying no to half the things you would normally say yes to, and see how that goes. Good luck OP!

  21. Idk the overall situation but most “nice guys” lack self respect and boundaries. And I’ve also noticed that even if they have those things they typically do not enforce them so start there I guess. You can be polite which is a type of kindness it just has conditions.

  22. I teach my children kindness isn’t the same as niceness.

    Kindness is setting a boundary with an unsafe person because if I don’t, they’ll eat my soul.
    Niceness would be allowing them to walk all over me.

    Kindness is putting yourself first without putting others down.
    Niceness is putting others first, at the risk of your own health and sanity.
    Bullies and unsafe people put themselves first and put others down to do it.

    Do you see?
    I can set a boundary with my ex-husband by not responding to his texts when they charge me up. I am being kind to him AND to myself by not making the situation worse. No, he wasn’t kind, but I cannot control other people and I won’t try.

    Read “Loving what is” by Byron Katie.

  23. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, if it hurts you inside and makes you feel guilty, try your best to ignore it.

    Being assertive is a social skill like any other, and just like how when you’re trying to be funny sometimes you say something inappropriate or dumb, sometimes when you’re trying to be assertive you might be a bit of an asshole. But that’s fine, you need to learn how to enforce boundaries and you’ll miss sometimes. That’s okay.

  24. You stay nice and kind, but you have to set limits. Fair warning though, once you start to say no you’re gonna find out who your friends really are. When people can’t use you, they’ll dump you. And some of them might surprise you.

  25. Reframe that thought. Don’t ask how you can stop being too kind/nice to people, but ask how you can assert your boundaries. It feels scary at first, but being able to assert your boundaries helps build two-sided relationships, and helps weed out the one-sided ones. Also there is a difference between being assertive and being hostile.

  26. A relationship/friendship is about two people enjoying each other’s company and shared interests. You are talking about a relationship that is transactional: i give you something more than you deserve and you pay me back and if I don’t feel you have paid me back the same than you taking advantage of me. You are not the nice guy – you are the guy trying to pay for friendships and relationships with actions you don’t want to even be part in.

    So stop doing that. Start approaching relationships about what you and the other person might enjoy doing together. Like taking a walk, playing a game, doing a sport, playing some cards, checking out a movie in a genre you both like. And stop trying to give them stuff, or do favors in exchange for a relationship.

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