There are three paradigms vis-à-vis nice people. The first is from the perspective of a bully. The pleasure centers in their brain lights up like a Christmas tree when they come across a truly nice person. Nice people exist to provide stepping-stones and entertainment in their river of life.

The second viewpoint is the family member, friend, or coworker who stands by and watches the nice guy get obliterated. The attack comes first by malicious bullies and second by others who, without intended malice, take advantage of the nice guy’s self-sabotaging behavior.

The final perspective is that of the nice guy. Here are two quotes from truly nice people, “I’ve been nice my entire life and I’ve constantly been stomped on.”

The second quote comes from a well respected professional, who became rather emotional while expressing the following, “I always try to be nice to people and what has it gotten me?” As he articulated the results of being nice, my emotions were triggered just listening to the carnage of broken relationships because “being nice” is a way of life.

While parents teach their children to be nice and Christians teach their followers to turn the other cheek, bullies zero in for the kill and can spot nice guys (targets) like children find Waldo. What makes it so easy to take advantage of a nice guy? Simply said, nice guys have a specific set of behaviors that set them apart.

Nice guys are nice for the wrong reason. They want people to like them and they are willing to sacrifice their needs for the benefit of acquiring the affirmation, affection, and approval (3A’s) of others. Nice guys prioritize others first. You can recognize the nice guy because when the oxygen masks drop in the airplane cabin, the nice guy will jump up and help everyone on the plane and then die before he can put the oxygen mask on himself.

The solution to being nice is not to try harder or sacrifice more. The solution is to stop being nice. Being nice doesn’t work. Nice is a recipe for misery, frustration, and poor health. Let’s change the approach from being nice to being civil with boundaries. This approach starts with self-respect.

In other words, take care of yourself first. Nice people prioritize themselves last in the pecking order. This is the mom who forgoes sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet because she is more concerned that her children are cared for. In fact, she’s telling herself a host of stories that are not true. For example, if I don’t give my all and sacrifice every waking and sleeping moment in the day, my children will feel abandoned and they won’t love me.

Instead of a rejuvenated mom who can function at peak performance, the crumb crunchers get a worn down, fatigued, overweight and undernourished figurehead who is just trying to survive. Children don’t feel abandoned or neglected when their parental units are fully present, energized, healthy, and vibrant. It is a myth that foregoing self-care facilitates better childcare.

If you’re a nice guy, imagine for a moment what it would look like if you were civil with others, while respecting your boundaries. What if you could say “no” and feel good about it with no guilt. Imagine being healthy, eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and then enjoying the energy to carry a full day’s load being your authentic self.

How would you feel if you actually transitioned from being a nice guy to that guy who protects his boundaries with civility thereby enjoying life to its fullest? When you self advocate with the intent to serve others, you experience the highest level of intrinsic value and reward possible. It is living in the flow, being present, and experiencing the true meaning of joy.

Just a reminder: Professional’s Night Out this Thursday at 6:30 pm at the Fortis Office:

3220 Rosedale St. NW, Suite 100

Gig Harbor, Wa 98335

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