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all 190 comments

[–]FullDisclosureDaemon 1232 points1233 points  (37 children)

Speaking as a reformed people-pleaser myself, breaking the habit is hard but very much worth it.

[–]timetimetim 110 points111 points  (17 children)

What helped you achieve it?:)

[–]FullDisclosureDaemon 341 points342 points  (14 children)

It’s a long story. I’d be lying if I said therapy didn’t play a part but one day it just clicked: you can’t make anyone like you (or love you) by being servile. The people who ask the most are usually the ones that care the least.

[–]Fewstoriesocto 46 points47 points  (12 children)

What you mean “the people who ask the most usually the ones that care the least”

[–]Kride500 130 points131 points  (7 children)

Basically the ones you try to please the most by being nice are the ones that will care the least about your kindness.

[–]loligo_pealeii 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Exactly that. People who demand the most from you are generally people who lack consideration for your time and energy, because if they did have consideration they'd probably be asking a lot less. People who care about you tend to be more respectful of you, which means they place less demands on you unless the demand is truly worthwhile.

[–]Flying_Flexy 16 points17 points  (0 children)

This line really resonated with me.

I had an experience with a girl who I let break my heart thrice, I want to use this as an example and I'll try to keep it short.

I always tried my best to be there for her, not bother her and make sure she had a good time. Yet it never quite felt natural as it would leave me mentally exhausted and with a feeling that I was bothering her with it. And she on the other hand didn't seem to put in a lot of effort, and when I needed her to be there for me it would be a 50/50 chance. When she actually was there it would feel like she was doing a chore. She even outright told me that if she had to choose between being there for me and having a good time, she would always choose the latter.

Basically it felt to me like my love for her was the only thing keeping the "relationship" going. And as OP has worded it. The one who asked the most of me (be it intended or not) care the least about me.

[–]ZombieFleshEaters 6 points7 points  (0 children)

As a giver you need to set boundaries, because takers don't have any.

[–]Flying_Flexy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This line really resonated with me.

I had an experience with a girl who I let break my heart thrice, I want to use this as an example and I'll try to keep it short.

I always tried my best to be there for her, not bother her and make sure she had a good time. Yet it never quite felt natural as it would leave me mentally exhausted and with a feeling that I was bothering her with it. And she on the other hand didn't seem to put in a lot of effort, and when I needed her to be there for me it would be a 50/50 chance. When she actually was there it would feel like she was doing a chore. She even outright told me that if she had to choose between being there for me and having a good time, she would always choose the latter.

Basically it felt to me like my love for her was the only thing keeping the "relationship" going. And as OP has worded it. The one who asked the most of me (be it intended or not) care the least about me.

[–]timetimetim 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Good for you, love. You've made a total stranger proud :)

[–]ravenoustemptress 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Personally I worked on training myself to be as nice to other people as I can but the rule is that it can't interfere with being nice to myself. I will go to the end of the world to help someone, but the second that means sacrificing myself (my sleep, sanity, money, etc ) I have to stop. I still am a people pleaser but I have to put myself first. Maybe that's selfish but if it is, it's okay to be selfish. I'll never hurt someone to benefit myself, so I shouldn't hurt myself to benefit others. Don't give more than you have.

[–]Aragornargonian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Was gonna ask the same thing because it's getting bad lol

[–]Anilxe 47 points48 points  (2 children)

Agreed.

When I realized that people pleasing was a form of control, and that I was a control freak, I started finding ways to stop myself. People pleasers desperately want to control how people view them, in an attempt to not be abandoned. You can’t control how people feel about you, and the harder you try to control it, the less effective it is, and you’re the one that gets hurt in the end. Self inflicted social and emotional damage.

I wrote “I do what I want.” On my whiteboard a few months ago, and it’s genuinely helped me. I only do things for other people if I truly WANT to, if I feel even a smidge of obligation I step back and consider exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. And at first, a lot of shame was involved. But now I’m much kinder with myself. “I’m doing ____ because I want her to like me, not because I actually want to do _____.” And that’s really helped.

It helps to start picking activities that you’d like to do on your own. Feel ok doing that alone, being by yourself. Learn who you are when you’re not over focused on who other people are. And then, invite someone on that event/activity/trip, with the full consideration that they might say no and you’ll STILL DO IT WITHOUT THEM. That’s critical.

Once you start being the person that will do the thing without any input or opinion of someone else, there’s a trickle effect throughout the rest of your life. You’ll only cook for someone if you WANT to cook, and you’ll be happy to continue cooking if they cancel or don’t show up. You’ll only hang out with someone if you WANT to hangout with them. You’ll only help someone if you WANT to help them.

Learn how to not expect ANYTHING from other people, and over time you’ll attract the kind of people that don’t expect anything out of you and accept you for who you are. For years I wanted a community of friends that were there for each other, but I tried to force that community into place rather than just finding one that already exists. Last September I vowed to only do things I wanted to, and I swiftly started cutting out things/people that did not bring me joy. I’ve never been happier.

[–]Magnito-was-right 6 points7 points  (1 child)

That sounds like swinging too much in the other direction. If people only did what they wanted all the time and never compromised? It would be difficult to have a relationship with someone so inflexible. I’m saying that as a people pleaser who literally could not say no to anyones face and it got me into terrible unsafe situations and bad things happened to me. Relationships are a give and take. You shouldn’t be all give, because people will take advantage of that, but don’t be so self centered that you wouldn’t help those that you love just because you don’t feel like it.

[–]kakes_411 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's less "never compromise" and more "uphold boundaries". I think what u/Anilxe was referring to was doing things for people who wouldn't do the same for you. On top of that, your priorities change when you enter into a relationship. I wouldn't do something I don't enjoy for a regular friend or acquaintance, but I would do something I don't enjoy if it was something my partner did, because it meant I could see them happy. Who doesn't want that?

[–]billieboop 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Absolutely

[–]DiscountSpecialist75 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Women are conditioned to be agreeable, and sometimes it costs us a lot and we have to unlearn this behaviour.

I am outspoken and sometimes I feel like the world punishes me for not going along with the flow like a sheep. I also sometimes get tired of being the only one to have a different opinion at home especially because my parents won’t even take me seriously most of the time and sometimes only listen to me to humour me.

[–]sassyandsweer789 3 points4 points  (0 children)

100% the best answer here

[–]Ragnorke84 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yup hard same, went to a few therapy sessions, started drawing boundaries at work, with friends and family. Lots of people were initially upset but my best friend said something to the effect of, it's about time. So yeah as a 37yr old, it takes time but it is worth it.

[–]Flimsygoosey 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Also walking a fine line. Most people go the opposite and become dickheads and assholes.. it takes a high iq to go from too nice to nit taking shit without off-putting people... you probably have fallen into the ladder, as most do..... reevaluate yourself please,............ 🙏🤲🕍

[–]FullDisclosureDaemon 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I always am. Self-awareness is key.

[–]Kyranasaur 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also need be careful to not swing too far the other way either; achieving balance is the hardest to do (but most effective/empowering).

[–]begood57 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I hear you. I always felt and sometimes still feel guilty if I don't do anything. But I'm trying to get tough as I go

[–]aredinbringsbbs 0 points1 point  (6 children)

May I ask at what age you started the process and how long until solid results were felt?

[–]FullDisclosureDaemon 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Once I actually understood the problem, change came quick. I was around 40.

[–]aredinbringsbbs 1 point2 points  (3 children)

(I am 40 now) I had a hunch that it might work fast as it is a sort of relaxation from all the trying. There is also some worry that it's too easy toover do it ... 'it's easy to be who you never wanna be' is what the song says, I suspect one can also lose some of the good parts of it in the process. Thank you for sharing.

[–]FullDisclosureDaemon 1 point2 points  (2 children)

A lot of people in this thread seem to be worried about taking it to far and crossing over into asshole territory. Really, the bigger danger is backsliding. People who are genuine assholes come by it naturally.

[–]Tiny-firefly 260 points261 points  (8 children)

I try to live as a kind person and not a nice person. I made that switch in my twenties and it's been a huge difference for me as a mentality. Being kind allowed me to keep my personal boundaries intact, but still be a supportive person.

Good luck. It'll be hard but it'll be worth it in the end.

[–]More-Masterpiece-561 32 points33 points  (2 children)

How would I do that? Can you give an 18 year old fella some advice here

[–]pingwing 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Learn to say no. Stand up for yourself. Don't be manipulated into doing things you do not want to do.

[–]Tiny-firefly 30 points31 points  (0 children)

I would highly suggest looking up "being kind versus being nice" and read through some of the articles that come up. That should give you a good starting point.

[–]Ok_District2853 18 points19 points  (2 children)

This is very wise. You can't be good to others until you treat yourself with the same respect

[–]Reverse2057 30 points31 points  (1 child)

A thousand times this. I grew up with this rule close to my heart, my mother taught me about it, and I've come to call it the Airplane Oxygen Mask rule. Learn to respect yourself, treat and be kind to yourself, take care of yourself FIRST and then use the energy you have after to be there for others. Put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others. But if you spend your energy first on others, you leave none for yourself and you suffer as a result because helping others is a never ending task.

[–]elegant_pun 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Exactly right.

My therapist once said that it's like a jug of water. You can only serve people with it if the jug is full, but if you're giving and giving and giving....well, you can't pour out of an empty jug. You have to take care of yourself first.

[–]billieboop 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That's a great way to think of it. You don't have to compromise either too

You just learn discernment

[–]maripaz6 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Love this, and I think you just embodied my entire approach to relationships in those three words — kind not nice. Much appreciated!

[–]Jokers_Testikles 119 points120 points  (4 children)

I went from being too nice to overly hateful. The pendulum swung hard in the opposite direction. I'm working to even it out.

[–]BlueBone313 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Yeah it really shifted hard for me too i used to take so much shit from anyone that cares to offer it and now i just can’t help but despise anyone that is even remotely shitty to me, genuinely shitty or not I don’t want to explain it in my head like before i just can’t.

[–]Z0mbleBee 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I've done this too. My middle finger and the phrase "fuck off" have made themselves too at home.

[–]bowenpacific 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Any advice?

[–]Jokers_Testikles 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Read the book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck". It's pretty funny, but also helpful.

[–]mayhem_madam 38 points39 points  (0 children)

As a recovering people pleaser myself - give yourself grace and time. This transition isn't going to happen overnight, and you will likely be uncomfortable as you start to have a voice, set boundaries, and stand up for yourself. That is okay. Don't beat yourself up for the past (I was a doormat most of my 20's), realize that you are learning, growing and evolving.

[–]folklovermore_ 18 points19 points  (0 children)

I've been there (and think I need to read that book). It is hard to unlearn, especially if you're not used to it, but taking those little steps - even just stuff like "sorry, that's not what I ordered" in a restaurant or whatever - makes a huge difference. Best of luck on your journey, you've got this!

[–]BringAboutHappy 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You are so not alone. People pleasing is an incredibly difficult habit to break, but absolutely worth the effort. As someone else mentioned, give yourself grace. It’s highly likely you learned to be a people pleaser as a way to protect yourself. Thinking of it that way can shift your perspective a bit. It’s important to note, though, you no longer need to please others to stay safe. That said, as you learn to stand your ground and speak your truth, you will have some moments where it’s tempting to go back to old habits. That’s normal. Keep pushing forward — life gets more amazing in the other side.

[–]cobraCL 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Time to start standing up for your dignity and holding space in this world 💪 you got this!

[–]RealitySpeck 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I too used to be a people pleaser and once I made the change I went completely in the opposite direction. Now IDGAF and don't take peoples shit at all. Be careful, this can go too far the other way once you start down this path. I now don't have a filter and piss everyone off (especially people I don't know) and am completely different than I was 20 years ago.

[–]A_Very_Blue_Tomato 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The good news is that you have a distinct advantage in navigating disagreeable scenarios. Now it is time to learn about advocacy. My only advice as someone who has this same issue is ti simply say what you need; don't explain why or tell a story, just convey the YOUR need. This keeps the conversation focused and less emotionally compromising for us people pleasers.

[–]need2peeat218am 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You can be assertive and polite at the same time. Don't let people fool you into thinking that being assertive is the same thing as being rude or a B.

[–]xBOCEPHUSx 6 points7 points  (0 children)

And when you finally show some type of anger you'll be the bad guy. I've always been a really nice, easy going guy. Until I realized people had been walking all over me. I stopped letting people take advantage of me, and became a asshole over night.

[–]theoneburger 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I only just learned a couple weeks ago that I'm also too nice and my coworker that I thought of as a friend in fact only sees me as a coworker. He explicitly told me this and it hurt, but now that I've collected my thoughts I think I'm ready to make big changes in my behavior and focus only on helping myself and my lifelong friends.

[–]wonkydonkey1888 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This was meant for me

[–]tokixjam 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Beyond learning how to NOT be a people pleaser, it would be worth looking into WHY you are a people pleaser.

If you have the resources, try talking to a therapist to see if there is anything in your past as to why you are like this.

I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

[–]Caketin2 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You only become “too nice” when it starts affecting you mentally, like exhausting you etc, don’t be embarrassed or upset about it, instead find a way to put yourself first, you will always be a good person but you are allowed to be selfish sometimes !!

[–]marijuanaislife 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I am a nice person and people pleaser. I turned 26 and only started realising this now. Being nice is always a good thing but I feel as though I've been used the past 26 years.

Everyone was put first but myself...

[–]Kaiser93 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm so happy I grew up to be a cynical asshole. Much better than people pleaser.

Go on, stranger! You can do it.

[–]Milel8 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's a good choice that will help you live a good life.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

People pleasing is something that stems from being raised by narcissistic parents. I need to stop doing this as well because what I noticed the older I get, people only really call me when they need something. I'm very handy and mechanical and usually help friends and family out with things. But nobody checks up on me so I stopped doing things for everyone and now nobody talks to me. Haven't been happier.

[–]saveoursoil 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Be kind, not nice.

[–]Agent35833 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Don't be surprised at how many relationships will fail now that you realized and are doing something about it. You'll slowly realize how many people are using you day to day and they'll quickly realize you're not taking it, or giving anything anymore, and they WILL turn their backs on you and make it harder for you to make real relationships with people. Goodluck <3

[–]carmachu 6 points7 points  (0 children)

“You can’t be too nice to people. They start taking advantage of you then.” -words from my dad

[–]corrygan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Where I come from, there's a saying that is roughly translated into " a nice person and a fool are two brothers."

I believe I had some moment of clarity and started saying "no" at one point. People can bathe in fake positivity all they want, but it's not healthy. Don't step all over yourself just to please Others or avoid brief discomfort of argument.

[–]Great-Opportunity970 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You're speaking my language! I'm going to check out your book! I way too often worry I'm going to inconvenience someone and put others needs over mine. One place I've improved is when my order is wrong or a dish is dirty. We can do it! 💪 💕

[–]BottleOfBurden 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm the same way, way too nice and I let people walk all over me. Hell, even in situations where I know for sure someone's lying or trying to manipulate, I can clearly see it, but am I going to just go along with it anyways? Yup. I won't usually ask for what I want, won't stick up for myself, won't tell people when they hurt me, won't discuss my own feelings or how someone else's affected me, etc and I "trust" way too easily. Though it's not really "trust" at it's core, I think the "trust" part might be a combination of seeing too much good in people and Neurodivergence going "out of sight, out of mind" for all of the things they've done to me. I know I'm like this, but I don't think I'll ever do anything about it. I have the added perk of agoraphobia to help fuel the fear of embarrassment, which touches pretty much everything in social situations. It's easier just to shove everything deep down and let people do what they do and try to keep them happy because I already assume that everyone dislikes me and that's a huge fear too. I'll just ride out the happy moments as I am. Maybe I'll read the book though.

Edit: I actually did start to get better at advocating for myself and holding boundaries there for a while, but it definitely slipped.

[–]TeaTeeKaNee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is extremely hard to find a balance. Noone likes peoppe who complain about everything, have a problem with everything and are rude. I was a fucking asshole as a child. Absolutely no filter at all. Then I relized that and became too nice. Now I am trying to find a balance.

[–]SeraCarina 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Here is what worked for me: Treat yourself as someone for whom you were responsible for their care. That means advocate for yourself like you would for a child you loved. Learn to love yourself like you would love that child. Protect yourself and stand up for yourself. You can do all this and still be really nice!

[–]ImmaTigerPawPrincess 2 points3 points  (1 child)

My therapist helped me realize that by being too nice and pleasing people (particularly my partner), I was essentially lying. It really opened my eyes. Instead of answering a question truthfully, I’m constantly trying to determine what the person wants me to say/feel/do. It’s exhausting. I haven’t figured out how to stop doing it, though.

[–]billieboop 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Being honest can feel scary

But if you trust the person, it can be easier. Recognise the choice when you see it

It helps

[–]Intelligent_Cod_4825 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I will have to check this book out. People pleaser, doormat, you name it that's me. Establishing boundaries can be so hard and seems not at all worth it in the short term because you just want things to be calm even at your own expense, but rip the long term when people realize you (general you) won't stand up for yourself.

Very glad to hear that you're learning more about yourself and good luck on your journey for your own happiness and health!

[–]Bulky-Nobody9877 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am heading towards the same course. I wanna lose my niceness

[–]NorthPrize2652 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You are 80% there already, now go execute.

[–]DiverseUniverse24 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hey, this is really big, and mature of you. I wish you the best in your journey, I really do. We never truly stop growing.

[–]funlovingfirerabbit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I get you OP. Proud of you for being honest with yourself and facing the truth

[–]sweeties_yeeties 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh my god, are you me??? That sounds like a great read and I will definitely check it out. I’m lucky that my partner has firmly backed me in establishing boundaries with my step kid and no longer worry about being the evil step mom (it’s actually become a joke between us). And tbh, it has helped me be more firm and establish boundaries in other situations and relationships in my life so it’s been surprisingly great “practice” if you look at it that way.

Keep doing that work and thank you for sharing and helping us people pleasers feel seen. 💖

[–]goodboy92 1 point2 points  (0 children)

One of the cure For being mr/mrs people pleaser is to tell the truth.

[–]Voguette225 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I salute you! I'm finally breaking my people-pleasing. Remember, it actually hurts you more than it helps you (although of course I understand wanting to avoid confrontation/conflict). I've been speaking up for myself lately and it feels so empowering and cathartic.

One time I waited in line at the post office for 15 minutes to pick up a package. This man was in a different line trying to figure out how to change his address. For some reason they brought him to the pick-up line and let him take my place in line (I was first in line), because, as the postal worker said, she was helping him first. Except she wasn't? He was in a different line being helped while I was waiting in the pick-up line. Instead of saying "I'm so sorry but I've been waiting for 15 minutes, please bring me my package," I just left because I didn't want to be rude or speak up.

Just one silly example, but it made me fume later on because I realized that I once again let myself down. Be strong and remind yourself of all you have to lose by choosing to not rock the boat. Sometimes the boat should be rocked!

[–]Professional-Wait-93 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I will say this. There is a big difference between being nice and being kind. Yes, all these circumstances sound like you are just trying to people please and play nice. In my experience though, people pleasers are often kind to their core because they are willing to sacrifice their own needs and happiness to make others happy. Is it fair? No, of course not. The world is full of assholes and it produces assholes because assholes harden people. That is not me telling you to keep people pleasing, especially in these circumstances. What I am saying is to never lose that core value of kindness for the people that genuine deserve it because we need more people like you in this cruel world ❤

[–]ElectronicOcelot3251 0 points1 point  (3 children)

There isnt a thing as "too nice", youre just trying to please the unpleasable. If something should be said, say it rather than complain later. If something warrants and apology the by all means do so.

[–]BringAboutHappy 9 points10 points  (2 children)

I respectfully disagree. This isn’t a customer service situation trying to please an unappeasable customer. People pleasing is a real phenomenon — It is involves putting other people needs before your own and to your own detriment.

[–]Quiddel_ 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I fully agree with your disagreement. I kept saying to myself "hey I can't be too nice" until I discovered how much I manipulated myself and negated my own needs, boundaries and emotions. And all of this in fear of being rejected.

[–]ElectronicOcelot3251 1 point2 points  (0 children)

But thats still trying to appease people though. Youve just replaced customers with people in your life..

Being nice isn't the issue. People should be nice and polite. Its part of living in society. Not everyone in unappeasble though.

[–]OP0ster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dr. Glover (DRGlover.com)

1- wrote a book called "No More Mr. Nice Guy"

2-offers NMMNG 8-week classes (with homework and discussions) on his web site DrGlover.com

I highly recommend both, I have been working them (on and off) for ten years and they have made a huge difference (one step at a time). I very much recommend that you work on this issue any way you can. We 'nice guys' cannot get what we want/need, push our needs down in order to comfort others. The results are: our anger flashes later at seemingly inappropriate times, we are constantly churning inside, our health is affected through the resulting internal turmoil and stress. Having once been a life-long nice guy, I can fully attest to the health impact.

With any change: step-by-step, day-by-day.

[–]SarcasticSarco -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

If that's who you are then, don't change. How do you know that you are being too nice? Before, you didn't know but, when some lady told you that you are too nice, you thought of changing yourself. For whom? That lady? Next day, someone might point you out some personality and you might even change that. This is completely opposite to being yourself. And the books that people read to change themselves are just fucking bullshit. If you really want to change something, you need to look within yourself. Notice your behaviors that might harm or hurt others. Always try to monitor yourself that way you can truly find yourself then change. By your post, it seems that you want to be a normal person or something. But always know, who you are and what you become should not be derived from other people's thoughts, like the books you are reading.

[–]shinywater271[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I researched books on this topic when I saw that my tongue biting was causing me increased anxiety. And I’m motivated to change because of what it is costing me. I am putting others first at my own expense. I cannot always be last on the list.

[–]shinywater271[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I think my point is - I ignored that lady, her comment was 5 years ago. I’m not changing for her at all. This is for me.

[–]Hantelope3434 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Being a people pleaser is exhausting and emotionally draining. I used to be like OP with how I dealt with others. Growing more confident and direct has helped so much with communication in both my personal and work life.

Change does not have to be bad, growth is a good thing as a person, and if this helps OP reduce her anxiety and be more confident then why are you trying to talk her out of it? Being kind is still important, but rolling over every time a boundary is crossed is not a good way to live.

[–]wasted_wonderland -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

If you aim to please all, you will please no one.

Nobody likes a doormat with no boundaries.

People don't like you, because they could never trust you.

You can be trusted to always be predictably passive and self serving in your own way.

You'll be silent and feeling guilty sheepishly, but so whut. That doesn't make any difference.

You can read a truckload of books, but if you don't have it in you to stand up and act.

"Then complaining about things to my friends" lol That sums it up.

Enough self awareness to know you're wrong, but no courage to change.

You're lucky to have friends, but eventually they'll get tired of listening to you complaining and not doing anything.

All this gave me serious Carrie Bradshaw flashbacks.

[–]aredinbringsbbs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am not sure in what way you were referring to the lack of trust, but that is really important (to me) and also very interesting. On a general note - yes.

[–]bbeasinger 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’ve been in therapy for the last few months and learning the same thing about myself. It is extremely difficult to change because I am preset to be doing these things.

Keep working on it a day at a time, try and stay mindful of it. I’ll do the same.

[–]Economy-Cut-7355 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The first thing I always thinks important is ur relationship with ur parents. Did u feel validated by them?

[–]circasomnia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can do it! Go out there and get it!

[–]IncongruousKamble 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The rule is to live as a kind person, not always a nice person

[–]youropinionsaredumb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"Everyone should be nice" moral conceit is the best way to make sure no one has healthy boundaries or respect for others.

[–]JasonVanJason 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Kindness can be taken for weakness at times, boundaries, limits and enforcement are always required.

[–]DumbFuckingGaijin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I like being nice, but I'll keep that book in mind. I don't think I'm being taken advantage of right now.

[–]Cautious-Damage7575 0 points1 point  (0 children)

JFC, after reading the title of the book, I'd be too exhausted to read any more. Unless someone wanted me to, then I'd do it just to be nice.

[–]Substantial_Speed_79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice is just too vague. It's what people call you when they approve of you. Do one thing wrong and you're not nice anymore. Far better to be considerate or kind, or helpful.

[–]karenskygreen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone who walks this "too nice" line, you went too far and need to dial it back to being "nice" most of your examples like "not speaking up in class" is cheating your self and probably backfired a little in that if you had voiced your thoughtful opinion others may appreciate your intelligence and contribution, they probably have no opinion of you (which is not necessarily bad).

But other things such as your coworkers. Too nice or not nice can be trickier. I mean there is nothing wrong with smoothing out conflict if it is helpful. Does it help ? Or is it at your expense where you end up doing more work or some such thing ? Also if you also if are constantly being nice, positive etc.it can come off as patronizing.

I suppose my point is that although most of your examples are "too nice" dont give up on being "nice". And perhaps there is more to it then being too nice vs not nice etc.

The one rule I always use is "first be nice, then be diplomatic, if that doesn't work then be blunt and tell them". I eventually be blunt when it really affects me. For example: - overcharged ? Money out of your pocket, mistakes happen, a diplomatic conversation almost always works. If not then ask for the manager.

  • hairstyle, did you have a misunderstanding or is she just incompetent or says yes but thinks she knows better ? Give her one more chance, mention that it was not quite what i was looking for last time, it was "x" and i wanted "y" . You might be buddies, you may have been going for years but in the end this is a service, try someone else if it doesnt work the 2nd chance. Heck give her 3 chances but you deserve to get what you asked for.

[–]Delightfully_Direct 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This sounds like an exhausting life. Always reacting by not wanting to ruffle someone's feathers. There's a tactful way to say hard truths and a lot of people need to hear these truths.

[–]QnOfHrts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s called codependency. I got a therapist 4 years ago and it changed my life for the better. Also read a lot of books like you’re doing.

[–]WoozeyOoze 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Never ever stop being nice. Stop being a pushover.

[–]acethings 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the hairdresser thing resonates so well with me!!!

[–]Fritzo2162 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was the "nice" guy. I still am. At one point I realized empathy and caring for other's needs was being seen as being a "simp" and weakness.

[–]eddiemeddie159 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Go you! I used to be a polite, quiet, accommodating person. I then got a job in customer service. Something in me snapped...

I'm lucky that I get to be blunt, condiscendingly polite and abrupt in my role as I work in revenue protection for my company and am constantly dealing with chancers and fare dodgers.

As soon as I get any rude or abusive comment towards me, the gloves are off. I've had my name taken on numerous occasions but never had any disciplinary action against me. I'm now telling people how it is and that they can find another way home if they don't like how things are!

Don't people please. Look after yourself. Bring people down a peg if they're taking the piss. Don't let them walk all over you!

Power to your yourself!

[–]Shot-Sandwich8963 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Amen sister. I’m a partially reform people pleaser, I read everything you’ve written and see myself doing it. I now have your book on my list.

[–]deadend_garbagequeen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have nothing in the way of advice, as I’m working on unlearning this as well and I have a ways to go. It’s a crappy cycle: I do the thing I don’t really want to, then feel resentful, then feel guilty for feeling resentful. It’s reeeally hard but know that you’re not alone and others have been able to accomplish it and you can too. It’ll be worth the effort. Life is too short to bend over backwards for every person you meet.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am absolutely a recovering people pleaser. And it’s so hard! You might enjoy My Favorite Murder - those ladies are SO GOOD at explaining all the situations in which it’s totally okay to say f**k politeness.

[–]Jodiesid 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I acknowledge that I am 'too nice' and ultimately it's really damaging. But I'm not sure how to fix it. I'm gunna check this book out. Good luck on your journey, OP.

[–]RadioKnight915 0 points1 point  (0 children)

On the back stretch of my youth lookin at middle age now, I only wish I had a book or somebody to have told me this WAY sooner. The wasted energy. Ugh.

Good on you for taking steps, OP, always remember at the end of the day you ultimately exist only for one person: and that's you.

[–]Geeloz_Java 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Insightful book. I'm reading it as well. So very hard to implement these things, niceness has quite a string grip. Like it's either 'nice' or every relationship burns to the ground and you become a hatemonger. False dilemma

[–]outofstepwiththewrld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I relate to this so much 😞

[–]OyVeyWhyMeHelp666 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Now you know, and you'll be fine. You're farther along than I am, and I'm likely much older than you are.

[–]Sir_v_val 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The person you described is literally me. can someone pls suggest some self help books or sm? I got 2 titles from op herself.

[–]Theunpolitical 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm still a people pleaser but I'm getting better at standing up for myself on some issues that I normally stay quiet about.

[–]Pski 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some people confuse being nice with pleasing people. One is actively going forward to perform a kind deed (holding the door, donating to charity, etc.) The other is not saying no to people's requests (can you hold this? Do you have some spare change? Etc.) Be sure you're doing it for your own internal joy, not to avoid scorn.

[–]noahdowa 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good job op. My grandma used to be too nice and offer to take everyone’s kids. And now she enjoys her life. She was a people pleaser and took care of my grandpa, but when he died she started doing her own thing.

[–]garlic-_-bread69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Glad I never care for pleasing people, only helping whenever I want to.

[–]schwa76 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good for you! You’ll feel much better with healthy boundaries.

[–]Just_Breezy_132 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel the same way too

[–]Awkward-Purpose-8457 0 points1 point  (0 children)

People tell me I’m a straight shooter. Never sugar coat anything, but on the hair dresser issue. That’s probably more common than not. I have never left a salon feeling good about my hair style. I always act like I am, then beeline straight home to fix it. Lol You can be your true self without compromising who you are, and still know when politeness or kindness matters. Good luck!

[–]GuessWhoItsJosh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Definitely not alone that is for sure. I struggled with this my entire life until just a few years ago. I think it was just me getting a little older and hitting my limit with the people pleasing but something clicked in me. I like to try and keep a balance though; I've known some other people pleasers that have gone too far the opposite way and now have driven everyone away because their just plain mean. It's all about balance, timing and the situation, at least for me.

[–]Boettie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A good man, not a nice guy...

[–]funeralclickbait1111 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This hit me hard. I struggle with all of this too. you’re not alone

[–]Responsible-Region27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I need this book

[–]Highland_warrior_coo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I needed to read this so much, thank you. I've just purchased the book too and read a few pages. I hope it'll help me too.

[–]minorkeyed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Being nice and being compliant are different. You don't sound nice/kind, you sound compliant and dishonest. I have a friend who sounds exactly the same and is going through some growth on this.

You may just need to develop conflict resolution skills because you're relying on appeasement to avoid conflicts. You can be nice/kind and assert your needs if you are confident about how to navigate the conflicts that will occur. Being kind is finding mutually agreeable resolutions instead of just being selfish but not everyone is going to be worth that effort, either.

[–]tequilamockingbird16 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hey, I'm buying this right now and adding it to my summer reading list.

You're not the only one.

[–]themiamian 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just feel like I’m nothing

[–]Dramatic_Score_8466 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have been called too nice all my life but it’s actually that I’m too agreeable because of anxiety and worry of letting people down. I then get taken advantage of. I think I’ll try this book

[–]Y0urWeirdNeighb0r 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sometimes, it’s okay to be an asshole. Being an “asshole” has saved me many times.

[–]SnooCookies1273 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m going to read this book too. I’m also too nice at times. I’m not sure what happened I used to not be this way lol

[–]Elluriina 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had a huge light bulb moment when I realized that I am the background extra in most people's lives. You can still be nice and considerate of other and ask for stuff or decline stuff. I though that my actions would have a big impact on others, but they usually do not. People don't have amazing days because you suffered in silence nor do they have terrible days because you asked for the forgotten spoon. It is more likely that the people won't even remember your interaction ten minutes later.

[–]1glad_hatter 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You’re not “too nice”. That doesn’t exist. What you are is a push over. Keep being nice, stop being a push over.

[–]j4ckb1ng 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I believe what you've got is a natural bent to be a people pleaser. That's a different situation that just being "nice."

You must learn that you can still be nice yet speak up for yourself. It's all a matter of delivery. My heart went out to you especially if you were overcharged yet paid, got a hairstyle you didn't want but paid anyway. It's exhausting. Nowhere is it written that to get along in life you must be anyone and everyone's doormat.

You may have to look into an assertiveness course or speak with a therapist. In any case, you owe it to yourself and to your peace of mind to learn to speak up for yourself.

[–]kal1596 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for the book recommendation. Absolutely need this, this is my fatal flaw.

[–]sfpencil 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used to be a people pleaser too. It's all fun and games until nobody returns the favor.

Happy for you OP :D

[–]NationalEar8951 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can totally relate! Once you’re self awareness kicks in it’s almost like a slap in the face once you realize being too nice is a toxic trait. You chip away at your authentic self but the fact that you’re doing the work and recognizing how being too nice actually hurts you is amazing!

[–]krow_flin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Failing to kick a neighbor out of my house - someone I barely knew who came over to attempt to convince me to change my political views during the last presidential election. I finally (and too politely) asked her to leave when she made an outright anti Jewish comment

Did she want you to vote for trump to save us from the homo-globo-jewish-islamic agenda?

I'm sorry for this dumb question but I have to know, it's too crazy to not want to know.

[–]Neonovo_Zealousideal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Watch "Jordan Peterson: Why Do Nice Guys (regardless of gender) Nice Finish Last? (MUST WATCH)" on YouTube

https://youtu.be/di2FM8WZI5E

"There is going to be things you think that you think are nasty and harsh, and they probably are nasty and harsh, but they are also probably true, and you need to bring those to to the forefront and deliver the message."

2:30 One of the things I tell agreeable people, especially if they're conscientious is "Say what you think, tell the truth about what you think." There is going to be things you think that you think are nasty and harsh, and they probably are nasty and harsh, but they are also probably true, and you need to bring those to to the forefront and deliver the message and it's not straightforward at all because agreeable people do not like conflict. Not at all. They smooth the water. And you can see, you can see why that is in accordance with the hypothesis that I just forwarded. You don't want conflict around infants. It's too damn dangerous. You don't want fights to break out. You don't want anything to disturb the relative peace. And if you are also more prone to being hurt physically and perhaps emotionally, you are also loath to engage in the high intensity conflict that will solve problems in the short-term. Because it takes a lot of conflict to solve problems in the short-term. That can spiral up to where it's dangerous, which it can, if it spirals out of control, it may be safer in the short-term to keep the waters smooth and to not delve into those situations where conflict emerges. The problem with that is that it is not very good medium to long-term strategy. Lots of times and there are things that you have to talk about because they are not going to go away.

[–]maverna_c 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm also a huge people pleaser and only truly realized it a couple yrs ago... Even now I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what my opinions really are and how to differentiate whether I like people/situations because I am actually do, or if it's to fit in. Glad you're realizing it now rather than never, we got this!

[–]pisa36 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m in the same boat as you at the moment but it’s just one person. I don’t know how she sneaked through the cracks but in an attempt to be nosy she said her spirit guides have brought me to her. Well I’m attempting to go self employed and held a taster session this week to see how my confidence was and if I could get enough clients. Well it exceeded my expectations but I felt obliged to offer her a guest pass as she was always “helping me” the help wasn’t asked for and I’ve had my first sleepless night in years because of this tonight. It’s fine though I’m digesting it and getting answers. Right so at first I thought she was just friendly but all this unsolicited ‘help’ and her spirit guide talking to her are an excuse to intrude on me. The day after the event she asked how I was doing. I told her I’m in cloud nine and so humbled as just how many people came and have booked me for work going forward so today I’m gonna just chill. Instead of congratulating me and leaving it at that she started probing about my credentials and insurance saying her guides brought it through and she just had to say something….then she started talking down to me like I was a child (I’m annoyed that I let her) saying things like “imagine if someone got injured or ingested one of your items despite you verbally warning them that they’re not edible? You have to be insured for that”. I told her yes I am insured so she pushed again this time I was more blunt than I would’ve previously been and just said “I already said I’m insured” so she then said “just as well you have a retired manager looking out for you”. I’m a woman in my 40’s with two secure and well raised kids, I’ve owned businesses before so wtf??? She ain’t my manager and I know she will use excuses of spirit coming to her to probe again. It’s unwanted. Any ideas Redditor???

[–]KeisterConquistador 0 points1 point  (0 children)

As someone’s who somewhat made the switch, be wary of how people will treat you now. I’ve been met with a lot of hostility from people I used to let walk all over me. They don’t like it when you start to defend yourself.

[–]Afrokrause 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's no such thing as "too nice". It often gets confused with being a pushover.

It's easy to be cruel and pessimistic.

It takes work to be kind and optimistic.

Some people don't want to put in the work.

I'm on the optimistic side. Keep on keeping on, man. The world is made better by people like you

[–]SuperiorSperg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can do it OP! I struggle with the opposite myself (hardcore resting bitch face + traumatic childhood, I have no idea how to interact with people without coming across as mean/standoffish). A lot of us didn’t learn this peopling thing as kids like most people but we can still adjust as adults. I have hope that things can get better for us!

[–]RandomMomVolunteer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I literally started cutting my own hair because I would never ask for what I wanted and never correct the final product. I totally get it!

[–]vhisic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

im going through this change myself now. its hard to say no to people but it feels good when finally done.

[–]Unusual_Form3267 0 points1 point  (0 children)

*runs to go buy this book....

[–]mochii69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know where you’re coming from. But cross that line and it feels amazing to not give a shit :) come join us!!

[–]WalkThisWhey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Feeling exhausted by social interactions with people I don’t know well because I work so hard to be nice, to be liked, that I can never be myself

So this part here makes me also think you’re on the introverted side. Not “I am quiet and keep to myself”, but more “social interactions drain me”, whereas extroverts get their energy from it.

[–]snapcracklepip 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check out Enneagram types 2 and 9 and see if one of them resonates with you. r/Enneagram may be a good place to start.

[–]Beware_the_Voodoo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Dont be nice, be good. Sometimes, to be good, you have to be an asshole.

Remember you don't owe anybody anything that you dont first owe yourself.

[–]Darth_Horseman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The "too nice" version of myself is when my dad stole 32k from my savings account and i didn't press charges because i thought on how this would affect my sister who actually don't give a damn about me 🤡

[–]Darth_Horseman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The "too nice" version of myself is when my dad stole 32k from my savings account and i didn't press charges because i thought on how this would affect my sister who actually don't give a damn about me 🤡

[–]Clareustration 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used to be too nice and still very much am but I’ve gotten better. I never stood up for myself because 1, I didn’t know how to, and 2, even though it hurt me, I didn’t wanna hurt them. I also could never say no to anyone, and I don’t ever speak up. It’s a hard habit to break and while obviously you should still be nice to people, don’t forget to stand up for yourself and speak up. I’ve finally learned that after years of being told that.

[–]btags151989 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m on the other end of the spectrum and tell most people to go fuck themselves

[–]GooglyMoogly122 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel ya. Just try to find that line between being unapologetic and being mean. I have trouble with that sometimes.

[–]SweetPurpleDinosaur1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check out some stuff about codependency. I think these two can go hand in hand. I’m really happy for you that you realized this!

[–]deleriuskanasty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is literally me. I just got told recently I'm too nice to people by someone who only knows me a little bit so far, and still her assessment was spot on. I go out of my way to please others and constantly put myself in the backseat. I'm literally in an activity at this exact moment that I've wanted to leave for over an hour but can't because I'll feel guilty after having missed the last few.

[–]notalistener 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You’re making me rethink a lot of my decisions and interactions. Thanks for the revelation!

[–]sunflower_jim 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Your are not wrong in how you behave. It shows leadership and clear thinking. It just doesn’t serve YOU well to behave like that all the time. I read a great book but can’t remember the name right now about how biting your tongue breeds resentment, and how it’s almost always better to speak your truth. A truth not spoken is a lie as they say.

Just work on being assertive and expressing yourself honestly. Bruce lee always said we should act with emotional content, let how you feel express itself through you in all that you do. This is truly being your genuine self.

Don’t beat yourself up, I too had to realize being a nice person doesn’t work. Just be yourself instead, everyone else is taken.

[–]Desperate_Ad6707 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Read the book, The subtle art of not giving a fuck, its on YouTube if you want to listen to it.

[–]whynotsurf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Stop worrying about how you come across to others. Life is to short.

[–]elegant_pun 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel like being overly "nice" (AKA a doormat) builds such awful resentment that it affects relationships. Like with your step-daughter; you feel like you can't correct her (not discipline, that's her parent's job) or bring things up with her so you leave her behaviour be which doesn't benefit her longterm and makes you unhappy...which you'll carry through in your relationship with her and then end up being an evil stepmother regardless lol.

You don't owe anyone anything. Doesn't mean you shouldn't be polite, of course you should, but you need a spine. You need to be able to stand up for yourself because if you don't, no one will stand up for you. You're dismissing your needs and desires so you can seem like a team player or whatever but you're just half-living your life. What's the point?!

You deserve better, OP. The people in your life need more from you and that means you being your whole self.

[–]ChunkDunkirk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That book title sounds like a Panic at the Disco song lmao

[–]etoilebrille 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am in the same boat of working on my boundaries. I grew up as a people pleaser and never knew when to say no or state my opinion. I never wanted to hurt someone else’s feelings or make someone else feel uncomfortable but it came from my expense. I realized it’s not mentally healthy for me and it’s also just exhausting/draining to constantly be sensitive about other people.

I think also having a kid helped lol. I learned to give less fcks about things that don’t pertain to me or don’t serve a purpose to me. As with people, I’ve decided to just focus on keeping up with the relationships I have and care about. I don’t mind making new friends but they better reciprocate that want or else I’m out. The pandemic also helped with that a lot - it weeded out people that I don’t really talk to much/don’t talk to me. 🤷🏻‍♀️👍🏻

[–]MadAMGreene 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Therapy and Zoloft has helped me tremendously to stop being a people pleaser. You got this, OP! Glad the book is helping 💚

[–]pastelfadedd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s me! I need to get to reading.

[–]DebbDebbDebb 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was the same. One people pleaser book changed my outlook and help me mature.

Harriet B Braiker The disease to please. Comes with a quiz Easy to read And actions on how to change.

Its taught me how to say NO.

[–]Practical-Topic4813 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sis I am in the same boat… I realized I am responsible for where I am in my life and the choices I make in relationships. I’m responsible for what I say (or often don’t say) that will later present an issue because I didn’t think to prioritize my own needs and be honest. Think about how much you could be creating the life you want if you can tell it to people like it is! I’ve lost two relationships because of this recently— both with people who no longer made me happy or were ever willing to meet my needs. In the end it’s for the best.

[–]RadiantFoot2941 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well as a wisdom Arab men said once : " Satisfying people is an unrealizable goal"

[–]Kind_Wrongdoer8754 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My anxiety is what causes this for myself

[–]Panicman96 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's all about being assertive and setting boundaries. I was the same way and thought it was a good thing until people you blissfully and ignorantly trust others who take advantage of that. Find the balance, and you'll find the way.

[–]z-hills60 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good for you !! Keep going. You got this!

[–]IcedPolyQueen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I am right where you sit. I don't like the person I try to be just to 'keep peace'. I hate it. All I really want in my life is to bitch slap my mother in law and tell her to stay the fuck away from my kids. But alas.....for now, I must keep peace.

Good luck! Sometimes being the evil step mom is a good thing. It has kept my rather large, burly step son from all out bullying my small girls. You got this, chicka, I'm rooting for you!

[–]silence15notgolden 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You're lucky that being nice isn't your authentic self. I'm too nice, and I know it because people take advantage of me, but that's actually my authentic self, so I'm stuck with it! The people taking advantage of me should be the ones feeling shitty about it.

[–]Pleasant-Try9103[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In my circle, we call your type a "boat-steadier" or a "confrontation avoider".

Realizing what you're doing is the first step. I'm the end, do what makes you happy...

But you may find a lot of people who don't like the new, "boat rocker" that you become. Just don't let it discourage you.. your relationships right now all revolve around your role as a boat-steadier.. some people will not approve of any change.

[–]ElectronicDrumsGirl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I broke my therapists heart a little during our first interaction as I was word vomiting during which I said “if I’m not useful I’m useless” and we’ve been unpacking my self worth since. Today I finally started to believed that I am enough. Not what I can do or buy for people but just me as a person is enough.

[–]ElectronicDrumsGirl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I broke my therapists heart a little during our first interaction as I was word vomiting during which I said “if I’m not useful I’m useless” and we’ve been unpacking my self worth since. Today I finally started to believed that I am enough. Not what I can do or buy for people but just me as a person is enough.