I’ve been too nice my whole life, what I consider being a “nice girl”. What that means is I’ve been praised to be “ladylike”. To be polite and not stir the pot. To be kind and reserved. To be classy and to avoid making others upset at all costs.
While there are some benefits to being a nice girl(and I genuinely love being a sweet and sensitive person), as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that there are costs to being a nice girl.
I let the nice girl title take over my identity and once I became an adult I struggled with who I really was and what I really wanted.
Because being the nice girl, sometimes greatly benefited others. And after doing what everyone else wanted and following the rules I was lost. I struggled to distinguish whether my choices were my own or if they were just me doing what was expected of me.
If you think you might be a nice girl and suffer from nice girl syndrome or maybe find yourself thinking “ Am I too nice?”, here are some hints that maybe you are and how you can use it to your advantage.
You’ve followed the rules
You’ve followed all of societies and your families “rules”. You were told what success looked like (O that white picket fence)and went after what everyone else’s idea of success was.
You did what you were told because you trusted that that was the only way to succeed. While following the rules though and doing what was “right” you didn’t check in with yourself to see if that’s really what you wanted.
You don’t like when others don’t follow the rules
Along with rules, you actually like them. They provide you structure and comfort. You feel they are created for a reason and dislike when others don’t follow the rules.
Somewhere in following the rules, you lost yourself
Somewhere between doing what was right and following the rules, you lost yourself. You lost your opinions and dreams. You may not even know what you really want because what is “right” keeps coming up. You struggle between what is right and what you really want.
You keep your opinions to yourself
You aren’t quick you offer up your opinion. You hold your thoughts and feelings to yourself. You think that if you did tell others how you feel and it was in conflict with their views, they would shun you or challenge you. Which bring me to my next point.
You don’t like confrontation
And why do you keep your opinions and maybe even your feelings to yourself? Because us nice girls don’t like confrontation. We’d rather keep things to ourselves than to hurt or have conflict with someone else. This may cause and internal conflict within yourself. You want to be authentic but you also don’t want to upset others.
You feel deeply and are compassionate
At the core, you are a deeply compassionate and caring person. You understand how others feel and want to help in any way that you can. You don’t like to see other’s suffer and have so much empathy for others.
You, more times than not, put other’s needs ahead of your own. You want to be there for the people you love and support them. You are always generously lending a helping hand.
You want to make a difference
Not only are you willing to help out, you want to make a difference in the lives of others. This isn’t specific to nice girls of course but because of your empathy, compassion, and kindness, you usually find yourself volunteering or helping others. You want to make a difference in the world.
While all of these individually don’t tend to make you a nice girl, when you put them all together what you get is someone who cares deeply for others, who really cares and who may sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
But is it possible for you to be too nice? Yes!
Here are some things you might experience from being too nice.
Being Taken Advantage Of
Difficulty Saying No
Lack of Self Care
Seeking Validation from Outside Sources
Difficulty Handling Criticism
Spreading yourself Too Thin
Lack of boundaries
Don’t speak up or share your ideas or views
Avoidance of difficult conversations even if it benefits you
Lack of self-expression
I know, because I’ve been there.
Now being a nice girl isn’t a bad thing but with anything its all about balance.
Here are some tips to get your nice girl in check.
Seek to maintain healthy, relationships.
Have relationships where there is equal give and take. If you notice that someone is taking more than they are giving really sit with how that makes you feel.
How did the relationship dynamic develop this way? Are you viewing yourself as an equal half to this relationship that is deserving of the same care? Is this relationship healthy for you?
And if not, what do you want to do about it? How would you like your relationship to be different? You get to choose who is in your life and what your relationships look like.
Strengthen your ability to say no
Saying no can be hard, I hear you, and its not something that just develops over night. Especially when in the back of your mind you feel like if you say no, the person will be angry. Sometime you may even think that if you say no that you aren’t being a “good” friend, sister, girlfriend, etc.
But if you say no is that really true that you aren’t supportive? Again, you get to decide what support looks like for you and how you want to support others. Think about it, if you say yes to something you really don’t want to do it’s doing a disservice to both parties.
You are angry and resentful. The other person either sees that you are angry or you aren’t fully committed. You possibly aren’t as present as you would be if you were doing something you really wanted to do.
Only commit to things that you are genuinely excited to do(guilt is not a valid reason). I’ll say that again, guild it not a valid reason. Are you excited about it? Then do it, if not then start saying no.
Take care of yourself
You put everyone else first, but who priorities your needs? Who takes care of you? You got it, you do. If you don’t do it no one else will. Schedule some time for yourself doing things that you enjoy. Spend some guilt-free time binging Netflix or treat yourself to a mani/pedi. Do whatever brings you joy.
Begin to express your thoughts and feelings
It can be vulnerable and scary to share how you really feel especially when you don’t know how people will react or if you are disagreeing. If you want to show others more of who you are and show up authentically in your relationships I urge you to begin to share your thoughts and feelings with them more.
Sometimes being a nice girl you may but on this” everything is alright mask” and only show positive emotions. You aren’t expressing your anger, your sadness, your doubts and fears your feelings or thoughts.
And that can be EXHAUSTING in itself. Do yourself and your friends and family a favor and begin telling them how you REALLY feel.
If it makes you feel more comfortable start small. Heck if you need to start with your pet. Then progress from there in a way that makes you feel most comfortable. And remember, you get to choose who you share with. You know who you trust.
Being a nice girl comes with its perks and downfalls. Doing these simple things are the first steps to tuning into your thoughts and feelings and beginning to speak your truth. They may seem small, but with consistent practice, you will slowly begin to use your nice girl powers and use them to your advantage. I would love to hear what being a nice girl means to you.