Playing “nice” has this client ignoring herself:

I was reading the newsletter you wrote about being nice, and it had me thinking about my own behavior. When I’m being nice, I don’t say what is on my mind. I don’t express how I feel, because I don’t want to “cause trouble”. I change my personal schedule and plans to fit in time to help people out with their goals, listen to their problems and I don’t talk about my own problems, nor do I work on my own goals. I smile a lot because I’m trying to hide how insecure I am feeling. I don’t want to bring anyone else down, because it’s not “nice”.

Being nice has me ignoring my own needs. And when I give up my time to completely take care my friends or family, I feel resentful and angry because I am ignoring myself. Just thinking about makes me scream! In social situations when I am being nice, I dance with guys I don’t want to dance with and let them get more handsy than they should. Being nice has me lie instead of just being honest. The more I think about it, I feel angry and shutdown and act fake when I am being nice.

But when I don’t care about being nice, you are right, I am way more interesting. When I started to express how I feel to my friends, I was able to receive compassion. And in return, makes me genuinely want to give them compassion. When I focus on what I need to accomplish or work on for the day, I feel happy and validated. On sat, when some guy was pestering me to dance, instead of laughing nervously and lying and saying “I have a boyfriend.”, look at him in the eye and said sternly, “I’m not in the mood.” He quickly backed off and left me alone. It felt great! It felt great and it feels good to express myself, sometimes it is really scary, but I feel so much better than when I am trying to be nice.

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