A good friend of mine called me over the weekend in tears. The relationship she was in was on the brink of ending and without her having to explain too much about the situation I could clearly see what had happened.
You see, my friend Viv has a pattern that she runs in her relationships that creates huge problems. Her biggest issue is she is too damn nice. Yep, too much sugar and not enough spice!
And why is this a problem?
Well, sadly, instead of the men she dates appreciating her giving nature, mostly the men she dates end up losing interest in her and taking her for granted.
Why is that? Because being too nice doesn’t mean that people will like you more, instead, it can kill lasting attraction and here are some reasons why this happens.
- Men lose respect for you.
When you don’t have a clear understanding of what you’re worth you will tend to become a ‘Yes Woman’, and as much as most of us are inherently selfish and want things our way, a good man knows that there is give and take in a relationship. When you seem to give, give and give you end up being a doormat.
This ain’t sexy to a good man. In fact, it’s not sexy to anyone. A good man would want to know if something is bothering you. That’s right, if you’re being too nice, he’ll suspect something is not right. And if he suspects that you’re not okay with something, and you still keep your concerns to yourself, then he’ll find this frustrating.
- You turn into a magnet for the wrong sort.
We teach people how to treat us, which means, even a good man can be tempted to take advantage of your niceness. Now imagine a man who’s not that kind, who tends be self-absorbed, controlling and even narcissistic and manipulative. There are too many people with self-respect problems and by being too nice, too agreeable, too accommodating – you’re actually telling them to treat you poorly and that your feelings don’t matter. Do you really want to be the ‘Yes Woman’?
At first, it might look like a fairytale: you’ve got a man with huge emotional needs and you’re satisfying these needs, making him happy and feeling happy yourself. And then you find out that you’re not feeling as happy as you should be.
Why? Because relationships are about mutual giving and taking. If one person in the relationship only gives and the other only takes, then you have a power play, not a relationship. Instead of feeling emotionally and mentally united with your partner, you may feel more like a servant.
- Anxiety is around the corner.
An unrelenting eagerness to please is not among the things that make you attractive. Being a pleaser only works to a point — if you keep on doing it, trying to please your man in every way, neglecting yourself, and forgetting you too have your own needs, you may find that this behaviour comes to bite you.
Instead of deepening the attraction, your excessive niceness will turn you into a boring — or worse, annoying–person. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is attracted to spinelessness and that’s exactly how you would look if you only care about the needs and wants of your partner.
But let’s be real, a pleaser is not pleasing and being so accommodating just to please the other person – a pleaser or the “too nice” person does what they do for a reason, to ultimately please themselves in some way. They may have a deep fear of rejection, not wanting to disappoint someone, to feel better about themselves in some way, to feel accepted. There is a “payoff” hijacking their core values and deeper needs.
Another thing that nobody likes is to be told what’s best for them. I mean, we’re talking about adult people. You might really believe that you know what’s best for your boyfriend. You may be right. But you can’t force a healthy habit on him. You can’t solve all his problems for him. You’re not his mother, after all.
This is why a pleaser can experience anxiety on a regular basis because they’re essentially trying to control through constant monitoring of their behaviour and actions, and the actions of others. Nothing about them is free flowing, and much of their inner world is contorted and twisted in emotional knots, which leads me to….
- The mask will crack.
The “too nice” mask can only stay on for so long before something gives. It’s more or less inevitable, when you’re too nice, to start expecting your partner to be as nice to you as you are to him. Over time, as you see that you are not getting as much as you are giving, resentment will typically start building up. Tension will invariably seep into the relationship creating distance between you two and turning you into a passive-aggressive, unhappy woman.
Being excessively nice is like a ticking time bomb, really, and when the bomb blows up, your life can turn into an emotional shit-show. You suppress and suppress your own needs until you explode. If he feels like he has to walk on eggshells around you, he’ll not feel safe with you and he won’t trust you when you’re nice.
You may think I’m painting too grim a picture but, unfortunately, that’s the reality of being too nice. So, if you ever have to ask yourself “Am I being too nice?” be sure to answer the question truthfully and then do what needs to be done: start paying more attention to yourself.
Losing yourself in a relationship is never fun, instead, perhaps think about finding yourself or finding our out more about yourself, then learn how to express your authentic self in a healthy way.
Trust me, being real and gracefully honest is far more appealing and sexy than a “doormat”. The right man will love this about you!