There is nothing inherently wrong with being nice. Our world is a better place with more kind hearted and generous people. At the same it is important to understand when it is time to say no, when we are being taken advantage of, when we are being used. You might love the acceptance and approval you get by making them happy or always being there for someone. However, what about your own needs? What about your respect? Most importantly, what about your own happiness? 

The difference is too nice – Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.

Alexander Pope

There’s a big difference between being nice because you want to, versus being nice because you have to. The first comes from your heart, while the second feels like a burden. “Nice” people often associate not doing something for someone with erroneous negative thoughts and emotions. For example, you feel guilty because you think I’m selfish if I don’t help my friends all the time. Or you feel afraid of rejection if I don’t agree with my friends or go along with what they want.

I used to say “yes” a lot in the past. I still do it today, but it’s much less than before. One thing I realised is that it’s important to know that no one should be expected to be nice all the time. It’s neither reasonable nor real. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much you respect yourself. When you accept yourself as a whole person, with both flaws and strengths, it changes how others perceive you. 

When you know who you are and how much you’re worth, you will not let anyone, and not even your spouse/partner, treat you as a doormat.

No matter how much time has passed since the song’s release in 2011, the message remains the same:
Everyone is beautiful in their own way and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

If you are feeling out of control then it’s time to do some work on you. Nothing will change until you do. The good news is that developing self-respect is within your power. A friend or a mentor can assist you, however, self-respect is the gift you have to give yourself.

Here is a healthy ‘self-respect’ checklist that helps me:

  • You know your strengths and are confident in what you can do well
  • You accept your weaknesses and know how to work around them
  • You have firm values and live true to them
  • You make and consistently keep appointments with yourself
  • You take pride in being well-presented 
  • Your “yes” means yes, and your “no” means no
  • You expect others to respect you and they usually do.

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