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Personality issues: Are you too nice?

As Tim McGraw so beautifully sings in his country music hit song: Always be humble and kind. These are “words to live by,” you might say. God created each human being with a unique personality. It is a literal statement to say that there is no one like you! With regard to personality issues, however, many people have common traits. Have you ever known someone that everyone else describes as “so nice?” No matter who you ask, if you say to describe the person in a word, everyone answers, “nice.” Is it possible to be too nice? Are you a people pleaser?

While being willing to joyfully serve and help others is an integral component of the Christian lifestyle, for some people, it can backfire. If you have people pleaser personality issues, you might take pleasing others or “trying to keep the peace” a little too far. When this happens, it’s your own quality of life that takes a hit. Helping other people and being nice are supposed to bring blessings to life – for others and for yourself. If you’re “too nice,” it can have a negative effect on your mental, emotional and, perhaps, physical health. Let’s take a look at character traits many people pleasers have in common. If you have several or all of these traits, you might be “too” nice.

Do you suffer from personality issues like Sociotropy?

If you know what this is, and you suffer from it, then you likely have taken “being nice” a little too far in life. Sociotropy is a psychological term. It refers to people who have a tendency to place inordinate value on relationships, many times to the detriment of their own well-being. In non-scientific terms, we call it being a people pleaser. If you are willing to change your behavior, decisions, opinions, etc., because you want to please others or are afraid to lose a relationship, you might be suffering from Sociotropy.

Check list for personality issues that suggest you’re “too nice”

Now, the only way for this to work is for you to review this check list in an honest manner. Don’t try to avoid personality issues that you know you have. Resist the temptation to justify your behavior. Rather, read through the list and answer, “Yes, this is me,” for every trait you have in common:

  • Even if you’re working on something important, not feeling well or already have plans, you will drop everything if someone asks you for help.
  • You feel guilty if you prioritize your own needs and worry that people will think you’re not nice if you say, “No” to a request or that you’re “not available,” when asked to do something.
  • You worry so much about protecting other people’s feelings that you won’t stand up for yourself because you don’t want to upset others.
  • Forgiving others often leads to them repeating the same bad behavior for which they initially sought your forgiveness. They know you’ll keep putting up with it.
  • If you’re worried that you have upset someone, you try extra hard to gain his or her approval.
  • You will be nice in order to avoid conflict.
  • You say, “It’s okay,” or “I’m okay,” if when it’s not or even when you’re not.

If you answered, “Yes, this is me,” to three or more of these personality issues, you might want to learn more about Sociotropy. Answering yes to several or more of these statements suggests that you are often nice to others at the expense of your own well-being.

Always be nice, but don’t be “too” nice

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a sacrifice on behalf of another person. For instance, perhaps you had plans to go to a movie and dinner with friends. A family member calls you who has a medical emergency and needs to you to come babysit, so you cancel your plans and help. This isn’t being “too” nice. This is supporting a loved one in a time of need.

Consider another scenario. Let’s say you have plans to meet friends for a night out. One of your friends invites someone who has been cruel to you in the past on more than one occasion. You have made it clear to your other friend that you prefer not to spend time with this person. However, because you don’t want to upset your friend and are worried that he or she will think you’re being selfish or mean, you say, “It’s okay,” that the cruel person is invited, instead of standing up for yourself. This is an example of placing inordinate value on a relationship at the expense of your own well-being. Being nice should never place your mental, physical or emotional health at risk. If you want to learn more about these personality issues, click here.

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