Do you spend time thinking and worrying about the problems of others, and how you can fix them?
- Do people know they can call on you at work to take care of the extra last minute projects because you’re ’nice’ and ’so helpful’?
- Are you the one that always goes along with whatever the group wants? Never expressing your opinion or finding your voice?
- Maybe you have an adult child who is always calling you for help?
- A friend who is always embroiled in some drama, and you’re the only person who understands?
- Do you drop everything to handle things for your family? And you see this as your job?
- Do you end up feeling unheard? Taken advantage of. Or wonder when it’s your turn to shine?
First. Congratulations on your big heart. You are NICE. You’ve knocked that one out of the park. But because you’ve hung in here reading with me, you recognize that nice could be hurting you, and there are other strengths you could be utilizing.
There comes a time to understand this impulse of yours to jump to the rescue. Not necessarily to become less ‘nice’ but so you feel less fragmented, less taken advantage of, less like you are at the bottom of your own ’to do’ list. When you start to get excited about your own plans, when you quit trying to fix others problems and empower them instead.
Here’s the thing. Getting wrapped up in other people’s problems keeps the attention off yourself and away from your own growth. You may not be aware of it, but taking care of others without caring for yourself, leads to a deep simmering anger that can disguise itself as health problems, stress, sadness, and other secondary issues.
Being constantly pulled away, ’needed’, looks nice, might even feel good, but by doing so, you are closing off growth in those who quote ‘need’ you. Really.
And, by saying yes to others neediness, you’re utilizing a subtle coping mechanism to avoid your own feelings and resistance to growth and change for yourself.
What does a healthy alternative to the dark side of nice look like?
When you’re whole and complete, you
- Set boundaries with people chronically with ‘drama’
- You provide a listening ear to your loved ones, but do not attempt to solve their problems for them. You trust them to come up with their own solutions.
- At work, you show up as ‘empowered’ doing your job with integrity and capability. You do not take on others problems or last minute projects. Instead, you help coworkers problem solve.
- You feel confident and in charge of your own life.
Like many of my clients you may have grown up conditioned to be ’nice’, to sacrifice your own desires for the good of others. But this only works for so long before the cost of submerging yourself feels wrong.
You can change the equation from:
You x Other Peoples Problems = You as Atlas
You x Other Peoples Problems = You as Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz