By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Growing up, girls are encouraged to "be nice." But new research suggests that being too nice can be detrimental to your personal and professional life (fewer promotions and raises).
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"Women are raised and socialized to 'do the right thing' and to 'be nice,' and not trained enough in being assertive," says Kiki Weingarten, co-founder of DLC Executive Coaching and Consulting in New York City. "Assertiveness doesn't mean being nasty, or rude, or a b*tch, or any of the other negative connotations. Assertiveness means being able to stand up for yourself and your own best interests without knocking anyone else down or being nasty."
According to Craig English, co-author of Anxious To Please: 7 Revolutionary Practices For The Chronically Nice, you might be a chronically nice person if...
1. You are always longing for something (or someone)
2. You feel worried or fretful so often it seems normal
3. You can't keep romance sizzling, and often can't even get romance started
4. You often don't know what you want (As in: "I don't care where we go to dinner...")
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5. You apologize frequently, or for things you are not responsible for ("Bonus points if you apologize for apologizing," says English).
6. Your emotional state mirrors your partner's (if your partner isn't happy, you aren't happy).
According to Weingarten, who says 99.9 percent of her female clients deal with this issue on some level, a "too nice" type needs to:
Learn what they want. Don't immediately think, "Oh, but X wants me to do..." or "They won't like me if I don't..." or "What will others think if I do/don't..."
Articulate what they want. They need to do this clearly and in language that is about them and not the other person. For example, "I wish I could help you out with that but I can't..." or simply "I really can't right now..." You're being kind to the other person as well as yourself by being forthright about it instead of "Well, let me think about it... not sure... umm..." Just say it. It's OK to do what's best for you.
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Be OK with disappointing people. You need to be able to tolerate when/if the other person does have a negative reaction to your asserting yourself.
Do you think you're too nice?
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Photo Credit: WWD