Does being ‘genuine’ mean inviting trouble or an open invitation for others to exploit this strength of yours? I intentionally called this a ‘strength’ and not a ‘weakness’ as it reminds me of one of the most popular recruitment questions that we have either asked while recruiting or answered as an interviewee, “Tell me a Weakness which is also your Strength”.
You know when you are genuinely nice and people try to take advantage of this very nature of yours. Being nice doesn’t mean that the person is naive and he / she doesn’t understand what is going on in their own surroundings. They do! You may seem to think, they don’t get it and you know what? They certainly do! I know, I do!
There are some characteristics that are genetic and it seems that this ‘being nice chromosome’ was passed on to me by my Dad. So, it probably is in my DNA. Fortunately, he is also an intelligent man with a sharp mind and good attitude. One of the values that he gave while rearing us up was to “Do Good and if you can’t do good, don’t do no harm”. He understood each and everything that happened around him, he could sense the intention of the people but it didn’t stop him from being genuine and nice. It didn’t stop him from helping people nor did it stop him from giving us the same values as his.
I know I am nice and many of you have told me this before. But do I regret it? – No! But do I understand that sometimes (Okay! Many a times) people try to take advantage of my generosity and thoughtful nature? Of course, I do!
I agree, being too nice can have its own downsides, but for me it’s a feel-good factor. Doing something nice for other people, helping out gives me a feeling of well-being and satisfaction, a feeling that is hard to explain.
The question is not about “Why I do it?” It’s more about. “If I can, Why not?”
A few things, I am still learning:
- Learning to understand people – I take people on face value and struggle to understand the difference in what is portrayed and what actually is. This is an area I need to work on.
- Learning the essence of setting boundaries in relationships – There seems to be a clear link between the boundary you set in a relationship and the probability of you being taken for granted or taken advantage of. Each relationship is different and the boundaries, you set, will vary depending on your own feelings about the people and the strength of the relationships you are in.
- Learning to set the expectations right! – If you are nice, it’s not ‘their’ problem, so why have the same expectation from others. It’s not fair to expect the same reciprocation from others (as humans we all do!
- Learning to Voice it! – Being ‘nice’ doesn’t mean you need to hide your feelings. Expressing your feelings is a strength and I am continuing to learn the ways to communicate them in an apt manner.
My experiences have certainly taught me to do what is sustainable; to do what I can maintain and sustain. It has taught me to continue to be nice- That’s me! – I wouldn’t change the way I am, for anything. It has taught me to be good but at the same time also to be aware of what is going around me and when to be assertive and push back.
So, don’t be afraid of being nice.. Be ‘Nice’ and ‘Live Well’