goody-two-shoes

Whatever your business or work, or even in your online social presence, there's something that gets in the way of getting what you want in life. I call it "Nice Person Disease" – it makes you wonder what other people are thinking of you, worry about offending others and be frightened about people not liking you.

Being too nice causes you to behave in a way that really isn't going to generate respect from other people – you'll say yes to everything, change your mind if someone has a difference of opinion and find it difficult to express how you feel in case they don't feel the same.

All this leads to a lack of respect in your life – if you are in business, that's a really tough place to try and be successful from. You end up running around after so many people that you can't offer any kind of service to anyone.

It's really hard if you're programmed this way, but the trick is to realise that some people are going to be upset or angry by the things you say or do. Even if you are the most lovely and wonderful person in the world, this is still going to be true. It's not something you can change and it doesn't make much difference whether you strive to be nice at the expense of your own feelings and desires.

Mr. Rude Dude?

rude-dude

I'm certainly not suggesting that you go out and be rude and horrible to everyone!

There are still qualities of a nice person that are desirable – particularly in your ability to connect to other people's feelings and opinions about things.

However, if you want success, you are going to need to create respect and you can only do that by speaking your truth and standing up for what you believe in. Even people who don't like what you have to say, will still respect you for the strength of your conviction.

Remember, as well, that people not liking what you have to say is not the same as them not liking you.

Balance

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When you finally understand that you can be nice and get what you want, then it feels much easier to start to speak your truth and say some of the things you haven't wanted to say. For example, an acquaintance of mine recently ended a contract he had previously secured with a major client (in fact, his largest client) because he realised that he was running around after them, trying vainly to make them happy and they simply didn't respect him or his company. Since that time, he has found a great deal of new clients that all respect his opinion and trust his judgement and work has taken on a new joy.

You see, it's like a prison cell – one that you create for yourself! It's easy to tell yourself that being a nice person is the right thing to do – but if being nice is at the expense of your own happiness, then it really isn't right! By all means be nice and polite and courteous, just don't bend over backwards trying to make other people happy and like you – you simply don't have that power!

No

If you are in business, start by saying no to things you don't want to do (that can be tough if you are starting out or if money is tight). Tell the truth though – if it's not something you'd like to do, then say that. Better to be straight with someone than to make up excuses – they can be difficult to remember and you soon come unstuck. You'll find that it's ok – people don't go running off crying or shouting if you say no. Generally, if you tell the truth, they respect you for your honesty and for being direct with them.

At the end of the day, Nice Person Disease won't kill you, but it might kill your business.

Dan O'Neil

Having struggled all my life with confidence and self-esteem, I spent several years getting over it. I now have the privilege of helping really nice people stop getting walked all over and start living a life free from self-doubt, worry and fear. I write confidence articles over on my website.

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2 Responses to “No More Mister Nice Guy: How Being Overly Nice Kills Your Business”

  1. James Hussey says:

    Killer article – I have a story of my own as to why it hit home, but that's for another day to tell. :)

    Striking that balance between Mr. Rude Dude and simply being assertive, while uttering, "No" without gritting your teeth…it's an art I have yet to master to be honest. But being a "Goody 2 Shoes" my whole life, I'd rather that than be the welcome mat I have been.

    Excellent article, Dan.