10 Things That Happen When You’re Too Nice For Your Own Good

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You risk these things happening when you’re too nice to people.

Listen, we’re not saying you shouldn’t be nice. Not at all. But if you are regularly too nice for your own good, you might find these things happening to you.

1. People will try to take advantage of you.

A nice person can be a welcome breath of fresh air in the right circumstances. In the wrong circumstances, however, they can attract negative attention.

Nice can be a hindrance in competitive environments like the workplace and business, particularly if you make the mistake of thinking that the person opposite you will treat you with the same amount of niceness or respect.

People who are looking for an edge will often hone in on nice people, because nice often coincides with soft, especially if you’re in an environment where nice does not coincide with normal conduct in that environment.

You can avoid this by knowing your environment and ensuring your boundaries are solid. It’s okay to be courteous, polite, and professional so long as you can ensure your interests are protected and secure.

2. People may not respect you or your boundaries.

People will often test your boundaries, pushing to see how much they can get away with until you finally decide to push back to prevent being treated in an unacceptable way.

Quite often, they will then try to walk back their behavior by telling you that you just misunderstood, they didn’t mean it the way that they presented it, or that they were just joking.

It’s a common manipulative ploy that tells you a lot about the person you’re interacting with.

A genuine misunderstanding will generally include an apology and an attempt to rectify the behavior.

The people that walk it back are typically just looking for weaknesses in your boundaries, which they will find sooner or later if you let them continue poking around.

These people should be kept at a safe distance if not removed from your life altogether.

3. People will not strive to meet your needs.

Many people are selfish, self-centered creatures that are driven solely by their emotions and perspective of the world.

They may not be all that empathetic or sympathetic to the needs of others. They may be genuinely oblivious to their own behavior or they may actively not care.

In many cases, you’ll find that people who don’t care are people who once did but had their niceness and kindness taken advantage of.

Nice people need to be assertive. They must communicate to the people around them what their needs and expectations are.

Many nice people do not want to be perceived as mean, rude, or unkind, so they accept being treated poorly or without consideration so as to not cause a disturbance.

Sometimes you have to cause a disturbance if it means not being treated with respect.

4. You may forget to treat yourself well.

Not every nice person in the world is nice because that’s who they are. There are those who devote so much energy to being nice to other people as a form of self-medication to avoid confronting their own problems.

They may throw so much of their time and energy into the niceness they are giving to others that they may not address or take care of their own needs.

Life is chaotic and turbulent. People will go through a lot of positive and negative situations.

It’s extremely easy to get swept up in the negativity and problems of other people and pulled along with them.

Next thing you know, you may look around and see that years have passed without making meaningful progress on your problems that would allow you to find peace of mind and happiness.

Be nice to the world, if that’s what you want to put into it, but don’t forget to treat yourself just as well as you treat others.

5. People will view you with skepticism and mistrust.

It’s not unusual for people to view unwarranted niceness as suspicious behavior.

The world can be a callous place where unexpected niceness can pique the danger sense of someone who is not anticipating it… especially if they can’t identify what intentions you have.

People may also think there is something that is wrong with you, that you’re only being nice to take advantage of them or to mask an ulterior motive.

That doesn’t mean you should stop being nice!

Instead, be aware that you may experience this type of response and be prepared to deal with it ahead of time.

Voice your intentions, if you have any, toward the other person. And if you don’t, be patient with the person so they get a chance to feel you out and arrive at their comfort level.

That may take some time until the other person can see that you are genuine in your actions and demeanor.

6. You may distort your perceptions of the world.

A grounded perspective on the world we live in is necessary to ensure we maintain a healthy, balanced mindset.

Ideally, as a nice person, you’ll find yourself surrounded by other nice and kind people as you erect and enforce your boundaries well. Predators and users tend to shy away from people who don’t allow themselves to be manipulated.

However, it can be easy to lose sight of the rest of the world if your circle becomes too closed off.

We can fall into a false sense of security and complacency, offering too much out to people that may not respect or return the same niceness, and find ourselves hurt in the process.

It’s good to surround yourself with kind and nice people, but it’s not so good to lose sight of the difficult nature of humanity and the rest of the world.

It’s not that the world is a terrible place or that there is no room for niceness. It’s more that a majority of people are really looking after their own interests or self-preservation.

Nice people need to do that for themselves to some degree, too.

7. You may begin to resent the people you are nice to.

Resentment is a poisonous feeling that can slowly erode the foundation of friendships and trust. It often starts with a disproportionate exchange between the affected parties.

In the case of niceness, it can start to grow if the nice person is pouring too much of themselves in another person without an appropriate reciprocation.

That also depends on the context of a situation. Maybe you’re not friends with the person. Maybe they are a person who is having a hard time that you’re trying to uplift and support.

You don’t really expect niceness or kindness from them right now because they are struggling and trying to keep their head above the water.

But what happens when they finally move their mind into a better place and decide not to reciprocate when the nice person needs some support?

Then you have resentment.

Friendships and relationships are a different thing altogether. They are supposed to be reciprocal and mutually beneficial in some way.

You can’t constantly pour niceness and kindness into the cups of others without eventually depleting yourself. That process of depletion is much quicker if the person is a friend or a significant other who is not pouring back into you.

Resentment will build and that relationship will break down.

8. You may find yourself apologizing for things that aren’t your fault.

Nice people don’t typically like to see other people upset or be upsetting to other people. That can turn into a problem for a nice person if they start to shoulder problems and emotions that are not theirs to carry.

It’s one thing to be there for someone who is having a hard time, to offer some support and kindness in a trying moment. A nice person needs to be wary of that other person trying to shove their emotional responsibility onto them.

The nice person needs to be wary of the phrase, “I’m sorry,” to ensure that they are not apologizing for things that are not their fault and smoothing out emotions that the other person should be working on themselves.

It’s okay to accept responsibility for your own choices and actions, both positive and negative, but nice people must be wary of not taking on emotional responsibilities that do not belong to them.

By all means, apologize when you’ve done wrong or regretful actions, but don’t apologize for things that are not your fault or responsibility.

9. You may find yourself overburdened with additional responsibilities.

Being too nice is a quick way to be swamped with an unmanageable amount of tangible responsibilities.

And by tangible responsibilities, we are talking about the activities that go on in your life, being volunteered for activities without anyone consulting you because they assume you’ll agree to it, or accepting more than your fair share of work.

People who are too nice and compassionate can be exploited by others who do not care about their feelings, respect their time, or their responsibilities.

“No.” is a complete sentence that nice people must learn.

There are times when it is good or necessary to provide additional justification, particularly if you’re trying to find a middle ground with people you are close to.

However, people who you are not close to where compromise isn’t required, or those who are taking advantage of you should never get more than a “no.”

Justification offers a manipulative person a potential in-road to inject self-doubt and undermine your “no.”

10. You wind up attracting narcissists, manipulators, and users.

Nice people attract narcissists, manipulators, and users.


Because nice pairs with naive often enough that it is a relatively safe gamble. People who are both nice and naive often want to see the best in other people, even people where their best doesn’t come close to overshadowing their negative.

Predators go for nice people because they are often easy to steamroll, manipulate, don’t ask the right questions, don’t establish boundaries and enforce them, and have a hard time watching other people suffer.

What does suffering have to do with it? A commonly used manipulative technique is to paint oneself as the victim in this cruel world.

“The boss had it out for me!”

“All of my ex-partners were crazy!”

“Everyone is against me and no one supports me!”

The manipulator tends to leave out their role in all of these things, how they acted to others, whether they were showing up for and actually doing their job, if they offered any type of support or help to their friends.

A naive person will feel bad for that person without scrutiny, not questioning their motives or inconsistencies. This puts them in a position to be manipulated.

The easiest way to counter this is to pay attention, listen for inconsistencies, and question them. You can sympathize with another person’s story, but don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment.

About The Author

Jack Nollan is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspectives from the side of the mental health consumer. Jack has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.