Being too nice can harm your well-being: a psychiatrist explains.

According to Dr. Marcia Sirota, always saying yes is doing you no favours.Dr. Sirota says that it is entirely possible to be too nice, and feeling like you can’t say no to the closest people in your life can get stressful fast.

Psychiatrist Dr. Marcia Sirota, and author of Be Kind, Not Nice, highlighted the downside of people-pleasing and why always putting others first can be unfulfilling and even detrimental to your own well-being.

If this pattern of behaviour sounds like something you are all too familiar with, Dr. Sirota shared her insights into how to better balance your needs with with those around you for more harmonious interactions.

People-pleasing is the habit of putting other people’s needs ahead of your own. It’s a compulsive pattern of behaviour in which a person helps, care-takes or rescues everyone around them, whether in their personal or professional life. The problem with compulsive people-pleasing is that those who engage in it are often looking for external solutions to internal problems, which are often emotional or psychological.

Being “nice” has an ulterior motive, being kind is its own motivation. If you’re a kind person, you love yourself as much as you love others; you care for yourself as much as you care for other people, and you stand up for yourself as much as you stand up those around you. Being too nice is exhausting and frustrating — not to mention the added stress can take a toll on your life.

Suggestions: Be Kind

At Work:

The people-pleaser may say “yes” to every request, but they’re often the first one in and last to leave the workplace. If this sounds like you, Dr. Sirota encourages you to aim to set an example for the best quality work instead of the greatest quantity. And remember two things: your boss and colleagues aren’t responsible for your self-worth, and your confidence is what’s most appealing to others. Having self-respect and boundaries fosters respect, boosts morale and can lead to future success.

At Home:

If you’re a people-pleaser at home, you might do everything for everyone in the family, and put up with disrespect. Maybe you’re surrounded by people who take advantage of your niceness. The solution is to set limits, assign responsibilities to everyone, give appropriate consequences for hurtful behaviour, and demand consideration. Be loving, but don’t be afraid of giving a little tough love.

At play

The people-pleaser avoids confronting their friend who always cheats at games because they’re afraid of upsetting them and possibly losing the friendship. Every relationship needs to be tested to see if the other person is a true friend or a user. Be authentic, so you know that the other person sees and likes the real you.