If you have been reading my blogs over the past few years, you know that I’m a juggler of addictions. In my 30s, I was obese and used food as an escape until I got a HG Life Coach and learned how to put a leash on my vices, create dreams in my life and get super-healthy, reaching my goal weight. In my last blog, I shared how my friends had an intervention with me about being a workaholic. I cut my hours, stopped working weekends and started doing new activities. Now, I’m less stressed, having more fun, and even dating again!
So, what’s my latest issue? Ready? I’m a nice-aholic. What is a nice-aholic? It’s someone who is sooooo nice it’s nauseating. That’s me. Ask any of my friends. I help people all the time. I put other people’s needs before my own. I never say anything bad about anyone. If you need me, I’ll drive 500 miles to be by your side to help you. I get along with everyone. Doesn’t that sound nice? I’d be friends with me.
But, you know the catch, there’s a “dark side” to being a nice-aholic that no one discusses. Overly nice people are also liars and martyrs. When a person is nice all the time it means they aren’t expressing their truth. They are just being nice. For example, I say “yes” to people when I really want to say “no.” I do things for others that I don’t want to do. I don’t fully express my opinion in conversations because I don’t want to deal with confrontation or hurting someone’s feelings. Basically, I lie and don’t tell people how I really feel. I justify it by telling myself I’m being a good person and protecting them. Does my best friend really want to hear that I think she looks like she’s put on five pounds? Nope.
The problem is my “being nice” has repercussions. If I don’t express myself, I start to grumble in my head about the person, getting annoyed with them when they didn’t do anything wrong. Next, I go into martyr mode in my head where I complain how I do everything for everyone else and no one appreciates me. Then I feel isolated and alone, blaming everyone else around me for my frustration and unhappiness. They don’t get me. No one listens to me. I take care of everyone. No one cares. I keep this all to myself and no one has any idea how I’m feeling because I don’t tell anyone. I just smile and act nice. Welcome to my rollercoaster ride. That doesn’t sound so nice, does it?
So, what’s going on here? I’m a chicken. I don’t fully express myself. I fly below the radar. I feel safe there. Typically, you don’t get in trouble down there. You fail less. You look good more often. People like you. It’s not a bad existence, although for me it’s my latest prison. Before, I used food as an escape, now I’m using being overly nice to not deal and not speak. My niceness is keeping me from being bold and fearless in my life. I’ve hit my self-expression ceiling. Now it’s a problem for me. And I’m not alone. There are many of us stuck spinning in the nice cycle. How do you break a cycle? Do something different. Here’s the coaching I got from my Handel Group® Coach.
DESGIN YOUR PERSONALITY
1) Pick a Trait – Pick a trait you want to eliminate and make the choice to stop to doing it. I’m going to stop being a nice-aholic.
2) Observe the Trait – Spend 1-2 weeks observing the trait. Catch the trait in action and how it shows up in your life. Listen to your inner dialogue when you are in the trait. Take notes on when it happens and what your trait is saying. For me, my trait appears when people ask my opinion, want something from me or when there’s a conversation with opposing views. My “nice” trait puts on a fake smile and tells people what they want to hear or promises to do what I think they want me to do.
3) Write up the Trait – Describe the trait by speaking in first person as if you are the voice of the trait. This is so you understand the trait. Be funny. Tell the truth. How does the trait speak? My “nice” trait would say, “Sure I’ll do that for you, I don’t mind…I’ll push my whole schedule for you….because I’m sooooo nice and these other things can wait. I’d hate for you to be mad at me so I can’t say no.”
4) Figure Out Why You Keep the Trait Around – It’s important to figure out the sad, sick reason you keep doing the trait. There is a reason and it’s deep and dark and works for you in some way. For me, if I spend all my time being nice and taking care of everyone else, I don’t have to be accountable for what I’m creating in my life. It gets me off the hook for being a great leader with a strong, powerful voice who gets HER dreams accomplished.
5) Leash the Trait – Stop doing the trait. How? Put in rules so you can’t get away with it. Here are some examples of rules for a nice-aholic like myself.
a) Three Grumble Rule – if you have a thought in your head about a conversation, a person or a situation more than three times – you must go to tell the person.
b) Say “No” At Least Once A Day – When you’re a nice-aholic, one of your biggest issues is that you hate saying “no.” Well, it’s time to start doing it. Say at least one “no” a day. You will realize that you actually want to say “no” a lot more than you do and that it doesn’t kill you or anyone else.
c) Tell Your Friends – Whenever you want to change a behavior it’s always important to share what you are up to with your friends so they can help you be accountable. For example, I told my friends how I was taking down my nice-aholic trait, which meant I was not picking anyone up at the airport anymore. And you know what? No one liked me any less because I had cancelled my taxi service. Instead they are helping me be accountable for stopping my trait.
6) Create a New Trait – When you take out a trait, you have to replace it with a new trait. I replaced overly nice with HONEST. Now, I am working on catching myself before I go into overly nice and switch it to being honest and expressing my truth to the person. This is a new way of being for me and it takes a real conscious effort to catch my old trait and flip it to my new trait. And each time I do it, it feels great.
If you want to learn how to be bold and communicate powerfully in every area of your life, sign up for our Design Your Life Tele-Course .