Being nice is a positive thing, and prosocial behavior is linked to many health benefits. However, it can be challenging to know how much niceness is too much. This is especially true when someone is unable to recognize their own boundaries and is overly committed to the needs of others. In these situations, it is important for the person to learn how to balance their need to be nice with their need to be self-reliant.
People often confuse niceness with kindness, but there is a difference. Kindness is an act of compassion and empathy, while niceness is a trait associated with the personality trait agreeableness. Nice people tend to be warm and friendly, but they also respect others’ privacy and are good communicators. In addition, nice people are generous, and they usually enjoy helping and giving.
Nice people are often praised for their selflessness, but the truth is that being nice involves balancing the needs of others with your own. For example, if you are having a bad day, and you see your friend in need, you might want to spend time with them to cheer them up. But if you are with your coworkers and they are planning an office happy hour, you might decide to hang out somewhere else because you have work to get done.
A good way to avoid this trap is to be clear about what you expect from your colleagues. Set clear expectations for how you want people to interact with each other and what kinds of meeting you will have. In addition, you should clarify your standards for intellectual honesty and courageous conversations.
When a colleague is not following through on their commitments, make sure that you clearly communicate your frustrations and hold them accountable. It is also helpful to use writing tools such as Grammarly, Hemingway, and ProWritingAid to catch spelling errors and improve the clarity of your writing.
It’s also a good idea to read your writing out loud, as this can help you catch problems that you might not notice on a screen. This will also allow you to hear when something sounds off.
When you are nice, you are able to control your emotions and stay calm in stressful situations. You might even be able to help others with theirs. In fact, studies show that performing random acts of kindness triggers a release of serotonin and oxytocin, two hormones that promote feelings of happiness and connection with others. So next time you are feeling stressed, think about being nice to yourself by holding the door open for a stranger or bringing your colleague a cup of coffee. You might just find that your mood will improve. Your friends and coworkers might thank you for it later.