You Don’t have To Be So Nice!

It's okay to speak your mind and be assertive - it does not mean you are not nice! It shows you are also confident and nice to yourself!

Gina claimed she gave “110 %” at her job as a manager at her company. She prided herself as being well liked by her work team, and claimed she bent over backwards to be considerate and lenient in making their lives easier. For the sake of being “nice” she ended up allowing her employees to take extra long lunches to fit in their runs, and was quite lax in holding them accountable to make up the time they spent on personal errands during the work day. However, Gina herself felt overworked, burned out, angry, resentful and felt like they left too much for her to “pick up the slack.” But she was conflicted – she did not want to be “mean.”Gina realized that her attempt to be “nice” was really a way to ensure that she was liked.

She was too needy of people’s approval and ended up not taking care of herself! She began to realize that she was afraid they would not like her if she held them more accountable and set more limits. Only by giving up the need to be liked could she manage more effectively and also learn to better manage her own stress level.

She also found that by identifying her Basic Human Rights she felt more confident in asserting herself and setting limits with her employees. These are some that she came up with:

I have a right to set limits with my employees and make them more accountable.

I have a right not to pick up the slack for their lack of conscientiousness to meet deadlines.

I have a right to be assertive even if they do not like it.

I have a right to ask for more help.

I have a right to not be “superboss” who is loved and revered by all.


Takeaways from You Don’t Have to be So Nice!

  • Make sure in your quest to be “nice” that you are not being non-assertive and taken advantage of in order to get the approval of others.
  • Identify your rights and realize that you have a right to set limits. That does not make you “mean.”
  • If setting firm limits and making others more accountable makes you less popular, then so be it!
  • You need to be at least as nice to yourself as you would to others.
  • It is important to identify basic human rights, such as a right to set limits, a right to ask for help, a right not to live up to other peoples expectations, a right to say ”no,” and a right to not be “superwoman.”
  • For personal happiness and self-esteem, liking yourself is vital. All too often people are looking for approval from others rather than working on liking themselves. It’s great to have both, but too much focus on other liking you rather than working on your self-esteem will not give you the happiness you deserve.
  • You have a right to be treated with respect, express your feelings and opinions.
  • You have a right to have rights!


About Judy

I am a speaker and wellness author as well as a psychotherapist. My interest is helping people achieve resiliency and wellness for life!


  1. Sofia Reddy says:

    This is such an important message Judy! In the past I’ve been told “you’re too nice for your own good.” I learned to set better limits and be assertive about my own needs. It is possible to be respectful and assertive at the same time, which increases our morale and confidence. Thank you for this important reminder!

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