Do you find yourself almost always putting others’ interests before your own to make them happy? Do you feel it hard to say “no” to others, even when you really want to?  If you answer “yes” to these questions, here are some things you may want to think about.

 

Undermining Your Importance

 

Straight off, let me ask you: Are you as nice to yourself as you are to others?

Some of you might focus on meeting others’ needs, while neglecting your own. You might give to others much more than you receive and don’t know how to ask for help when you need it. And this can be exhausting, physically and emotionally.

If this is your experience, it’s time to think about how you view yourself. Perhaps you don’t realize you also have needs, or you don’t consider your needs that important. What do you think is behind this?

 

Fear of Rejection

 

You might feel people like you mainly because you’re kind and helpful to them. And, you are afraid that if you stop being that way, people will stop liking you.

If this is the case, I wonder whether your kind acts and pleasant attitude are partly a reaction to your fear of rejection, rather than your intentional choice. And it may be a good idea to think about where such fear is coming from.

Where do you think you learned you have to earn others’ love, and that just being you is not good enough?

 

Isolation and Inauthentic Relationships

 

Ironically, just being a nice person can negatively affect your relationships. People may believe they know you well, but this may not be true because they probably only saw the positive, strong side of you. My guess is that you also experience sadness, loneliness, bitterness, and resentment, just like others do.

You may love helping people, but you may also need to take a break and receive care. When this side of you is not known to others, your relationship is at risk of not being real. How much do your family and friends know about the vulnerable side of you? If you think they know little, maybe it’s time to explore what’s holding you back so you can experience the freedom of being your true self.

 

If you feel stuck in always being a “nice” person, make an appointment today, and I’ll help you as you think through these questions.

Dr. Hana Yoo

Dr. Hana Yoo

Couples Therapist

I believe that various contextual factors can affect our lives. Our racial/ethnic identities, cultural backgrounds, economic status, gender, and sexuality play important roles in how we see ourselves and how we relate with others. 

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