Stop Being Too Nice

stop being too niceBeing too nice during your divorce can cost you…money, assets and even the kids.  I’ve heard many stories of regret and loss due to taking the ‘high road’ and being ‘nice’.  This is especially true for us women as we are raised to be caring and nurturing. It’s part of our feminine quality.  It’s double true for women who make the decision to leave.  They, more than anyone are troubled with guilt which leads to being too nice and trying to keep everyone happy.

One of the reasons women have a more difficult time being cut throat in business, is because of this genetic or learned quality; being too nice!    ‘Too nice syndrome’, not just during divorce but in all areas of life will cost you.  I still work on this…my new mantra? Be more selfish…I know it sounds terrible but it works…My son even told me ‘Mom, stop caring so much’.

There’s a fine line between your front door and turning into the mat lying outside it.

Know the difference before you’re walked all over.  Case in point, saying ‘no’ sometimes is okay.  It’s not terrible when the kids get mad at you, it just means you’re doing your job.  It’s not terrible to incite anger in others, in fact sometimes it’s necessary for change.

Stop being too nice
source; Pinterest

It’s okay to tell your lawyer what you expect.  It’s okay to be strong.

It’s okay to say ‘no’ to your ex when he asks for the kids on your weekend, again!

It’s okay to tell the people in your life what you need or expect… how will they know otherwise?

How do we stop being too nice without being a complete bitch?  Well, that’s not really a valid question.  If we care that we are labeled a bitch then we are missing the point.  I know this because I missed this point plenty of times.  It wasn’t until I was feeling completely threatened in every way, that I stopped caring and started doing.  I started building confidence in my instincts, my decisions and my parenting.  This confidence spilled into many areas of my life.  It was a process though and didn’t happen overnight.  If I was called a bitch, it didn’t matter. Why? Because what other people say about me is none of my business.  Always consider the source of name calling before you concern yourself with such primal immaturity.

stop being too nice
source; Pinterest

Does any of this sound familiar?

you’re too nice if…

-you find yourself giving in to someone else daily or weekly

-you say ‘yes’ even when you want to say ‘no’

-you feel cheated

-you feel unloved

-you feel guilty (often due to being blamed by your ex…during the marriage and during the divorce)

-you can’t remember the last time you did something selfish

-most of each day is spent doing something for someone else

-you feel ‘sorry’ for people

 How to stop being too nice;

-set boundaries immediately with your ex, family and children

-enforce your boundaries

-learn to say ‘no’

-expect and accept anger

-know the difference between pity and empathy (pity is used by some people to get you to do something for them but empathy is feeling someone’s pain as your own without any demand on their part)

-stop caring so much (this will allow you to let go of guilt)

-learn about divorce law basics to boost confidence

-understand you deserve half of the marital assets no matter who decided to end the marriage

  Begin by making a list of what you want to change.  Don’t rule out embracing your inner bad girl.  Although the list may seem overwhelming… if you view it as a process it will seem achievable.  We can’t change overnight but we can make small changes every day.  Taking control of your own life means letting go of old patterns of behavior that make us unhappy like being too nice.

It will cost you too much if you continue being too nice.  It may cost you money.  It may cost you assets.  It may cost you your children.  In extreme cases, it can cost you your life.  Yes, your life.   How many divorced women said yes that one last time because they felt sorry for him and they didn’t make it back alive? Vashti Seacat, pictured below went back home because her husband was upset and sad about the pending divorce…her niceness, goodness and big heart went to the wrong person…

stop being too nice
image source; abc news

I’m being dramatic, but there are plenty of cases like Vashti’s, let’s not become one of them.

For how long will we be too nice?  Being too nice during divorce can put us in poverty.  It can kill us.

Say ‘no’ and mean it.   Strengthen your boundaries and your resolve.   Know that when people get angry with you it’s their issue to deal with, not yours.  It belongs to them.  Build strength and confidence and you will surely end the self destructive ‘too nice’ syndrome.

Are you too nice?  What are your thoughts or tips?

Leave a comment, I LOVE ’em!



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14 Replies to “Stop Being Too Nice”

  1. Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog. I love what you’ve done here; your website is so easy to negotiate and easy to read. Love it. And your book cover is fabulous. Wow! I’m going to have to keep an eye on you as I go through all these stages getting my book out there. Same subject, a little different angle. Well, I haven’t read your book, probably not very different all told.

    1. Thanks Rossandra! Your memoir sounds interesting! There’s some divorce stuff in there too? I look forward to hearing more about it! I will ‘see’ you on She Writes.

  2. It’s hard to take a tough line in divorce – this is somebody we loved deeply, maybe even had children with. We have cared for a very long time about how s/he perceived us.

    And he (or she) knows how to push our buttons – but we have to put an “Out of Order” sign on that vending machine, so that he can push the same buttons all day, and it still doesn’t work to manipulate us to give him what he wants.

    Are we really being “a bitch,” or are we simply refusing to be manipulated? If the relationship was that great, why would we be leaving – we can’t expect a relationship to be rocky yet the divorce to be smooth.

    1. You’ve hit some great points, Beverly. Initially we want to remain on good terms with our ex but depending on the situation we can get walked all over…hence the doormat. You’re so right about our expectations. If it was rocky in the relationship we should certainly expect it to continue during divorce, if not get much worse (unfortunately). I think the opposite of being too nice is being strong…thanks for your input!

  3. Yes! This is exactly spot-on and after years as a “nice” girl in the middle of a divorce, I think I may finally be getting it.

    Thanks for this post, it is really great reinforcement!

    1. Oh, that’s great to hear, Anna! It has taken me years to figure out this being too nice thing…good for you, you’re on your way.

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