Being 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.
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.
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…
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?
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