“You’re too nice, it’s off-putting”. These words struck me in such a strange way. They left me feeling both embarrassed and insulted, stuck in a weird limbo, reviewing all of the once positive memories that led to that comment.
Let’s rewind – as someone who temps and freelances for a living, I often have a performance review at the end of a contract. My positive attitude has always been a point of highlight, but this time it was apparently a point of pain.
At First Being ‘Too Nice’ Felt Embarrassing
I rolled these words around in my head occasionally for weeks. Reliving the waves of embarrassment, wishing I could somehow crawl out of my own skin and disappear.
These poisonous thoughts oozed into other venues of my life; am I too nice to everyone? Is this something the world around me is thinking and I’ve only just become privy to this information? Should I just never go outside again? Change my name, move to another country and become a hermit?
It wasn’t constructive feedback that I could use to better myself as an employee, it was a comment on my personality.
This felt so personal to me (if you can’t already tell). I felt strange and insecure and treaded very lightly when I started a new contract at a different company. For weeks I barely made connections, seeking conversation only when I needed clarifications and living in the background. And what a shame! I was working with some incredible people and they didn’t get to see how awesome I am!
Being quiet and antisocial is not who I am, and the strangeness of it all became exhausting.
After a couple of weeks, I let my guard down. I’m so glad I did, because I got to know some wonderful people! And guess what – they liked me! Genuine me was A-OK in their eyes, niceness and all.
Nice is who I am. I may even go so far as to say that I am far more openly kind than most. This isn’t an insult to anyone who isn’t like me; it’s ok to be guarded. But I’ve always been an optimistic, kind, heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gal. It’s in my DNA, and I like that about myself. Feeling crippled by one comment and questioning the very essence of who I am was not only exhausting, but unhealthy.
No one’s perfect. No one will ever be perfect.
And yes, sometimes there are things that we can work on to better ourselves; reflection and openness to growth are wonderful. But there are also things that are the essence of our very being. The building blocks of our beautiful, unique personalities that make us the multifaceted, awesome little snowflakes we are.
Not everyone’s going to like the shape we’ve taken over the years. We will all experience rejection and be disliked, sometimes for no reason other than being ourselves. We can’t change that and sometimes we will be hurt by it, but we mustn’t adopt a mindset of self-hatred.
After a painstaking analysis of the “too nice” comment and some unnecessary self-doubt I realized something:
This comment had a positive outcome. Not only did it make it clear that I’m not the right fit for that company, it made it clear that they aren’t the right fit for me.
This isn’t about hard feelings or animosity; I still have some awesome memories and made some fantastic connections. It’s about knowing myself and what I bring to the table. My personality is part of the package. It shines in the right environment. They deserve someone who fits into the dynamic that they’ve created and I deserve to be somewhere where I’m a good fit.
Be it a place of work, a friendship or a romantic relationship, we shouldn’t feel like we need to be someone else.
It’s like they always say – you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. It just turns out that I’m not interested in changing shapes. You shouldn’t be either.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: Embrace the foundation of who you are; learn to make it your greatest asset and use it to make a positive impact on the world.
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