When Did Being “Too Nice” Become a Character Flaw?

When Did Being “Too Nice” Become a Character Flaw?

My Clueless Thoughts on Relationships

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This is not a topic I dive into regularly because, frankly, I have no clue what I?m doing. I?m 99.9% at a loss as to what I should be doing and if what I am doing is even remotely correct. Or normal. I?m bad at it and I have no problem admitting it either.

I know I?m not alone because there seems to be a lot of articles on the subject here on Medium and elsewhere. It?s something if someone could figure it out completely, they would become a multi-millionaire overnight.

What is the topic?

Dating. Love. Relationships.

Pick one ? because it all blends into the same cluelessness for me. Even the basics seem to elude me. I?m like a pre-teen who is just learning what it?s all about even though I?m well past those years. I?m just lost.

So I read a lot of articles about it all to try to help me understand. And I searched for a few books to give me a little knowledge of how I can become better ? if that?s possible. And a lot of these books talk about the concept of being ?too nice.? I know everyone is different and understand there is no one-size-fits-all way to do anything, but these books and articles give me a little insight.

And I read this article by Jennifer Link the other day titled When Love Isn?t Enough which helped inspire this story. In it she states:

?Maybe I?ve been too nice? Willingly, I do whatever you like. I thought that?s what you needed. It didn?t offend me being so nice, I prefer to be nice.?

When Love isn?t Enough

I know you love me. Yet, you act so distant. Why? I gave you space and held space for you in my heart. I?m still?


My response was, I didn?t think being ?too nice? was possible. But what I see is there seems to be a common theme about niceness which I have difficulty understanding.

The idea that someone can be ?too nice? ? and how it has now become a character flaw to be ?too nice.? I understand it may be possible to be too nice in a work or business situation but I don?t get how it?s possible in other situations. Especially in a relationship.

Now I know there is this whole other debate about nice versus kind. And if you were to take some time to read about the distinction, you would find that people who are nice are only concerned about themselves and aren?t ?good men? according to one answer. You will also read that nice people are externally motivated, driven by fear, and crave acceptance from others. The nice person can?t say no and is basically a doormat.

The nice person also can?t be authentic from what I read. We?ve also heard of the ?nice guy syndrome,? ?nice guys finish last,? and ?no more Mr. Nice Guy.? If one were to follow the arguments against being nice, none of us should even attempt it. Because if you are nice, you aren?t nice I guess.

To me, it?s all semantics. Or maybe I?m not completely understanding it.

Because every nice person I?ve met aren?t being nice just to be accepted or to be liked, but it?s because it?s who they are. It?s their nature. They don?t want or expect anything from the other person. It?s selfless.

However, we?ve been taught that nice is boring and pathetic. We aren?t content with the happiness that?s right in front of us because we can?t seem to recognize it anymore. And that is because we always want something more, something different ? so instead we chase what?s bad for us because it?s a thrill and passionate and exciting. We are always trying to choose ?up? even if the choice can ruin the good thing we have. Because the grass is always greener, right? We don?t want nice anymore.

But let?s be honest.

You can be nice and not be boring.

You can be nice and still be passionate.

You can be nice and still be honest and open.

You can be nice and not be a doormat.

You can be nice and still be ?real.?

None of it is an either/or proposition. You can do both.

So if being ?too nice? is a character flaw, then add it to my long list of flaws. Because I?m not going to treat you like shit, I?m not going to cheat, I?m not going to be the bad boy you have to chase. If that?s what you want, then I?m not it. If me being ?too nice? is a detriment, then so be it. But I?m not going to be nice just to gain something from you, I?m going to be nice because I like you ? and it?s who I am. If I need to be an asshole, I will.

Yet, like Jennifer, I prefer being nice. It doesn?t offend me. But if it offends you, I can?t help that. That?s a YOU problem.

But then again I?m clueless about dating, love, and relationships. So maybe someone could explain it to me.

When did being ?too nice? become a character flaw?

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