In recent years, being described as the “nice guy” has become more of an insult than anything. This is because being nice has largely been associated with the type of people who say ‘yes’ to or agree with anything. In other words, nice people are also considered to be pushovers.
But this is not always the case. Being nice is arguably an extremely important trait that we should all aspire to have. However, if you’re afraid that you might be being too nice to people or are becoming a pushover, here are a few tips to help tell about 4 differences between being nice and being a pushover.
1. Nice people are nice because they want to be
A nice person is nice because they want to be and not because they think they have to be. When someone is in genuine need of help, a nice person might agree to help because they like the thought of making that person’s life a little bit easier. However, when someone is asking for help they don’t truly need or has in the past been ungrateful for any help they’ve been given, a nice person might put their foot down.
A pushover, on the other hand, might not devote much time into thinking about why they want to help and might just do it anyway.
2. Nice people are not trying to impress anyone
Think of the former teacher’s pet in your class. Or the new overachieving intern in your office. While the former is trying to get good grades and the latter a full-time job, what they both have in common is their intent of impressing their superiors.
The student does any extra credit they can hoping their teacher’s favoritism works in their favor. The intern in your office might agree to help your boss do things outside of their scope of work in the hopes of getting a better pay. While this is not inherently a bad thing, this person is more of a pushover than they are nice.
3. Nice people are not nice when other people are not nice
A good way to differentiate genuinely nice people from pushovers is analyzing the people they choose to be nice to. If someone has wronged them in the past or is known to be unkind, it is unlikely a nice person would remain nice to them. If you’re not sure whether or not someone is a nice person themselves, ask yourself if that person would help you out in a similar scenario.
For example, if someone wants you to pick them up from an airport at 3 am, ask if they would do that for you if they could. Or if someone wants you to borrow a large sum of money from you, ask if they would lend you that same amount if you were in need?
A genuinely nice person only wants to be nice to people they deem worthy and will not help someone who is only there for you when they need something.
4. Nice people do not overwork themselves
Being a nice person does not mean putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own. If you’re having a stressful or busy day of your own, helping other people out with their needs will do you more harm than good. You should not be nice to other people at the cost of your own happiness.
A nice person is thus not only nice to those around them, but to themselves. If you feel bad about not having the time to help someone out, don’t be too hard on yourself. Understand that prioritizing your own needs to a certain extent will keep you happy in the end.