Are you a nice girl- and people often take advantage of your patience, compassion and generosity? Are you let down often because people do not treat you as well as you treat them? Do you give people the benefit of the doubt and are let down often? Do you give people too many chances? Do you feel that being nice is a burden and a responsibility? If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, you are not alone.
There are millions of nice girls out there, and they are generally categorized into the following groups:
The Doormat. The doormat is the stereotype for a passive female who allows others to walk all over her. She is too nice, and never seems to learn her lesson no matter how many times, she is taken advantage of, manipulated or betrayed. Many are also emotionally, verbally, or physically abused and they tend to take the abuse for months and even years.
The Innocent. This type of girl, is very naïve and gullible. She believes others quickly and is therefore easily manipulated. An innocent continues to defend her abusers who are usually selfish, deceitful, or outwardly abusive, even when everyone around her gives her warnings about them.
The Victim. This woman usually feels hopeless and helpless to change her position in life. In trying to be nice, she has suppressed her power that she is no longer aware that she has it in the first place.
The Pretender. This type of women puts a great amount of effort into appearing to be nice, cooperative and charming (when really, she is angry and resentful of those around her). She pretends she agrees when she actually doesn’t. This woman puts a great deal of effort into showing she is interested in what others are saying or doing, while in reality she is very bored.
The Martyr. This type of woman sacrifices herself for others, her parents, her husband, her children and her friends. The sacrifices include and not are limited too, time, her financial security, even her health in order to help or rescue others. Often the martyr will devote her life to helping others, and then she will feel that these people owe her because of her sacrifices.
The Prude. The prude has a strong need to be perfect or moral. She sticks to rigid standards and is often very conservative. She strongly disapproves of certain behaviors and is very judgmental of others who engage in activities she disapproves of. But she hides her disapproval behind a wall of niceness.
The Enlightened One. This type of woman strongly believes in tolerance, compassion and forgiveness to such an extent that she represses her anger and doesn’t allow herself to express such normal feelings such as sadness, envy, anger or resentment.
The above are all observations of how a nice girl can behave.
So what differentiates a Strong Woman from a Nice Girl?
Strong women have learned that niceness does not guarantee that others will treat them fairly or with respect. They know that by being nice, they actually encourage others to walk all over them. They’ve learned they have to earn respect by first respecting themselves and then by demanding the respect of others. To add to that, a strong women never puts their safety or their self-esteem aside to please someone else, or to keep a man. If someone acts in an abusive manner (emotionally or physically) in any way, a strong woman will stand up for themselves and make it very clear that they will not tolerate “crap” from anyone. Their self esteem, self-respect, or their peace of mind is never given up to anyone.
To become a Strong Woman instead of being a Nice Girl- there are four power tools that one can use to overcome the “Nice Girl Syndrome”.
The four C’s are: confidence, competence, conviction and courage.
Confidence. The reason many women are too nice, is that they lack the confidence to stand up for themselves, say no, disagree, or state what they really want. Generally, these women do not believe in themselves or that other people will respect their wishes or preferences.
Competence. Most women are more competent than they realize. However, they believe that acting competent is the same as acting conceited or cocky.
Conviction. Many of us, are taught that they should disagree or argue with others, especially authority figures and males as well.
Courage. It takes courage to become more confident and to then show it to others. It takes courage to own your competence and to stop hiding it from others.
These four power C’s will arm you with the basis to make the transformation from a Nice Girl to a Strong Woman.
What else can a woman do to stop being nice?
¨ A woman can strop playing sweet, gullible and naive.
¨ Stop giving people second and third and fourth chances, by paying close attention to the signs people give out.
¨ Stop trying to be too fair and playing a martyr.
¨ Set limits and boundaries for yourself that others should not cross.
¨ Let others know when they have hurt or angered you. By not speaking out, you give people permission to continue treating you badly.
¨ Admit you are angry.
Moreover, be honest with yourself about your real reasons for being a Nice Girl. Is it guilt, shame, fear of confrontation, fear of rejection or an intense fear of ending up alone? Something worth thinking about.
In conclusion, a Strong woman has learnt that being too nice can have severe consequences, and that there is no room in their lives for being naïve and innocent, as it is not safe, as it invites others to exploit them and take advantage of them in a rough world.