Kindness that self-destructs

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Joe Dispenza
@joedispenza
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Kindness is a quality we all appreciate. Being nice is a good thing and, without a doubt, a great introduction card. However, sometimes being kind doesn't bring us satisfaction but rather causes us problems. I am referring to those people who are so friendly that they forget about themselves and their needs and goals in life just to satisfy others. The worst thing is that in many cases these people sacrifice their personal needs to satisfy other people's desires, which are far less important and which may qualify as mere whims. As a result, these people make an unnecessary sacrifice.

The vicious circle of excessive cordiality

Usually, people who are overly friendly, those who are always willing to give everything they have to help others and stop living their life to please others, have a deep need for approval. These people need others to validate their feelings and behaviors, because deep down, they have low self-esteem. Therefore, we can say that behind an infinite kindness there is an insecure person who does not appreciate their skills and qualities.



Indeed, this excess of goodness is also a defense mechanism to divert attention from oneself and focus on others. When we have put the other person on a pedestal, the looks and judgments will focus on that person. At the opposite extreme is the kind person, who practically disappears from the scene of the social context.

Often these people have been brought up to think that they do not deserve the attention, appreciation and concerns of others. On the contrary, they must do their utmost for others. Obviously, in the long run, this excess of kindness is not rewarding because it is as if they continually cancel themselves out as individuals by putting the needs of others before their own.



As a result, as the years go by, they may suffer from severe depression when they realize they haven't gotten what they wanted out of life or when they feel that the people they have been so kind to have not paid them back as they expected. In fact, even though kind people apparently don't expect anything in return, inside they expect others to reward them by dedicating time and affection to them. When, for whatever reason, their expectations are not met, these people feel very unhappy.

3 tips to avoid being overly nice

1. Learn to say no. This is the first step in overcoming excessive kindness. If you can't turn down a favor when asked, you can't break the vicious circle that creates your behavior. Learning to say "I can't, I'm sorry" is critical to starting to regain control of your life and get rid of the need for constant approval.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should say no to everyone, but you need to learn to set your own limits and enforce them. Evaluate whether the request they are making is reasonable, if you have the time and strength to do so and, above all, if it does not conflict with your goals and needs.

2. Eliminate the sense of guilt. Over time, kindness becomes an obligation. Yup! Because when we help someone several times, that person believes they have the right to "demand" another favor again without even asking us if we are available.

In some cases, a relationship is established in which we make ourselves completely available and when we have the courage to deny ourselves, the other person takes offense and tries to make us feel bad. However, if you want to change, you must learn to deal with these attitudes by assuming that it is not your fault, that you have already done enough to help that person and that it is time to take care of your affairs.



3. Think of yourself before others. Said like this it may seem a selfish idea, but it doesn't mean trampling on the rights of others, it simply means asserting yours, it involves seeking a balance between what you need and what the people around you need. It's about reevaluating your goals and setting priorities. After all, if you don't, who will do it for you? Remember that self-love begins in your home.


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