The High Cost of Playing Nice…


Cost of Playing NiceFor years…I played nice

I said…sure…when I wanted to say…no…from everything to can you work an extra shift…to…can you replace this zipper for me…to…can you watch my dog for two weeks…

I took on extra assignments and did favor upon favors for friends…and in the process…everyone agreed…Jane is so nice…she will always help out…

Of course…there were a couple of people who might not have agreed…when my taking on things for others…took away from what I could do for them…and that would be…my girls…

That’s right…in always being there for someone else…I wasn’t always there for my daughters…now…don’t get me wrong…they weren’t neglected or anything like that…it’s just…I could have been a lot more present for them…if I wasn’t busy doing things for someone else…

Now…I have to admit…that although I was a pushover for a lot of people…there was that one person…that I kept doing more and more for…and now…looking back…I think I really believed that if I did enough for him…I would be indispensable…and then my life would be wonderful…

In truth…I was pretty indispensable…he wanted something done…he mentioned it to me…I moved heaven and earth…work and kids…to make it happen…and somehow…I felt honored that I was smart enough and talented enough…to be the one he asked to do his important things…

But…that wasn’t the magic wand that made us live happily ever after…no…it was just the tire iron…that kept him asking for more and more…and me making it happen…while my own life actually got smaller and smaller…

Thankfully…that has been several years ago…and…thanks to…Bertha…and lots of hard work…I am no longer that person…giving my all to please someone else…in fact…I’m a Life Coach now…and I help other women who are experiencing the same kind of people pleasing things that I used to do…

Recently…Bertha…wanted to look at those years from a slightly different perspective…other than my self-esteem…what had it cost me to play nice?

Well…with calculator in hand…I did the math…and it wasn’t pretty…a conservative estimate was that playing nice…had cost me…over 16,425 hours…or…685 days…almost 2 full years…of time that I could have been doing other things…and…on top of that…if I had earned my salary at the time for the hours I gave away…I could have made over $400,000…

And that doesn’t even take into consideration the emotional costs…of trying so hard to make someone else happy…of being afraid to say no because if I did…the relationship would end…and yes at the time I thought that would be a bad thing…of feeling guilty when I put his needs above my kids and my job…and…so much more…

So…what have I learned…how did I change…how did I let go of this relationship…and take back my life…

The answer is I have learned so much…

First…I became aware of what was really going on in my life…and why I had the overwhelming need to please someone else at my expense…and that had to do with fear of rejection and not being enough

Next…I learned that willpower doesn’t work because I had underlying, unconscious beliefs…that kept me too afraid to say no…so I learned how to change the energy of my old beliefs…and now I can say no to those ridiculous demands on my time and resources…

Then…I began taking action…saying no in small ways…then bigger and bigger…and doing it without feeling…guilty

Now…I’m enjoying my life…one day at a time…saying NO to the things I don’t want to do…and I find that I can do that in grace and love…which is very important to me…because…

I am still a nice person…

Jane

PS…as a result of my years of playing nice…and the lessons that I learned along the way…I now work with coaching clients who are where I once was. If my story resonates with you…I would love to help you Stop Paying the High Cost of Playing Nice…I have set aside some time for a few FREE strategy sessions and I would love to talk with you about how you can turn your life around. Just click here to request an appointmentyou don’t have to be a people pleaser anymore.

28 thoughts on “The High Cost of Playing Nice…

  1. I love this post! And I believe more people (particularly women) need to pay attention & avoid the pitfalls of “playing nice.” Thanks, as always, for your inspiration, Jane <3

    • Thank you Diane. This was one of those posts that felt a little like showing up for Church in your underwear…but I do feel strongly about the message and desire to help other women who may be stuck there. Thanks for your support. 😉

  2. Oh, Jane. I won’t even try to count the losses! I am aware that there were many. And I don’t want to risk the anger I would feel if I added it all up. No more Ms. Nice Gal for me! Just Peggy, being the nice and SANE person I am now. :)
    This was a great article.

  3. It’s never too late Jane. Better late than never you learned. Some people never stop paying the price. Good of you to put it out here, and lucky you have Bertha. xo

    • You are absolutely right Debby…on all accounts. I really hope that I can use my experience to help some women stop paying that price much sooner. And yes, I’m grateful for Bertha!

  4. Thanks Jane…I would love a consultation too…but don’t want to waste your time cuz I can’t afford to pay you and become a client. Anyhow…ALL THE BEST with your NEW Venture as a Life Coach!!!

    Hugs

  5. Thank you for being so transparent. That’s what a good Life Coach is. Of all you shared my ‘OH YES!” moment came with the words…”I felt honored that I was smart enough and talented enough…to be the one he asked to do his important things…” It was a bucket of ice water. Thanks again. ~ Malana

    • Thank you Malana…I so appreciate your support. Your ‘OH YES!’ moment is just that…so many of us people pleasers will sacrifice so much just to feel validated that we’re important. The joy comes when we recognize that we are and always have been important and don’t need to be the slave of someone else to prove anything. Blessings.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story Jane! The cost is high when we’re not true to who we are and our authentic path. Life flows with so much more ease when we get to the bottom of our limited beliefs :)

  7. You nailed it with this line: “I felt honored that I was smart enough and talented enough…to be the one he asked to do his important things.” I think that’s how too many of us smart, loving, hardworking women find ourselves in this place. Being needed is a badge of dependability, but I think we think it’s a sign of respect.
    Great article! It really hit home with me as I transition from a SAHM to an entrepreneur.

    • Awesome Donna…congratulations on your transformation! Yes…we do often sell ourselves short and run ourselves ragged in an effort to be needed. Thankfully, we grow and change. Thanks for your comment. 😉 Oh…and best wishes for success in your new endeavor.

  8. Such a true statement. Been there done that and I too had to step away; my ego crying, but they won’t love me. I got over it and am happy to say yes when I can and no when I cannot and just being okay to honor one’s self is so lovely! Thanks for sharing your beautiful journey! Much Love, Natasha

  9. Thank you for sharing your personal story Jane! It really touched my heart to read and strengthened my resolve to not compromise my values and dreams and what I feel is important for someone else. A big hug!

  10. Oh, Jane, I am so on the same page with you, so trained to think of others first, so waiting for the implied rewards – which never came. It is so great to be on to our “inner deal making” and free of it. Congratulations for walking this path of courage! xox, Reba

  11. There is such a high cost to playing nice and making ourselves indispensable. And it is totally unsustainable. Instead I love your liberated perspective of saying no one thing at a time. I live by a guideline of only saying yes to volunteer opportunities that bring me joy. Although I often have to sit on my hand to prevent it from raising, I recognize how important it is for me to make mindful decisions about how I use my energy. Thank you for this wonderful post!

    • Kelley…thank you. I love that you ‘sit on your hand’ to keep from volunteering. That is such an affirming thing to do for yourself…then when you do volunteer for something…you have the time and energy to give it. Blessings.

  12. Oh my gosh…you did the math! Holy Moly! What an eye opener for sure. I know when I quit playing nice cold turkey (because, you know, my life depended on it), I felt as if I had unlocked my prison cell door and walked free. Such an amazing feeling :-)

  13. Thank you for sharing this Jane, I think many woman share this need to please and learning to say no takes a lot of strength.

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