"My problem is I’m too nice."

My problem is I\'m too nice!!From time to time I’ve heard people say, “My problem is I’m too nice.”

In fact, I’ve probably said it once or twice myself. 😉

But there’s a problem with saying “My problem is I’m too nice.” I’ve noticed that, most of the time, the people who say it are often the same people who can be overly harsh and sometimes even mean.

Yes, sometimes they are “doormats” for the world, but at other times, if anything, they go overboard with compensating for that, in the pursuit of not being “too nice.”

And in my observation, that has never helped their situations.

Today I’d like to help you get to what is really going on if you find yourself thinking “My problem is I’m too nice,” and offer some guidance of where you really need to look if you feel like you’ve been stuck being a doormat.

The man who was betrayed in business once too often

I’m thinking about this because I had a client come to me recently, complaining that his problem was he was “too nice.”

For most of his career he had worked with people who didn’t give him the respect he thought he deserved. His experience was that they treated him like a second-class citizen, and that they betrayed him and “cut him out” of the good, profitable, or interesting work without a second thought when it seemed like it would benefit them.

And he had evidence for this — it wasn’t just a baseless, groundless fantasy. In fact, he had quite a lot to say on the subject.

But because he felt like he didn’t have any other options, he had put up with this for years. He’d swallow his pride and wait for them to behave in ways that were more to his liking.

But he recently had experienced the “last straw.” Someone he’d worked with for years on building a profitable venture started selling an almost identical product to their joint customers and not sharing the revenue with him.

And he was extremely angry about it.

He was ready to “stop being too nice.”


It still felt like he didn’t have any good options. He came to me feeling like his only options were to either roll over and “just take it,” or to destroy everything he’d worked for in a big confrontation. And even though he was sick of being “too nice,” the idea of destroying what he’d worked for didn’t sound very good to him, either.

He also found his mind was obsessing about what his associates had done, and endlessly running unsatisfying conversations in his head about the current situation, past similar situations, what he should say, what he should have said, what they must be thinking to treat him that way, and so on.

He was further confused by the fact that he actually DID like a lot about these people. He knew they weren’t evil. They had long-standing friendships. But yet, he constantly felt mistreated.

All this mental upset left him feeling even less prepared for a confrontation with his business associates. He was afraid he’d act crazily, start yelling, or apologize and retreat into being a doormat again.

With all the pain it was putting him in, “stopping being too nice” wasn’t seeming like such a great option. But it was the only thing he could think of. He sure couldn’t stand being a doormat anymore.

Finding the upsetting “fate”

When you are upset about something, it’s important to figure out what is really upsetting you, or it becomes very difficult to heal.

The truth was, “being too nice” wasn’t what was really upsetting my client. Therefore the solution he was finding — “be less nice” — wasn’t seeming helpful to him.

It was as if a doctor gave him a prescription for a disease he didn’t have. It wasn’t helpful.

As my friend James Keeley says, “When you are upset about something, you need to look at the fate that you are believing you are being stuck with.”

“My problem is I’m too nice” isn’t a statement about what my client believed his fate was. It is actually a made-up explanation about why things are the way they are.

As I worked with my client, he began to see that he was, in fact, actually upset because he was believing in a fate that was far beyond simply “being too nice.”

He was believing that he was fated to always be betrayed in business.

That core belief about his future fate was what was really making him crazy.

As we explored the impact of that belief, he saw that it left him either

1) resigning himself to being a doormat in business or

2) coming out swinging, hitting hard and basically “getting them before they can do it to me again.”

He began to see that as long as he believed that it was a fact that he was going to get betrayed, it didn’t matter how good he became at “not being too nice.” He was being “the guy who always got betrayed in business.”

He’d be going into those conversations already knowing how they were going to end, and subconsciously not allowing for any other option.

Trying to fix “being too nice” was working on the wrong problem. The fate of always being betrayed was still in the background, governing how things would turn out.

And that belief was what needed to change.

Turning to the light of his deepest heart

My client didn’t need to worry about being “too nice” or “not nice enough.” He needed to turn to his experience of something greater and get perspective on whether or not it was really, actually true that the universe was set up so that he was always fated to be betrayed in business.

While many of my clients think in terms of a Higher Power in these conversations, what worked best for him was to turn to “the light of his deepest heart.”

As we went through the process of turning to the light of his deepest heart, he began to see that there was a love for him in the universe, and for his business dealings, that went beyond anything he ever imagined.

The softness of that light and love helped him begin to sense that there were other behavior options than being “too nice” or being “too harsh.”

As he started feeling that other options were available to him, he began to feel at peace with the situation. He began to feel the inner resource he needed to be able to speak in a powerful, direct way to his business associates about what was going on, without being a doormat, and without being too harsh.

Furthermore, as he spent time turned to his inner light, he began to sense that he was on a path in life, and that he didn’t have to worry about getting where he was going to go.

He began to see that, on that path, he would be given the “right things to say,” and didn’t need to pre-practice his conversations with his associates. He began to relax.

And as he spent time feeling the energy of these insights, he started to see that he had other options in his life, and that he didn’t need to keep working with people who didn’t treat him with respect.

He said, “I’m seeing that I’ve been acting like someone who isn’t valuable to work with, so that’s how people have been treating me.” He actually became excited about the thought of finding new people to work with, rather than depressed by it. At the same time, he became also open to being treated better by the people he worked with.

In that moment, he stopped living as “the guy who is fated to get betrayed in business” (and who therefore needed to “stop being so nice”), and started living as someone who was clear about what he wanted and knew that there were options for him in the world, outside of the group of people with whom he had been working.

And equally importantly, he felt freed from having to obsess about the situation. “I don’t feel the compulsion to think about it all the time,” he told me.

Now it’s your turn…

So next time you are upset about something, ask yourself,

– “What unpleasant fate does this situation make me think I’m doomed to?”, or

– What does it seem like your life going to have to be like because of this upsetting situation?”

Once you face what’s actually upsetting you, you can bring that to your own experience of your inner Blessing Energy, be it your Higher Power, Deepest Heart, or whatever works for you.

You can ask, “Is it true that I’m fated to this?,” and let yourself experience the energy and blessing that comes with the answer.

I haven’t heard back yet from my client about what happened next in his situation, but you can probably sense that the internal shift he made could make a huge difference. He had become a man who could go into difficult business conversations as someone who had other options, rather than someone who was fated to be betrayed. The odds of having some good, positive outcome went up exponentially.

I invite you to post your results and/or questions below.

About Dmitri


  1. Thanks Dmitri,
    I’m shopping for a house in a certain price range and place that I love and finding it impossible for several years and just put a contract on a house outside of that place while friends relay stories of friends having just sold their house for that price in the place, as though I’m not trying hard enough. My martyr loves to swim in failure and announce my stuckness and hope for sympathy.

    Your story helps me see how I could prepare better, search better, ask for what I need better and give myself enough time while keeping an open heart to feel my wants with expectation of success and “live in that place” instead the one of poverty and loss.

    I can build success and speak what I want and need with a smile and laughter and hope. I can let go of the need to not get what I want. I can have what I want. It exists and it is there for me to step up to.

    Now I want to have my smile more than a house in a certain price range and place:-)

  2. Thank you Dmitri. It reminded me I have to do some idol breaking myself.

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