Are You Too Nice? 4 Ways To Be More Assertive

Do people tell you you’re “too nice“? Or maybe you know you are, and you feel that people walk all over you. Whatever the case may be, here are some ways to balance out being nice with being assertive, because none of us wants to be a doormat.

1. Just Say “No”

You’re nice, so you have trouble saying “no” when someone asks for a favor, right? (I know I do.) But the phrase “Just Say No” is more than an anti-drug campaign from the ’80s—it also applies to being too nice. You may say “yes” because you don’t want to disappoint the person who’s asking for your help. But if saying “yes” will make you get further behind in something you need to complete (like that work project or an extra hour of sleep if you’re already sleep-deprived), just say “no.” If someone is truly your friend, he or she will understand and won’t make you feel bad or guilty about it. In fact, he or she may even respect you more for it and realize you are not a pushover.

2. Every “Yes” Counts

I’m a big fan of the Personal Excellence blog, and it has great advice about what happens when we say yes. “Every time you say yes to something, you are actually saying no to something else.” Well put, right? We only have so many hours in the day, and choosing one thing means we aren’t choosing another. So, choose wisely and realize the power that lies in saying yes.

3. Share Your Thoughts

If you constantly go along with other people’s plans and ideas, even if you’re not really into them, say something—i.e., be more assertive. Speaking your mind doesn’t make you an unkind or disagreeable person, it just means you have good and valid ideas and should share them.

4. Stand Up For Yourself, i.e., Be Disagreeable

Yep, this may be tough to do, but it’s essential if you don’t want people to walk all over you and take advantage of your nice-ness. If you’re “too nice,” chances are you have trouble standing up for yourself, whether it’s to a friend, coworker or family member. The more you realize it’s OK to prioritize your needs and can give up the idea that you should be pleasant above all else, even when faking it, the more comfortable you will be standing up for yourself.