Why Being ‘Nice’ Can Be Poisonous To Your Soul


“Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It’ll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called “perfection,” which will open the doors to the most important relationships you’ll ever be a part of.” 
~ Dan Pearce

Lovelies, today I want to share my perspective on ‘making nice’ with you.

Kindness is a loving balm, understanding is a mental tonic, compassion grows our hearts, love is food for the soul, but niceness? Far too often niceness is a poison administered to ourselves by our own hand.

There is a trend (and I recognise it because I once was in that same place!) where people beginning to become spiritually aware try to live from a place of unconditional love. That’s a beautiful thing, but too often what gets practised is not actually unconditional love but ‘niceness’.

Many people consider niceness to be a virtue; a sign of living from heart, and acting from love. I’m not referring to kindness, or good manners, or amiability. I’m talking here about pleasing others, not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, and being agreeable and amenable, even if it comes at a high cost to yourself.

Speaking our truth honours us, and it teaches us honest and direct communication that honours and respects others. Can we come from a place of unconditional love and still speak our truth? Absolutely! Because the premise of unconditional love is that we also love ourselves.

Authenticity requires us to live with honesty – not with silencing ourselves or suppressing our true thoughts and emotions.

Niceness is not about unconditional love – it is about giving up honesty in order to avoid disapproval, confrontation, rejection, ridicule or embarrassment. It elevates the happiness and well-being of others above your own. It is based on falseness, and by its nature, niceness prevents honesty and authenticity. When you come from niceness you teach others to devalue you, and disrespect you. You do not set clear boundaries.

Niceness does not come from a heart-centred life. It grows out of fear and a lack of self-worth. It is a behaviour that goes counter to our intuitive wisdom, and to those gut-based mechanisms that keep us safe.  We tell people what they want to hear, we do and say things to keep others happy or to keep the peace. We act in a way that pleases others but that robs us of a little (or a big bit!) of ourselves.

There is always a way to tell the difference between being nice and being kind.  Kindness comes from a place of being centred, and it empowers us.  It strengthens us, as it strengthens others. We can act with generosity or compassion and there is no cost to us, or it is a cost we willingly bear.  We give without expecting anything in return, for the sake of uplifting others.

Niceness always leaves you with an aftertaste – you know you have’t spoken truthfully; you feel that twang of inauthentic energy, that twinge of discomfort, or you even get that sense of being taken for granted or taken for a ride.

Niceness diminishes us, even when it strengthens others. We bite our tongue in order to say the flattering thing, we do the act with a little flame of resentment in our heart. And sometimes it starts out as kindness – but our kindness becomes expected, or disrepected – we are taken advantage of but we are unable to speak up about that and voice our own feelings. So we act nice instead.

When we choose niceness it poisons us.  It leads to depression, anxiety, shame, emotional distress, guilt, anger and despair.   Life-long patterns of niceness leave us open to exploitation and invite difficult, damaging and dangerous relationships into our lives.

We end up doing things we don’t want to do – we can become an entirely different person to who we are on the inside. We can lose ourselves so completely that we have no idea any more what makes us happy, what our preferences are, what we want in life…

Taken to extremes, through living a life of niceness we can cease to exist. Instead, we become a support role in someone else’s life. We become Cinderella, at home scrubbing the floors while her stepsisters are out having fun!

Are you too nice?

Maybe it’s time to start honouring your own truth. Love starts with the self, and healthy self-esteem can only be built by standing up for yourself, giving your feelings a voice, and attending to your own needs.  You can do that and still be polite.  You can do that and still be kind.  You can do that and still be likeable, lovable and accepted.  Don’t keep drinking that from that poisonous niceness bottle!

And if your acts of self-respect and kindness aren’t taken well by others? Maybe it’s time to  get some space, maybe it’s time to stop giving, maybe it’s time to move on… If you have to be ‘nice’ in order for your life to work, the price will always be too high.

You might be surprised. As you begin voicing your honest thoughts, you give others permission to do the same. Being authentic can create great change. It invites miracles. And this week supports that kind of energy, so be brave and embrace your truth then live from that space and watch the magic begin to happen in your life. Choose love. Choose kindness. And above all, be true to yourself. It’s worth it! 

Much love, Nicole ❤ xx

Image from www.simplereminders.com

Dealing with Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” ~ Spencer Johnson

One little discussed aspect of becoming more intuitive, more psychically or spiritually aware, is that you begin to realise there are a lot of mixed messages and mixed signals in the world.

I recently received this email, and thought it was worthy of a blog post.

Hello Nicole,

I have a question that I was wondering if you may shed some light on. I am an intuitive person and sensitive as well and I am wondering if being that way makes me highly aware of how others feel about me. Sometimes I can tell whether there is jealousy, insecurity or dislike from another person around me ~ is that part of being an intuitive type person? I often find it draining and find it hard not to take personally…

Have you had any experience with this in your life?

Can you relate to this as well?  It was one of the most unsettling aspects for me all those years ago, as I stepped more into energetic clarity and psychic awakening.

Yes – an aspect of being intuitive or sensitive is that you pick up on people’s emotions and thoughts – and sometimes, confusingly, what you’re sensing will be at odds with a person’s words or behaviour.

You aren’t going to be able to turn these impressions and insights off, so the big question is, what do you do about it?

Firstly, it’s good to appreciate that most people live with a level of incongruency in their lives.

We tell ourselves that we are happy with our marriage when we’re not, we tell ourselves it’s a good job, or that we like the sofa we just paid $2000 for which is actually too big for the room and a huge disappointment…

Image from www.interiordesignhq.com

Image from www.interiordesignhq.com

Is that lying? Maybe. But over time I’ve come to be much less judgmental – I know that sometimes we tell ourselves these things out of stubbornness, sometimes out of habit, sometimes out of desperation. Sometimes we are so deeply in denial, or in our ‘stuff’ that we don’t even realise there is an incongruency – we’ve been telling ourselves that thing for so long we’ve come to believe it. It’s a very human coping mechanism.  The world is a complex and difficult place, and at times the best we can do is tell ourselves a story to help us get through the day, and avoid confrontation or unpleasantness.

Secondly, from the outside looking in, we can never be sure what’s going on in someone else’s life, no matter what outward appearances may tell you.

Being sensitive, or psychic, just means that you are getting an extra stream of data coming into your awareness. Another piece of the puzzle, another aspect to be interpreted. And where it usually goes wrong for us is in the interpretation.

Most sensitive people are… sensitive.

And we try and make sense of the world from the standpoint of us at its centre.

When our boss sees us in the carpark and grimaces, and we intuit that he is upset, we can so easily conclude that it’s about us.  He doesn’t like us. We never get anything right. (Hmmm – is that a story WE keep telling OURSELVES?)

Image from www.shutterstock.com

Image from www.shutterstock.com

What if the truth is that he IS upset (his wife is leaving him – nice pickup on his emotional state!) and he was grimacing because he was passing wind (farting) just as you walked by. He never even saw you, but from his facial expression you interpret it as him not liking you.  It colours every interaction you have after that. And you modify your behaviour based on your assumption.

Part of the challenge of becoming more sensitive and psychically attuned is learning that random information you become aware of will often be just that – random – and not enough for you to put all the pieces together in an accurate way. When people are preoccupied with worries some of that energy leaks out, even when they think they’ve got a lid on those deeper emotions, and sensitive people like you pick up on that stuff.

The best advice I can give you about that is to stay aware, and be open to what you feel and ‘see’, but try not to take it personally and don’t try to figure it out.

Instead think to yourself ‘John’s upset about something’, or ‘Sally is very insecure about her looks’. Treat people kindly. Don’t overthink it, or make it personal.

Remember that emotional states are fleeting too. What you feel in the morning is unlikely to be the way you feel in the afternoon. You know how it is: when you’re tired and worried, petty things get to you; when you’re in love, or on top of the world, you never even notice that same annoying thing.

Looked inside the average person’s brain recently? It’s a mess in there!

Image from www.neurogadget.com

Image from www.neurogadget.com

So you’re sensitive, and you’re realising that things aren’t quite what they seem, that people aren’t quite what they seem, and it’s all a little exhausting?

Welcome to my world. But don’t panic. It’s a beautiful world, and humans are the most intriguing and fascinating of creatures. Let this new information wash over you. Let it become part of the flow of the river that you’re in.  You’ll adjust. You’ll learn to see the world through more focused lenses, and it will just be a little brighter, or a little darker at times.

I promise you it will also be richer. And your heart will grow bigger.  Your mind will begin to lose its need to criticize or judge. You’ll see love everywhere. And it will be worth it.

Embrace your sensitivity. Get out of your head and live from your heart. Feel deeply. Smile often. Practice kindness and compassion for self and others. That’s my best advice.

And if you need a little more guidance on this new-found sensitivity, try this:

Living as a Sensitive Soul

 

Image from www.meredo.com

Image from www.meredo.com