Note: this is mostly intended for entertainment purposes. However, there are helpful tips to avoid extinction, so keep reading.
Many of us parents have taught our children to treat others as they would like to be treated. It’s called the “golden rule” and goes back to biblical times. Some of us even pushed our daughters (and even sons) to be kind, considerate and thoughtful of other people’s feelings.
It’s called “empathy.”
At some point in time, maybe around the turn of the 21st century, we began to lose ground on these basic values. “Nice people” started to become a nuisance. In fact, men who exhibited “Nice Guy Syndrome” were clumped into the horrific category known as “the friend zone.” Women who come off as “nice” are seen as the unicorns among crazy women, but do they get treated any better than “nice guys?”
Unfortunately, nice women are the target for manipulative men often exhibiting narcissistic or psychopathic tendencies.
I recently encountered a unicorn sighting when my coworker, upon learning that I may soon have to leave the company, suggested that we meet for coffee once I’m on my own. At first, I was confused, seeing as I don’t speak unicorn, but I did give her my cell phone number to keep in touch.
In the real world, “nice” people are known as doormats. That’s because others tend to walk all over them, or wipe their feet into them.
As I reflected on my life, taking a good, hard look at my work experience, parenting three kids, and my many relationships (if you want to call them that), I realized there’s a pattern: Nice people won’t survive in this world.
Darwinism is alive and well, and only the most aggressive, heartless, and “not nice” people will survive going forward.
- Relationships: I’ve been long aware of the dynamic in many relationships. Master and servant, dominant and submissive, nice and manipulative. Unfortunately, bad childhood experiences often continue to spill into adulthood, creating a nightmare of daddy issues and domineering wives for people who were at the mercy of bad parents. In my own experience, I’m said doormat, and the men I’ve been involved with tend to have a pattern: They are alpha males (dominant), they enjoy my sweetness (which most often is taken for granted), and they get comfortable with the imbalance of power (maybe because I put them on a pedestal). And more shocking than anything, I’ve noticed that other “nice guys” tend to avoid me. Either they are intimidated by me (shy), or they are the type who wait around for a manipulative/dominant woman to snatch them up, making them unavailable to nice women like me. Either way, nice people in the relationship will inevitably become a doormat and have said feet tread all over them. It usually takes being worn out to the point of having a see-through doormat before the nice person leaves the relationship (or is left for someone more interesting/younger/pliable/etc).
How to avoid this fate: recognize the fact that YOU are the nice one (if you are) and don’t let others sway you. Keep your personal boundaries of self-respect and dump those who are toxic, meaning, if they make you feel bad about yourself more than good, they are not worth your time.
- Work: Nice people are like kryptonite at workplaces. For the hard-hitters, nice people are seen as “weak.” That’s a morale-deflator. Nice people seem to lack the drive that the cut-throat employees exhibit. That equates to dead weight for company profit. If they work competently enough, but still put on a smile and act cordial around the barracudas, they will be a reminder of a guilty conscience that the employees with fangs exhibit. They don’t like to see reminders that unicorn nice people exist. It shows them all the qualities they had to give up to get ahead. You basically remind them that you can die poor, but you’ll die with integrity. They hate that.
How to avoid being a doormat at work: Leave. Find another job. Better yet, start your own business. Start a charity. Be a volunteer. The aggressive types at work hate nice people who do things for free. They go into a relapse like the robot in “Lost in Space.” Whatever you do, be businesslike and cordial. Don’t show emotions (nasty people get aroused when you shed a tear). Protect your boundaries and educate yourself about rights at the workplace. Knowledge is power, and often times, it can overpower the omnipotence of your fellow workers who are clueless.
- Parenting: Sadly, nice people make the best and worst parents. “Best” would be referring to the good qualities that they serve as role models: they are caring, considerate, put their kids’ needs ahead of their own and tend to be labeled “pushovers” (pushover/doormat… I’m sensing a lot of kinesiology in describing nice people. Perhaps it’s because they are full of positive energy?). But on the bad side, doormats tend to be used often, and harshly by kids who sense a pushover. In other words, niceness and disrespect by your offspring often go hand in hand. Ever notice how the other parent (often the ex) will get all the respect, even though they treat your kids like they should be obedient like a dog? Yeah, no one ever said life would be fair.
How to make your way out of the doormat syndrome with your kids: I haven’t figured it out completely, so if anyone has tips, I’m welcome to suggestions. I’ve been told to behave more like an explicative that begins with “c,” but that’s just not my nature. There has to be a way to mesh being in authority (respect) and be your kids’ best friend. How about starting with not letting them make the rules in your home and set up consequences when they don’t abide by yours? Either way, communicate that you’re their best ally, but you won’t allow them to disrespect you. If anyone should get that fate, it’s the ex who treats them like a dog.
- Family and friends: The nice member of the family (and I stress that it’s singular, because it usually is) will most likely be the most tolerant of abuse from all of their other family members and sometimes among friends. If they’re just your friend, drop them like a hot potato. You need bullies in your life like you need a massive zit on your nose on your wedding day. If you are the nice person in your family, I empathize with you. I know how it feels. There is hope. Whatever you do, avoid meetings with your new beau.
How to make peace with family who takes advantage of you: State your ground whenever they cross your boundaries. Don’t let them continue to badger you if you’ve kindly told them they’re out of line. If they continue, leave. Simple as that. You can CHOOSE to surround yourself around positive people and if your family doesn’t mesh with your pursuits in life, don’t feel guilty about cutting your ties to save your self worth. You don’t owe them anything. You do owe YOU self love and respect.
Have any of these insights made you wonder about your own life? If so, don’t become a subject for history books by allowing others to wipe you out. Be proactive and fight for what you believe in. You are worth more than a dozen cut-throats any day! Respect yourself and soon others will follow in your footsteps. It’s up to us few dodo birds to keep humanity alive and well. Now excuse me while I meet with my unicorn coworker and learn to speak her language.
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