- Written by Suzy Cohen Suzy Cohen
Do you currently strive to be superhuman — always loving, kind, and generous? Do you demand this of yourself, in all of your relationships? Inside you may feel resentful, burnt out, and unappreciated.
Depending on how nice you are, you might experience insomnia, depression, minor compulsions or phobias, resentment, nagging aches and pains, autoimmune problems, or chronic infections.
I propose that in 2019, you be less nice.
“Nice” often includes the following:
• Don’t interrupt a person, even if they’re boring.
• Always compliment; don’t tell the truth.
• Text back within 15 minutes.
• Like everyone’s Facebook post, even if you don’t.
• Let the neighbor’s dog urinate on and kill your lawn.
• Don’t say a word about her drinking.
• Don’t scold your son, even if he’s obnoxious and deserves it.
• Let your co-worker pile more on your desk and take credit for the work.
• Just say yes. Say yes to everything!
You’re nice, right? Saying no, or calling someone out, is not nice.
I submit to you that I am not a nice person. I propose that in 2019, you be less nice as a method of improving your health and mental well-being.
Let’s go over the six startling benefits of not being nice:
1. You have more time. When you stop saying yes to doing things and going places that don’t bring you enjoyment, you regain precious time in your own schedule.
Remember, people’s agendas are most important to them, but as they try to claim your time, once that time is spent by you, it’s literally gone forever.
2. You will have more energy. Not being nice is liberating sometimes, especially when you disconnect from a situation, person, job, or relationship that has been weighing on you for years.
On the days when you feel overly tired or spent, as yourself, “Whom am I meeting with today or what is on my agenda that is weighing me down?”
3. You will feel empowered. Have you ever wished your time was spent doing something different, but it was too late?
You have the power to say yes or no, as well as the power to decide what to do with your time. It’s not infinite, so spend it wisely.
When you say no to someone else’s plan for you, you are simultaneously saying yes to your own plan.
4. You’ll feel less anxiety and sleep better. When you spend months in frustration mode, or ruminate, you figuratively chew something in your mind over and over.
Every thought you have squirts out a chemical that locks you into “sympathetic alarm.” This blunts your parasympathetic nervous system, the one that allows you to rest and digest.
5. You’ll develop stronger relationships. You’ll lose toxic friends; you might become estranged from needy siblings. People don’t like to be cut off from their source of help, their battering board, or their support system.
Being less nice will ultimately translate to stronger relationships, as people will like you for who you are.
6. Your schedule becomes more reliable. Nice people have erratic schedules because they jump to it when others are in need.
When you become “not nice” and stop agreeing to someone’s sudden whim for you or perceived emergency, your schedule suddenly becomes more consistent, decluttered, and efficient.
So, at this point, let me ask you: Can you be less nice this year?
Being warm, enthusiastic, upbeat, affirming, and kind is important. I used to be a saint, but full disclosure … I’ve put down my crown! It’s exhausting.
This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.