This Personality Test Reveals If You're Too 'Nice' In Relationships

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Personality Test: Are You Too Nice In Relationships?
Self

If you're the kind of the person who's always being accused of being "too nice", a simple personality test can let you know whether or not what they're telling you is the truth.

After all, we all know someone who's quick to forgive and who only responds with kindness when they're on the receiving end of bad behavior.

When someone drops the ball, that person is there picking up the slack. When someone says something insensitive, they go above and beyond to be understanding of that person's intent. And when they find themselves constantly making excuses for their partner or whoever they're dating, they find themselves overwhelmed with responses from friends telling them they need to stop being so nice to everyone.

If most of that sounds familiar, you might want to consider whether or not you have a tendency to overplay the "nice card" in your friendships and romantic relationships.

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While kindness, honesty and bravery are all wonderful personality traits, each of these character strengths can be stretched so thin that they turn, instead, into our greatest weaknesses.

Left unchecked, over-ready acceptance, an excessively easygoing-nature, and over-reaching attempts to be brave can lead to your own needs and goals being left unmet.

Consider honesty, a personality trait most consider admirable.

We all know someone who’s too honest, that person who says, "OMG, yes. That dress really does make your hips look wide."

And you probably also know someone who's too brave for their own good; the kind of person who winds up doing really dumb stuff, like driving down a country road going 80 mph at night with the lights off because they need to show you how amazing it makes the stars look.

Personal strengths tend to come naturally, feel comfortable, and help us manage new or difficult situations. Overplaying those strengths is what happens when you come to rely on them too much, too often, and to the point that they produce negative outcomes.

If you're wondering whether you're too nice in relationships, try taking this quick personality test.

Instructions: Answer the following questions as honestly as possible. If none of the answers feels exactly right for you, choose the one that suits you most closely.

1. Your friend shows up 30 minutes late for lunch.

a. You act like it’s not a problem and move on.

b. You say it’s fine, but you act like a hurt puppy.

c. You say it's no problem, but inside, you're furious.

d. You make excuses for them in your own mind and insist on looking past it.

e. None of the above.

2. Your direct-report says they’ll get you some information within the hour. Ninety minutes later, you look for them and find out they left for the day.

a. You act like it’s not a problem and move on.

b. You say it’s fine, but you act like a hurt puppy.

c. You say it's no problem, but inside, you're furious.

d. You make excuses for them in your own mind and insist on looking past it.

e. None of the above.

3. Your boyfriend or girlfriend goes MIA for three days.

a. You act like it’s not a problem and move on.

b. You say it’s fine, but you act like a hurt puppy.

c. You say it's no problem, but inside, you're furious.

d. You make excuses for them in your own mind and insist on looking past it.

e. None of the above.

4. When someone treats you badly, as is the case in each of the above examples, being nice does not:

a. Get you what you want.

b. Let the other person know how their behavior affects you.

c. Give you an opportunity to express how you feel.

d. Encourage people to treat you more respectfully.

e. All of the above.

If you did not answer “e” to all four questions, you’re probably being too nice and allowing people to treat you badly.

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Overlooking someone's mistreatment of you doesn't make you nice; it makes you a doormat.

Don’t mistake being nice in these situations with taking the high road. Taking the high road is something you do for the greater good, like keeping the peace with your ex for the kids’ sake.

In these instances, however, being "nice" encourages your disrespectful friend, unresponsive staff member and inconsiderate partner to keep treating you badly, with no fear of consequences, and without having to give your needs a second thought.

If you're someone who tends to be too nice, here are underlying 5 reasons you may not even realize you often let people treat you badly.

1. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

You’re a nice, kind, and considerate person, and you want to keep being nice, kind, and considerate. Hurting someone’s feelings goes against your character.

But what about your feelings? Do you tell your friend that you feel hurt and disrespected when they show up 30 minutes late?

Expressing your honest reactions to your friend’s behavior might hurt their feelings, especially when they’re used to you putting up with their bad behavior, but doing so does not make you a mean person. You're being honest and you're standing up for yourself. That's not mean. It's self-respect.

2. You think everyone deserves a second chance.

You’re totally right. Most people do deserve second chances. Maybe even third chances. Most times. But they’re not going to know they’re on their second or third chance unless you've told them you weren't happy the first time ... and the second.

Your staff member needs to know you had to work later to do their job. They need to know it was super inconvenient, and that your dog needed to be walked or your kid had to stay late at daycare, which cost you an extra fee. Telling them what happened as a result of their behavior gives them an opportunity to learn and to do better in the future.

This may take them by surprise or create a disturbance in their universe, but it also encourages them to look at their behavior and consider making a change.

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If they don’t change, that’s another story. You must ask yourself what that means. Perhaps this person will never be your ideal employee. That's a valuable thing to know.

3. You have trouble being direct.

To you, it might seem offensive, aggressive, and not at all nice to give someone unwanted feedback.

Try thinking of it as assertive instead. It’s assertive to kindly and respectfully tell your boyfriend you feel hurt and angry that he disappeared for days without so much as a “What’s up?” text. It’s assertive to talk about a situation that affects you negatively so the problem can be resolved.

Consider what happens when you say nothing about how you feel. When you hide your true feelings, they usually leak out over time. People will be rightfully annoyed with you since they’ll have no idea what you’re upset about.

When you say nothing about what happened, you will not get what you need. Don’t you want to know what your boyfriend thinks about your feelings? Is he upset that you’re upset, or annoyed that you’re too needy? There’s only one way to find out.

4. You don't think it's a good idea to focus on people’s bad behavior.

Focusing on what’s great about someone is ... great, but when you refuse to consider their bad behavior as well, you're saying that their needs are more important than yours, and this will never encourage them to behave differently.

Sure, your brilliant and amazing friend has a sick dog that needs care, your often clever and sweet employee has a pregnant wife, and your boyfriend makes you feel super-special (when he isn't taking time to get some "space").

Making excuses for behaviors that hurt you only perpetuates those bad behaviors.

5. You don’t want to be attacked for telling the truth.

When you tell someone a hard truth, they may say something "not nice" about you. They may say you’re mean or aggressive, or selfish. They may accuse you of not understanding their needs and responsibilities. They may even get angry with you.

But in each of the examples above, there’s a perfectly reasonable way the person who behaved badly could have made things OK without you having to compromise your self-respect.

Your friend could have texted you to let you know something came up and that she would be late, and then she could have texted you later to apologize again for the inconvenience.

Your co-worker could have told you something was going on at home and that he had to leave, but that he would work from home or come in early the next day to catch up.

Your boyfriend could have told you he would be going hiking for three days and that he wouldn't be able to use his phone except in an emergency, and that he would check in with you when he gets back.

If you’re being nice to protect yourself from blow back or, heaven forbid, from someone calling you a mean name, it may be time to stand up for yourself.

Be assertive and learn to tolerate a little unpleasant pushback. It’s true, everyone may not like you when you take a stand, but the cost of being a doormat is too high.

Worry less about what everyone else thinks and feels and stop taking care of everyone but yourself.

Consider polite, respectful, constructive feedback and creative solutions to address the inconsiderate behavior of others. If you would like to be treated better, remember that nice guys sometimes finish last.

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Judith Tutin, PhD, ACC, is a licensed psychologist and certified life coach. Visit her website to find out how you can bring more passion, fun and wellness into your life.