I could be too nice

To be nice? Why it's good not to be nice

who to be nice wants, probably acts according to the maxim: What you don't want someone to do to you, don't do it to anyone else. The proverb is the reverse of so-called reciprocal altruism ‘(in short: Tit for tat) and practically the origin of courtesy and Netiquette. No question about it, good manners have not only been socially relevant since etiquette. They make a lot of things easier. And those who claim respect for themselves should set a good example themselves. But - and it has to be said - Being nice doesn't always pay off. Sometimes it's even better not to be nice at all ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Being nice has its price

Being nice - is also synonymous with ...

  • enjoyable
  • friendly
  • winning
  • amiable
  • lovely
  • courteous

spoken - seems to be a desirable quality. Nice people are helpful, personable and do not offend. Granted, some don't like the idea of ​​not being a nice person at all. It resists all of their instincts and the primal desire to be liked.

In addition, they have had the imperative gerlent: Always be nice to others! Or just: What you don't want someone to do to you, don't do it to anyone else.

However, it is often overlooked that the Agitation and the affront comes first from our counterpart - and he or she does what one would not want oneself to do very well.

You can do that tacitly accept, sit out and endure - and then usually also counts as sociable and nice.

But at what price?

To put up with everything can also be a stupid habit. The downside: Not a good deed, goes unpunished for a long time and Cheek wins Likewise.

This will certainly not be a plea for commonality, but for one healthy elbow room. Therefore…

5 good reasons not to be nice

  1. Practice self-protection

    There are people who confuse niceness with naivety - and shamelessly exploit it. From a one-off favor, they derive a permanent attitude of aspiration and demand more, more, more. Sometimes just to find out where your pain threshold is.

    Sure, who is then suddenly no longer nice and Says NO, is immediately considered a spoilsport and is called rough or not polite reviled. But that's just moronic rhetoric.

    The fact is: you can no longer be exploit. That may not be nice (in the eyes of the exploiters), but it is useful.

    You can read more about this topic here:

  2. Set limits

    The point is related to the first. But what is meant here is mirror image behavior.

    Sure, you don't have to put on every shoe that someone puts in front of you and some attacks can easily be overlooked and ignored. But it's over somewhere. Some contemporaries have a tone and a style on their body that one absolutely does not have to tolerate and should therefore put them in their place.

    Sometimes it takes a brave man to do that Speak truth and (sorry) telling the asshole that he's an asshole. Not nice, but necessary.

    You can read more about this topic here:

  3. Emphasize needs

    To be confident, also means naming your needs and demanding them - even if others do not find it nice.

    Of course, it's not about always getting what you want. Life is made up of Compromises and imbalances. Sometimes you give more than you get. But that doesn't mean that you have to back off.

    You too have a right to be happy. Your needs are worth no less than those of the others. To emphasize this is also felt by some as “not nice” - but it is: to yourself.

    You can read more about this topic here:

  4. Maintain your backbone

    Who for his ideals, his Opinions and beliefs stands up, will inevitably offend, polarize, provoke contradiction.

    Not all people share these values, others do not want to hear about them, let alone let themselves and their own opinion be challenged by them. So someone like that is quickly seen as annoying Troublemaker - not nice at all. Bullshit!

    Maybe some in intellectual independence see a permanent affront - a kind of blasphemy against the mainstream. So what?!

    The truth is: at the end of the day we admire People with a backbone and straight personality more than the fittler and reversible neck. We rub against them harder, but your values ​​are worth it.

    You can read more about this topic here:

  5. Endure conflict

    With all my love for harmony: Some conflicts are inevitable and also necessary (partly for the reasons given above). Your colleague is telling nonsense, maybe even spreading rumors or pushing in the wrong direction. Then you have to discuss it out.

    However, not all (colleagues) are open to reasonable arguments. You just want to to be right or see it differently. Then you can be "nice" and give in.

    Or you ignore the mantra of always having to be nice - and just endure the conflict. After all, you have good ones Arguments. In addition, there is still the insight to agree, to disagree.

    You can read more about this topic here:

Exception for executives: nice returns

According to a study (PDF), managers who are fair and nice have the edge.

White-collar workers are even more productive when they are a nice boss to have. For this purpose, Fred Kiel, founder of the consulting agency KRW International, has compiled data from 84 CEOs and a total of 8,000 employees. His core message, which he recently presented in his book "Return on Character": Fairness promises returns. According to this, the commitment of employees who feel treated fairly and respected is 26 percent higher than that of their less respected doormats.

Quiz: How nice are you really?

The credo of friendliness can be heard everywhere. And a friendly and courteous manner can open doors in many life situations. With a smile you can win over other people and win customers over, conflict situations can be defused in a friendly manner.

If these properties are overdosed, they can become a problem. Then being nice suddenly becomes as Submissive designed. Find out how nice you really are.

How the quiz works: The quiz consists of eleven questions. A different number of points is given for the answers. Please add these together. At the end you get to the evaluation based on your score.

  1. You are standing in line at the salad bar in the canteen when a colleague is pushing forward. How do you react?

    • “Such a boldness”, I get annoyed and angrily urge my colleague to stand in the back. 1 P.
    • I'm not saying anything because I'm in no hurry. 3 p.
    • I ask my colleague that he pushed his way forward, but I let him go first. 2 p.
  2. Would you offer your seat to an elderly person on public transport?

    • When I'm out and about, I'm mostly so lost in my book or my thoughts that I don't even pay attention to who is with me. 2 p.
    • No, there are plenty of other passengers. Let someone else do it. 1 P.
    • I ask if the person concerned would like to sit down and, if necessary, make room. 3 p.
  3. Your boss discovered a mistake in the project presentation that you and colleagues did and confronts you, even though it was not your mistake. How do you react?

    • I take responsibility for the mistake and let the boss believe that I made the mistake. 3 p.
    • Under no circumstances do I want to stand up for other people's mistakes and point out to my boss that my colleague made the mistake. 1 P.
    • I point out to the boss that I didn't make the mistake, but I also don't say who it was. Instead, I assure him that we in the team will pay more attention to the aspect mentioned. 2 p.
  4. You had a hard day at work. Your friend has a problem right now, needs your advice, and asks you to come over. How do you react?

    • I tell her that I am too exhausted to go to her and suggest that I explain the situation to me over the phone. 2 p.
    • I was just missing that. I'll put you off for another day. 1 P.
    • I pack my things and drive off. Everything else can wait. 3 p.
  5. Your partner has a day off and has agreed to do laundry and go shopping. In the evening you come home and find that he has not done anything, but is instead out with his buddies. How do you react?

    • It annoys me and I tell him that too, but it's his day off and I understand that he wants to have some fun with his friends. 2 p.
    • I am angry. I let him feel my anger and demand that he catch up on the missed work. 1 P.
    • I don't say anything, I go shopping myself and do the laundry. 3 p.
  6. A colleague leaves the company. A small farewell party is planned. It is clear to your colleagues that you are taking care of a parting present. How do you react?

    • I let myself be spread out again, as I do every time on colleagues' birthdays. 3 p.
    • I offer to make suggestions, but I can't do that because I'm very busy at the moment. 2 p.
    • I refuse on the grounds that it is not my job to take care of everything. The others should do something too. 1 P.
  7. A colleague has chosen a very unfavorable outfit for a customer appointment. Do you talk to her about it?

    • Yes, I am telling her bluntly that she has made the wrong choice of clothes and just looks embarrassing. You can't represent the company like that. 1 P.
    • No, I ignore the bad choice of clothes and devote myself to day-to-day business. The colleague has to see for herself how she copes with it. 2 p.
    • Yes, I discreetly point out minor weaknesses in the choice of clothes to my colleague and offer her my blazer. 3 p.
  8. You notice that the new guy in the office is sitting alone at a table in the canteen shortly before lunch. What do you do?

    • I wonder why he sidelined himself and not sat with someone else. Then I turn around and go to my desk neighbor at the table as usual. 2 p.
    • I sit down at my colleagues' table and discuss with them that the newcomer will not get very far with such an attitude. 1 P.
    • I go over to the new guy and invite him to sit down at our table. 3 p.
  9. You work in an open-plan office and two colleagues in your area are laughing and talking loudly over the weekend. How do you react?

    • I pack my things and crouch in the conference room, hoping to finally be able to work there. 3 p.
    • I loudly caution you that others are trying to work, knowing full well that they are on lunch break. 1 P.
    • I ask the two of them to lower the volume a little and justify my request by saying that I will have to make a customer call right away. 2 p.
  10. You went out to dinner with your colleagues during your lunch break. The waitress in the restaurant messes up the orders and in the end even forgets that you had a special request when you placed your order. Do you tip anyway?

    • Sure, the restaurant is full and the waitress is probably having a stressful day. I give her a generous tip. 3 p.
    • No, if you are so bumbling, you don't deserve a tip. 2 p.
    • No, I fold the waitress up neatly and threaten to complain about the poor service. 1 P.
  11. You are standing in the elevator and see someone coming into the building from the outside and trying to catch the elevator in time. How do you react?

    • I'm not doing anything. After all, the building has more than one elevator and I'm in a hurry. 1 P.
    • I press the stop button and hold the elevator doors open until the person has slipped inside. 3 p.
    • I watch compassionately as the elevator doors close and am glad to be inside myself. 2 p.

Evaluation of the self-test

Be nice to yourself too!

Often at the beginning of the year, but also when a big birthday is just around the corner, people tend to think of the past year or even the last few years reminisce to let: How about you personally? What did this year mean for you? Did you achieve what you wanted? Are you content? Did you take good care of yourself?

Often we judge ourselves harshly. But why actually? Don't you deserve a little indulgence and relaxation too? Be nicer - to yourself! How? With a system!

How has your life been lately at work? Do you reflect, were you often sick? Did you eat healthily? Often one comes to the realization that it is still Room for improvement gives.

This is also a project that is very popular New year Is pushed: Next year I'll quit smoking, I'll eat healthier, I'll do more sport - you can easily start now. There are a few helpful impetus for this:

  • Strengthen the immune system

    Everyone knows: Especially in the cold season it is important to get outside and you immune system to strengthen. The heating air is anything but healthy, and air conditioning systems sometimes even turn out to be viruses. But even if you've been in the office for a long time recently and haven't gotten much fresh air - there are plenty of ways to strengthen your immune system.

    • For example, by taking healthy little things with you to work. A healthy diet also means that you prepare your own food or bring it with you, if possible.
    • Do you drink much water. This has no calories and helps you focus.
    • stretch In between. Or as a physiotherapist once said: the best position is the next! Staring at the screen for hours is not particularly good for the eyes or the neck muscles. If possible, answer e-mails while standing, for example.
    • Use every opportunity to Move: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike to work, use the lunch break for yoga or other workouts.
  • Pay attention to warning signs

    Listen to the warning signs. When you realize that you are revise and are close to burnout, consider talking to your boss. Of course, this requires an open counterpart. But don't make the mistake of thinking: Just because your boss tells you yours revision did not look at it, he or she would be indifferent. Often you cannot assess the work and in the end it is up to you to pull the rip cord accordingly.


    If you are not sure, ask yourself:

    • How long have I been feeling this way? Everyone has a bad day, but when you are already for weeks feel bad and the thought of a new project would normally have filled you with excitement, but only put you off, this can be an indication.
    • Was there a specific incident? Usually there is triggerthat you can trace back to where it all started.
    • I have already once felt like that? If you can't remember that it ever had this (negative) quality, then there is some evidence that you didn't just have one bad week.
  • Classify stress

    Stress is a normal side effect, sometimes more, sometimes less. There is also positive stress and, ultimately, it can keep us going at work. However, it becomes critical when stress becomes a constant symptom. If you then fall into harmful behaviors back, this leads to the fact that the performance decreases more and more. In return, many people feel pressured and the stress takes over. Make yourself aware that well-being is an interplay of many areas:

    • Physical,
    • social,
    • spiritual,
    • intellectual,
    • financial,
    • emotional and
    • environmental

    Aspects play a role. In other words, if these areas are in the Unison you are fine. Of course, every now and then an area can be rather underrepresented. The important thing is that you don't go against one permanent imbalance have to fight.For example, if someone is physically bad, has no emotional support, is possibly unemployed and has lost all hope, then this is an extreme case that is likely to stress most people very much.


    For many, it may be impossible to get in when they are feeling the most stressed out to shovel free for a few minutes. In fact, it's a question of time management.

    • Take yours Schedule take a closer look and see where there is air? You can fill in the gaps you find with little things, starting with banalities like brushing your teeth, showering, cooking meals. If you don't have the time to do it yourself, how do you plan to spend enough time on more important things?
    • Strive for one balance between the above seven areas: meet your friends, do sports, take part in events. It is important that you have a balance to work.
  • Ensure sleep

    A healthy one undisturbed sleep also contributes to well-being and performance. Conversely, sleepless people are often irritable, have difficulty remembering things and make mistakes. Whether you're more of an early bird or a night owl, there is a healthy one mediocre. Seven to eight hours of sleep is the time that people usually need to recover from everyday life. If this is not guaranteed in the long term, for example due to sleep disorders, it affects your resistance.


    Don't underestimate the power of sleeping well. Indeed, sayings leave us like

    You can still sleep when you're dead

    to doubt whether it really always has to be that much. But just as well consider the opposite: when it comes to tackling problems, for example, or solving something, then it should not be over the knee, but should be well thought out. There is also a good saying for this: Sleep over something for one night.

  • Cure illness

    In the event of illness, many employees are apparently still in between Conscientiousness on the one hand and feeling sick on the other hand torn. It has been pointed out for years that no one is served if the employee comes to the office sick. An unhealthy mix of Martyrdom and social pressure still means that many people still go to work sick.

    • Please stay At home! Cure yourself out. Not only that you infect other colleagues (or fellow human beings on the bus, car pooling, the subway ...) - you are doing yourself a disservice. Usually it takes Recovery process significantly longer than if you had stayed in bed. In the worst case, you will spread an infection and grapple with it again shortly afterwards.
    • As good as exercise is: jogging and physically demanding work should be done during this time rest! In fact, a lot of effort is more likely to target the heart muscle. Walks are fine if you feel fit enough - but don't force anything!

Remember, even if you have a lot of work to do, it ends up being a job, but not your life. In other words, you shouldn't be yours health to risk for work.

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April 14, 2021Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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