Hello Everyone, welcome to this week's article! Mary Ann Griffith gives us an interesting perspective on being too nice and it's potential roots in a struggle with anxiety. This is a good reflection point, one that I think you will all enjoy. Here is what she has to say:

I recently ran across a book titled “Anxious to please: 7 Revolutionary Practices for the Chronically Nice” by James Rapson and Craig English.As one typically does when deciding to read a book, I flipped through the book to see if anything interesting caught my eye and there it was on page 2 (Don’t you love it when it happens that quickly).THE NICE LIST…It was afairly long list covering the behaviors of a person that is “Nice”.However, as one can quickly deduce Nice is really just the term that the authors are using to describe an individual who HAS to be nice.

Most people are nice at times. In fact, being nice is something all of us should practice. However, is there a time when it’s not healthy to be “Nice”. The authors of the book, Anxious to Please, would say Yes, when the behavior is generated by anxiety or fear.

The Emotional Baseline of a Nice person ( or someone who is anxious to please)
  • Believe that their safety and happiness depend on their ability to please the significant people in their lives
  • Crave recognition and affirmation of their goodness
  • Are often troubled by romantic longings and obsessions
  • Use relationships to mask their inability to love themselves
  • Idealize others
  • Find their own happiness to be elusive and fleeting
  • Feel contempt for their own Nice person traits and hate their need for love, affection, reassurance and sex
(excerpt from Anxious to Please)

The inner emotional world of the Nice person often gets overlooked by others. Everyone simply assumes their fine. It is difficult to spot their insecurities because they shift the attention away from their needs onto the other person needs. However the truth is, “Nice people yearn intensely for a life that is truly worth living. They ache for an abiding sense of belonging, for an inner peace that can last longer than a few moments, and for authentic intimacy.”

If this describes you or someone you love. Read “Anxious to Please” and begin the road to transformation to the new you.


By: Mary Ann Griffith, LCPC