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Too Nice for Your Own Good
Cover of Too Nice for Your Own Good
Too Nice for Your Own Good
How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes
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If you're like most folks, you were raised to be "nice". Yet now you find yourself asking: "If I'm so nice, why isn't my life better?" Renowned minister and lecturer Duke Robinson has the answer. Robinson says that well-intended behavior is essential to a humane society, but carries a down side. Being nice often means we take on too much, tell little lies, strive endlessly for perfection, and fall prey to other self-defeating behaviors. Now Robinson outlines the nine unconscious mistakes nice people make daily, and he shows how to correct them and avoid unnecessary stress with life-affirming actions. Learn how to:
Say "no" and save yourself from burnout
Tell others what you want, and actually receive it
Express anger in healing ways that maintain valued relationships
Respond effectively when irrationally criticized or attacked
Liberate your true self.
Are you, like many of us, too nice for your own good? This remarkable book will empower you to get what you need and deserve,out of life...and still be a nice person!
If you're like most folks, you were raised to be "nice". Yet now you find yourself asking: "If I'm so nice, why isn't my life better?" Renowned minister and lecturer Duke Robinson has the answer. Robinson says that well-intended behavior is essential to a humane society, but carries a down side. Being nice often means we take on too much, tell little lies, strive endlessly for perfection, and fall prey to other self-defeating behaviors. Now Robinson outlines the nine unconscious mistakes nice people make daily, and he shows how to correct them and avoid unnecessary stress with life-affirming actions. Learn how to:
Say "no" and save yourself from burnout
Tell others what you want, and actually receive it
Express anger in healing ways that maintain valued relationships
Respond effectively when irrationally criticized or attacked
Liberate your true self.
Are you, like many of us, too nice for your own good? This remarkable book will empower you to get what you need and deserve,out of life...and still be a nice person!
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    Introduction

    You are a nice person. You always try to do what others expect. While you'll do anything for them, you never ask a thing for yourself. You're careful not to hurt others' feelings or blow your top. When irrationally attacked, you remain reasonable and calm. You're always ready to offer good advice. Although a friend's drinking embarrasses you, you would never think of embarrassing her. And you never talk of Grandpa's death in front of Grandma. You are a really nice person.

    Sometime back in the mid-sixties, I sat in my office late one night listening to a nice young man talk about the woman he planned to marry. He loved her and couldn't bear the thought of hurting her, but she constantly expected things from him that made him angry. And every time he felt this way, what he did either made matters worse between them or made him feel untrue to himself. For most of the hour he vacillated between giving up on this relationship and resolving to do better at what he had been doing, even though he knew it wasn't working. He felt confused and lost. And so did I.

    Driving home that night, I thought of the other nice people whose stories I had heard recently: a widow who never said no to her friends and was all burned out; a middle-aged man who could never be honest with people who disappointed him or wanted more from him than he could offer; a woman who could never please her bedridden mother and didn't have the faintest idea how to talk with her.

    I remember having two reactions as I slipped into bed. First, I thought, These are really nice people. They're smart, they have good intentions, their values are sound, they want to live productive lives, they're not crazy. But they constantly waste their time and undermine their best interests by what they say and do.

    Second, I said to myself for the very first time, That's exactly what I do. I am one of these really nice people.

    I knew before then that I tried too hard to impress other people with what a nice person I was. I also saw that some of my socially acceptable behaviors sometimes got in the way of my good intentions. But I had not realized the extent to which being a nice person dominated and damaged my approaches to work and relationships. My eyes were beginning to open to the negative impact niceness had on my life.

    These reflections drove me to look more honestly at how being a nice person affected me. With a new awareness, I began to identify more of my self-defeating behaviors: I regularly said yes to people when I should have said no; I consistently cut myself off from others by not telling them what I wanted, by pretending I was calm when I was angry and by lying whenever I was afraid to hurt their feelings; and time and time again I frustrated myself by taking responsibility for the problems of those I cared about.

    I became aware of this last behavior through another conversation that made an impression on me. Several psychologists and social workers, along with a number of my colleagues and I, began meeting weekly with a renowned psychiatrist to reflect on how we operated as members of the helping professions. At one session the doctor suggested that for us to jump on our horses and dash off to save people who had problems was damaging to both them and us. He caught me by surprise. I'd never thought seriously about that.

About the Author-
  • Andrew M. (Duke) Robinson became the pastor of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, CA, in 1968. He has counseled community and church volunteers, clergy, psychologists, psychiatrists, friends, and relatives. The father of four, he has seven grandchildren and is a regular guest on television and radio as well as appearing as a speaker at lectures and seminars.
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    Grand Central Publishing
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Too Nice for Your Own Good
Too Nice for Your Own Good
How to Stop Making 9 Self-Sabotaging Mistakes
Duke Robinson
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