There’s nothing wrong with being a nice person. In today’s culture I think we could use more of them.
The potential problem is when that is the only thing that can be said of someone. Often, “nice” folks tell me they are taken advantage of or exploited. Sometimes they do things not because they should but because it supports their nice persona. And nice people can feel undervalued and under-appreciated.
I’ve tried to follow my father’s example. He was a truly nice guy, but he was no pushover. He had clear values, ethical commitments and could make his weight felt. He didn’t let being nice trump being a stand-up guy and he wasn’t intimidated into doing things he didn’t agree with.
What I learned is that there are at least two types of nice people: those with boundaries and those without. In other words, assertive nice versus passive nice. Assertive people choose to be nice but not used; passive nice have choices made for them, sometimes by others who aren’t scrupulous.
If you don’t know why you’re nice, or when nice sometimes isn’t the best course of action, you are setting yourself up for failure. Think about what other attributes you want included in the adjectives used to describe you other than simply “nice.”