The Costs Of Being Too Nice

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Unfortunately, a cost will always be involved when someone is too nice.

Is being too nice a bad thing?

Only you can answer that question, but the picture is crystal clear for many people on the outside.

Most often, it’s apparent when others are taking advantage of someone’s good nature.

Although it may not be intentional, a dependency happens because it’s allowed.

Today, Mrs. CBB talks about her mother and how she was the go-to mom for her friends and siblings.

I also discuss my best friend and how his life is engulfed by giving up time for his loved ones.

The Costs Of Being Too Nice
The Costs Of Being Too Nice To People In Your Life

Being Too Nice To Everyone

Mrs. CBB

Growing up, my mother and father were very caring, especially my mother.

She enjoyed being around us and chilling out, which no one seemed too worried about.

If my friends came around, they would question if my mother wasn’t popping in to say hello.

It was her nature always to ask if anyone wanted something to drink or eat.

My father would always give a gift of food or drink to people that helped him in any way.

For him, that was the proper reciprocation, along with a thank you.

On the other hand, my mother is all that my father is and more.

She would do anything for her kids, their friends, and their friends if they needed help.

Our friends called her the “coolest mom” in town.

Everyone’s Dependent

Everyone knew they could count on my mother to help them if they were in a pickle.

Looking back, I don’t know how she did, as it seemed like a challenging role to fill.

My mom would always lend a helping hand, even to our friends, when they needed a ride to school or to work.

She would even drive us to the dance club on a Saturday night and pick us up so we didn’t have to pay for a cab.

There was never a risk of drinking and driving, which we would never do, but who thinks they ever will in the first place?

Too Nice With Money

If you needed money, you could ask her for a few bucks, and she wouldn’t hesitate to give it to you.

She’d usually never ask for it back if we or our friends didn’t remember to pay her back.

The thing about my mother is that she would never ask for money from anyone.

She was primarily considering the time and the gas she used to drive us all over town.

My parents were far from wealthy and sometimes had to live to pay, so that extra money would have helped.

Inability To Say No

Mom was one of those people who had a hard time saying no to anyone.

In her mind, she felt she was doing what everyone else does for their kids, but she was forgetting about one person, herself.

My mother was always tired, and eventually, her long beautiful hair got cut, and she started to age as life started creeping up.

My mother always put people first, and although it seems lovely, we should always take care of ourselves to be strong for others.

I often wonder how she ever had the time to work, take care of us kids, our father, clean the house, tend to the yard work, and help all the people she did.

Looking back, I can see how strong of a woman she was for everyone.

She is still the same way today, although my parents are now retired.

Healthy Relationships

My parents have been happily married for many, many years, and it’s because they worked together and complimented each other.

Most of all, they laughed together, had fun, cried, and learned to communicate rather than hide from each other.

That, to me, is the definition of love in a relationship.

Being kind to others reflects the type of person you are and how you were raised.

My parents are like this even though we are all far from perfect, but who is?

I’m like my mom and fear I might upset others if I don’t help or do my best.

I saw how my mother and father were, and that’s how they raised me.

Being raised to see the good in everyone and recognize that money does not define people is all I know.

Almost twenty years later, I can safely say many of us might have unintentionally taken advantage of my mother’s generosity.

She would have never said a word to us because she was too nice.

I wonder how many hours and minutes we took away from her already busy life that she won’t return.

Parenting Independent Children

The funny thing is we didn’t live in a big city, and you could easily walk from one end of town to the other in about an hour.

So, why are so many kids so dependent on adults, and why are adults giving in to the kids when they ask?

Is being too lovely the honest answer, or do they not want people to think badly of them?

My mother is a lovely woman who no longer drives (she has her license, though) and has everything in the world.

Life Shouldn’t Begin At Retirement

Since she has retired early and our kids are no longer living at home, she has all her time back and can now enjoy life’s pleasures.

My parents go for bike rides daily and sit by the water to enjoy a beverage or a snack.

They talk about life and want each other’s company as they continue to grow as a couple.

I often wonder why we must wait until retirement to have this luxury.

Why is it so hard for many people to say no, I’m unavailable, or I can’t afford to lend you money?

Many a time, we talk about how financial education should be taught not only at home but in the school system.

I also believe we should teach our children to say no and why we don’t have to please everyone.

Some parents will face financial distress by raising credit card debt to please their kids and family.

Too Nice And Tired To Care

An ex of mine, his mother, was the credit card queen, and everyone knew it.

She had a great job in the financial field and was a workaholic trying to please everyone.

We often went out to eat as a family; the only person who paid was her.

She would pull out the credit card and pay the bill, often over $200, not including the tip.

Occasionally, everyone would pitch in for the tip but not often enough.

She was too tired to cook, so his parents would say, let’s all go out to eat.

We were in our 20s and working full-time, but no one stepped up to pay.

I could only imagine how much it must have cost them to buy groceries, as eating out was the norm.

This was how dependent everyone became on her. It was wrong.

Taking Advantage Of Someone Being Too Nice

I was and still am a frugal girl, and even I feel guilty that I didn’t step up to pay my way.

I’m like my mother in many ways, and often I hurt when those I love are not happy or if I at least don’t do all I can to try and make them smile so they have a better day.

My ex’s family and extended family all did the same to her, and that credit card just kept swiping, and her generosity became the norm.

She pays. It didn’t teach her kids anything, as money ended our relationship.

He was a spender, and I was a saver, and it was difficult for him to see that you still have to pay the credit card bill when it comes in.

His mother taught him he could swipe when needed, which didn’t lead him down the right path. It’s hard for people to say no, just like my mother.

Losing Time Being Too Nice

It’s me, Mr.CBB, again……

Not only are you losing your precious time, but you are also spending money that you might not have on others who can do things on their own yet are too lazy.

When we rely on something, it’s too hard to give it up.

With the proper guidance, it can be done, and soon enough, those that were once so dependent feel powerful.

It’s not wrong to give, but it’s also not wrong to say no to letting someone learn how to do it on their own.

Take Advantage Of Dad

The above situation reminds me of my best friend, a single father who I will say is the “go-to father” with a young daughter (the picky eater).

He does not deny that he spoiled her, yet he regrets it.

I don’t think he knows how to change that without his daughter getting upset with him, as she is still young.

He also has stepdaughters, a teenager, and one in her twenties.

Both girls have boyfriends who hang out at the house when they want, wash their clothes there when needed, etc.

His home is like a drop-in centre as his cell phone rings day or night.

If not, he gets texts while trying to get the desperately needed sleep.

He works odd morning hours, so he gets up early while most people still sleep and enjoy the peace and warmth between the sheets.

When he gets home from work, it’s pretty much his night-time; for everyone else, it’s the afternoon, but his kids fail to see that.

They are old enough to take the bus to work, but they don’t.

Whenever they call him on short notice, he jumps.

I know he would do anything for anyone, as he does for his kids, and he has a heart of gold.

Giving Up When You’re Too Tired

The problem is that he is always tired and probably spending a fortune on gas, driving the kids and boyfriends back and forth to work.

He feels he is aging faster than most, and in reality, with lack of sleep, that can happen when we are physically drained all the time.

Our body doesn’t have the time to rejuvenate, which we get through proper sleep habits or at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night.

I’m sure he would laugh if he read this because he doesn’t remember the last time he had that much sleep.

He would agree that he wants his world to change so that he can be the man he’s always wanted to be for himself, his daughter, and his girlfriend.

His youngest daughter is very active, as he had her later in life, and he struggles to keep up with her but loves her like no other.

She’s his angel.

Stress Of Being Too Nice

He often says he will die from a heart attack and needs to change his life, starting with his career, which he despises, and his home life.

His stress is apparent on his face, eyes, actions, and body telling him to slow down.

He tells me that everyone’s situation is different, and I agree.

However, I also think that he needs to step up and take control of his life before it takes its toll on his health.

We often say what we feel and potentially forecast for the future, but we can change the direction of our life.

Like my wife’s mother, he struggles to say no to anyone and lives pay to pay or ahead a pay when he can.

I’m teaching him how to budget, or that’s my goal, even though he’s in charge of his financial journey.

He has little debt and two mortgages and never asks for anything in return.

Parenting To Independence

Teaching his stepkid how to catch the bus so they make it to work on time is part of his parenting plan.

In return, he gets the valuable time and sleep he desperately needs.

Doing so will also save money and wear and tear on his vehicle because he’s not driving around town for them.

The hardest part is saying no, I can’t, I’m not able to, but it’s life, and we are not super hero’s.

If they don’t understand today, they will know when they get older what it’s like, just as Mrs. CBB does.

Her mother still feels worn out and does not look her age because she aged far too fast.

The stress of life got to her, but now she’s taking the time to live how she wants.

Being Too Nice Comes With Costs

It’s said that we will do anything for our kids.

We also must remember that doing everything doesn’t mean we have to forgo teaching them the responsibilities of life.

Being an adult and the effort and time it takes to make money is a challenging but valuable lesson to learn.

It also doesn’t mean we must put our happiness last.

Although he says he’s just a nice guy, he needs to start thinking about himself and his young daughter,

She needs to change her controlling ways towards him when she doesn’t get what she wants.

There is a cost to being too nice; it is often to our mind, body, spirit, and usually our bank account.

Discussion: Is it possible to be too nice?

Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

Thanks for stopping by,


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  1. What a lovely mother you have Mrs CBB! I think you can never be too nice but you can be nice with people who don’t deserve it and it won’t serve you well as they will take advantage of you. I try to be nice with people around me but am pretty resentful when they take advantage as I feel cheated. When you are nice to nice people there is nothing better.

  2. That’s a tough one. I do wonder sometimes if rude people get further in life. Only worrying about yourself might make less work and more money, but I think there might be something missing. Being nice would be better in my opinion unless it literally kills you to do it. Putting off your own well being is never a good idea and letting your kids take advantage is not good for anyone.

  3. An excellent article, both of you…. My parents didn’t do a lot of that for me as a kid, Mom didn’t drive but she did work full time. Dad just wanted to relax after work. I drove my kids around back then, usually with a friend or two along for the ride. It was a good chance to get to know their friends, know where they were going and to talk without pressure. I helped in the library in the school, on trips and in the class room with them. Again it was a chance to get to know their friends and teachers. It also got me to places I might not have gone on my own, and to see things I wouldn’t otherwise.
    In those travels I meet kids that were spoiled by their parents buying them things they didn’t need. My kids got what they needed, wants not so much…. I think I’ve told the story here before but I used to make a lot f my kids clothes when they were young. My daughter had a ‘friend’ that actually told her that it was too bad we were so poor that I had to make their clothes….. It infuriated her!!!!! My daughter had problems saying no to others, while at home I was the one to say no if needed for her….
    Some people do have problems saying no, if you are being taken advantage of then you need to learn how to say it no matter how uncomfortable you are. Some don’t say no but feel they are getting something out of doing something for another person……they have reasons that are valid to them. It boils down to whether you feel taken advantage of… if you do then you need to figure out a better way to do things……

  4. Like Tanya, I think there’s a difference between being nice and letting yourself be taken advantage of. Sadly, the easiest time to establish boundaries is at the beginning of a relationship, which makes it tough to change the path your friend has set with his daughter even though he feels it is wearing on him. Any parents have suggestions?

  5. CBB! I know many who are simply too nice. I used to be one of them. He needs several nights away with his wife where they ought to make a plan for his health and his behavior at home. If that does not work, he should seek professional help. I see the ravages of giving more than one has in loved one and friends alike. A lifetime is a terrible thing to waste. His good nature will disappear one day into a nasty bitterness under this stress. Hope he figures it out.

  6. I believe there is a big difference between being nice and being take advantage of. You can be nice but not let people walk over you, but a lot of the time some people are both, and that’s very dangerous. You have to take care of yourself first, and it’s not selfish one bit to do so. I’ve witnessed with my own eyes some people close to me who were taken advantage of. In truth they really do have no one to blame but themselves, but it still sucks to see because they ARE so nice.

  7. Oh yes, Mr and Mrs CBB, I do think there’s such a thing as being too nice. I have seen far too many instances where people have not put their feet down, said no, and let the other person deal with their own mistakes. While I do think parents should be supportive, being a doormat is an entirely different thing. I have seen children grow into adults who feel they are entitled to all of their wishes. They are demanding and manipulative and hard to get along with. They are at a disadvantage in the world, in my opinion.

    I am not a parent, but I have worked with children for 15 years, and I think consistency is the key. Having firm guidelines and reinforcing them works. Children like to know their limits and learn well within those limits. Intermittent reinforcement, saying yes sometimes when they are throwing a fit (no matter if two or twenty years old) is highly reinforcing and may actually increase rather than extinguish the behavior.

    Oh, it sounds like your friend and mother are such wonderful people, and I hope they are able to enjoy the rest of their lives as stress-free as possible. I love to hear your mom is riding her bike and enjoying long chats!

  8. Every day I see parents give their kids everything they want, even if they cannot afford it, but feel they cannot let their children down by saying “no”. It makes me sad. They want so badly to be good parents but they actually hurting their kids more than helping them. Helping them understand how to use their money, to differentiate between a “want” and a “need” and to set goals, budget and save/invest – those are the kinds of things kids need to learn, even if it makes telling your kids “no”.

  9. I enjoyed reading your views on this issue. I think there are a lot of people who justify being “takers” because they only see what someone appears to have, not what they had to sacrifice to achieve it, because of course, they are conspicuously absent during someone else’s struggles. My worst experiences are always with people who are indulged (usually by parents) far into adulthood; they lack empathy & can’t seem to understand why the world will not indulge them as well.

  10. Interesting post Mr CBB.

    Mrs CBB remarks in her post that she wonders “how many hours and minutes we took away from her already busy life that she won’t get back because she was too busy carting us from point A to point B,” and I do get her point, but I’m wondering if her mom felt that those hours and minutes were lost. Chances are that her mom considered that time well invested and that she was pleased and proud to be able to help her children and her friends in that way. Likewise with your single friend and the time and effort he expends on behalf of his daughter and her friends.

    Ultimately, people do what works for them even though it may not make sense to people viewing it from the outside. Mrs. CBB’s mom and your single friend would not invest the time, effort, and expense in doing those things if they didn’t receive some sort of reward in return. Since I am similar in nature and behaviour I’ll put forward what that reward is for me: I get an emotional lift from helping others even when it requires some sacrifice on my behalf. It makes me happy.

    I’ll bet it made/makes them happy too, and I know that most folks will give an awful lot to continue a behaviour that rewards them with a happy heart.

    It’s good to think about setting healthy limits, and to acknowledge that some choice are costly financially, emotionally, or physically. It’s also important to understand that each person will weigh costs and rewards differently, and to respect their choices.

    1. It gives me pleasure too Beth Anne to be of service. I answer to my own conscience as to what is enough and what is too much and even if I need to say no in a given circumstance. What it looks like to others is none of my business, nor theirs for that matter. I applaud you for the courage to walk to the beat of your own drummer! 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing… both Mr and Mrs CBB.

    I am as guilty as anyone of taking advantage of my parents generosity but as their first born, I wanted to forge my own path and was “fiercely independent” according to my very first serious boyfriend. Living in far off locations from my family, as a teenage figure skater in training, I learned to fend for myself and perhaps became a little too much to the other end of the scale. I learned to stand alone and be absolutely okay with that. Even today I don’t let others into my emotional space easily or comfortably. Most people see “the shell” I present but have really no idea who I am behind that wall…including immediate family.

    Today, September 11th, one of the most horrible of days for my sister who used to live in NY city… I have to tell her on FB that my heart breaks for her every year on this date and that I love her. Ten years my junior, she was only five when I first left to skate in another city. We didn’t really grow up together. I am not sure that she knows me well enough to know how very scared I was for her until I received her email that she was alive and ok!

    There is such a thing as “too nice” BUT just as damaging is to not teach friends and family that you are there for them under all conditions, you do want to help and that if they NEED you…you will be there, no questions asked. Perhaps the goal I would aspire to is balance. 😀

  12. Good read. In some aspects I see myself. I still have family in Jamaica and most times when they call for financial assistance big or small I feel compelled to help. Some friends and family tells me I’m too nice and I should learn to say no. Since I’m paycheck to paycheck it can cause chaos in my budget but it’s hard to say no to loved ones at times no matter what they ask for.

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