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The Nice Factor
The Art of Saying No
Nice people want to be liked by everyone. They always afraid of offending so they accommodate other people above themselves and adapt their behaviour to suit what they think other people want. Nice people are people-pleasers but they feel compromised and hard done-by a lot of the time. They find it almost impossible to ask for what they want. They expect other people to be as considerate as they are, and think life isn't fair when this doesn't happen. Some nice people live with inner rage, while outside a nice smile is perpetually glued in place. Being too nice can seriously affect your health, wealth and happiness. "The Nice Factor" shows you how to stand up for yourself and put your own needs first. Whether at home, work or play, this groundbreaking book will put you back in control of your life.
Vision Paperbacks; July 2008
256 pages; ISBN 9781848396395
, or download in
256 pages; ISBN 9781848396395
, or download in
In a world where aggression is a common form of communication and violence appears to be on the increase, isn’t it a good thing that there are nice people? Don’t we need politeness and pleasantness around us more and more? Why would anybody write a book about becoming less nice? One of the very reasons aggression is on the increase is because, as a culture, we are too nice. Every time we swallow a hurt, let someone get away with bad behaviour, give someone the benefit of the doubt or let someone off the hook, we are being too nice. Every time we make excuses for someone, smooth things over, do anything to keep the peace, avoid conflict, then we create a storehouse of anger and resentment that will eventually burst open. If we are incapable of communicating our thoughts and feelings effectively, then there will inevitably be a backlash of some kind. This inability to articulate the inner world so that it is understood by others in the outer world is why niceness is a crippling liability. As directors of Impact Factory, a personal development and training company, we have been working for years with all kinds of people in many different stages of their lives on issues to do with communication, personal effectiveness, work and career difficulties and emotional hang-ups, many of which have highlighted the issue of niceness. We believe that being too nice is a serious problem. When we created our workshops designed to deal with being too nice back in 1993, we touched a nerve that resonated with people in ways we didn’t expect. What we found is that we articulated for people a whole range of their behaviour that they had heretofore resignedly accepted, believing there was nothing they could do about it. We know that there is a cultural context which rewards people for accommodating behaviour. It makes life easier, so we are told, if we turn the other cheek, do unto others as we would have others do unto us and play fair. All quite noble thoughts. However, it’s quite unfair in practice if you are unable to choose not to be nice. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar? Gillian has just settled down for a quiet cup of tea when the phone rings. ‘Hello, Gill, it’s me, Angela. I know you’re not really busy right now, with the children away at school and your daily there, so I thought it would be a good idea if you picked me up and we went to that new garden centre that’s just opened up. I’d take my car but yours is so much bigger we’ll get more stuff in it. I’ll expect you in a half-hour, OK?’ ‘Er. well, I’m not actually doing anything, but I did have some reading I wanted to catch up on and I…’ ‘Oh don’t be silly. The fresh air will do you good – you don’t want to sit alone all day do you? And besides you can read anytime. Bye, see you soon.’ And Gillian gets roped into another outing she doesn’t want to go on. Why not just say no? It’s not a difficult word: en oh. But for Gillian, saying no would be like swimming the English Channel before she graduates from the kiddie pool. What about this? ‘Hey, Charlie! Glad I caught you before you left the office. Someone has to stay late tonight to wait for a fax that’s coming from Los Angeles and it’ll need an answer right away. You’re always so good at turning around these requests, I really need you to stay.’ ‘Well, I can’t tonight. My wife’s going to her keep-fit class and it’s my turn to baby-sit.’ 2 | The Nice Factor ‘Whoa! You’re not turning into one of those hen-pecked husbands are you? What’s more important, the client in LA or your wife’s keep-fit class?’ ‘Um, well, she’ll be very upset. I don’t want to disappoint her.’ ‘I’m not really hearing this, am I? You’re not the man I thought you were, Charles – the ambitious go-getter, who’s angling for the Divisional Manager’s job.’ ‘Well, I guess I could give Trish a call and let her know I’ll be a little late.’ ‘Atta boy, Charlie, I knew I could count on you!’ Oops! Charlie’s in the doghouse with a very put-out wife.
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