Are you the office nice-guy, or the office doormat? Do you go into People Pleaser mode at work? There’s a balance between being a good person and being a pushover, and you can even capitalize on being the nice person and turn into your superpower. It’s all about setting and maintaining your boundaries, being true to yourself and staying in your power. Assess yourself against these classic signs of being too nice in the workplace and see what you can do about it.
People Pleaser sign #1 – You can’t say no.
Do you find yourself saying yes to things you don’t have time for? Yes to duties that may not be part of your job? Yes to”extras” that could cause your work to suffer? If you’re a chronic ‘helper’ and spending your time bailing other people out, it’s only going to end badly for everyone. In the end, your colleagues don’t learn to take responsibility for their tasks. Furthermore, you risk looking like a poor performer. Although it may seem like a good idea to take on everything that is requested, becoming overextended can give you an image of poor time management. You know you work hard! Don’t let a lack of boundaries ruin your image at work.
Learn to prioritize your work. Push back other’s requests, unless there’s a crisis and it’s all hands to the pump. In the end, your boss will appreciate you more for completing your duties. Additionally, you’ll be more likely to be available when he really needs you, so you can show up like the hard worker you are.
People Pleaser Sign #2 – You’re always saying sorry.
If you’re constantly apologizing, you are signaling weakness and negativity. Turn it around and say thank you instead. Rather than saying “Sorry, I can’t make it to that meeting”, try starting with “Thank you for inviting me.” Follow up with “I really wish I could be there.” As a result, the whole dynamic and the energy will immediately change. Another benefit will be that you’ll stop feeling guilty!
People Pleaser Sign #3 – You don’t want to upset people.
This issue can take several forms, from not giving your view in meetings to not being able to give critical feedback. Consequently, you could miss out on that next big opportunity, because no one has heard anything original from you. However, you can gain respect and trust for being straightforward and honest about what you think. Keep it polite, and it’s unlikely people will get upset.
People Pleaser Sign #4You’re always putting yourself down.
Even if you’re joking, being self-deprecating is a bad habit for the office environment. Sure, you don’t want people to see you as arrogant, but neither do you want to be seen as a joke. Because if you don’t take yourself and your work seriously, you can’t expect your colleagues and executives to either. Think about what sort of image you want to have in the professional setting and work to build that.
Instead, aim to be seen as reliable, honest, trustworthy and hardworking. Furthermore, you can manage your language and behavior around that. That means setting boundaries by being clear about what you will and won’t take on, being positive about yourself and your contribution and open in your dealings with colleagues and clients. It’s fine to be nice but make sure you balance it out with being assertive!