So you go to the university, as happy as can be, meeting with friends, professors, other students, and other teammates. Happy, with a smile, you seem to greet everyone with finesse, with courtesy, without a bad bone in your body.
Lo and behold, you find out that some of the other players on your tennis team have been purposely acting nice to your face, while talking trash when you are not there to other team members, and to some girls you know. You go to class, and your professor acts really nice to you, seemingly being so willing to help. But you find out that you were highly penalized on an exam much more than other students.
Later you find out that your Professor comes from a poor background and has a problem with you because your parents are rich, thus leading to a grade of prejudice. You go to a friend’s house one night, and there are about 10 other students there, they nicely greet you with a big smile on their faces. Only later do you find out that they stole a bottle of alcohol from your bag and tried to sleep with your girlfriend.
Are all these examples of things done by totally screwed up assholes? No, all of those examples are what happens when people act with their own self interests in mind and you are not assertive enough to call them on it.
Who acts with their own self interests? Well, everyone does to a certain extent.
So what does this mean? It means that to most effectively deal with situations, you should know how people are before you actually interact with them. This means assuming others have their own selfish interests in mind.
The best way to not get yourself into these kinds of situations is to simply not allow yourself in a situation where you can be used, or taken advantage of.
Use your own assertiveness, avoid these situations and be nice only to those who are deserving of it.
Acting nice didn’t get anyone anywhere when they are getting walked all over. (nice guys finish last remember). Being assertive does not mean having to be mean or rude, it just means not allowing others to do it to you. You deserve better. People will only treat you the way you give them permission to.
At times during my previous job, I would act nice to other coworkers, only to find out they later stabbed me in the back or took credit for work that I had done. Realization sunk in that other coworkers do not really care whether you live or died on the job, or for your well being in any way, they just care about getting ahead and getting paid.
What does this mean? It means that to be a “winner”, you have to learn how to play the game back.
You have to be assertive in order to achieve success.
Don’t say you’re welcome all the time, don’t be too eager to respond, and don’t be so eager to please. Be to the point, be professional and not friendly when dealing with these type of individuals, and these situations,, You will find that you protect yourself and come out ahead when you keep a comfortable distance between yourself and these kinds of individuals.
Why? Because you have to be, otherwise some people can and will take advantage of you.
Next time someone tries to get you to be nice and do them a favor, and you really do not want to do it, simply say no. You don’t have to make excuses, you don’t have to explain yourself because you have the right to say no and you have to give yourself permission to say no.
You don’t owe anyone else anything. They owe you if anything. Keep to yourself, be calm, show care and help when necessary, but don’t go out of your way to be too nice. You will always end up reaping the consequences, and those consequences are being “Too Nice, Too Dumb.”
Author: Justin Hansen