I am sure if you look back at your life, you can remember scenarios in which you spent money when you didn't want to, or you gave money when you didn't want to or couldn't afford to, or you bought some Tupperware at a friend's home party because you wanted to be nice.My hand is raised.
When you're too niceI'm a recovering nice person. I actually try not to use "nice" when addressing any behaviors of my children. I don't say, "Be nice to others" because it reminds me of a doormat who has issues with boundaries and other things. When you're too nice, you may spend money you don't have to help someone who may not even need your help. Instead, my word of choice is "kind" or "kindness." Differentiating between the two words has made a huge difference to me. See, before, I wanted to help people. Maybe I tried to help them by giving them money, or buying something for them, or buying something from one of the home parties I hosted. Many times I spent more than I should have. And when I did that, I sometimes felt stressed. And when I felt stressed, I became resentful of the person I had wanted to help in the beginning. Doesn't that sound messed up?
Can you be generous without being nice?I still want to help people. But now I help them without any feelings of resentment (unless someone gives away our generator … sigh). Here's how: 1. The first step is the most important. You must realize that you can make a huge difference by staying within your budget so you can give more to the things you really want to support. Does it really help someone if you buy a Pampered Chef gadget that you really didn't want so they could get $5 more in free products to pick out? But if you don't buy the $40 gadget, you'll still have $40 instead of spending $40 on something you didn't really want or need in the first place. 2. For myself, I keep running lists of things that I want. Maybe it's a magazine subscription. When a niece or nephew send me information on a school fundraiser that includes magazines, I look at my list. If there is a magazine I want, I will order. If not, the information goes into the trash. Same with invites to home parties like Tupperware or Pampered Chef. If I haven't been wanting to buy something, I just don't go at all. I don't feel a bit guilty or resentful.
3. I have found that consistent support of a handful of charities has been helpful. I know that if I spend budget dollars in other places, I won't have enough to support the causes that I am really interested to support. That helps keep my focus on what's really important to me.4. Just say "no." As I get older, I appreciate openness and honesty more than ever. My friends and family still love me, even when I say no to certain things that I don't feel align with my spending values. Be generous; just don't be nice I believe that being generous is important. I have experienced the generosity and kindness of others more times than I can count. So be generous! But be generous because you want to be, not because you feel you have to be. If you feel resentful of someone else for something you chose to do, you probably are being too nice. And that should inspire you to look at yourself honestly and ask what needs to change.