Hurting myself by “being nice”

Part of the reason my divorce case has gone so long and been so painful is that, for way too many years, I’ve been “too” nice.

By “being patient” (with people who were knowingly doing wrong), “being understanding” (with people who were knowingly deceiving), “being supportive” (of those who were intentially harming my interests), “being cooperative” (with those who were openly manipulating the system), and just generally “being nice” (by being a doormat while waiting for people to “do the right thing”), I enabled bad behavior to succeed.

Why am I now surprised that bad behavior is so strongly in evidence? Why do I ask myself why it has continued for so very many years?

The abuse began and has continued because I made sure that it worked well — for those who were doing the abusing. Of course the abuse continued! Why wouldn’t it have, right?

Yes, it’s nice to be “nice”, but only when one is being “nice” in a global sense. When all one is doing is being a doormat for somebody who wants a “thing” on which to wipe his feet, one isn’t being “nice”; one is being a doormat. It’s not the same thing.

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