I have been told several times in my life that I am too nice. In the past, I would be admonished by a friend or a boyfriend if I let someone in front of me in a line or give an able-bodied person my seat on a bus. I would just laugh it off because, in my mind, there was no problem… until recently. Now, for some reason, I am being treated like it’s some kind of horrible character flaw.

“Oh, You are being way passive aggressive.”

“You are too nice, you need to be more forceful.”

“They are going to walk all over you if you keep being so nice.”

These are quotes from my work colleagues. Honestly, what is so wrong with being a nice person? Saying hello and smiling at a complete stranger? Letting someone merge into the lane in front of you? Or even worse, being nice to a person who only the day before, made your day at work a living hell?

I will admit, I could be more aggressive and forceful, but I feel like there is a fine line between that and being rude. I think there are more effective ways to get your point across such as having a lot of patience, active listening, emphasizing, having intelligent discussions, and keeping things simple. Isn’t the first rule of customer service to keep the customer happy anyway?

Sigh, I don’t know… I just think that my style and personality is not meant for the corporate world. And the older that I get, the more I see it. I was meant to do something more creative and helpful to people and somehow, I fell down the rabbit hole of what I “should” be doing versus what I “could” be doing.

So here is my challenge, while I am trying to figure out what I “could” be doing, I have to stay in the corporate world and completely go against my nature.

It’s fucking painful, let me tell you.

But I refuse to let it change me. I do try to learn from my colleagues’ criticisms and I am trying to discover the best way to incorporate these learnings into my life that is helpful and not harmful. What have I come up with so far? Nothing… Honestly, I haven’t quite figured that out just yet, but you will be first to know.

Is there anyone else out there that is going through this? Have you found a way to make it work? I would really love to know.