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  1. #1
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Default Why am I nice to people who are not nice to me?

    I have had this problem:
    I am nice even to those people who are not nice to me. It goes sometimes even to the point where I get verbally kicked into my face and still I am totally unable to be rude to them.

    I basically try to avoid people who are not responding to my friendliness. It's not always possible (at work for example) and that's why I would need to change this "habit" of mine.

    I do have to admit that I too have my limits and I will eventually say something when I get fed up. I can be very offensive when I get mad and then people really should watch out their actions concerning me.

    The question here is:
    Is being friendly to everybody a common NF problem, a common ENFP problem or is it just me trying to behave nicely with people?

  2. #2
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    I have had this problem:
    I am nice even to those people who are not nice to me. It goes sometimes even to the point where I get verbally kicked into my face and still I am totally unable to be rude to them.

    I basically try to avoid people who are not responding to my friendliness. It's not always possible (at work for example) and that's why I would need to change this "habit" of mine.

    I do have to admit that I too have my limits and I will eventually say something when I get fed up. I can be very offensive when I get mad and then people really should watch out their actions concerning me.

    The question here is:
    Is being friendly to everybody a common NF problem, a common ENFP problem or is it just me trying to behave nicely with people?
    I had and still have this problem to a large degree. I like the idea of respecting the humanity in everyone and I like social pleasantries and saying please and thank you.

    I abhor anything that seems small to me. Smalll and cheap. I don't ever want to be like that, because it means somehow I've succumbed to the dark side of life and basically have failed my ideals.

    I look at people who have obvious chips on their shoulders, are unhappy with their lives/jobs and try to make others feel bad as a result -- these people remind me of the patheticness and failings of humanity. These people scream insecurity to me as well. I don't want to telegraph as nakedly to the world how little confidence and pride in myself that I have. And mostly, these people have been beat. they telegraph weakness to me. And I do not ever want to be beaten by life, nor do I want other people to succumb to negativity as well.

    I have gotten over this inability to get out of 'nice' mode in previous years. After getting kicked enough times, I've basically gotten desensitized. I also believe it's very true, you should treat people the way they treat you and match their behavior most of the time.

    It appeals to my ENFP sense of balance and fairness. Also, why reward assholes? I've also come to realize that for some people, social niceties are lost on them. It's a waste of energy. Go ahead and act like a jackass towards them, there's a good chance they will not act like they care, will respect you more, or even find it funny. It's not being petty giving back what you get, it's relating. Depending on your personal sensitivity levels, some people may just be very shy or awkward, not necessarily meaning to be rude or rebuff you.

    And as I've gotten older, I've come to value myself as one of the rare people in the world who is an upbeat source of light and sincerely wants the best for people. Seriously, we ENFPs are very compassionate, friendly people and it's not fair that people try to bring us down because they like being mean and/or miserable. I have enough anger in me from just living and the daily experiences you go through to be in touch with negative feelings and more easily express them.

    I now reserve a lot of my energies and attention on those who deserve it -- friends, family, small furry animals, chubby babies, and people I trust. Others? I can be much more noncommital and one of the non-smiling, even scowling somewhat callous hordes I would have previously been rubbed the wrong way by. In general, I am still one of the friendlier people you will meet. I have developed a thick skin so if I feel like it, I will continue to be friendly and frisky and in a good mood regardless of others noncommital reactions to me. I like to think that I am in control of my happiness and behavior and mindset instead of being distraught that people around me are callous, cold, mean, or just nonresponsive and molding my behavior and feelings 100% on the external.

    On the flip, you can discover religion (Buddhism is a good one) where you unlock your ego to overflow with compassion and love for everyone and not take it personally at all when people rebuff your social pleasantries and kindness. Basically you don't care because your world alignment is about something much bigger and different than just individual interactions.

  3. #3
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    ^ Reading your post just made my day, er...night, er, morning!!!!!!

    YES!!!!!!!!

    *enthusiastically nods head*

    YES TO ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!!
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  4. #4
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Cze cze, thank you for the really good post!

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    I like the idea of respecting the humanity in everyone and I like social pleasantries and saying please and thank you..
    This really hit me! Respecting humanity. That is one of the most important value in my life (and now I realize it)!!

    Seriously, we ENFPs are very compassionate, friendly people and it's not fair that people try to bring us down because they like being mean and/or miserable..
    It's not fair that friendly people get kicked into the face. I don't know why that always happens. Maybe some people do not like to see other people happy and friendly?

    I now reserve a lot of my energies and attention on those who deserve it -- friends, family, small furry animals, chubby babies, and people I trust. ..
    Really good point! I should try do that too; reserve my energy to the people who deserve it! (But I have to learn not to be nice to everybody and that will be extremely difficult.)

    On the flip, you can discover religion (Buddhism is a good one) where you unlock your ego to overflow with compassion and love for everyone and not take it personally at all when people rebuff your social pleasantries and kindness. Basically you don't care because your world alignment is about something much bigger and different than just individual interactions.
    Actually Buddhism really appeals to me, even much more than being Lutheran as I am now. I should study about Buddhism much more.

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    I have had this problem:
    I am nice even to those people who are not nice to me. It goes sometimes even to the point where I get verbally kicked into my face and still I am totally unable to be rude to them.

    I basically try to avoid people who are not responding to my friendliness. It's not always possible (at work for example) and that's why I would need to change this "habit" of mine.

    I do have to admit that I too have my limits and I will eventually say something when I get fed up. I can be very offensive when I get mad and then people really should watch out their actions concerning me.

    The question here is:
    Is being friendly to everybody a common NF problem, a common ENFP problem or is it just me trying to behave nicely with people?
    I don't really see any benefit in being rude to someone on purpose under any circumstances, it would probably just make them irritated with you (although that doesn't mean I've never gotten angry enough to be mean, it just means I wouldn't choose it). If their behavior is enough of a problem, complain to someone about it... seriously. And if you think they'll (personally) listen, you can ask them if you've done anything to make them dislike you so much... that seems more likely to get them to examine their own behavior if they're aware that you perceive them as disliking you, unless they really don't care at all. If they really don't care at all, being rude back to them probably wouldn't make it better unless you could intimidate them with a threat of some kind, and that might make you look like the "bad guy" to other people, so it doesn't sound like a great idea to me.

    What I do if I'm forced to be around people I don't like is to just behave coldly and politely. I do the minimum required to seem polite, even though I actually hate their guts. I give them a minimal greeting and interact with them on a professional level, but keep my emotional status "set" as if they were a stranger and would never get any closer... so I don't even acknowledge them on a personal level, although I acknowledge them professionally and in terms of socially required levels of politeness. Basically, I acknowledge their literal existence and the expectations attached to their presence socially, but stop acknowledging their humanity in some odd way. I usually manage to get along with people well enough not to have to do this, though, but I'm pretty good at doing this when I have to.

    I see the minimal politeness to them as a favor to myself and my image, rather than anything done for them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I don't really see any benefit in being rude to someone on purpose under any circumstances, it would probably just make them irritated with you (although that doesn't mean I've never gotten angry enough to be mean, it just means I wouldn't choose it).
    I didn't mean that me being rude to them is an option, it's just that I'm nice even if they are rude and that feels wrong for me and for them too.

    What I do if I'm forced to be around people I don't like is to just behave coldly and politely. I do the minimum required to seem polite, even though I actually hate their guts. I give them a minimal greeting and interact with them on a professional level, but keep my emotional status "set" as if they were a stranger and would never get any closer... so I don't even acknowledge them on a personal level, although I acknowledge them professionally and in terms of socially required levels of politeness. Basically, I acknowledge their literal existence and the expectations attached to their presence socially, but stop acknowledging their humanity in some odd way. I usually manage to get along with people well enough not to have to do this, though, but I'm pretty good at doing this when I have to.
    I do this too what you describe if I'm forced to spend a long time with somebody I really detest. I totally withdraw and spend as little time interacting with them as possible. But I do get into this state only after being pushed around too much and only with people I have noticed that nothing works with them.

    So I am still friendly with the rude people I have to interact less time. Me withdrawing takes lots of rudeness and time.

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    I didn't mean that me being rude to them is an option, it's just that I'm nice even if they are rude and that feels wrong for me and for them too.
    Okay, then... so you're not seeking to be rude to them in return, then? If you think that feels wrong, just realize that no one benefits if you choose to treat them badly... think of how you should act, in terms of what society is as a whole and what is best in that context rather than just this individual person. If they are the one failing in their responsibility to be polite to you, then they are the failure, and you are not responsible for their failure as long as you are behaving properly towards them.

    When you say you're being "nice" to them, do you mean you're being especially nice as if they deserved it, or you're just being polite? If it's the former, you should try to do the latter. If it's the latter, I don't see why it feels wrong to you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I'm nice to people who are not nice to me... well perhaps 'nice' isn't the right word, but 'civil', definitely. I do it because it's a victory over them if I do. Each time a person is uncivil and rude to me, or mean or whatever, they'd just LOVE it if I stooped to their level and reacted in kind. They'd love that, cos they could use that as ammo against me. And moreover, I'd know I caved, that I gave in, that I failed to resist the urge to behave in a way I consider beneath me, which in turn would eat at me because it'd mean I'd have to re-examine what's actually beneath me, therefore redefining how 'high' I am in the first place as much lower than I thought.

    You following me?

    My faith enters into it too: it's a choice being presented to me, a test if you will, I'm given a choice between moving closer to God (controlling myself and choosing peace) or moving further away (giving in to baser instincts and choosing 'war').

    Now, if I choose 'war', then not only has that person successfully pulled me down a level, not only do they have the satisfaction of saying I'm just like them, but I've also done something counterproductive to my own bigger aims in life generally.

    If I choose 'peace', it confounds them. But choosing peace doesn't mean choosing to be a doormat. You can put the person in their place, you can register that you're not impressed by their behaviour, but without resorting to aggression or mirroring their uncivil behaviour in order to do it.

    Choosing 'peace' puts them in an awkward position and lifts me out of one. It puts them in the position that now, if they respond by choosing 'war' again, y'know, well they're in your 'prison' now. Here's a quote from a guy in prison:

    "The guard got me chained up and he's pushing me along the corridor and he hits me with his flashlight. I look up at him and smile: aha, you're in MY prison now. He's gotta live with this, not me."
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alcearos View Post
    I have had this problem:
    I am nice even to those people who are not nice to me. It goes sometimes even to the point where I get verbally kicked into my face and still I am totally unable to be rude to them.

    I basically try to avoid people who are not responding to my friendliness. It's not always possible (at work for example) and that's why I would need to change this "habit" of mine.

    I do have to admit that I too have my limits and I will eventually say something when I get fed up. I can be very offensive when I get mad and then people really should watch out their actions concerning me.

    The question here is:
    Is being friendly to everybody a common NF problem, a common ENFP problem or is it just me trying to behave nicely with people?
    If you find out, let me know too. *deflates* I think part of it is a need to be externally validated/approved.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I'm nice to people who are not nice to me... well perhaps 'nice' isn't the right word, but 'civil', definitely. I do it because it's a victory over them if I do. Each time a person is uncivil and rude to me, or mean or whatever, they'd just LOVE it if I stooped to their level and reacted in kind. They'd love that, cos they could use that as ammo against me. And moreover, I'd know I caved, that I gave in, that I failed to resist the urge to behave in a way I consider beneath me, which in turn would eat at me because it'd mean I'd have to re-examine what's actually beneath me, therefore redefining how 'high' I am in the first place as much lower than I thought.
    Usually that does run through my mind when I am in a situation like that, although it is not necessarily my primary motivation.

    When you post, incidentally, I see a lot of similarity in our thinking... but you tend to emphasize the more extroverted things (i.e., what the person is doing, what your reaction says about that relationship/impact of their behavior, etc.), where I tend to be more, "Here's what I believe, here is what I want to do, here is how I want to be and what is right," etc. and the influence of the other comes up second. Just thought that was interesting!

    My faith enters into it too: it's a choice being presented to me, a test if you will, I'm given a choice between moving closer to God (controlling myself and choosing peace) or moving further away (giving in to baser instincts and choosing 'war').
    Yes, definitely. It does not serve my life values to enter war, I am a woman of peace who seeks to unite and bring together, not to conquer at another's expense.

    You can put the person in their place, you can register that you're not impressed by their behaviour, but without resorting to aggression or mirroring their uncivil behaviour in order to do it.
    Yes, this is the sort of peace that "passive resistance" and other movements highlight -- you are strong even in your apparent weakness. It is clear you are acting out of a choice for something positive, NOT because you are being forced to behave a particular way or are frightened into survival mode.

    I look at it more on the independent/introverted way -- i.e., autonomy. I don't want to be controlled. I don't want to have my buttons pushed. I have to be me and accurately reflect me. I don't want to be reacting out of fear of someone else or just be part of a long string of social cause/effect. My choices and my life are not determined for me: I can choose.

    I know this is ranging away from the OP, so let me go back to that.

    I know that NF people in general (and especially NF women in Western culture, because they're socialized to be "nice") have mentioned this struggle to me over how they always feel they must be the "nice" one and feeling taken-advantage-of because of it. I don't think it is purely an NF thing, but I think it is easier for NFs to find themselves in that position.

    And you avoid people who don't respond to your friendliness because it hurts to experience someone being mean to you, and avoiding them is your only protection against hurt -- and not just being hurt, but (probably) at feeling the anger grow inside and being afraid you're going to react poorly and violate your own values if you continue to be mistreated by them.

    I experience all of this a lot too. I've always been the "nice, thoughtful one" who understood other people even if they misunderstood me, and I was always trying to empathize with them. Over time I have had to learn to put up some boundaries and let people know when they're crossing them -- and how to do it in a mature kind way, not a "get the hell out of my life, jerk" way. And also practice maintaining my own inner peace even when some other person seems to be treating me unkindly or unfairly.

    it's something many people seemingly have to work through, just by being human.
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