We nice gals and guys frequently get into trouble. To be nice, we often avoid confrontation or holding people accountable. Then things go wrong. Issues fester and problems boil over because we didn’t address them. We start to feel like pushovers and others tell us we’d better get tougher because “nice guys finish last.”
But the real problem is that we have confused care with caution. As nice gals and guys, we care about people and our relationships with them. We want to maintain a good-feeling connection with them. But we think that confrontation is caustic to those relationships and to our own well-being. So we act cautiously.
While caustic confrontation causes damage, we can, in fact, care and confront. Caring confrontation is a superb tool for establishing and maintaining win-win solutions (see here). Caring confrontation can actually build relationships.
Nice guys need not finish last.
In your corner,
PS: Even if we are caring in our confrontations, we cannot control the other person’s reactions. We may witness anger and other forms of defensiveness. Tools like listening or going for the understanding, dealing with dragons, and flexing to the driving types can help. Ultimately, we want to set aside our concerns, be willingly vulnerable, know we can handle anything, and have the tough conversations on the way to win-win.