Have you ever found yourself saying, “It’s fine” to someone when they did or said something that was not fine to you? In today’s world, the team player gets hired, the nice person gets invited to the party, and the extra work gets put onto the person who doesn’t say “no”. The term agreeable is used to define those who are warm, friendly, and easy going. It may appear that being agreeable is a positive thing; however, it is also accompanied by a lot of self-neglect. Oftentimes, we would rather say “yes”, “it’s fine”, or “no problem” to things when someone disappoints us rather than face conflict and confrontation. Believe it or not, it is possible to be too agreeable and begin to experience a negative effect on your mental health such as depression, low self-esteem, or anxiety. Below are a few dangers of being too agreeable with other people in your life, whether it is in the workplace or in your relationships.
Internalizing and Self-Criticism
Always agreeing and being kind to others means you are most likely keeping how you feel inside. You are never voicing your opinions, views, or negative reactions to things. Consistent internalization results in a lot of self-blame and harsh criticism. You may find yourself thinking “it’s my fault”, “I should’ve done better”, or “What did I do wrong?”. These constant thoughts will eventually lead you to believe you are never good enough and that everything is your fault. If you are noticing yourself speaking harsh thoughts, it is crucial to learn how to externalize and be kind to yourself.
When you are so focused on other people’s happiness, there is a high likelihood that you have poor boundaries. You may be allowing others to take advantage of your time, kindness, and agreeableness. When this happens, you will feel the pull to take care of their needs and put yours on the back burner. Some examples include working late most nights, taking on more than you can handle, not making time for your physical and mental health, and not communicating your needs. Neglecting yourself can lead to depression, low self-esteem, fatigue, and anxiety. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and communicating your needs as well.
Build-Up and Resentment
Everything you internalize builds up eventually. At some point, it is going to feel like too much and you are going to place it somewhere. Whether that is let out in an argument, resentment, burnout at work, or irritability, it has to go somewhere. If you never have your needs met and constantly are saying “yes” to others, you will eventually burst. Speaking up in your life can help you manage and tackle current issues to prevent such a negative release.
If you are finding yourself being too agreeable in your life and would like some support, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!