The Nicer I Am, The More I Get Taken Advantage Of

Is it just me, or does it feel like the only way to get what you want and really be heard is to be a bitch? That’s definitely my experience. I’m usually sweet as hell when it comes to interacting with people and my kindness is unmatched, but people rarely if ever take anything I say seriously unless it’s coming from an aggressive and somewhat mean place. I really don’t get it.

  1. People assume my kindness implies a lack of intelligence.  I sometimes worry that being nice all the time is perceived as me being flighty and/or a bit of an airhead. That’s obviously not true but it feels like my kindness is often mistaken as weakness. I don’t understand it at all.
  2. I’m nice to people unless I have a reason not to be, but that’s apparently a problem. Maybe my being sweet and sunny most of the time is grossing people out. I get in bad moods just like any other person but I’m not really one to bring my problems into the world and take them out on the people around me. It seems like that could really be hurting me in the sense that everyone seems to think I’m all rainbows and kittens 24/7.
  3. Whenever I’m not being overly assertive, I’m seen as weak. One thing I know for sure is that most people seriously underestimate me. No one thinks I can accomplish the things I do, and although it can be a good thing to prove the naysayers wrong, I’m sick of being seen as weak or incapable in the first place. I’m one of the strongest people I know because of what I’ve been through and I think my being nice and supportive to everyone I come across is more proof of that, not evidence to the contrary.
  4. People think they can walk all over me. It’s happened time and time again — co-workers, boyfriends, even old friends thought that they could use and abuse me just because I’m not much for standing up for myself unless the situation warrants a serious response. The problem is, I’m starting to think that the reason it keeps happening is because people think I’ll let them get away with anything.
  5. I don’t like being mean… I always feel guilty and ashamed when I treat anyone with disrespect, even people who’ve wronged me. If they deserve it, I feel as though I shouldn’t have stooped to their level; if they don’t, well, I just feel like a piece of crap. It’s a lose-lose situation most of the time.
  6. … But I will if I have to. Even if I know I’m going to feel horrible about it, I have no problem putting my foot down when it needs to be done. I don’t like being backed into a corner and I’ll claw my way out if it’s warranted. The problem is that it’s only when I react aggressively that anything I say seems to have any merit. I don’t understand why I have to Hulk out to be heard.
  7. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s so exhausting trying to prove to people that I’m just a nice, kind-hearted person that deserves the same respect as the people that demand it everywhere they go. I don’t want to have to demand respect that I deserve just to get it. It’s ridiculous.
  8. When I unleash the bitch, I’m always heard. It’s as if I’m on mute unless I’m overly aggressive and downright disrespectful. I really shouldn’t have to be horrible to the person I want to take me seriously for them to actually do it. It’s backward, but for some reason, it always works. Being a bitch gets some real results.
  9. Often times I regret even bothering. Being rude isn’t totally against my nature or anything, but it’s stressful having that much negative energy flowing through my body at any given time. If I ever have to go off on someone just so that they’ll actually hear me, I wonder why I even tried since I know they probably think badly of me now. Stress affects me in a really awful way, so if I have to stress myself out to get respect, sometimes I just don’t think it’s worth it.
  10. There have to be people out there who’ll respect my kindness. Although I don’t know too many of them, I do know some. More have to exist, right? Maybe I’m just always wanting respect from the wrong people and I’m stuck in a vicious cycle of BS. It’s a very real possibility.
Angelica Bottaro has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Trent University and an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Centennial College. She began her career as a freelance writer in 2014, racking up bylines in The Good Men Project, MakeWell, LymeTime, YouQueen, and more. She eventually shifted her focus and began writing about mental health, nutrition, and chronic disease for VeryWell Health.

You can follow her on Facebook or check out her website at She also posts on Instagram @a.ct._b and Twitter @angiiebee.