pleasing motherThis is a re-post to support those of you on the path to being more authentic and true to your self. Enjoy!


I am enjoying reviewing some of the Non Violent Communication work that I have done in the past. Today, I wanted to share this helpful insight from “Being Genuine” by Thomas D’Ansembourg.

As children so many of us take on the role of pleasers with our parents and teachers and other people. This is a strategy that worked somewhat well: We got attention, received praise and felt good about ourselves when the other person appreciated what we did for them. It was one way to get our needs met and to feel good.

Each time mother said “You are a sweetheart for doing that” or a teacher said “You are one of my best students” when you did well in tests,  this behavior was reinforced.

And so the belief came about that, in order to get what we want in life, we have to please others. They will give us what we need… and we will feel more in control and secure.

We focused on the external rather than building our own inner resources to get our needs met. You can find out more about what I am referring to, by reading this earlier post about our needs

However, when we are pleasers, we are never really sure if we are “doing the right thing” for the other person. We begin to distrust others reactions and doubt our own qualities or skills.

The other person becomes a judge and critic about to pass judgment on if we are doing it right. And of course, if we aren’t doing it right, then we must be wrong.

Can you see how this undermines our self esteem, confidence and sense of being…

We lose touch with our authentic selves because we are relying on the approval, validation and love from others.

Lets be genuine, not nice!

faces masks

To be genuine we must put aside our mask of accommodation and pleasing. Instead of thinking of ways to be nice we  must come from our authentic heart and soul.

This entails and change in our attention. Before we can reveal our authentic selves to others, we must pay attention to what is going on inside of us. When we shift this attention away from other people we can  discover who we are outside of the roles that we play, such  as sister, spouse, colleague, friend etc.

To be authentic we must also become open to feeling.

This can be a tough step on this journey to authenticity. When we believe our survival is dependent on pleasing others, we put other people’s wants in front of 0ur own. We start to tune into other people, and dismiss our own feeling and desires. Our own feelings get lost, and many of us end up not feeling very much at all.

Yet, to be authentic we must also open up to what we are feeling and take responsibility for it.

When we rely on others to feel good, we not only lose touch with our genuine feelings, but we also tend to blame others for “making us feel bad”. By taking responsibility for all of our emotions, we find freedom to be our genuine selves.

Take a moment to ask yourself these questions.

  • Am I expressing the truth of who I am and what I want … or am I accommodating others?
  • Am I smothering the truth in a mask of niceness?

If the answer is, “but I have no other choice!” Or “I don’t want to upset the other person!” Then you are reinforcing this deep seated belief and fear within you.

We always have a choice to take into account our own needs and the needs of others. As adults we  must acknowledge that being authentic and real, doesn’t mean we will be abandoned and unloved as we might have believed at a tender young age.

girl on her journey

It takes real courage to face the truth that we are not being truthful to ourselves or the others. The ego mind does not want to be confronted with this!

Yet, it is one of the most empowering steps we can take on the journey towards truth.

52 comments on “Lets Be Genuine, Not Nice!

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Yes! Well written, and so true.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Val, as always you express just what I need to hear. Thanks!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Thank you for this. I needed a reminder xx

    Liked by 6 people

  4. You are so much right, Val. It is necessary to find our inner courage and learn to stand at our own legs and with our mind remind ourselves, that we have absolutely as much right to live and just be us, as all others also have. This can take much time to learn, it is not easy, but so much worth it 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Wonderful! So important to be authentic! I have always been a genuine person, say it like it is, and known for that. But somewhere along the career hunt with many disappointments, I lost myself.
    As I begin again in following my true desires and beliefs, I have had to walk away from (or they walked away from me) all that I had created by not being entirely true to myself. I lost just about everything. Friendships, jobs, family, home, etc. Everything had to be RE-created to begin again authentically.
    Excruciatingly painful, stressful and lonely. Loss of self-esteem and following paths that were so not what was me, left me surrounded by a whole lot of people and choices that no longer fit in my world. It was a painful and very lonely journey.
    After over 2 yrs., being more authentic to myself, daring to do what I feared but desired most, I can see my energy shifting. New people are coming into my life. Found a wonderful new home, new ventures, new ideas, etc.
    It is worth it!
    Thanks for this important topic!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. When I think of my lifelong friends, they wouldn’t be considered ‘nice’ people in the way this article means it, they’re genuine people – not superficial, artless, true to themselves, and true to me, regardless. H ❤

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Val…this is beautiful truth. You bring up so much that perhaps is lost in the years of trying to please! I very recently spoke the words that “I will not lose myself for another person…not ever again!” And it feels good…and your words, as usual, come at a perfect time!! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Hi Val,

    I agree and I think there is a change of consciousness from tribe to individual values going now. As people discover their self-worth and unique value that they can contribute to the world. This gives them sense of freedom and independence as they no longer need to cater to expectations of others with fear of being judged.

    I think being genuine will allow you to attract the right people unto your life and quote that that states that we are the average of 5 people we surround ourselves with rings true because if we are not, then we are living the life of someone that other people want to see. Not discovering our authentic-self means we would never find our true purpose.

    I watch Elliott Hulse channel on YouTube and he has this video which you can find by searching for “elliott hulse don’t be nice” and it’s right on point.

    I will conclude with a quote I read recently:

    “Expressing your emotions is an act of self love.” ~Panache Desai

    BTW I sent you message through webite’s contact form.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Pingback: * Lets Be Genuine, Not Nice! — Find Your Middle Ground-brothers-M – brothersmurrayWorld

  10. Absolutely!

    Living from the core, we let go of Ego’s incessant demands and desires for more, more, more. We no longer look to Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee to bolster our false self with applause, accolades, approval, and acknowledgment. What do THEY know about who we are meant to be?

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Well said Val, there are some deeply unhappy ‘nice’ people out there who try hard to do ‘the right thing’ to make others happy and get praised for it when there’s a way to for wondrous returns to be gained within us as well as for others by spreading kindness. Its self-examination and cutting through the bull filled with love basically.

    – Esme Cloud sending love to Val and wanting to be told she’s a good girl for doing so *winks laughing*

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are such a good girl Esme. 😇
      and also astute and kind 😌
      You summed it up beautifully.
      Hope your weekend is going well ❤️


  12. such a good reminder, at some point we have to stand for who and what we really are

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I enjoyed this well-written essay, Val, thank you. In our culture of today, being pleasing is emphasized especially to girls and women; and when we are not this way, we often hear about it, usually in the form of ridicule. So this exercise is important to teach to our young girls–that they don’t have to look and act pleasing, but rather, look and act what they are feeling. For myself, it took years to undo all the cues I had learned, and the “pleasing” theme is still very much alive in our patriarchal culture. Enjoyed this great reminder, as always.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. … the “genuine” self

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Excellent reminders Val, to be true to yourself, rather than being as others expect us to be.
    The truth is starting to come to the surface in many areas..
    The most import place is to start being truthful to ourselves..
    Much love dear Val..
    and thank you for these reposts… ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  16. marandarussell

    I think your blog name is a great quote for this post: find your middle ground. Be authentic and strive to be honest, but temper it with kindness.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. to tell you the truth
    that last picture is
    of me heading out
    to enjoy the day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Great post, Val. Going to share it with someone that I was just discussing this very issue with yesterday! Well done! 🙏🏻

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Excellent post! I like to think that as I have gotten older I am more authentic but as you said we (especially girls) were taught to be nice.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Grace Walker

    The images you’ve used speak a thousand words! Amazing 👏👏x

    Liked by 2 people

  21. So true. We rarely pass a genuine comment to someone. Mostly we sugar coat our opinions and ultimately people get that you fake it. Sometimes it’s our genuine opinion that can help them. May be it is painful, but better face the truth now rather than later. Inspiring post

    Liked by 3 people

  22. An excellent post about an oft lost truth

    Liked by 2 people

  23. When I was a child-counselors, we learned to express interest rather than direct praise. “Tell me more?” and variations on that question encouraged children to look within and express their thoughts and feelings. “You have a lot of blue in this picture. Tell me about the blue?” I am still growing out of being a pleaser, Val, and have made good progress but more to go! Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad this resonates Diana. Thank you for sharing this way to communicate and allow others to express themselves more.
      I hope you will keep telling me more here on WP 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  24. The Conflict Expert

    Yes ! I cannot agree more. I recently lost my father to terminal cancer and the devastation that this caused in my life left me and my family completely lost and bereft. It was only then that I learnt that I have to be genuine about my needs and feelings, just to protect my well-being. Pretending everything is ok when it’s not is so exhausting. Thank you for such a great article!

    Liked by 1 person

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