Can you ever be too nice? Can being too nice cause personal and mental harm?
You know: “No, go on, I know I’ve just met you and I was waiting patiently in the line before you pushed in, but you take the last spot on the life-raft. I’m sure the Titanic won’t sink and even if it does I can survive freezing waters and no prospect of rescue. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. Oh, and here’s a lovely scented candle I got for you just because fig and lemon reminds me of you.”
Watch the trailer below for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a show about a woman who is, ahem, unbreakably nice. Post continues after video.
U.S. comedian and actress Whitney Cummings (she is co-creator of sitcom 2 Broke Girls), wrote in Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny, that her therapist said her “niceness” and her need for people to like her is so dominating in her life she has a clinical issue.
“When my therapist first suggested that I was codependent, I was confounded because I wasn’t dating anyone, she said. “I thought it meant you were in a bad relationship with someone else, when it really means you’re in a bad relationship with yourself.”
Simply put, codependents can’t tolerate the discomfort of others.
Cummings says she couldn’t say “No” to “save her life”. She’d have sex with someone because they drove “all this way”. She dated men who she needed to save and help and who were “literally illiterate”. She was obsessed with solving other people’s problems while her own life was a complete mess.
But surely all this giving and putting others before yourself, made her a wonderful, good person?
“I buy so many Diptyque candles for people! How can I possibly have a problem?” Whitney asked. “In recovery, I learned that the difference between codependence and being nice is motives. Essentially, if I drive you to the airport because you can’t afford a taxi and I expect nothing in return, that’s benevolent. But if I drive you to the airport secretly hoping you’ll like me, owe me, won’t abandon me down the line, or to control your perception of me (i.e., I want you to think I’m nice), that’s codependent.”