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Being "Nice" may cost you your health.

I love @gabormatemd and his work on how trauma effects the body and can lead to chronic illness. In dealing with my own chronic illness over the past year, I've had to take some good, hard "come to Jesus" moments with myself about how my relationship and communication patterns may be affecting my physical health.⁠

Here are the 4 traits that I've learned (by reading Dr. Mate's work and by experiencing it myself) that may cost you your health:

Over-identification with Roles, Duty & Responsibility

When you overidentify with your role and its duties and responsibilities, you lose a sense of flexibility necessary for optimal health.

You also risk feeling tethered to a role for a sense of identity and may suffer emotionally and physically whenever that role is challenged.

Repressing all forms of anger, even healthy anger.

Anger can be a healthy and appropriate emotion and can be directed outward in non-destructive ways. If you consistently hold it in, that anger will eventually lead to a destruction of your physical health.

Compulsively putting the needs of others before your own

There is a difference between being selfless and being

self-LESS. If you compulsively put other's needs ahead of your own to the detriment of what will keep you emotionally and physically healthy, your overall health will suffer.

Obsessive avoidance of disappointing others

Some people believe that their boundaries or needs ALWAYS come second to how others may feel about them. Consistently putting your needs aside to keep others from feeling discomfort or disappointment is a surefire way to create an unnecssary mental and physical burden on yourself and eventually it will impact your health.

Dr. Mate's books, including When the Body Says No and his new book, The Myth of Normal, are a loud warning against the perils of being "nice" as opposed to being "kind" to ourselves and to the people in our lives. Being "nice" is often linked to being quiet and reserved even when we are being mistreated and overlooked. It does not allow for self-advocacy and directness because it is too concerned with being seen as a "good"⁠ (read: obedient) person.

Conversely, being "kind" allows for honestly, directness and self-advocacy, even when it is hard to hear. It urges compassion but not silence. Kindness asks for the truth, not the sugarcoating that can prevent a conversation that finds a solution to a given problem in a relationship.

I urge you to look at your communication and relationship patterns. Are you consistently at the bottom of the list of important people? Because if you are, your body will make sure that you put yourself first at some point. Please don't wait until it takes a major health issue for you to notice.⁠

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