When you think of the kind people in your life, you probably also see them as genuine, helpful and happy. Kindness is an amazing virtue, but it often has a dark side that many people don’t see. Sometimes being unfaltering kind to others can cause a person to neglect themselves. Their wants, their needs and their own happiness gets pushed to the wayside in order to put others first.

Here are three reasons why nice people are often depressed:

1. Nice People Are People-Pleasers

Kind people often strive to please others. They will go out of their way to be helpful, which can end up making them a doormat for people who are interested in taking advantage of them. When other people realize you’d rather make them happy than make yourself happy, they may assume that you have little to offer to the world. They might start to dismiss your opinions and ideas, which can lead to your own self-doubt and low self-esteem.

It’s important to learn that you can still be kind to others while voicing your opinions. Stick to your values, share your ideas and demand respect from others. Most importantly, respect yourself. Don’t allow anyone else to think that your feelings can be disregarded.

2. Nice People Allow Others To Define Their Sense Of Self

Kind people can get stuck in the habit of living someone else’s life. They go to school to please their parents, they pack up and move to please their partner, they go out on a night they need to study just to please their friends. They end up living a life they don’t enjoy. Every move they make is someone else’s dream, not theirs. This can cause depression and resentment.

Caring for yourself isn’t selfish. Being kind doesn’t mean you have to do what everyone else wants you to do, 100% of the time. It’s important to go after your dreams and create a life that makes you happy. Your friends and family members have their own lives to live. Don’t let them live yours for you.

3. Nice People Are Always Kind, Even When It’s For The Wrong Reasons

There is such a thing as being kind for the wrong reasons. Being kind because you want to be liked or to get someone else’s approval will only make you unhappy in the end. Kindness feels good when it’s genuine and it comes from the heart. If you’re seeking something in return for your kindness, it will leave you empty and disappointed.

If your actions are because you want others to like you, or you want to gain someone else’s approval, take a step back and ask yourself why. You are the only one who can make yourself happy. Your self worth is determined by you and you alone. Make sure your kindness isn’t based on seeking something in return.

I Heart Intelligence
The Odyssey Online
Wake-up World
The Huffington Post