Are You Too Nice?

If only they knew what you were really thinking, but instead what comes out is:

  • Sure, I’ll be glad to.
  • Yeah, I’ll be there.
  • Yes, that’s fine.

Do you have trouble saying “no” to people and their demands in your life without feeling guilty?  If so, you are not alone.

Women seem to struggle more than men when it comes to people-pleasing and setting firm boundaries.  I realize that many women were raised to be sugar, spice and everything nice.   Unfortunately, when women try to live up to such an unrealistic standard, they can succumb to depression and anxiety as well as a high level of frustration.

But we knew that already, didn’t we?

As a counselor, I teach women and girls how to hold boundaries in their life and relationships.  I also give them permission to do so — without feeling guilty or selfish.

Healthy boundaries are essential for healthy self-esteem.  If you struggle with boundary-setting, there is a good chance your daughter will, too!  Remember, she is looking to you as a role model.

Here are some examples of holding boundaries:

  • •No, I can’t help out this time – maybe next time.
  • •No.  Actually, I have already made plans for next weekend.
  • •No, I’m not comfortable with having a bunch of people over to my house.

Remember, “no” is a complete sentence especially when setting boundaries with difficult people.  You do not owe anyone an explanation for why you say “no” to their request and you are not responsible for someone else’s emotional state.  You are only responsible for your own.

If you need more help setting and maintaining your boundaries, or know someone else who does, then please contact me via email or phone to arrange an appointment.


Michelle Kelley BA, MSW, LCSW Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Michelle Kelley Licensed Counselor, Owner, Girls Stand Strong

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email

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I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.
To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.
I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.
People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.
We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.
You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.
Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.
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Retired Arlington County Teacher
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