Ask Dr. Artis: I try to be a nice person


Photo courtesy of Dr. Carletta Artis

Carletta Perry-Artis

Q. I try to be a nice person, so why do I feel like I’m always getting hurt? 

I certainly understand. Being a nice person is not always easy. Sometimes, people are mean, disrespectful and feel it’s their duty to take advantage of nice people. 

     You might think they have no home training, or perhaps they did not learn that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. Perhaps, they do have home training: it’s just that they went to a school of bullies, learned how to get what they wanted and took a class in manipulation. 

     In fact, they did learn to treat people the way they want to be treated. I know it sounds strange, but not everyone thinks it is normal to be nice or to treat others with kindness. Unfortunately, some people were not treated well in their past. They may have learned to survive by standing up for themselves but now have become the predator. 

     Yes, they are no longer a victim, but a predator treating others like prey. You must understand that who you are is not dependent upon how others behave. People are very complex and we cannot control how others act, but we can control how we respond. 

     Do not be a doormat; do not let your light be covered by the darkness that exists. Don’t work harder than the person you are trying to help. Become assertive, learn from your past, and  continue to love what others can’t see even in themselves. In the words of Maya Angelou, “try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”