Imagine a client of mine telling me the following:
“I am getting old and realizing just how traditional my values are. Please give me feedback and help me to see if maybe this is a blindspot of mine.
Raised to be polite, considerate, pleasant and not complain too much, I try to live by those values. Recently, I have had two separate women tell me that I was “too nice” , expressed gratitude too much, complimented too much and furthermore, I was altogether too pleasant. I held the door to the car, to the restaurant. I brought flowers. I pushed in her chair and paid for our meals and our coffee. Personally, I see those things as good and intend to keep them and yet to have two people tell me the same thing within a couple weeks and judging how bothered they were by them, it concerns me. Surrounding myself with nice people, these are not jerks or insensitive folks. Wonder if they were being indirect and telling me more than I heard…
My personality is such that I attempt to be grateful for absolutely everything in my life. I point out positive all the time. My job helps me to see how underappreciated most humans feel and they feel taken for granted. When confronting, I can do it in a way that most people appreciate and hear. As a matter of fact, I teach how to confront, because I have struggled so much of my life with it that I needed to learn more and became a subject matter expert on it. It doesn’t feel like I am trying too hard, because I do this all the time.
When I asked them directly, they could not quite articulate what they meant.”
What would you tell this client to help him understand the situation?