When Being Too Nice Gets Ugly

Just Using Me
My 13-year-old brother and my 15-year-old sister take advantage of me a lot. A recent example was a couple of days ago. It was on my birthday.

I woke up that morning to a beautiful sunny day and everyone wished me a Happy Birthday. My sister, brother and I got into an argument over something. Then after my mom calmed us down, it was time for me to leave to The kNOw meeting. When I got home afterwards, I found out that someone had sent me 35 dollars for my birthday.

My brother and sister acted as though we had never got into an argument because they were being so nice and asking for things. I have a saying that goes because I am the oldest I have to help out the family and be nice to my siblings no matter what.

By the end of the night I couldn’t take it anymore so I gave them each five dollars. And before my other brother, who is 8-years-old, could complain I gave him 5 dollars too! I also gave my little baby brother one dollar. I bought dinner with the rest of the money instead of spending it on myself like I probably should have.

The only people who thanked me were my 8-year-old brother, my littlest brother and my mom. The other two went back to calling me names and disrespecting me. It made me want to cry but I just think that since I am the big sister, it’s my job to help take care of the younger children.
-Chanda, 21


Never Enough
There is only so much a person can give. I’ve given and given and sometimes it leaves me feeling like it’s never enough. It will never be enough. People will take and take and not really pay attention to how it affects the person giving. This happens to everyone, but it happens to me often. I am left with the feeling of being unappreciated and taken for granted.

Sometimes it feels like it’s never enough when it comes to my family. I always feel overwhelmed and I have many things in my life to take care of, but when it comes to them, everything else becomes unimportant. I give them my time and I try my best to make them happy. I baby-sit, cook and clean for my brother’s kids. I put the kids to bed and give the kids a bath. They never realize what I have to go through just for them, but they keep taking and taking. I can’t say “no” because I feel guilty, and when it comes time for me to do something for myself, they guilt-trip me into doing things for them.

Sometimes I feel lost. I feel as if I’ve lost myself trying to impress and make my family happy. It’ll never be enough.
-Arena, 17


Being Too Nice Is Just Me!
As time passes, many people become too mean or too nice, even both at times. The nice people get taken advantage of for being too nice and the mean one’s lose friends or become selfish. The people who are neutral either get taken advantage of or some other stuff.

My story is that I’m too nice. I have my attitude and I stand up for myself but there are times when I can’t say no. My brothers ask me for money every week. My friends sometimes depend on me to help them out when they are in their situations, knowing I can’t help. And me being so sweet just can’t say, “Not this time, sorry!!!”

I guess I see myself as a hero. Superwoman…no! Super Nana! Ha ha. I’m the type of person who wants to be there when someone is in need. Even though I have no job, I find ways to get a hold of cash to help out someone I care about. I think of others before thinking about myself. I hate asking for help but I love when people ask me for a hand.

In a way I hate that I’m too nice but then again I love it because I feel good after doing a favor for someone. I do have a limit but sometimes I can’t control it, especially with my favorite brother. I just want to say that being nice is good but being taking advantage of can kill. Know your limits….
-Anna, 18

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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