What happens to people who are normally nice who go through so many changes during the course of their lives that they no longer are?
Is the experience of divorce, death, hardship, parenting, job stress, bad relationships and everything else that people go through so very trying that it embitters them to the point of actually just not being nice people anymore?
And if so, what does it really mean to be nice or not nice? Is common courtesy the same thing as niceness, or is genuine niceness inherent, like brown eyes? Perhaps the bumps and bruises of life can knock a person around so much that they shut down emotionally, stop caring as much about people or the outcome of situations, lose their dedication, commitment, passion and will to improve their lot and the lives of others.
Perhaps this is what is meant by "burned out"--the sense that we are no longer fresh or fluffy, like freshly baked bread, but rather we have become crusty, crunchy, snappish and crumbly. if people are under stress for too long, the threat of becoming burnt out is very real. Not only will the ability to be nice to others begin to evaporate, but the ability to even appreciate life at all will begin to deteriorate and that's a dangerous place to be in.
The detachment and lack of engagement or motivation that comes with burn out is socially isolating and can lead to a vicious cycle of pushing people away who care for you and thus becoming even more burned out.
For more on this, please read the following article http://www.helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.htm
Creating boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do to preserve your niceness and, really, your mental health.
Aimee Boyle lives and works in CT. She is a regular contributor to EmpowHER.