I would say that the following is especially true of women. Women are conditioned when children, more so than men are, to be nice – to lack boundaries, and to be passive, rather than be assertive.
Christian churches who support Gender Complementarianism further pressure girls and women to engage in this highly codependent behavior, which they deem “biblical” and “nice.”
I was bullied over the course of my life, as a child by other children at school, and as an adult by other adults at various jobs I had. One supervisor I had in my early 30s was particularly bullying, and I think my “niceness” (severe codependency) made me an attractive and easy target for that boss, and for co-workers who used me.
When Being Nice Backfires by N Lipkin
We’re taught from a young age to “play nice” if we don’t want to find ourselves in trouble. Being “nice” is a huge part of our upbringing and vocabulary. As we grow older, these early messages can turn into unconscious scripts that impact our personal and professional lives.
The early childhood message to “play nice” is especially apparent in our relationships with others. It is often louder than the call for us to be assertive, set healthy boundaries, or even prioritize our own needs over the needs of others.
But how nice should a leader be? If you’re too nice you risk being a pushover; you might keep an employee beyond their expiration date; you might see deadlines come and go; you might become too close with your employees at the expense of being able to give them tough feedback.