Do Nice Folks Finish Last?


I have had a really rotten day today. I’m already dealing with the depression issues, of course, but I’ve had three different instances of being treated really poorly today. Like really, really poorly. It’s got me wondering, do nice folks really finish last? Because today it sure feels like it.

I try my best to be a good person. To remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. To come from a place of care and understanding. And boy, do I feel like I come up with the short end of the stick awfully often. It feels like being the “bigger person” just allows others to take advantage of me, or to take me for granted.

So I thought I’d ask tarot “Do nice folks really finish last?” I wanted to see what perspective I might see in the cards.

5 - Reading

Smith-Waite: Two of Cups, Eight of Wands; Arthur Rackham Oracle: Guardianship

Two of Cups, Guardianship: Protection of the Vulnerable, Eight of Wands

I wasn’t sure what to expect in this spread, but immediately these cards gave me pause.

Community and care are not passive activities. They’re greatly important and shouldn’t be dropped by the wayside when they aren’t reciprocated. But care and compassion should also be directed inward. So when a relationship is consistently negative or toxic, a different kind of action is needed. That could take a few different forms. One possibility is voicing concerns with the person or people involved. If they are invested in the relationship, they should care how you feel. It might not be an easy message to receive, and perhaps they’ll be defensive at first. But change should happen if they truly value you in the same way you value them.

And if you find out that you are not valued, it might be time to bow out. Which might be harder on you than the offending party! Unless of course they’re using you, in which case they may be in for a shocker when they stop receiving whatever satisfaction they’re sucking from your life force.

So I guess nice folks finish last when they never value themselves. But if we stand up for ourselves and leave toxic relationships, we don’t have to come out last.

Of course that’s in a nutshell. Living it out can feel much more gray than that, but this is the reminder I needed today. I can absolutely be a kind and caring person. But when it becomes clear I’m being taken advantage of, it’s time for a new action. And that is a-okay. It doesn’t make me a bad person.

4 thoughts on “Do Nice Folks Finish Last?

  1. SJ Witchling

    Yes. Leaving relationships that aren’t helping you absolutely doesn’t make you a bad person.

    I’ve struggled with the feeling that nice folks finish last before as well, when I’ve been in worse places in my head and financially. I’ve been taken advantage when I’ve been flailing and unsure where to stand. I’ve done too many things in the name of minimum wage, when I believed I had to follow the steps in life that our culture set out for us: go to college, get a job, suppress your true Self and beliefs in order to be self-sufficient. And it’s damaged me.

    I still struggle, and hurt, that my niceness is taken advantage of in jobs, and that I don’t think I will ever follow the dream, that I can’t fend for myself right now. It’s different now, though, with my depression so much under control and the narrative in my head changed so much: I can be upset, angry, hurt, despairing about how I can’t seem to get a job, can’t take care of myself properly, but these things don’t reflect me anymore. They don’t mean I’m a bad person. They just mean I’m struggling, and who isn’t?

    It’s hard. But it’s so worth it to understand yourself so well that you know what really matters, what’s really important to you, and to learn how to say no, and to recognize others’ impacts on your life so that you can decide whether or not they’re right for you. And that relationships require work on BOTH sides, that sometimes you need someone else to do the work, and that’s absolutely okay to ask of them.

    Um, I don’t expect that long of a comment out of me ever. Sympathies and love to you. <3

  2. Robin

    “So I guess nice folks finish last when they never value themselves. But if we stand up for ourselves and leave toxic relationships, we don’t have to come out last.” — A part of me wishes I could have known this before I stayed in a loveless relationship for so long, giving everything I had and receiving little, but… I guess I really needed to learn that lesson myself and to really experience it to move forward.

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