I just overheard three co-workers discussing another co-worker, Ms. Genuinely Nice. (There's an etiquette issue right there - they should have been more discreet.)
They were discussing how Ms. Genuinely Nice is getting extremely stressed about a project and what they should do to help her. The project is very complex and Ms. Genuinely Nice is getting pulled in about twenty different directions trying to move the project forward. Part of the problem is: she's too nice! She hates to say no, hates to seem like she's not pulling her weight, and tries to make everyone happy. Ms. Genuinely Nice has told me herself that she needs to work on setting boundaries.
As I was listening to the conversation I was thinking about the problem of double standards. Here is Ms. Genuinely Nice getting discussed behind her back for not being decisive and firm enough. And yet I can't tell you how many times people in this office have had a go at me for being TOO decisive and firm (which 99% of the time really means that they are ticked because they didn't get their way, not because my firmness hurt the work somehow). Of course, I am not considered one of the "nice" people in my office.
There is just no pleasing some people. They will whinge no matter what you do.
The lesson: Just Say No.