Are you a nice guy? Are you perhaps too nice? There is nothing wrong with being a polite and pleasant human being, however there are some dangers about being a “Nice guy” that you should be aware of. Some of the nicest guys I know all seem to share the same common belief. As long as they keep doing “the right thing” they will be loved, get their needs met and have a problem-free life. They typically try to hide their flaws and become what others want them to be, i.e generous, helpful, peaceful etc. Colorfully described in Dr Robert Glover’s book “No More Mr Nice Guy”, the follwing information on the nice guy can be found.
The nice guy is everywhere. He is the relative who lets his wife run the show. He is the friend who will do anything for anybody, but who’s own life seems to be in shambles. He is the guy who frustrates his wife or girlfriend, because he is so afraid of conflict that nothing ever gets resolved. He is the boss who tells one person what they want to hear, only to reverse himself in order to please someone else. He is the man who lets people walk all over him because he doesn’t want to rock the boat. He is that dependable guy who never ever says no, and would never tell anyone they are imposing on him.
Nice guys, even though unique, all seem to possess the same set of characteristics. And even though some of these characteristics can be found in all of us, the nice guy seems to have a whole cluster of them. What are those traits you might ask?
Nice guys are givers. Nice guys frequently state how good it feels to give to others. They believe that their generosity is a sign of how good they are, and will make other people love and appreciate them.
Nice guys fix and caretake. Whenever someone is in need, feels depressed or have a problem, a nice guy will always attempt to fix the situation. Sometimes even without being asked.
Nice guys seek approval from others. Almost everything a nice guy says or does is geared towards gaining someone’s approval, or to avoid their disapproval. Nice guys seek the right way to do things, and seem to think there is a key to having a happy, problem-free life. They think that if they can figure out the right way to do things, nothing should ever go wrong.
Nice guys tend to be more comfortable relating to women than to men, and frequently seek the approval of women, and convince themselves they are different from other men. They like to think they’re not selfish, angry or abusive, which are traits they often link to other men.
They have trouble making their own needs a priority. These men often think it’s selfish to put their needs before others, and believe it is a virtue to put the needs of others before their own. Many nice guys say they’re only happy if their partner is happy.
Sooo…what’s wrong with being a nice guy?
Well, here is one way of looking at it. The term “Nice guy” is pretty misguiding, since these guys are often anything but. Here are some not so nice traits of nice guys.
Nice guys are dishonest. They are also secretive and manipulative. Nice guys are controlling, and only give in order to get. Nice guys are passive-agressive. Nice guys have difficulties setting boundaries, and are often attracted to people who “needs fixing”. Nice guys are usually only relatively successful.
“But he seemed like such a nice guy”, is something you hear quite often.
Since “nice guys” tend to think in terms of black and white, the only other option is to be a complete asshole, which as you all know, isn’t quite true.
Recovering from being a nice guy is not about going from one extreme to the other. The process of breaking free from ineffective nice guy patterns doesn’t involve not being nice, but rather becoming integrated and balanced, which means being able to accept all aspects of your life and embrace all that makes you unique.
What makes you unique? Your power and ascertiveness, your courage and passion, as well as your weaknesses, imperfections, mistakes and your dark side.
If you have a sneaky feeling you’re leaning towards being a nice guy, and want to switch over to becoming a more integrated individual, this is what you should aim for.
An integrated guy has a strong sense of self, and likes himself as he is. He takes responsibility for getting his own needs met. He is comfortable with his masculinity. He has integrity, and does what is right, not what is expedient. He is a leader, and is willing to provide for and protect those he cares about. He is clear, direct and expressive of his feelings.
He can be giving and nurturing without being care-taking or problem-solving. He knows how to set boundaries and is not afraid to work through conflict.
The integrated guy doesn’t strive to be perfect, or gain the approval of others. Instead he accepts himself as he is, warts and all, and understands that he is perfectly imperfect.
Breaking away from the nice guy syndrome demands embracing a totally new way of viewing oneself and the world around you, which of course doesn’t happen over night. Learning to stand up for yourself, become more ascertive and set boundaies to gain the respect of others, rather than being the doormat, takes practice and determination. And step one is all about becoming aware…
Don’t be a nice guy.