Who is this for?
This lengthy post is for the person who is struggling with nice guy syndrome. Although I do speak to a male audience this advice can and should be applied to females. My preference for a male audience stems from the fact that I am a male. From my observations females in general struggle with nice guy syndrome more.
Definitions and Terms
When I say nice guy syndrome what do I mean? Nice guy syndrome is when you are addicted to being nice. This compact analogy describes perfectly this crippling condition. When you are addicted to something you are compelled to do it even if their are severe negative ramifications. When someone has nice guy syndrome they are nice in situations in which other personality traits would serve them much much better.
The Problems That Come With Nice Guy Syndrome
In this section I will describe in gruesome detail why you shouldn’t be nice. I will show you the consequences of having nice guy syndrome and hopefully you will see the light.
If none of the following headings resonate with you, if you can’t find a single example of any of these topics within your life than you don’t have nice guy syndrome. You can stop reading but before you go I recommend you share this article so that the nice guys you know get the help that they need.
For the rest of you grab your popcorn and enjoy as I show you just how miserable your life is because of nice guy syndrome.
You Can’t Say NO
This is the defining characteristic of nice guy syndrome. They can’t say no. Can I borrow your car for the day? No problem. Can I take your wife to the movies? Sure. Can I move in tomorrow? Yes.
Then these same people after giving explicit permission go home and brood. They are passive aggressive and dishonest. The value of honesty is lost on them. They forget that their misery is caused by their own weakness. Then they blame everyone but themselves.
Do you see the problem yet? Although the aforementioned examples are a bit extreme. The truth they convey is not.
Yes shouldn’t be your default answer. NO should be. People should have to convince you why you should say yes. Your yes should be rare and if you do this I promise you your life will get much better.
There Are No Boundaries To Speak Of
This issue stems from the fact that you can’t say no. You want to be polite and you want to be liked. This cause you to do things that you know you don’t want to do. Peer pressure is incredibly effective against you.
Your backbone is missing and you hope that one day a new one will grow. I have news for you, your backbone will not come back. You will need to learn engineering and go to your lab. In that lab you will watch Iron Man 1 and be inspired. You will work on building that backbone piece by piece until eventually you can install it bit by bit and then one day you will have a back bone harder than the statue of liberty.
[To those of you who are tired/skimming/stupid the explanation of the above paragraph]
The point of the extended analogy was your backbone(aka as your resolve and self respect) will not come back by itself. You will have to do a lot of studying on what went wrong and how you can build it back up. You will have to do the exercise I have proscribed and be patient. You will not wake up one day with self respect it is a process like cooking.
Boundary are the starting point. If you don’t have boundaries that means you don’t have any principles. If you don’t have any principles that means that you don’t care about anything and people who don’t care about anything are bland.
No one likes a bland person. Why would you be friends with someone who brings nothing to the table. Who you talk to for hours on end just find that their head is an empty balloon. Why would anyone care about them.
These people are only liked by the insecure who need yes men in their lives.
Having no boundaries doesn’t make you likeable on the contrary it strips you of everything that makes you you. Human beings are defined by their boundaries and people like people who are similar to them.
This means that people like those with similar boundaries to them. If you have no boundaries than how can you be similar to others?
You Are Conflict Averse
This means you are scared to speak your mind. The freedom of speech is wasted on you and you would do anything in your power to make sure that you are valued lessens. You can’t insult others and the prospect of a fight frightens you.
This leads to you being passive aggressive. Instead of recognizing the anger you are carrying and dealing with it by manifesting it in some way. You store up your anger and keep it in a vault than you pull out your straw and slowly let it out.
This approach is cowardly for two reasons.
One you are not being honest with the other person, you are lying to them with every word you utter. You act as if you like them, as if their stench pleases you but at every turn you poke them. You don’t have the courage to dismiss them with vile words and unscrupulous actions. You stand there and pretend to like them when every bone in your body would like nothing more than to see them fall off a cliff.
Second you are pleasing them at your expense. This is cowardly because instead of treating yourself with pride and dignity you lower yourself to a measly cortier. By doing this they are forever above you in a position that they didn’t earn. Isn’t it sad that you have more respect for a stranger than yourself.
You Fail At Competition
What do I mean? To clarify I mean that by being courtier-like you stab yourself in the foot and make sure that winning at any competition becomes second to impossible.
This happens because you see competion as conflict. As I said before you don’t like conflict at all so, what do you do? You avoid it and when you are cornered into it you fail. To succeed in life you have to compete.
You have to perform at a level higher than your rivals for you to rise up and take the trophy. Most desirable things in life are scarce. This means you have to compete in some way either with your investment of time or money.
How do you get a lot of money? There are two real ways of getting money, you can take it by force from others using the government or you can use free markets and convince others to give you their dollars(or whatever foreign currency that you use).
If you want to get it the first way you will have to compete for political power in poor countries. If you want it the second way you will have to compete with other business. Either way you will have to compete.
With your current philosophy you will fail utterly. You believe that other people are better than you. You value yourself less and others more. How can you win a competion when you don’t want to outshine others?
You Feel Exploited And Used
This is just the inevitable by product of you valuing others more than yourself. Pretend that you and me were friends and everytime we went out I gave a cheeky excuse on why I didn’t have money. You would have paid the bill while feeling resentful and angry at me but telling me how it’s fine and you don’t mind at all. At that point whenever I go out with you I would make sure to properly empty my wallet and enjoy the fruits of your hard labor.
This situation is common when you have nice guy syndrome. You get tossed around and used because you have made yourself into a public utensil. You are a road that others walk on and until you reclaim yourself and declare independence from your oppressors you will not be free.
(what a great speech)
Understand that you are exploited because you have position yourself below others. You think that because you are doing all these nice things people will be grateful. Nothing could be further from the truth. They don’t appreciate it because they expect it. People are only grateful when you do something out of the blue, when you show mercy after establishing the fact that you are cruel people then they are grateful. You are grateful for food when you are hungry. You are grateful for health when you are sick. It is the nature of man to be grateful when the object of his gratitude has been taken away from him.
You Feel Powerless
This stems from the fact that your personality is not one that meshes will with power. Power is like money because power begets power. There is an effect in biology called the winners effect that says when an animal wins a few fights against weak animals they are much more likely to win against stronger animals.
The point oh impatient Watson is that when you are weak and exploited by everyone you know you enter a frame of mind that is not conducive to power or success. I know this sounds an awful lot like the fluff you hear from the so called “motivational” experts but I assure you if you take the time to parse the sentence you would find that it isn’t.
Without small success how can you ever taste the large ones. You need small success to become hungry and ambitious. Two things that nice guys don’t have ambition and drive. They are the headless chickens that the world chases.
You Are Not Happy
You are not happy. Your life isn’t wonderful even though you say it is. You wouldn’t admit it not to me or your family. The world thinks you are happy, you are richer than 90% of people who have graced the earth and yet here you are miserable.
You may blame this on a million and two different factors but the simple truth is that this is your fault. Not your tyrannical boss, your obnoxious wife, your loud neighbor, your incompassionate friend or your null coworkers.
You don’t get to choose a lot of things in life but happiness is a choice. It requires work, diligence and decisiveness. Things that you don’t have. If you were to change something one thing that would make you a bit more happy what would it be?
If you said anything other than being nice than I have failed.
In this long guide dedicated to showing you just how much of a drag being nice. How it strips all the joy out of your life. How having nice guy syndrome is not only a curse but a plague like cancer on your life. If you don’t see that than alas I have failed.
What more can I say, nice guy syndrome as it is right now is something you must incinerate. You must treat it like the black plague. You must querinten it and cut off your arm to save your heart. It will be painful I promise. The end result will be worth it. This I swear.
ACTION PLAN: What You Can Do To Get Over Nice Guy Syndrome
The is the section in which I explain to you what you can do to get overcome nice guy syndrome I will assume that you want to succeed in life and thus give you one road to reaching that goal.
SideNote: I have a checklist in the works of exact techniques that you can use to overcome nice guy syndrome. If you want to be among the first to get it sign up below.
I can’t tell you how to do this. I can only describe. Their is no step by step process for gaining self respect if you can’t do this by yourself than a therapist is one of the best investments you can make. A therapist can probe and figure out the root of the situation what I am going to describe is bandage that you can use temporarily until you fix the issue.
One of the many definitions of self respect is pride and confidence in oneself. First part is pride. If you want pride you will need to develop a skill set something you can do and be exceptional at. Mastery is one of the best ways to become more satisfied at work.
Pride in something other than a skill set is fake. If you are proud of what you are than your pride is baseless. It will not serve you it will only lead to your demise. We all need pride yet we demonize it. Why? It is because of people with false pride. People who let their pride bleed into arrogance. This often leads to a false equivalence between pride and arrogance.
If you are an elite in a competitive field you should be proud. This feeling should be rooted in your skills and when those skills wane you will be compelled to study and become better and that pride that zealots hate so much will fuel you.
Now confidences stems from pride. You see pride is the mother of confidence and only when confidences fornicates with pride do we get arrogance. Their twisted child tarnishes their good name.
To get confidence you have to have pride. Pride being that satisfaction you feel anytime the object of the pride is mentioned. This satisfaction will lead you to spread it and apply it and this feeling of competence and faith in yourself is confidence. All that starts with pride.
I said above there is no step by step solution I was wrong. I lied above to show you that just like everyone else I can be wrong and I can accept responsibility. (Did you see what I did their?)
[The above paragraph is me bragging]
Here is the process.
Get really good at something (give or take 5 years) = Satisfaction/Pride
Impress people with that skill set = Pride
Apply that skill set in interesting and novel way = Pride/Confidence
Compete with that skill set = Confidence
Make money off that skillset = Self Respect
This is a little different from all the other things we have been discussing thus far. You can’t really teach how to be proactive(I don’t mean that at all). In this little section I will show you how to be proactive.
[Are you confused yet]
Do you know what the difference is between a boring character and a character we root for and love? It is proactivity. Quite simply there are two types of people in this world. People who have stuff happen to them and people who do the doing.
Proactivity is a way of life. It is how we respond to the world. The best way for me to explain it is through a story. Imagine two brothers one is called Mr. Yusuf and one is called Mohamed. They both work at the same job and they both get fired on the same day.
Mohamed goes home angry at the world for taking away his dream job. He takes 100 dollars from his savings and goes to the shooting ring. He imagines his boss face every time he takes a shot. He comes home to his wife and tries to explain why he is not a failure.
Mr. Yusuf on the other hand goes to the bank and takes out 20,000 dollar loan. He goes to the shadest street corner in the united states and meets with a hooded figure. Mr. Yusuf hands are restless as he is animated by the sheer passion of his words. After a couple minutes Mr. Yusuf and the figure come to an arrangement. The figure walks with Mr. Yusuf into the darkness.
The next day Mr. Yusuf wakes up with a smile on his face. There is hop in his every step and a grin that no whiteout can erase. His wife is oblivious to this situation and knows that they will always have money. His two kids are taught what a real men looks like and see the swagger in which their father moves.
He goes to a local starbucks and sees the man. He is a small asian man with bags under his eyes.
“The deed is done.” He hands Mr. Yusuf a briefcase.
Mr. Yusuf goes to the office armed with his briefcase. Mr. Yusuf walks away with his iconic smirk plastered to his face. He pictures his boss and the smirk only grows bigger. The road is long but Mr. Yusuf walks the 10 miles to his former workplace.
Once he arrives he walks up the stairs step by step anticipating the orgasmic joy he will feel when he opens the briefcase. When he finally arrives on the 40th floor he goes stright through with zero regard for the secretary.
Evil Boss is setting in his chair stroking his nonexistent beard. “Why are you here?” The boss voice carries and fills his office.
Mr. Yusuf looks him in the eye and takes a minute to appreciate the silence. He sits down raising the briefcase. Than finally he says, “To give you a present that you will never forget”
He opens the briefcases and their it is photo after photo of the boss indiscretions. “You made a mistake yesterday, this is why you will fix it.”
That story gets me everytime. For all of you whining about blackmail come on. The point of the story is that passiveness will almost never get you what you want while being proactive will. Proactivity is something that nice guys don’t have but will need in their journey to overcoming this crippling condition.
This is an extension of self respect because you have to first achieve self respect before you can even touch boldness. Being bold will be the natural next step towards recreating yourself. Being bold is difficult for a lot of people because they either don’t have courage or they don’t have the confidence.
Let’s talk about getting over your fear.
Step 1: Fear No One And Nothing
So many of us are bound by our fears. This can and usually does come from our childhood but because we respond in unhealthy ways we are left with paranoia and fears that do nothing but hinder our growth and ultimately our happiness.
In order to become free we must go to the opposite direction. We must free nothing. We must enjoy being courageous. We must stifle our fear at every corner. Their are costs to this but the cost of not doing this will be greater.
Step 2: Be wary of responsibility
If you don’t give responsibility the weight it deserves you will be held down by it. Responsibility is an anchor and you can either get rid of it or fight in spite of it. By not seeing responsibility as it is you are crippling your future ability to take risks.
You can’t take risks if you have a million and three responsibilities. They will prevent you from being bold and thus you should only take on responsibility when there is no other way. If you do take on responsibility than make sure to fulfill it there is no weaker man than the man who shrinks from his duties.
Step 3: Take Calculated Risks
Make sure to take risks. This will put the taste of blood in your mouth and with time you will become hungry. This hungry will sharpen your focus, it will heighten your sense and will give you energy that fuels your future endeavors.
Take risks but make sure that the upside is more than the downside. Make sure that you can afford to lose and expect to lose while doing everything in your power to win. The most dangerous thing is getting overconfident and confusing luck for skill. Make that mistake and you will be punished for it.
If you do the above and get over you fear you will become more bold. This boldness will become a useful tool for you.
Small Victories Matter
I have said a lot of different things over the course of this article but if there’s one thing I want you to know it is small victories matter. Somewhere in this jungle of words I spoke about the winners effect and how small animals that win against weak animals are more likely to win against big animals. We don’t usually get that many big wins in life that is why small wins matter. These small wins will build build us up mentally so when we fight that big problem we are more likely to win.
Even the smallest edge matters and with the tools I have given you you should be ready to take off and become something better than you are now.
Small wins will build up your courage and self respect while at the same time lowering your fear of things. They are the solution. The checklist I am working on is my methods for ways to generate these small wins.
I will repeat small wins matter so when you engineer on of these victories make sure to reward yourself. This may turn this into a habit thus leading to more and more victories and ultimately the largest victory you can have in life success.
Realistic Expectations As Well As Parting Words
If you read this from start to finish without skimming past huge sections than you are the most likely to succeed. This tells me that you have resolve and working for your rewards is not beneath you.
The majority of people who read this post who have nice guy syndrome will completely ignore everything I have said. They will have their list of justifications and to them I say good riddance. I can’t help someone who thinks their isn’t a problem.
To the people who have taken what I have said to heart the next step is using it. Information by itself is worthless. Applying and using it is what makes it the most valuable commodity out their even more valuable than time.
If you read through the action steps than you know just how much work needs to be done for you to get even a little more close to your goal. This is a solid 5 year commitment. Yes 5 long gruesome years. If you can manage that then great otherwise don’t even bother.
Developing self respect as I describe takes months and and months of hard work it doesn’t come overnight. Developing all the new habits also takes a while. Each habit taking 2 months on average.
Side Effects Of Being Nice
So if you are not nice and become self centered. When you respect yourself and pay attention not to who likes you but to who you like than your life will become much better. Although you will gain a measurable amount of happiness you will lose some friends.
America hates the man who values himself. You will be called so many names, and by not being nice some doors will be closed to you. You could be deceitful and be nice only when it serves you but such calculations are exhausting and once you get caught all credibility goes out the window.
You lose something but you also gain something.
I have given you a gift like no other. Subscribe and maybe I will bestow another.