Nice Guys

The term “nice guy” is a very popular term, though it is often viewed in a negative light. The most common definition of a “nice guy” is as an informal term for an (often young) adult male who portrays himself with characteristics such as being gentle, compassionate, sensitive and vulnerable. This definition is straight from the Wiki, but this is only half of the definition. There is nothing wrong with a male being gentle, compassionate nor vulnerable, these are actually admirable traits, but why do the “nice guys” get such a bad rap. The reason is that “nice guys” actually do not possess these traits, rather it is a performance/behavior tailored towards achieving a specific goal. The complete definition of a “nice guy” is a male who acts compassionate, sensitive and vulnerable for the purpose of achieving a certain goal. 

The men who put other people before themselves without expecting anything in return are the truly nice guys, these are good men.

 

“Nice guys finish last”, as guys, we have all heard this saying. It basically means that nice guys usually do not achieve their goals, but why is that the case?  A genuinely nice guy has no agenda, no target goal nor reason to be nice, they do it from the heart. This concept does not apply to them. Again, if you have an agenda for being nice, you are a “nice guy”. If things do not go their way “nice guys” do a complete 180 and show their true colors.  Some examples of “nice guy” behaviors include; buying a drink for a girl so she can talk to you, or doing favors for others so they can like you. 

 

So why do “nice guys” finish last? It is because other people can tell that you are not genuine. Your agenda, conscious or subconscious, affects your mental state thus subtly influencing your actions. Some people can notice these subtleties and reach a conclusion of your character. This is possible due to the Theory of Mind which is the ability to attribute mental states to oneself, and to others, and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own. This is used when analyzing, judging, and inferring others' behaviors.

 

This is a pretty common ability that is developed in us through multiple social interactions. When you interact with another person, you analyze their behavior by using your personal experiences and mental database of previous social interactions. An easy example would be a simple smile; most people can tell the difference between a fake smile and a genuine smile. Think about how you can tell the difference. How did you learn how to do that?

 

A good way to test yourself to check if you may be displaying “nice guy” behavior is to ask yourself; “Am I doing this to gain something, and if there was absolutely nothing to gain, would I still do this?”.

The best antidote to “nice guy” behaviors is honesty and strength. The strength to be honest with yourself and with others. This is a lot easier said than done because there are certain social situations where it can be difficult, for example, if you are new to an area and you want to make friends.

The best advice would be learning to be strong enough to give from the heart, without expecting something in return. 

Post in the Forum what you struggle with if you think that you are a "nice guy". Also share and comment what you guys would want to read for the next post!

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The Confident Man. 2019.

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