Both nice guys and nice girls are repeatedly manipulated and are taken for granted. Their nice persona evokes predatory tendencies in conniving people. They give away their valuable time, energy and money to complete strangers for free in hopes of getting their attention and approval. It often backfires and they easily become the target of people who want to exploit their weakness.
Genuinely nice people are a true gem. Their smile and undivided attention feels great. Everything they do for people around them make the world a better place. They know when to stand their ground. They have a strong moral compass and can tell right from wrong. Genuinely nice people won’t bend over backwards or lose their originality to please some stranger they have just met.
What is nice guy syndrome?
On the other hand, the inauthentic ‘Nice Guys’ are super unattractive. Though on the surface they appear to be kind, their portrayal of nice guy screams their lack of self-worth. They need to please everyone at the expense of his own happiness and well-being to feel worthy of being a man. Such nice guys are epitome of a pushover. They lack healthy boundaries and authenticity which repels people around them.
The bad boys aka alpha asshole kind of man have no issues attracting people and being popular in their social circle. While Nice guys keep asking themselves ‘I am so nice, kind and caring, why don’t people like me?’, Bad boys exactly know what they want and aren’t afraid to go for it. They don’t care if they are liked or not, they give shit about external validation. They are cool and they know it. However, they won’t tolerate being disrespected. On the other hand, nice guys are often fine with being disrespected, if they know they are accepted and being liked by people. They have no issues being a pushover and are willing to sacrifice their dignity for social acceptance and external validation.
What makes nice guys so unattractive?
Bad boys are like a stone. They are rigid and well defined. Their views and attitude do not change depending on their surroundings. They are self-assured. You might not like texture or color a particular stone. It might not fit your particular stone criteria. However, your assessment (or perception of people in general), will in no way impact the stone. You can yell at, bite or kick the stone. The stone knows what it is. Take it or leave it. The stone will not change anything about itself to suit your liking.
In contrast, a Nice Guy is like a moist lump of clay (or dough). They take the shape of whatever you want and mold themselves according to the pressure applied on them. Their entire existence is contextual. For example, when a woman goes on a date with a Nice guy all of her questions will be met with attempts to conform to her expectations. If she says, ‘Do you like Indian food?’, the nice guy would say, ‘I Don’t know, your choice is my choice.’ At no point will she be able to get a solid definitive response from mushy dough man because Nice guys are conformists. They do not challenge or put their own views on the table. They are just too scared of rejection and conflict.
Sometimes, we need a sturdy person to push our boundaries, to challenge us to do things we are scared of, to give us the adrenaline rush. Someone who can be our partner in crime. A nice guy can’t do this. They are unsure about themselves. How can they give us the confidence and support we need to travel on an uncharted territory?
Who are Nice Guys?
This dynamic with nice guys creates a crisis of authenticity. Not only is it difficult for people to definitively know the nice guys but nice guys don’t even know who they are themselves. Let’s say there is a Nice guy named Adam, as an example. Adam spent years writing poems and books on chivalry and courtly love. Then one day a pretty blond girl told Adam about how chivalry is a sign of patriarchy and is against gender equality. Next thing you know, Adam has thrown chivalry out the window and is asking people to sympathize with victims of chivalry on social media. So the question is: Who really is Adam? What does he really believe? Does he think that chivalry is good? Or does he believe that it is oppressive? He’s taken both positions. Which one does he actually believe? Does he even know?
There is something inherently unpleasant and disconcerting about Nice guys. The unnerving feeling is felt strongest by women who are naturally more suspicious then men due to their threat perception and sensitivity to physical harm. Imagine you are a woman and your Nice boy-friend hands you a dozen roses while telling you he loves you. Now you might wonder, did he really do it out of love or does he wants to manipulate you into sex? Is he apologizing for something? Is he going to ask for a favor in return? The inherent anxiety of unknowability destroys the feeling of love and romance those roses could have created.
Now imagine that you are a woman and that your emotionally flat boyfriend just gave you a dozen roses. You know he isn’t manipulating you into sex because he already knows what color panties you are wearing, or if you are wearing one at all. He isn’t trying to influence your emotions and you are sure he is definitely never going to apologize for all the shit he puts you through. He gave you roses because he just wanted to. When a bad boy gives roses they are ‘roses’. When a Nice guy gives roses they are a ‘pretext’. A pretext to make you like him, a pretext for a favor and your validation.
Why Nice Guys Finish Last? – Nice Guy Syndrome
The truth about why nice guys finish last is far darker and more interesting. People know they can be emotionally impulsive and careless when in love. They know that without a sturdy person holding them accountable they can lose track of life. The problem is that a Nice guy can’t tell no.
Like a child, the Nice guy is powerless to stop you from being bad or taking wrong decisions because he needs your approval to function. A Nice guy can’t stop you and be assertive. All their decisions need your approval, they put you on pedestal and make you the de facto leader in the relationship. They cannot set healthy relationship boundaries for you and themselves and therefore you secretly begin to despise them for it.
Nice guys are unreliable, unknowable and undependable. They might tell you all about their fitness and diet regimen to gain your validation and social approval, but then they’ll skip the gym and eat a cheese sandwich when they are alone. A nice guy would rather let people insult him, then protect the dignity by telling you a firm No!
There is nothing noble or enviable about Nice guys. They have no thoughts, convictions and values that are held fast and only change for good reason. Nice guys are nothing more then what people and their social circle environment tells them to be.
How to avoid being Mr. ‘Nice Guy’
Stand up for yourself and say: No! Learn to put your needs above others. A little dose of Narcissism is essential for self-preservation. Do things that are good for your growth as a person.
Exercise for a fit body, read books to make yourself smarter, learn how to be mysterious and dominant. Stop avoiding conflict and stand up for yourself.
Take charge of your life and be the leader. Build a social network of people you respect. Climb the social hierarchy. Achieve success in your career and make lots of money. But most importantly, do all these things for yourself and not to please anyone else.
Learn to live for yourself and make yourself happy first and foremost. When you are successful and confident, the aura of happiness will automatically attract people. Now, it will be upon you, to choose the right company and people to keep in your life.
Emily is an INFP who believes that people should always live their lives to the fullest everyday. She loves her dog JiJi. Emily has graduated from University of Michigan and is a passionate relationship blogger who is looking forward to her career as relationship and dating coach. She is an avid book reader with special liking for romance, horror and sci-fi genre. You can find her on Tumbler.