Why Nice Guys aren’t really nice
Girl: “He’s such a nice guy, but I don’t feel anything for him”
Guy: “I don’t know why she’s not into me, I’m so nice to her”
Versions of this have been said by both guys and girls. Logically, they think that they should be attracted to each other since he’s being so “nice” and doing everything he can to be sweet and caring for her. Trying to be, what in his mind is, the perfect boyfriend.
But he’s not actually being nice. He’s actually being manipulative.
This is why she’s not attracted to him. He’s not being authentic.
According to famed relationship psychologist John Gottman, trust is the most important quality women seek in a man.
What does this mean? And if you’re being nice, aren’t you being trustworthy?
Trust is deeper than just being honest. It’s more than just telling the truth to each other. That’s only part of it. Trust is also being able to trust your partner is who he says he is. It’s knowing that through the ups and downs your partner will stay the same and be who he says he is.
That’s why a nice guy isn’t trustworthy. He’s not being himself. He’s being nice to get something. He’s being nice because he wants her to like him. He wants her to be with him.
A nice guy can’t be trusted, nor can he be respected. He doesn’t even respect himself, why should she?
If he truly respected himself he wouldn’t just try to be nice and accommodating to her every wish. He would articulate his own needs as well. He would have his own principles and boundaries, and disagree with her if he doesn’t agree. And if his boundaries were repeatedly crossed, he would walk away from her. Because he respects himself too much to let someone else treat him in a way that doesn’t line up with his values.
This is actually what a good guy is. This is what an emotionally mature man would look like. This doesn’t mean he would be selfish and only think of his own needs, or be a bully when he doesn’t get what he wants. That’s the other extreme and would go to the “bad boy” area.
There in the middle between the nice guy and the bad boy is where the mature man resides.
If you’re a nice guy right now, what can you do to start maturing?
Well first, realize that it’s not an overnight switch.
You’re not going to read this or some other book and all of sudden think, “Ok now I’m going to be a mature man, no more mr. nice guy”. Although it would be awesome if we could just instantly become who we want to be and mature instantly, that’s not how psychology works.
To use an old cliché: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The first step is self-awareness. If you realize you’re like this or doing this, then that’s already a huge step. Most people don’t even get to that. If you’re aware of it then you can catch yourself when it’s happening.
The second step is going deeper into your own psychology.
This is the step many people don’t actually do. Usually they intellectually realize what’s going on and they think that fixes it, now they’re “done”. Our brain doesn’t make it that easy for us. You can know something intellectually but still unconsciously keep doing it.
It’s like when you’re attracted to a certain type of girl or guy that’s unhealthy for you, yet you keep attracting or being attracted naturally to the same types over and over. Even if we consciously know we shouldn’t be or we want to be attracted to guys or girls that are better for us.
I’m sure we all know someone that keeps going through the same relationship patterns over and over. Always different versions of the same type of guys or girls. After going through these types of unhealthy patterns, most people that are even slightly self-aware realize that they’re dating the same type of people. Yet, they don’t do anything to break this pattern or look deeper into why they keep doing this.
This second step is much harder and takes more time, it can take months in many cases. It really depends how fast you get to where your compulsive need to be nice is coming from.
Usually it comes from childhood. Most “nice guys”, or we can also call them pleasers, usually were that way as children. They associated that with getting love. They probably received love when they acted nice in some way. So they slowly kept acting like this so they could get love and kept this going throughout their adult romantic relationships. It’s all they know subconsciously. It’s a defense mechanism to believing that you aren’t worthy of love if you were your true self. And no, this “nice” guy persona is not your true self.
It’s a mask you put on.
You obviously need a professional to lead you through it. It’s going to involve a lot of digging through your childhood memories and feelings that are going to make you uncomfortable.
But that’s ok, because on the other side of that is actual happiness. Because you’ll be able drop this nice guy mask and finally be who you are at your core.
Then you’ll not only attract the type of people you want in your life, they’ll also be naturally attracted to you.
Definitely get a therapist if you can afford it, best investment you’ll ever make.
Then, the third step.
Keep doing all of this the rest of your life.
Ok, that’s kind of cheating since it’s not technically a third step, but 3 steps sounded better in my head so here it is.
This is so important. Many guys and girls go through something painful and they learn from it, but then they think they’re done. They think they’re “fixed”.
That’s a surefire way to regress and never really mature. Real maturity comes from realizing you’re always learning and you’re never done. You’re never as mature as you think and you definitely never know as much as you think. The more you learn the more you’ll realize this.
I truly believe for ourselves, and for us to having loving relationships, we always need to be actively learning and growing. Not just about our partner or other external things, but about ourselves.
We should always be maturing ourselves and that’s the key to all of this.
If we can remember and keep working on these 3 steps, then not only will you get rid of this nice guy persona and have more fulfilling relationships, but you’ll have a more fulfilling life as well.