Why Being a ‘Nice Guy’ Will Ruin Your Life

We live in a world where we always tend to believe that there’s a protagonist and an antagonist. When there is a bad guy messing everything up in your life, there will always be a good guy that will save the day.

In the real world, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s not always black and white, the good versus evil kind of thing we’re all living in. Sometimes, there are gray areas where you’re not really sure which is which. After all, there is this popular belief that the ‘road to hell is paved with good intentions.’ That means, there’s always a dark side to every good deed.

We always tend to believe in New Year’s resolutions by making up for the lost time by doing good deeds the next time around. There is an inner child in us that yearns for Santa Claus to reward us with gifts for all the good things we did in the past year. Yet we end up falling for these half-empty promises and end up doing things we ought not to do. It’s pointless when we screw ourselves over and over again. If there is one resolution that we need to get over with - it has to be stopping the nice guy act.

According to renowned psychotherapist and mental health expert Rober Glover, a prototypical nice guy is a complex character. You probably know a nice guy out there. They are a great listener, whose female friends would view them as a ‘catch’, yet they are the ones who end up dateless on weekends. They can be the husband who does what it takes to please the wife but in a bland relationship. They have this appearance of perfection yet living a life that’s falling apart. It’s truly an enigma to be in their shoes.

Are You a Nice Guy?

We are all wired up to do the ‘right thing’ but that doesn’t mean we’re playing the ‘nice guy’ card. Being nice to someone may not be the same thing for others. Even nice guys have their own unique set of characters that would differ from person to person. Much of our traits have been nurtured when we were growing up and there might be characteristics already inborn genetically.

Have you ever watched "The Truman Show"? Just imagine your life is scripted to everything that you do to the point that making a different choice would end up being the same thing you expected things to be. Nice guys want to live a life like that. They want to do ‘right’ things all the time because it’s the key to having a happy, problem-free life. Unfortunately, the real world doesn’t go straight forward as we want it to be.

So what makes someone a ‘nice guy’?

1. Giver

Anyone who feels good when giving something to others without anything in return is the most recognizable aspect of a nice guy. They believe that their generosity will make other people love and appreciate them. Aside from that, they are the type of people who take their time to help solve a problem and find out what your circumstances are - whether you’re sad, angry, or depressed. They do these things without being asked.

2. Selfless

They tend to have difficulty prioritizing their own needs over others because they feel it’s too selfish to put themselves first. That means, they put their partner at the center of their world so that they will feel happy when their partner is happy. They put all their time and effort into their intimate relationships.

3. Validation-Seeker

You know a typical nice guy is when they seek approval from others because the worst thing for them is when they get rejected at anything.

4. Conflict Dodger

As they normally avoid disapproval and rejection, they tend to avoid conflict because they think it makes their lives complicated so they don’t want to upset the status quo, upset anyone, or rock the boat.

5. Insecure

We think of them as flawless characters, but they hide their true selves because of their insecurity. They hide their perceived flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings. Another thing to know is that they also repress their feelings because they tend to overanalyze a lot of things as showing their true feelings is a waste of their time and effort.

The Dark Side of Being Nice

Most nice guys tend to have a unique childhood since they always seek approval from controlling parents so they end up growing up wanting to be different from their fathers and always comfortable relating with women.


They usually have absent, philandering, or alcoholic fathers so they try to become someone not their dad when they grow up. They have few male friends because they believe they are different from other men - not the traits they link to their dads.

As much as we see it as a good thing, there is a dark side as nice guys are often viewed as ‘unassertive’ and ‘non-masculine.’

The Nice Guy Syndrome

Women characterize nice guys in a bad light as boring, shy, and unattractive, unlike certain ‘bad boy’ characters who are confident, attractive, sexy, and exciting. This distinction helped perpetuate the stereotype that nice guys are seen as overbearing, controlling, and lacking in vision and ambitions because of their insecurity. Women tend to put an end to relationships by viewing someone as a nice guy thereby ‘friendzoning’ them in the process.

When men use their ‘nice guy’ persona and expect to get something in return from women, there is this resentment when they end up relegated to the sidelines as the opposite persona tends to get the women instead. People who display wealth, good looks, dominance, and confidence tend to succeed more in romance than 'nice guys.'

Our belief in a ‘knight in shining armor’ to save the ‘princess in distress’ doesn’t necessarily happen in real life.

How come being nice can be such a bad thing?

The issue lies when someone is struggling to grasp the seriousness of their beliefs and behaviors. When you’re labeled as a ‘nice guy,’ it’s not just about your actual behavior but more about the core belief system about yourself and the world around you. When you have been taught to be nice to people by doing the right thing for a long time, you end up believing that you deserve the reward and admiration that go along with it. You are conditioned to believe that being nice would mean you will have a good life.

‘Nice Guys Finish Last’

Opposing the common belief that nice guys always win is the fact that they rely too much on good deeds and don’t have the killer instinct and drive to succeed. When you’re stereotypically described as friendly, kind, or courteous, no one would surely believe that you can be competitive and hungry enough to get on top. In the theory of evolution, it’s always survival to the fittest and being nice has no place in it. Even in mate selection, most women tend to believe that they know what to expect from nice guys so they choose the bad boys because it gives them a challenge.

We live in a cutthroat world where someone would take advantage of those who appear slow, weak, and helpless.

Final Thoughts

We have reached a point where artificial intelligence, algorithms, and data science now determine who’s naughty or nice. Even if we make that decision, it only takes a fraction of a second to determine who is nice or not by swiping left or right in a dating app. We make value judgments on the go without knowing the backstory of every individual.

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