No more Mr. Nice Guy.
June 13, 2002 2:20 PM   Subscribe

No more Mr. Nice Guy. Nice guys have believed a myth, this myth is the essence of what I call the Nice Guy Syndrome. The Nice Guy Syndrome represents a belief that if Nice Guys are good, they will be loved, get their needs met, and live a problem-free life.
Are you a nice guy? Take the test, if you are, better hurry, there are still therapy groups available!
posted by patrickje (35 comments total)

Yes, by all means men should be less nice to others, especially women. What a great concept.

I didn't bother to download the chapter, but if this person trying to hawk their book and seminars really wants to help people, I would hope they would instead repackage this as how weak willed people or generous people that get taken advantage of can stop the cycle.

I'm a "nice guy" and I've been harrased by men and women alike at points in my life and I've learned how to spot manipulative people or people that don't respond well to openness or generosity, and I act accordingly around them.

This however, is garbage:

In general, nice guys share the following characteristics:

Nice guys seek the approval of others.
Nice guys try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.
Nice guys put other people's needs and wants before their own.
Nice guys sacrifice their personal power and often play the role of a victim.
Nice guys tend to be disconnected from other men and from their own masculine energy.
Nice guys co-create relationships that are less than satisfying.
Nice guys create situations in which they do not have very much good sex.
Nice guys frequently fail to live up their full potential.

posted by mathowie at 2:47 PM on June 13, 2002

If a "nice guy" is being nice just because they "will be loved, get their needs met, and live a problem-free life," then he isn't really a nice guy.

Real nice guys do it because it's in their nature, not because they might get something out of it.

And I reject the whole dog-pack metaphor of alpha males and beta males. There's a whole range of personalities/life strategies between the extremes of subservient butt-licker and "me big man, look at my nuts, sniff my butt" types.
posted by yesster at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2002

I call bullshit on this guy. Notice that in his bio he doesn't say where his "doctorate" comes from. My guess is a crackerjack box.

He says: The concept of the Nice Guy Syndrome grew out of Dr. Glover's search for answers to his own confusion and frustration in love and life. No matter how hard he tried to be a good man and make other people happy, he never seemed to get back as much as he believed he gave.

So, co-eds weren't putting out like he thought they should, women didn't fetch his slippers in their teeth, and someone spit when he wanted them to swallow.

Yep, I call bullshit.
posted by dejah420 at 3:01 PM on June 13, 2002

The Dark Combinator has the answers.

posted by badstone at 3:03 PM on June 13, 2002

yesster: while I don't find myself running right out to buy his book.. that's what his book SAYS ... that these guys aren't actually nice.. they can often be manipulative and devious though they're convinced they're nice guys...

at least look into something before you voice criticism that's actually exactly what the book is saying ;-)
posted by twiggy at 3:08 PM on June 13, 2002

i think i'll stop my nice guy ways just long enough to comment on what an idiot that author is, what a stupid book that is, and that i'd rather walk on my lips across the gobi desert than ever take such clueless, misogynistic advice.

all the proof i need is:

me = nice = wonderful wife

and, this guy isn't peddling this schlock to mean guys who Act nice and don't want to, he is trying to sell his book to guys who are more meek/shy than NICE. I hope that if he has daughters they never date any of his disciples.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2002

i know i'm very open about my perceived flaws and mistakes, so i don't fit that part of The Nice Guy.

The Nice Guy is boring, i think. so is The Nice Girl, for that matter. would you really want your most defining characteristic to be the one that deals with how you treat other people? i like to think i am a guy who tries to be nice as a rule. you know: treat others as you'd like to be treated. i don't want to justify Glover's argument at all, because i think he is arguing in favor of a self-serving rather than a self-sacrificing ideology. the extremes, in this case, are to be avoided i think.

there was a show on NBC for a while. i'm not sure if it runs anymore. it starred a girl -- i can't recall her name, but she had curly, shoulder-length blonde hair -- who worked for a magazine i believe. she was engaged to a guy that wore polo shirts every day and bought goofy knick-knacks from Williams-Sonoma. she was engaged to The Nice Guy, and she cheated on him in the first episode of the show.

i felt bad for him, at first. that really sucks, i thought, because i relate to a person who is nice. but in a symbolic sense, her infidelity was to be expected. the guy was such a charicature that all he had going for him was being Nice. i realized love isn't purely reaction; it's not a purely a reward for how someone treats you.

don't be The Nice Guy. be nice, but be many things.
posted by moz at 3:16 PM on June 13, 2002

The things he identifies as nice though are incorrect.

I consider myself to be a pretty nice guy, but it's not because I 'm a wuss. I don't mind conflict, I'm definately not disconnected from my "masculine energy". I let old ladies have my seat on the bus, I call my mom and chat with her just for the helluvit, and I'm always available if a friend needs to chat or needs some help. There's a point where I cut people off, but *shrug* You've gotta push me pretty hard.

On the other hand, I also don't think a good time is throwing a frat party and watching football ... which may mean I'm not -really- in touch with my masculine energy.

What does everyone think the definition of a nice guy is? What is the point of the book, really? There are people who are easily taken advantage of everywhere... but should we really label them as 'nice guys'?

And Badstone, was that necessary?
posted by SpecialK at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2002

I don't agree the author, I posted the link because I thought his 'schtick' was so over the top it was funny. I agree with th3ph17 in that whether you are nice or not isn't the factor, it's usually your confidence level. If you are confident, it goes a long way when meeting people. The rub is, if you are nice and confident, the word to describe you is charismatic. If you are an ass and confident, you are an arrogant jerk. Some people respond well to both of these types. Which is where the stereotype about jerks getting the women comes from.
(on a curious side note, I live within a mile of this dude)
posted by patrickje at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2002

The way I see it is that there is a difference between nice and overly nice. Overly nice are afraid of hurting people's feelings, and end up being wishy-washy and indecisive. Nice guys are just that, kind in general, but not afraid to hurt someone's feelings if necessary and stand up for themselves. Overall, most women want someone who's kind of nice, but isn't a pushover. Basically, an equal partner.
posted by stoneegg21 at 3:29 PM on June 13, 2002

Shit...I scored a 32 on the test. I guess I am, well, a NICE GUY by their deffinition. In effect, I guess I need some 'help'. God forbid that I might be a nice guy, or that someday, someone could know me as a....gasp!....'a really nice guy'.

What a load of shit
posted by tiger yang at 4:03 PM on June 13, 2002

I like nice guys. Of whatever gender.

I think this "doctor" has seen Tom Cruise in Magnolia too many times for his own good.
posted by iconomy at 4:07 PM on June 13, 2002

me = nice = wonderful wife

Being nice turned you into a wonderful wife? That sucks, dude.
posted by Dirjy at 4:37 PM on June 13, 2002

would you really want your most defining characteristic to be the one that deals with how you treat other people?

why not? what if serving others is what makes you feel happy and fulfilled? i would agree that treating others well in order to ingratiate yourself to them is probably not so healthy, but, believe or not, some people do it out of a deep personal or spiritual commitment. Some of the strongest, most confident men (and women) I know have devoted their lives to helping others. It seems ridiculous to say that their problem is that they are too willing to sacrifice themselves for others.

on a totally different note, if anyone really wants to cure themselves of niceness, try law school. it usually does the trick.
posted by boltman at 4:45 PM on June 13, 2002

You mean I have to add up the test scores all by myself? Well fuck that No More Mr Nice Guy dot fucking com.
posted by kerplunk at 4:57 PM on June 13, 2002

dance mr. nice dance!
posted by kliuless at 5:23 PM on June 13, 2002

me = nice = wonderful wife

me=nice=newly minted single guy, so who the hell knows?

Besides, I saw that link text and I thought this was gonna be about Alice Cooper. I feel cheated...

*walks away singing*

I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing, till they got a hold of me....
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on June 13, 2002

Reminds me of Tom Cruise's character in Magnolia (best performance of his career, IMHO).

posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:45 PM on June 13, 2002

damn -- i got a 16. i'm truly a horrible person.
posted by aenemated at 5:48 PM on June 13, 2002

aeschenkarmos - totally! I was about to post this picture directly in the thread, but it would be redundant, and I would have gotten taken into the metatalk woodshed by some control-freak jackass.
posted by GriffX at 6:13 PM on June 13, 2002

for those interested, the Tom Cruise-Magnolia character was actually modeled after Ross Jeffries.
posted by dobbs at 6:36 PM on June 13, 2002

"nice" doesn't equal "doormat". I married the nicest man I ever met, although that isn't really proof against the whole 'nice guys finishing last' thing.
posted by sperare at 7:17 PM on June 13, 2002

Ah, Griff... so you're calling Matt a control-freak jackass... Nice of you! (Actually, maybe my biggest problem is... well, that's me on the left... Not really, but...)
posted by SpecialK at 9:10 PM on June 13, 2002

I got a big 17, which, according to the test, means I am :
near perfect, or in denial.

Yes I am, and no, I'm not.
posted by dong_resin at 9:56 PM on June 13, 2002

I got a 44 and yet I like to kick small dogs. Hopefully the paradox won't cause any problems.
posted by jaden at 10:40 PM on June 13, 2002

Damn. I got a 32. I needs to whup my bitches more.
posted by mrhappy at 11:01 PM on June 13, 2002

37 here.
Mmmh... I have to react. I'll let her pay for lunch today.
posted by XiBe at 3:10 AM on June 14, 2002

I keep expecting to see the line, "Respect the cock."

My theory on nice guys, since proven many times over: After women are tired of the beaters and cheaters, they come calling for the nice guys. How many ex-girlfriends and past female friends, in the throes of divorce or wretched break-up, rang my phone saying, let's get together? Plenty.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:54 AM on June 14, 2002

So when do we line up all the 12s and all the 48s and see who wins in a pitched battle?
posted by rory at 5:06 AM on June 14, 2002

I'm weak. I paid for both lunches.
So sue me.
posted by XiBe at 8:18 AM on June 14, 2002

After women are tired of the beaters and cheaters, they come calling for the nice guys.

Bah, who wants women so stupid that they overlooked (or consciously chose to avoid) the nice guys in the first place in favor of "beaters and cheaters?" Hell with 'em.
posted by rushmc at 8:26 AM on June 14, 2002

i guess it comes down to your definition of the word "nice." whenever i hear men complaining about "why don't women like nice guys?" i think to myself--well, you've gotta have something else going for you than just being nice. you need to have a personality, for instance. if nice="doormat" or nice="i want to get laid," then no thanks. if nice="treating people, including self, with respect," then we're talking.

being nice to someone just for some sort of approval is a problem for both men and women. i've seen women let guys paw them all over without saying a word to them, even though they feel uncomfortable with it. then when i say "well, why didn't you tell them to stop?" they say "i was being nice." same thing with guys, except it seems to be more with emotional manipulation then the problem of women putting their paws all over them.

and if nice guys are sitting there wondering why the women they are attracted to like the "beaters or cheaters" as someone so eloquently put it, they should perhaps wonder why they are attracted to these women in the first place.

but what do i know? i'm just a bitch.
posted by witchstone at 8:53 AM on June 14, 2002

i got a 17 but definitely consider myself to be on the nice guy side of things. methinks they framed the question/answers wrong. "always" and "never" are so absolute i wouldn't pick them. "very often" and "very infrequently" would have probably led to a much different result.

maybe i got 17 because i'm a semantic bitch.
posted by juv3nal at 8:43 PM on June 15, 2002

I know for a fact that I have lost several opportunities for romance due to not being enough of an asshole. One woman told me how much of a jerk her father was, then started dating a guy who was just like her dad and, by her own admission, a terrible choice for a boyfriend.

I have become one with the situation, however. I would rather be single for the rest of my life than become a walking, talking penis merely to get women.
posted by kindall at 11:14 PM on June 15, 2002

Well put, witchstone.
posted by dong_resin at 10:35 AM on June 16, 2002

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