As the word says, «Nice Guys» show themself as being good, honest, sincere and caring, however, Dr. Robert Glover in his book tells us that there is a hidden truth behind this personality type. Glover describes the «Nice Guy» as a person who does not think he is good enough as he is and for that reason tries to please everyone in order to gain their approval.
They have a belief system that they must always do the «right» thing and that they cannot make mistakes. They must become what others expect them to be and hide those behaviors or characteristics that they believe others will react negatively.
Nice Guys will also seek to solve problems or give gifts to others as well as avoid conflict in every situation. They tend to comply with everything that is asked to them and will offer their help even without being asked for it. In relationships they always try to please their partners although they are usually overlooked for not setting boundaries. A common characteristic that nice guys have is to seek validation and approval from others.
Tabla de Contenido:
- 1 How do Nice Guys emerge?
- 2 Covert contract
- 3 And what is the alternative?
- 4 What is the mindset of an integrated man?
- 5 What do we mean by being more aware?
- 6 So, how do we move from being a Nice Guy to an integral man?
- 7 Conclusion:
The «nice guy» will always try to make everyone feel happy even when it undermines their own well-being. They do this not because they really want to do it but to get something in return. That is why their attitudes are dishonest and manipulative, hiding their true intentions.
Traits that characterize the «Nice Guy»:
- They are dishonest and say what they think people want to hear.
- They hide their true intentions
- They use manipulation instead of asking for what they want directly.
- They are controlling
- They only give to get and get frustrated when this doesn’t happen.
- Are passive-aggressive
- They can’t set boundaries or say «No!»
How do Nice Guys emerge?
These thoughts come from childhood where our belief system develops. Naturally, children under the age of 6 are egocentric which means they believe the world revolves around them. They also have a great fear of abandonment because as children are very dependent on their parents or guardians.
For example, if a child is hungry and their mother doesn’t feed them, they fall into thoughts such as «my mother doesn’t feed me, it must be my fault». The same if they cry and no one comes to their aid or someone gets mad at them or their parents abandon them. All of this creates a mentality that they did something wrong and over time this develops a kind of toxic shame along with a thought that everything that happens is their fault. They create a thought that they are undesirable and insufficient people and that they must work hard to please others.
One of the ways «Nice Guys» act is under what is called a «Covert Contract.» This means that a Nice Guy will give something expecting something else in return. Glover states that Nice Guys generally act under three types of covert contracts:
- If I am a Nice Guy to others then everyone is going to love and adore me. And this type of strategy is used especially with women in order to have sex with them. This is definitely a failed strategy as it usually doesn’t work.
- If I care about the needs of others then others will care about my needs. It is for this reason that «Nice Guys» tend to be givers (Givers). They tend to give a lot: give gifts, give surprises, fix other people’s problems, etc. The problem is that they then expect others to return the favors.
- If I always do the «right» thing then I will never have problems. A clear example of this would be: «if I always clean everything in the house my girlfriend shouldn’t get mad», «if I do all the work my boss should be happy» or «if I fix the car it shouldn’t break down».
The «Nice Guys» live their lives with these three covert contracts and in this way they relate to the world and especially to women. The two big problems about these covert contracts is that they are usually unaware that they are acting under these three conditions, and also, no one around them knows what the «nice guy» is expecting from them.
An example of the «covert contract» in action would be a «Nice Guy» holding a door to let another person through believing that he will be appreciated for it. Acting under this thinking is not only dishonest but also ineffective in getting what you want. And when this doesn’t work they become frustrated, resentful and passive aggressive.
And what is the alternative?
A very frequent situation when we want to change something is to do exactly the opposite of what we have been doing. This is why «Nice Guys» often go on to become complete idiots.
The solution is to become a integral man. This is a man who is authentic, honest and sets healthy boundaries. He is comfortable with his sexuality and his masculinity. His thoughts, actions and words are congruent and he lives the way he wants to live. An integral man is respected by some people and hated by others because they do not seek to please everyone. This is because for integral men their values are more important than being accepted or liked by others.
Unfortunately, in our society this type of behavior is often restricted. People will call the integral man selfish for prioritizing his needs, arrogant for liking himself, rude when he is honest and expresses his feelings directly or intolerant for setting boundaries. People will talk a lot but even if they don’t like him, they will respect him.
What is the mindset of an integrated man?
- They have a strong sense of self and self-worth.
- They take care of their needs
- Are comfortable with their masculinity and sexuality
- They are leaders
- Value integrity
- Express their feelings in a very direct manner
- Set healthy boundaries and adhere to them
- Are not afraid of conflict
- Accept their flaws and are not perfect
A big difference between a «Nice Guy» and an integral man is that the latter is more aware of his needs and thoughts.
What do we mean by being more aware?
Humans are one of the few species that have the ability to observe our thoughts. Most animals simply react to those feelings. If they are hungry, they eat. If they get scared, they run. Humans can observe our own behaviors and emotions.
If someone thinks to themselves, «Oh I’m feeling a little lonely today!». The «Good Guy» usually responds immediately to these kinds of impulses to help others and avoid trouble without giving any thought to it. The integral man acts consciously by observing himself and asking, «What would be the right thing to do.»
If you are in college and one of your classmates named Jorge asks you for help with one of the assignments. The nice guy will immediately agree to help him. The integral man will ask himself if he feels he wants to do it under his own motivations. He will remember when he asked Jorge for help and Jorge replied that he was too busy. Then the integral man decides not to help him because he has his own work to do. This does not mean that the integral man never does favors for others but he does it consciously and under his own thoughts. Many «Nice Guys» fail at this in relation to women in an attempt to sleep with them. Again, it usually doesn’t work.
So, how do we move from being a Nice Guy to an integral man?
The truth is that there is no quick fix as making real changes would mean reprogramming our mindset. It is a process. However, here are some of Dr. Glover’s points:
1- Satisfy yourself first
We must dedicate time and money to develop ourselves. A good comparison to this is the oxygen masks on airplanes in emergencies, where they suggest that each person put the mask on first, and that way, they can help those next to them afterwards. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to help those around you.
Dr. Glover also says that a question that everyone should ask themselves at least once in their life is: «If you didn’t care what other people thought about you, how would you live your life? This way we can find what really motivates us more intuitively, both professionally and in our relationships.
We must make ourselves a priority and live for our dreams. This does not mean that we should intentionally cause harm to other people, or that we cannot please our friends or family, but not if it is at the expense of our happiness. This does not mean that sometimes we do things for others just because we want to. The problem would be when we do it expecting something in return or being afraid of the consequences if we don’t.
2- Make our needs a priority
No one but oneself is responsible for satisfying one’s own needs. We must stop blaming others and not victimize ourselves.
As we said before this does not mean behaving like a jerk with others but having a balanced way of behaving and knowing how to say «no» when is necessary. Nice Guys» try to hide their needs to please others, they put others above themselves to gain their acceptance. But the integral man is assertive and open about his needs without fear of confrontation.
It is expressing our feelings, fears, setting boundaries and developing integrity. Let’s not try to control everything. We must be ready to walk away from circumstances and people who are not right for us. We should not try to make a bad relationship work. We must end it and find someone more suitable.
3- Be open to confrontation
Not physically but verbally. Every opportunity for verbal confrontation is an opportunity to move you from being a «Nice Guy» to becoming a integral man. Because if we avoid conflict we also avoid solutions. The more we are exposed to confrontation the more confident and assertive we will be with ourselves. This doesn’t mean to go against the grain all the time but to be open with our thoughts. Be vulnerable, say when we don’t agree with something or give a different opinion than others.
4- Set emotional boundaries
This might be the most important point in the book, especially in relationships with women. Nice Guys» often believe that not setting boundaries, being overly tolerant and accepting everything their partner tells them to do is a beneficial strategy for a relationship. However, Nice Guys often learn in the hard way, this is not true.
Also, «Nice Guys» often choose partners who need help and take on that role of «Fixer» or person who fixes everything. They are attracted to problems and want to fix their partners, as this gives them the opportunity to show themselves as a good boyfriend or husband, and also, get approval.
Those people with well-marked emotional boundaries are those who take responsibility for their emotions and actions. They determine a healthy, strong, non-needy identity. They do not victimize themselves or blame others for what happens to them. Well-marked boundaries are what will strengthen relationships as they stop undesirable behaviors. Boundaries are fundamental to mutual respect.
5- Hang out with other men
According to Dr. Glover there are more and more «Nice Guys.» He says this is because boys grow up being taught primarily by women and have fewer or no male role models. Today, men are absent bacause of divorce, business travel or death. And in addition, modern societies are abandoning the male roles they used to have.
Because of the lack of male role models, young men are not learning essential masculine traits, such as assertiveness, and are basing their behavior on the feminine traits they see. To address this, Glover suggests meeting with healthy masculine men. While there is a benefit to spending time around women to see from a different perspective and learn how they think and interact, surrounding yourself only in groups of women all the time will cause problems.
These are skills that can be put into practice in everyday life. It is a matter of being fearless and confident that we can handle any situation. We must take every opportunity to face fear and look for conflict to grow. Let’s not try to be perfect but better. It’s about observing ourselves and identifying how we sabotage ourselves and asking for help if needed.
Setting healthy boundaries is important to living in a peaceful society. Unfortunately, having too much tolerance is not going to serve us well in relationships, it’s not what it’s all about. Also, it is not easy to develop this skill of saying «No!» however, the benefits are tremendous. Not only will it improve all types of relationships but it will also help us to trust ourselves more.
«No More Mr Nice Guy» offers a great way to approach healthy masculinity. Much of the material in this book is a bitter pill, especially since the changes are difficult for many. But the rewards will be even greater.