No Longer Being “Mr. Nice Guy” Can Improve Your Relationships and Life
By Amy Phillips-Gary
Are you a man who is nice at all costs?
Do you work hard to please others in your life-- your boss, your partner, your friends and family?
If so, you have joined what seems to be a trend lately. Some sources estimate that 1 in 4 men consider themselves “nice guys” who often bend over backwards to try and meet the needs of the people in their lives.
'So what's wrong with being 'Mr. Nice Guy' and trying to please others?” you might be asking yourself.
Of course, there's nothing wrong or bad about being a caring and sensitive person who is helpful and giving. Big troubles arise, however, when a man continually puts his needs first and always says “yes”-- even if inside he is shouting “NO!”
We've all been in situations in which we agreed to something that wasn't what we really wanted and then ended up feeling resentful about it.
Many men are working hard to counter the years of damage wrought by “macho men” or “chauvinist pigs.”
This was the stereotype of a man who expects to be served by the women in his life (especially when it comes to domestic matters). According to this image, he is tough and even crude at times.
The “macho man's” masculinity is all wrapped up in working toward and achieving his goals, regardless of whom he runs over to get there.
To be fair, even the most macho or chauvinistic men of decades past were probably not as uncaring and insensitive as they were portrayed as being.
But, the stereotype persists. Some men today have made the intention-- perhaps unconsciously-- to be a “nice guy” instead of a “macho man.”
Maybe you told your wife that you'd take the kids to the zoo when you desperately wanted some time to just relax and kick back that afternoon.
Perhaps you agreed to take on a co-worker's responsibility at the office to help out, even though you already feel overwhelmed by your own workload.
It could be that you said, “Of course, I will,” to a friend who asked you to help clear out his garage, even it's your only day off that week and your back has been hurting lately.
Why “Mr. Nice Guy” will only undermine your relationships and aspirations...
When you play the “nice guy” at all costs to you, not only do you often end up resentful, you may also feel powerless and trapped.
After all, when you have developed the belief that in order to succeed in relationships and life, you need to shove down your true desires and try to please everyone, you lose what's unique and authentic about you.
You may feel conflicted as what you truly want attempts to get your attention from the inside while you also are concerned about upsetting or letting someone down.
All of this internal conflict can lead you adrift. It can take you further from your own knowing and drive.
And, to compound all of this, it is really tough-- if not impossible-- to take responsibility for someone else's happiness.
In the end, when you ignore what you truly want and, instead, constantly try to please others, nobody actually benefits.
Does this mean that the “macho man” is back?
So if you stop being “Mr. Nice Guy,” does it mean that you need to flip into the stereotypes of the unfeeling and self-serving man?
Of course not.
What it does mean is that you can take responsibility for your own happiness and well-being and nobody else's.
You will no longer rely on your ability (or inability) to please others as your reason for feeling successful in relationships, at work or in life overall.
When you stop being a “nice guy,” you stay in touch with what you truly want in a situation.
Sometimes this will mean that you are willing to take the kids to the park and take some “me” time that evening instead.
Other times, it will mean that you are honest with your boss that you are not willing to take on your co-worker's project if you are also expected to do a satisfactory job on the projects for which you are already responsible.
Your honesty will most likely be appreciated and respected by everyone around you. Stay open to new options that you may not have considered before.
You can be sensitive, caring and giving to others and at the same time, honor what you want and need.
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8 years ago