Being a Nice Guy
These days it's all about getting what you want, right? A take-no-prisioners-get-out-of-my-way attitude to ascend to the top of whatever life goal you set to achieve before age 30. Get that high paying job, premium status, hot girl, nice house and sports car at all costs no matter who you need to mow over to make it happen. The road many guys are taking because, well, it's worked. No need to search far and wide for examples all you need to do is look at politics, reality television, the workplace and of course the internet. Matter of fact google 'being a nice guy' right now.......no really go ahead. Notice phrases and themes similar to "nice guys rarely takes the initiative", "nice guys always end up in the friend zone" or "nice guys are pushovers" and many more.
Yes, being nice is not the status quo.
It is understandable though, it is tough when the thought of being nice is considered a sign of weakness in a world that is more aggressive, arrogant and impatient - in everything. Try to have a conversation with someone who is constantly interrupting, talking over and never allowing anyone to state a case, it's seems easier to loose patience and get aggressive then letting that person know in nice way about their actions. Or the arrogant coworker who always says he's the best programmer, mechanic or (insert profession) and will go out of his way to take credit for ideas and projects from other workers and get the pay raise and praise. it's easier to follow suit and act in the same manner instead of confronting this person and letting your manager know what's really going on. But let's take a moment to think and imagine shall we. Let's say every man on earth was a complete ass or self-centered ego maniac with no regard for anyone, yes, even your favorite Amazon Prime delivery driver is included in this. Imagine a world where little kids would ask for autographs from their favorite sport players and the players would look the kid in the eye and say "sure, pay up, I don't do autographs for free". Imagine bullies being awarded medals of honor and specialized training camps for bulling would not only be normal but highly encouraged. Common courtesy, at it's best, is ending a relationship with your girlfriend via text because a face to face conversation would make you miss the new episode of Love and Hip Hop and who has time for that. And best of all having a bucket list that includes accomplishing a date rape before the age of 45 with the same societal acceptance as working up to a promotion for senior vice president.
See a problem, we all cannot be jerks all the time no one wins.
We don't want to be the complete jackass but being the nicest guy in the world may not get the end result that is desired either, what's the magic pill we need to take to get past this dilemma. Believe it or not as ridiculously simple as this may sound it does work and in many areas of life - maintain balance, here are three points to consider:
1) Don't be the nicest guy, just be a good guy:
Aren't these one in the same you ask. No, because when you are good to someone you set limitations on what you will tolerate, nice guys in an effort to maintain niceness have no limit of tolerance (and why they become the confidant and not the date). A good person will say to a friend you gained a few pounds I'll workout with you, or to a work bud 'lost your confidence lately? let's go to a game', or call you out for doing something stupid. These things are said not because a good person is seeking brownie points but because this person isn't sugarcoating issues just to ease your feelings so you can be a constant victim.
2) Just say no:
Showing a little backbone and saying 'no' every so often reminds people that you are not an IKEA welcome mat. You are all for helping, listening, doing, transporting whoever, whatever, to wherever and performing reasonable tasks but if the girl you are cool with (and want to hook up with) wants you to pick up her dry cleaning, help her move across town because you're such nice guy (and happen to have a truck) and call you up to talk about work drama, throw a couple 'no's' in there. Being completely accessible suggests with great certainty you have no family, hobbies, friends or other activities that occupy a good deal of your time besides this person. Don't be a wide open gate letting people come on through and dump their requests on your lawn of tranquility.
3) Speak Your Mind:
Do not suppress your need to voice your concern, knowledge and experience on certain matters and in many situations. Communication and the ability to communicate in social settings is key and showcasing that ability demonstrates you are a person who under no circumstances lets anyone verbally abuse them on any level. It can be as simple as speaking your mind during a team meeting on the lack of upper management support or if you are out at dinner and an undesirable item ends up in your food you let your dissatisfaction known, not just suffer in silence. On the flip side there are times in life you should hold your tongue and let events unfold naturally for the greater good. Just as an example, your parents keep nagging you about why you aren't married yet at age 33 with a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo however you decide not to say for the umpteenth time that you are focused on work and still prefer dating. Why cause another unwarranted "discussion". Speak your mind, don't be a punk, pick your battles accordingly.
Being nice is a quality characteristic more of us men to accept and implement in our daily lives dealing with people, yes even family. It could be as simple as a "thank you" to the person who holds the door open for you, not being overly aggressive to the customer service rep when your order goes wrong (your issue will be dealt with easier if you stop all the b.s.) To generalize all nice men and label them as weak, fragile, pushovers who never get the girl types out of sheer miseducation and misunderstanding is as ignorant as assuming all black male college students are only in school for sports. Ummm, no. As mentioned earlier the end goal we should strive for is balance of that nice guy and jerk, that Jekyll and Hyde, street dude and Ivy league, it is work but we are always working to improve ourselves to be the man you want to be. Keep this in mind, even Jesus had to get a little gangsta and run those money changers up out of the temple.