The Nice Guy Syndrome

The Nice Guy Syndrome

One of my passions is seeing men thrive in their personal life and relationships. I believe it is rewarding to see a man be confident and intentional in getting what he wants out of life. Unfortunately, while growing up and in my adult life, I have seen very few men live this out. Most of what I have seen is what Dr. Robert Glover introduced to me as Nice Guys. You can probably identify a Nice Guy from the name. A Nice Guy is the one who is not living up to his full potential but plays it safe, instead. He will do everything for everyone else, but he rarely takes care of himself or his own priorities. He hides his flaws and mistakes as if they don't want anyone to know he is actually human. This comical—but very sad—way of thinking is a very common approach to life that many men fall into. I, myself, am a recovering Nice Guy.  

The Nice Guy syndrome encompasses three main “covert contracts” that he believes will lead to happiness in his life. Covert contracts are contracts that a Nice Guy makes with other people—especially intimate relationships—despite the other person having no knowledge of this agreement. These contracts are usually at an unconscious level for the Nice Guy, as well. Such covert contracts are:

  1. If I am a "good guy", everyone will love and like me.

  2. If I meet others’ needs without them having to ask, they will, in turn, meet my needs without me having to ask.

  3. If I do everything right, I will have a problem-free life.

When these covert contracts are not fulfilled by others, the Nice Guy usually becomes confused, hurt, and resentful. The Nice Guy then goes from being this "perfect", passive man to being passive-aggressive or straight-up aggressive to others. After the destruction, he will go back to being passive and trying even harder at his flawed way of thinking to get what he wants out of life, but to no avail. Dr. Robert Glover's statement is so true when he writes:

"By trying to please everyone, Nice Guys often end up pleasing no one—including themselves."

I will continue expounding the Nice Guy syndrome and how to overcome this way of living for men. What are your thoughts? Have you come across a Nice Guy, or are you one yourself?  

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