I assume everyone’s heard the saying “Nice guys finish last” sometime during their experience in society and pop culture – which, on the surface, seems to indicate that you can’t be successful if you consider yourself a typically nice person. It’s a popular misconception that has insidiously become entrenched in the back of our subconscious minds, regardless of how much we believe or seem to have experienced it. Therefore, I have decided drop some rational truth bombs to destroy the confusion of this potentially toxic and confidence-lowering mindset, and stop it harming your interpersonal relationships with others – particularly members of the opposite sex, in a more romantically hopeful and less platonic context.
First we should probably define was “nice guy” is referring to, because it could mean different things to different people. It’s not so black and white – there are many aspects to consider, instead of simply categorising people into being nice and not being nice. Generally speaking, the underlying themes are very common. Guys will often fail, either with the general dating scene or with one particular woman they’re interested in, and directly attribute it to how “nice” they were. Which indicates a misinterpretation of its meaning and relevance, shifting the focus away from the things that actually matter and make a bigger difference.
We certainly don’t live in an idealistic world where virtues of goodwill are automatically and instinctively rewarded, for many reasons, but being nice alone doesn’t detract from your ability to attract a member of the opposite sex. Women won’t begrudge you for having good intentions and caring about them – in fact, this foundation is often required for them to trust and care about you in return. However, this is often confused with other beliefs and traits that are going to have a negative impact on your chances, which often stems from a lack of real-world experience.
Similar to “confidence” (less fear and more willingness to take action), guys are often led to believe that being more friendly and likeable directly correlates to creating more interest and attraction with the opposite sex. This mindset typically works against you, because it perpetuates an overcompensating desire for acceptance and belonging based on wanting everyone’s approval – peer pressure can incidentally homogenise your natural behaviours and expressions, with a fear of standing out from the crowd. You become overly-concerned about doing the “right” (nice and considerate) thing, by everyone else’s standards. But the quiet paranoia stifles your confidence, creating a negative cycle that moves you further away from what you want, and who you want to be.
This is particularly evident with guys who are holding onto social anxiety and limiting beliefs, who are passive and overly agreeable by nature, less willing to take chances and risk creating any conflict or tension. It’s almost like cultivating the very possibility of rejection means they’re not a “nice” person, which would challenge their identity and create a sort of morality crisis. It’s simply because they haven’t developed enough first-hand experience and momentum to progressively free themselves, acting more in-line with their true self, realising rejection and failure is a normal part of life, becoming less influenced by others (and less inclined to measure their success by how “nice” they are to others). This freedom and true self-expression is what “naturals” generally have instilled earlier in life, in terms of their understanding and success with women, and why they’re seen as the relaxed and effectively blasé opposite of a “nice guy” (different qualities and attitude for different outcomes). This is frequently perpetuated in the media; art imitates life.
Some of the greatest minds and achievers in the world have garnered attention by going against the grain, or at least, been brave enough to have an edge that doesn’t directly pander to preconceived notions of what is expected and rewarded (regardless of the context of their individual success). Something to believe in, something to strive towards – demonstrating some kind of independence, boldness and leadership qualities that underpin a man’s role in the courtship process. Instead of being just nice and thinking that’s enough.
It’s about standing up for yourself, making your own decisions and challenging the status quo when need be that gives you strength of character and resilience, which is going to give you a more (unique) appeal and better chance at bringing women into the world you define for yourself, without relying on others to make you happy. Developing social skills, being a leader and inspiring others in a positive way – this is what higher value and status is all about, which certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by members of the opposite sex. And it doesn’t compromise your ability to be caring and considerate, for those who deserve care and consideration in your life.
Additionally, guys who consider themselves “nice” often don’t feel like they deserve the attention of attractive women, therefore acting in alignment with a lack of entitlement and sabotaging their chances (often justified with excuses that only make sense to them). If they manage to overcome this and bring a woman into their life, they can still have a much higher chance of losing her, due to developing a scarcity mentality and exuding neediness. They feel like being in control or having options isn’t a “nice” thing, so they become eager to please and let the woman call the shots – letting her decide whether you’re good enough, instead of the other way around.
Am I suggesting that you stop being nice to everyone and start being more like a stereotypical, self-centered “bad boy” to get the girl? No. It’s more about having self-respect, being a more confident version of yourself that leads instead of follows, and realising you’re not going to get along with everyone – but for those you do get along with, the connection will be stronger and have a better chance of developing. Live in abundance, yet cherish and reward those you genuinely click with, without being too attached or living with a constant fear or loss.
It’s also about learning (through experience) the crucial balance when it comes to being a nice person – too much and you risk being perceived as weak, lacking an interesting edge and unable to challenge or intrigue a women into chasing and winning you over. The cute puppy dog “Friend Zone”. However, you don’t want to immediately think it’s solved by veering too far in the opposite direction, since you might come across as arrogant and unable to empathise or relate to others, putting you out of touch with women you pursue (and possibly people in general as well). The selfish and over-confident “Jerk Zone”. Most people reading this could probably relate to experiencing both at some point in their lives.
Granted, some people respond well to niceness (however you personally interpret/embody it) and some will respond better to less niceness – in this sense, it also boils down to getting a better understand of who you are, who you want to be, and what you’re really looking for. Chances are, being a “nice guy” isn’t the reason you seem to be “finishing last” (not being happy or achieving what you want). Yet it’s amusing how often people will backwards rationalise it as the truth – oblivious to where being “nice” fits into the whole equation, and the much more important things to consider beyond this topic alone. And by amusing, I mean quite alarming. Don’t be one of those guys, and help others realise the truth as well, so that we may have a generation of “good guys” that have a positive self-image and can succeed, without having to label themselves “nice guys” or otherwise.