The "Nice Guys" archive

Comments - round 36
Comments - round 35
Comments - round 34
Comments - round 33
Comments - round 32
Comments - round 31
Comments - round 30
Comments - round 29
Comments - round 28
Comments - round 27
Comments - round 26
Comments - round 25
Comments - round 24
Comments - round 23
Comments - round 22
Comments - round 21
Comments - round 20
Comments - round 19
Comments - round 18
Comments - round 17
Comments - round 16
Comments - round 15
Comments - round 14
Comments - round 13
Comments - round 12
Comments - round 11
Comments - round 10
Comments - round 9
Comments - round 8
Comments - round 7
Comments - round 6
Comments - round 5
Comments - round 4
Comments - round 3
Comments - round 2
Comments - round 1.5
Comments - round 1
Nice Guys = BLEAH!
Nice Guys we can do without

And Still more comments from and about Nice Guys...

From: "Tom Anderson" (tanderso@oac-design.com)
Subject: nice guys aren't necessarily self-loathing
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 17:00:14 -0400

Your article on Nice Guys(tm) was enlightening. Thank you so much for sharing such genuine and concise insight. It really struck home. However, I think one aspect is perhaps a bit spurious. You seem to contrast "ego-inflated, arrogant jerk" with insecurity and even self-hatred. This presumption was made without any reasoned argument. The real adverse of arrogance would be humility and inhibition. Clearly these are not bad traits, except when taken to the extreme. The problem with Nice Guys is that they lack confidence in themselves, but this does not automatically mean they dislike themselves. You can be quite comfortable in your own skin and still not feel confident skydiving, surfing, skiing, or any other activity you perceive to be risky. The main thing that the Nice Guy dislikes about himself is his lack of confidence regarding relationships, but not necessarily his character, beliefs, or appearance.

With love, as with skiing, one is faced with the catch-22 of needing confidence to be successful, but only gaining confidence after success. Why would someone who is naturally (even perhaps genetically) predisposed to humility presume to feel confident when seeking to attain a relationship having never done it before (or at least not successfully)? Anyone who is cautious will not put themselves out on a limb, particularly if they have done so before and fallen off. Some people have garnered confidence from other arenas such as sports, music, money, wit, friends, etc. This is why jocks, wiseasses, popular or rich guys, etc., are often successful at establishing sexual relationships (but not necessarily keeping them)... because they think that their success in other areas makes them desireable or deserving. Success even raises testosterone levels. Some people are just born with great looks, so they are physically desireable, and this gives them confidence. But what does the Nice Guy have to offer? He hasn't proven himself in anything that anyone has positively reinforced him for. He knows that he has lots of love to give to someone, if only someone would notice.

This doesn't make the Nice Guy deranged. All he wants is a healthy relationship like anyone else. But the fact that he is unconfident and timid makes it difficult to establish one. Here's where your article makes plenty of sense regarding his tactics, but not his reasons. He is not using "underhanded" tactics to "score" with women... he really wants to become intimate with someone, not physically but emotionally. Therefore, he begins relationships at the emotional (friendship) level, rather than at the physical level, and hopes that the whole thing will flesh out as the woman begins to understand how wonderful he is. He is anxious for someone to give him the attention he desires, so that he may prove himself worthy of a fulfilling relationship. In return, he hopes to reward the one who has payed him notice with all of the undirected love he has bottled up. He seeks love, and attention, and confidence. The physical relationship is of course desired at some point too, but that's not usually the primary goal of the Nice Guy when he is interested in someone.

The Nice Guy is genuinely prepared to give the eventual recipient of his love everything she desires. You suggest this is undesireable because women find it too clingy and overwhelming. But the sad state of the matter is that the Nice Guy is only doing everything he can to impress and keep her. So he tries everything he thinks women want... everything they complain they didn't get from their prior arrogant, ego-inflated boyfriends. He gives her attention, and flowers, and gifts. He says he loves her. He doesn't know how much is too much or too little, but he doesn't want to err on the side of too little lest she think he doesn't truly care. So he lays it on thick hoping she'll bask in his appreciation and tell him when enough is enough.

Ok, so maybe this is too much. Why doesn't she just say so? Ask for some space and to tone it down a little. But no, she runs away back to the arrogant pricks who treat her like crap!

[Maybe she DID ask him to tone it down and he JUST DIDN'T GET IT. It has been my experience that whiny "Nice Guys" hear only what they want to hear.]

Maybe if she had stuck it out, she'd have found that reassurance and returned affection would give the Nice Guy the confidence to be a little more even tempered and balanced in his giving and receiving. She'd have found that he really is a Nice Guy who is interested in her happiness and well-being. That he appreciates her and loves her. Why would this be too much to ask? If he indeed continues to act as you portray, then perhaps he is not receiving the positive reinforcement he seeks. He can only reason that if his actions haven't been effective, it's because he hasn't done enough yet, not because he's done too much.

I was a Nice Guy(tm).

[gee. Really? We had no idea.]



I was attracted to and became involved with a "hard luck" case. Just as you say. It's not that I wasn't successful in other areas of my life, but I wasn't successful with women because I was always shy. Intellectually, I was very confident, but not socially. I just think differently than most people. My "hard luck" case I'm sure took advantage of this, as she needed help out of a situation.

[Exude desperation and you attract vultures]

Nonetheless, despite the less-than-sincere nature of our relationship, it was win-win. I felt I had made a connection with someone, and was able to share my emotions and experiences. She found a safe harbor in me. I may have idolized her a bit, and she certainly liked the attention to an extent. I gave her everything she wanted, and all I wanted in return was to be loved and understood. It's years later and we're still together, the Nice Guy and the "hard luck" case. I have the confidence to ask out other women if I wanted to, but I still don't want to. I love her, and she says she loves me. We became engaged. But our relationship became strained. She said she didn't feel deserving. She felt guilty for getting more out of the relationship than I. Does this mean that she never actually gave the one thing I wanted in return, her love? Did she use me and put on an act? For six years?

[Possibly. It probably took a while to get everything she could out of you.]

Or does it mean that she puts more value on the food and the car and the house and the money than her love. I don't. The thing is that I'm actually a Nice Guy, but she can't seem to grasp that. I don't want anything in return but her love. She seems to think that I need more than that though, despite my reassurances.

[No, you idiot, she's trying to get out of it by "letting you down easy" and backing out. That's the classic "it's not YOU, it's ME" statement. Wake up and smell the shit.]

After reading your article, it made me think that I am the cause of our problems. At first read, it made lots of sense. But I don't think there's anything else to be done. Looking inwardly and blaming myself would only breed the insecurity which you point out is not healthy in a long-term relationship. I don't believe I've done anything to precipitate any problems. In fact, she says I'm very confident, and in fact right in most of my decisions where we disagree. I always ask her opinion on decisions, as you say the Nice Guy does, but usually only after I have clearly defined my opinion on the matter and defined some sort of scope in which she could make a decision that I'd be OK with. I do not hate myself. I am not insecure. In fact, until she started talking with an ex behind my back, I was very content. She is not the only source of my happiness, but a large part of it. How could the person you love not be a source of happiness for you? Why is that a burden? I am not burdened by my responsibility to her happiness, only disappointed when I fall short. And why would it be selfish of me to think that I am the best person for her? If I loved her and believed there was someone better, then it would be selfish to hold on!

[Not necessarily better, but equivalent. Truly honest and self-aware people know that there are MANY "right" people for someone out there and no, "one" BEST person.]



The problem is that SHE is not self-confident. SHE feels inadequate.

[Like attracts like. Methinks YOU doth protesteth too much.]

How is it the problem of the Nice Guy, when he provides everything a woman should want, everything she claims to want, and she rejects it? Or would you simply attribute this to me picking someone who is neurotic?

[Yes. And you are RESCUING. No matter what you do, I'll bet at some level, albeit subconscious or underlying things you do, you are giving her the message that she isn't capable of doing this on her own. She NEEDS you. You are reinforcing her insecurity. I can see it just in the way you talk about her in this email. You see yourself as better than she is.]

She does tend to be manic-depressive. Maybe your article doesn't actually apply to me at all, I don't know. Maybe it's staring me in the face, but I don't see it. In any event, I'd surely appreciate any further insight a Heartless Bitch may have. Clearly I have none with regard to women.

[The problem is, as Jade put it, "often, the people so desperately in need of enlightenment prefer the dark."]

Tom


Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2004 12:39:28 -0400

From: K.

Subject: A submission for your Nice Guys section



I came across this in a profile of a guy on Match.com:

"If you can't get along with me, most likely you don't have many friends. I am as laid back as it comes, and in a relationship, as long as you are truthful and faithful, I don't care what you do. Why is a guy like me single? Because these traits also come with a "walk all over me and kick me to the curb" sign. I am shy when I meet people for the first time, so that doesn't help in getting dates either. I am a mountain biker, rock climber, and camper when possible. I like to be out in nature. Conversly I can also sit in front of a computer or TV for days straight if the right game or project comes along. My interests span from counted cross stitch and cooking to engines and woodworking. It's hard to not keep me interested.

I'm looking for someone that isn't crazy, but can laugh at almost anything . and likes to do just that. She must accept me for who I am without change, and be looking for . okay, maybe not looking for, but anticipating a long term relationship. My perfect someone is nothing special, but she will want to be with me whenever possible. She will not like to argue or fight. She will be my best friend as well as my lover. Outgoing, athletic, and/or outdoors types are favorable, but not a necessity."

[This is the kind of guy who got the "kick me" sign stuck to his back in school...]


Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 12:21 -0400
Subject: Male Flame form : Mark


Name: Mark

COMMENTS: I really dont have the words to describe my toughts about this site. I dont feel angry, scared, saddened... little amused and bit pitiful towards you. Mainly, because I often react that way to people trying to cope by hating others not like them or by violence. White-power movement is the closest thing next to you in my opinion. Though I understand that some power can be gained by this I dont see it as a sign of great willpower or inner strengt. You seem to have sharp tongue and that is usually a sign of certain intellect but I see you weak inside as many racists, misogynists and such. Funny thing is, you are just like the guys who hate women, you are female misogynist. I gues its okay in a world that has so many opinions, flood of information etc. that you give up and form yourself hating someone/something that could be put to blame. Or then you are just mean, spiteful... In that case, all of thats been written above is of no use. Because that would mean you are the bully in the school who never grew up.

MyOtherName: Sincerely yours, Mark.


From: "Alex Agranov" (aagranov@verizon.net)
Subject: good work!
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 19:27:17 -0700


I'm a 27 year old "nice" guy and I want to thank you for your website, I think it's very refreshing. I think the most important think you emphasize is for people to act like adults instead of emotional children.


Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 23:54 -0400
Subject: Male Flame form : James
From: eyyurp@cs.com


Name: James

COMMENTS: Yikes. Is this the only way to get a comment read? I stand ready for some more verbal whipping when you discover what a simpering douche I really am.


Anyway, heres' the story. I've become a friend to a woman I care about. I know she doesn't want to be with me, but I can't help being a little happy when she's around. I enjoy her company. She's told me how glad she is that I've been there for her, which makes me happy (shouldn't it?)
But I've come to realize that i'm guilty of the faults of a nice guy. The only difference in my situation is that I haven't told her. So I've been committing a lie just to be near her.

[Classic loser "Nice Guy" behavior. Not enough spine to tell her the truth. Not enough spine to move on or get over her.]



Pretty stupid, eh? There wouldn't be any point to it. I'm not going to go into details, but trust me on this one. There've been times when all i wanted to do was be straight with her, but I didn't want to make her uncomfortable, or we were having so much fun that I didn't want to ruin things by having her reject me.
But now what? I'm a manipulator and a spineless worm. She says I'm a great guy and likes to have me around, but I just can't stand it. I can't tell her the truth, because she doesn't want me to, or doesn't feel the same way about me, and it would ruin our friendship. But I can't hang around if being her friend means committing a lie by trying to pretend I don't have those feelings for her. It sucks. Yeah, yeah. Poor me. I bet anyone who's ever loved someone in vain wouldn't laugh.
Therefore, I'm just gonna split. Anyway, you aren't dear abbey. I should thank you for pointing out a moral lie, and an especially painful one for me.
Thanks.



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