Nice Guys Finish Last

Note from Aaron:

This was a bit of a breather from the usual blog posting. It came to mind after thinking about the “Ode to Nice Guys” and general critical thinking against the overly-charismatic-christian movement of “nice guy syndrome”. Critical? Absolutely. Entertaining? You be the judge!

-AP

Nice Guys Finish Last

Recently, I read an article that was titled “An Ode to Nice Guys” which chronicled the sob story that is the lives of those “nice guys” who open doors for unappreciative women who throw sand in their faces as an impolite thank you. It was written for the guys who provide the soft, tender shoulder for sobbing women to cry on, without any thought of sexual reciprocation or advances. It praised the kind-hearted eyes and soft embraces of the guy who was perfectly content to be “just friends”. Personally, I felt the article, no, the idea of this manner, to be utterly revolting. I’ll go ahead and go into detail why I feel the “nice guy” syndrome is mistakenly labeled, and should be reverted to “insecure loser” as it once was, when we lived in a world where we were not afraid to call things out for what they are. Black is black. White is white. Good is good. Wrong is wrong.

“Well, Cynthia dumped me and is moving onto some douchebag named “Vince” who drives a yellow Camaro. Maybe someday she’ll realize just what kind of gem she walked away from… Oh, how I hate douchebags. Nice guys finish last.” The post, submitted on his MySpace profile, receives many comments praising him for his truly heroic nature, and that Vince is a thief who ought to be shot for his douchbaggery.

There’s no Cynthia. It was just a name I imagined a sniveling little imp would say nicely as he sobbed himself to sleep. This situation happens repeatedly, and I have some personal opinions on what it is that plagues these “nice guys” who always seem to finish last.

1.) Inept & Insecure
Of all of the nice guys I’ve come in contact with, not many of them seem to have a spine. They seem more comfortable huddled in their corner, with a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” tucked under their arm, than they are in the middle of a social circle. Make no mistake — there is nothing wrong with being introverted and a good reader! I happen to enjoy reading. However, let’s think about the reasoning behind why these nice guys finish last, rather than the symptoms of their condition(s).

Insecurity
This tends to be the root of all those plagued by nice guy syndrome.  Whether it is because they’ve had too much time to think about their shortcomings, or not enough time to correct them, many nice guys have developed an extreme shell of insecurity concerning their problems. Just as grit makes the pearl, small events develop large insecurities. Perhaps it was an initial rejection, or a self-created fear that manifested into full-on insecurity, nice guys seem to have a deep wound inside of them that they don’t want to see healed.

What?! Why would a nice guy not want this inner hurt/insecurity to be healed? Well, it provides a feeling of deserved attention and worth; nice guy thinking: “others ought to notice me because of this insecurity, and shower me with praise in an attempt for fix it.” However, it’s this baiting of praise that is what keeps the nice guy from ever truly fixing his inner demons; he wants the attention, especially from caring women, to be poured over him like gravy on buttermilk mashed potatoes. Warm, secure, loving. Feels good, don’t it, baby? He wants the attention and is willing to nurse his limp just enough to carry himself to the next female care station for more praise and sympathy.

Socially Inept
This may be an appropriate time to let off a little secret — I’m not a social butterfly. In fact, my face gets flushed whenever I speak up in large audiences (though I don’t mind public speaking) and I get raw knots in my stomach when sitting across the table from a beautiful woman. It just dawned on me that most of what has been written so far could easily place me into the asshole category, and I wanted to clarify… moving forward! Most nice guys aren’t the type of person to start a conversation with a random individual, because they feel like they “aren’t that type” and that their conversation is somehow a treasure that must be opened and explored by another individual, first, before engaging in discussion. Rather than meet new people and heal the inner insecurities, the nice guy prefers to sit in his corner and create inner dialogue, convincing himself that he’s right for piping down and that he’s worth more than the average Joe in the room.

What these nice guys need to realize is that the world is not an amusement park, where it is the sole responsibility of others to ensure a smile stays on your face and that their eyes never droop down to a puppy-dog pout, dismayed after yet another harsh breakup by some unappreciative bitch who dumped them for another douchebag. Instead, these guys seek consolation and affirmation that they are, in fact, better than the rest of the guys on the market. This can be seen, quite clearly, in one of the last dominant traits of a nice guy.

2.) Overdoing It
Somewhere along the line, these guys forgot to learn the word “moderation” and “situationally acceptable”. Don’t believe me? Three examples where the nice guy just doesn’t seem to get it:

Over-analyzation
“What did she mean by that?” “What does ‘:-)’ text message mean?” “She said “ok” on IM. How do I take that?” “She’s quiet today — Are you ok?” “Are you sure you’re ok?” “What’s wrong?”  These are some of the questions that are often thrown around between nice guys as they collectively perform social dissection on any piece of dialoge granted by said female. These nice guy ‘huddles’ often happen to have a blind-leading-blind mentality, as they ask each other questions that none of them know the answers to, while basing their circumstances on the poor answers they receive. Recently, I listened in on a conversation where a young ‘nice guy’ discovered that females could have orgasms. Promptly, he asked the other nice guy in the room “Do you think a guy and girl can get off at the same time?” “Yeah, yeah I think so. It’s all about the breathing” said the other extra-virgin nice guy.

“What’s wrong?” is also a common deal-breaker, as they assume something is wrong when a female is not as excited to talk to them as they are her. Rather than accepting the fact that everything is ok, the nice guy will prob and probe (no, not that way, pervert) to find the answer. After all, a nice guy would show he cares by being sensitive to the emotions of a female. Right? Right!

Smothering
What the nice guys need to learn is that “busy” does not mean “I hate you” but that somebody actually has a schedule outside of their soon-to-be-without-a-pulse relationship. The nice guy somehow expects reciprocation from his drop-everything attitude, as displayed by a clear suffering in his schedule, as he tries to ‘be there’ for her at every waking moment of the day. Women do not need to be walked like pets, nice guys! In fact, there is something very attractive about a woman who has her act together and is fully independent!

Emotional
It’s the first date and the nice guy is already trying to completely share himself, emotionally, with his date. No, this is not a good time to share with her of all your miserable life experiences, hurts, pains, and emotional scar tissue. This is also a terrible time to cry. Nice guys make the mistake of believing that being ‘vulnerable’ is an attractive quality. What they mistake, however, is weakness for vulnerability. Vulnerability is being comfortable talking about hard topics that might cause emotions to come — the emotional nutjob happens to share these things as the primary conversation starter, expecting the female to reciprocate and they can both share a good cry together. Not happening.

Heart
This is one that really gets to me. The nice guy typically thinks he has the world’s best heart, and that any woman lucky enough to be with him will never find another heart like his, capable of loving her in such a powerful way. “You’ll never find anybody to love you like I love you” is actually a direct insult! It says “Nobody could ever love the bitch that you are, except me, your nice guy savior.”

When all of these miserable combinations add up, a breakup is on the horizon. When, not if, it happens, the nice guy will retreat — once again! — into his nice guy corner and seek consolation from those who feed this insecurity. In between crying and constantly feeling sorry for himself, the nice guy also retreats back within the company of his nice guy compadres, who slap each other on the backs and reaffirm their insecurities. In the charismatic christian church, it’s usually these guys who form “accountability” groups with each other, where they become overly emotional and ‘vulnerable’ about their insecurities, providing each other with the moral strength to keep going through the hard days.

What this leads to is the development of an overly-weak individual, who has taken insecurities and hardships to the next level by making them into not just a lifestyle, but a persona; the nice guy. It’s this nice guy who can’t seem to ever get on top because of the awful douchebags in the world who drive the yellow Mustang and aren’t afraid to speak up to somebody new.

In the meantime, the nice guy will continue to cry himself to sleep at night after a good beat-off that he will confess to his accountability partners as an ongoing ‘struggle’ who will encourage him to ‘stay strong’ and continue to fight another day.

There will be a sequel.

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