The Nice Guy Syndrome

I meet a lot of “nice guys” who sort of like their even-keel, “steady eddy” vibe.

Some of these guys take pride in avoiding strife and emotional fights. Some do a good job making it appear as though they don’t get their feathers ruffled. They perceive their behavior as strong & reliable.

In certain situations like a work or a sporting environment, they show up as solid. But relationally most of these men remain very challenged. Internally they are not satisfied, nor fulfilled. Upon closer inspection these men realize they’ve numbed their emotional bandwidth. They are emotionally constipated and repressed. They have successfully muted their life force. They are somewhat numb to feeling their own bodies. They are in their heads most, if not all of the time. These guys have been conditioned out of their true power in exchange for social, family, or job approval. This temperament gets rewarded in this culture so they keep it up. This guy keeps trying to be a “good” man or “get it right” to keep up this false image of being a “great guy.” If he’s married to a strong woman, her anger and frustration increases. The trap of course is that he keeps trying to be someone he’s not. This is excruciating on the inside (they tell me repeatedly). He doesn’t know another way.

I know this landscape well because I was a version of this dude.

But if this man wants to live more fully, he needs to first, see the cage he’s in, and second, choose to do something about it. Or he can wait for a mid-life crisis that will, ideally, crack or shatter the foundation of the false house he built.

A great resource for nice guys in pain is No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover.

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