Growing up I had always been referred to as the nicest kid you’ll ever meet. Now, I would have much rather had that title than something like oh, Jimmy…he’s a little asshole I wouldn’t trust him with ____.” Being a genuinely nice person is a quality that should be highlighted in nearly every situation or circumstance.
The problem is this. When women see you as a nice guy it means something else entirely and other guys will automatically place you into the beta category, and for good reason. There is an entire book written on the subject, one that I really wish I would have read many years sooner by the name of No More Mr. Nice Guy that I highly suggest you read, but first, my own experience.
This is quite anecdotal, however, since having this realization about 10 years ago, I have spent a lot of time studying social and sexual psychology, eastern philosophies, and sociology. I’ve also put this new found epiphany into practice over and over and helped tons of friends and acquaintances break-through invisible barriers on their way to more friends and better women, and guys.
I was very short growing up, I came from a poor family and couldn’t do many of the things my peers could because of that. Taking all of this into account (and this just barely scratches the surface) it’s no wonder I had low self-esteem.
Or, wait a second, I had low situational self-esteem.
Situational Self-Esteem- you let the situation, i.e. your surroundings, dictate the value you perceive yourself having as a person.
What this meant is this. If I was with a close group of friends, I had no trouble speaking up, standing up for myself, telling jokes, taking chances, etc. I was being me. When I would spend time with people I knew little about, I hid behind this wall of mine and would not let my true personality shine through. I was too insecure to do so. I always viewed myself as being below those around me until I got to know them and only then did I view us as equals. My default frame was that people were better than me until proven otherwise. The ‘otherwise’ usually wouldn’t come until later on after being exposed to them for long amounts of time.
This became especially apparent with girls. I knew what I had to offer, I knew that I would make a great boyfriend, that I was more interesting to many of the guys who were getting the girls, that I would treat them better. The problem was, however, that when I spent time with any of these girls I constructed those same walls.
Then I had an epiphany.
I was always hanging out with someone and, more often than not, I was the third wheel. (see above reasons) An interesting thing would happen during our hangouts. Most of the time the girl that would be with my cousin would just be a fling. They weren’t usually boyfriend-girlfriend I mean we were only 15-17 at these times and nothing was really that serious.
When I got together with my cousin, that was the real me. He and I grew up together and we were basically brothers. When his new girl would tag along, I stayed myself because, well, she was with him and there was no threat. By threat, I mean a chance that she and I would get together. This was a belief I had, a deeply held belief and one that I still hold dear to me to this day.
When he had a girlfriend, she was off limits. So, when we would hang out, it was no big deal. It was almost as though she wasn’t even there.
I noticed something about every girl he “saw”. They always fell for me. They would physically throw themselves at me, sneak kisses when he wasn’t around, put their hands up my shirt, etc. They loved talking to me and being around me. They always laughed at me and made it a point to hang out with me. I wasn’t the third wheel, I was the star of the show.
It’s 20/20 hindsight of course, but in the moment it took me a while to understand that I was a damn likable person. I guy with sex appeal, highly intelligent and articulate. I was worth a damn.
But, I was only worth a damn when I made these qualities pop. I was attractive to these girls because I was my true, curious and talkative self. I wasn’t the shy boy who was afraid to step on eggshells so he never made a move. This one realization changed my life more than any other single piece of wisdom I’ve gained can come close to.
Being a nice guy, in my experience, has only meant that I hid my true self and true desires. It’s when you aren’t being honest with yourself and those around you about what it is that you truly want. If you aren’t honest, then you will undoubtedly land yourself in situations that contain a plethora of un-vocalized and unwritten mini contracts that the other person, or people, will never be able to uphold.
The nice guy: I’m going to hold every door open for her and then she will give me a kiss at the end of the night.
What really happens is, you hold the doors open but you never make any physical moves to let her know you are attracted to her in a sexual way. She views you as a nice guy who wants to help her out and nothing more. The end of the night comes and you don’t get your kiss. Now, you’re angry. “Why wouldn’t she kiss me, I did all that for her and nothing! She’s just another b*&^/c*$**/etc. I guess next time I’ll do more.
You become a doormat.
You see other guys getting girls who aren’t holding open every single door, who aren’t there every second she needs a ride or help with homework, who aren’t buying her drink after drink and offering to pay for her cab. You see these guys as jerks. The belief that only jerks get girls is reinforced in your mind. In her mind it’s well, I guess I will end up with a jerk after all.
How I would handle the same night: I’m going to let her know early on that I find her attractive. I will get physical with her to show her that I can make the first move. I’ll hold open doors for her, but from a place of abundance not from a place of neediness and insecurity. I don’t hold open the door expecting her to reciprocate with some unnamed action (a kiss for example). I do so because she has a handbag in her hand and is trying to navigate those sexy shoes she wore to impress me.
As far as the kiss at the end of the night? Why wait til the end of the night. This isn’t a rom-com.
I’m going to swing back around to how this is similar to hanging out with good friends and being yourself.
If you’re with a couple friends and you guys are going to play basketball, but the basketball is flat and the net needs fixed. Are you going to pump up the ball only if you friends will buy you pizza later or some other weird thing? No! Hell no! You guys are about to play some ball, pump up the ball because you want to play ball not because you want something from someone else.
That’s called manipulation, and it won’t get you very far.
Act with everyone as you act with those you’re close with. You will put off stronger vibes that some might not like, however, it will be balanced out by making deeper connections with those who resonate with you. Being a “nice guy” means you’re always trying to please those around you while putting your own wants, needs, and desires on the backburner with the assumption that doing good deeds for those people, whether friends, family, strangers, or members of the opposite sex, will net you some kind of good karma and they will do for you what you want them to.
Most of the time, though, these wants are unspoken. This leads to disappointment after disappointment and further solidifying those negative beliefs. This can and will lead to a terrible negative spiral. I’ve been through it personally and have also seen it happen to many people around me.
Here is the book link again. If you are interested getting out of this cycle and can’t afford the book I have a copy laying around that I would be happy to donate to a good cause!