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What is So Wrong with being NICE?

Updated: Jul 16



I am a nice guy. I am pleasant, positive and take a genuine interest in other people. I am not a dickhead who plays macho alpha male head games to get what I want. Lately, however, I have been embarrassed by my “niceness”. Motivational speakers have started to hate on niceness - "nice guys finish last", "if you want to be successful in life, you need to be less agreeable", "women relegate nice guys to the friendzone", "nice guys are betas and get no pussy".


"Nice" has become a dirty word. In some fucked up and twisted way it is now associated with boring, predictable, agreeable, weak, insipid, and exploited. Instead, the world encourages us to be competitive, cutthroat, and ruthless. I have seen a notable uptick in Machiavellian-inspired motivation that preaches how the nice guy always finishes last in business and in relationships.


Men are led to believe that women are looking for men who are edgy, domineering, unpredictable, and brutal. The question is posed - do you think women would rather have lunch with a nice guy on a park bench, or be inside a dungeon with a stranger and a whip? They would tell you that women want danger.


Most women do not want this. Adventure is good. A degree of unpredictability and spontaneity is good. But being in a relationship that always moves you into the danger zone is not sustainable. Women want a man who will take control, who knows what he wants, who is confident, who understands his value but is also capable of making a deep and meaningful connection.


In business, no company can survive without trust and the bonds of affection. We love to praise the exploits of Steve Jobs, but he was a fucking tyrant. His management style was not inclusive. He did not trust his colleagues and created an environment of survival of the fittest. Observe what the Apple share price has done since Jobs passed away and was replaced by a more inclusive and nurturing Tim Cook. In the last five years (2016 to 2021 -Jobs died in 2011) the stock is up 5x. You are mistaken in thinking that business is 100% dog-eats-dog. Money and the bottom line is not the sole motivator.


As for the sexual thrill of nastiness, it can only be pursued in an environment of trust. Some women may fantasize about a night with a ruthless conqueror, but the idea of living with Attila the Hun seems less appealing.


If you still believe that "nice guys finish last", look no further than the biggest dickhead of the 21t century, Lance Armstrong. I am a fan, but he is a self-confessed douche. He lied, cheated, bullied and intimidated his way to seven Tour de France titles. Almost everyone in the 20-year period between 1990 and 2010 was heavily doped in the Tour, yet cycling's governing body (UCI) only stripped Lance. Do you wonder why? Because he acted like a dickhead!


I came across an article “9 Bad Things Happen When You’re Too Nice”. I think it is worth going through each individually, and dignifying each with a response. 1. If you are always giving, people will expect that of you.

How is that bad for you? Giving is a perfectly plausible commercial transaction -you give and in return you feel good. The fact that generosity is the shortest felt human emotion, and it is likely that the givee will grow accustomed to receiving and will become resentful when the giving stops, is their problem and not yours. You cannot control what other people think of you – the sooner you come to this realization, the happier you will be.


2. You will develop unrealistic expectations of others.

This is possibly true, but if you build your life predicated on expecting things from others, you are setting yourself up for a frustrating existence.


3. People will come to you only when they need something.

Being nice is not the same as saying yes to everything and everyone. Let these people come when they need something – I have nothing against that. I will help where I can. I may always say yes if I can. This does NOT mean that I say yes to everyone, and does not mean that people will take advantage of me.


4. You will forget about being kind to yourself.

I agree that if you begrudgingly say yes to everyone, and you only do things to pander to the expectations of others, you may forget to be kind to yourself and start to be filled with resentment. Being inherently and genuinely nice does not always mean that you are a people pleaser – it can most certainly lead to that, but not always.


5. You will be seen as being weak.

Look no further than Barack Obama, two-term president of the United States of America. He was the nicest president in US history. There is no way you get to be the most powerful man in the western world for eight consecutive years by being weak.


6. You will attract needy people.

I am a nice person and sure, people in the street asking for money can see that and they approach me – is it such a bad thing to help another human being?


7. People will not trust you.

I go back to the Obama example – the majority of Americans do not vote for you twice in four years unless they trust you.


8. You may become needy.

This is total bullshit – not sure what the author was thinking by including this in his list.


9. You become more likely to engage in addictive behaviors.

This could be true, but is that necessarily such a bad thing. Addictive and obsessive are the same thing. Is it a bad thing to be obsessed about helping others? I understand that obsessive can go either way, but positive obsessive can be immensely constructive.


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