Why “Nice Guys” Are Rarely Actually Nice

There’s been a surge of articles and posts about how nice guys are screwed because there are several girls who don’t notice their kind-heartedness or that these girls want to change the ‘bad’ boy types and therefore ignore the nice things done by the nice guys. And there’ve also been quite a few articles about the girls who do take advantage of these nice guys and how they are actually being quite mean. I think one more perspective needs to be added, which is really a question — “Are you really the nice guy?”

There are definitely people out there who fail to notice the kinder people in their lives. The kinder people offer support all the time, whether it be a normal day or a trying period in your life. They are kind to you, your family, even to your goldfish. They do their best to always choose the right thing to do and not be tempted to do bad things. These are great people. They have their flaws, but they always work to become a better version of themselves. These are the nice guys. And yes, they are taken advantage of. It may not always be by the bitchy girls, but also society in general. Because nice guys are not just nice to girls they like, they are nice to everyone. And when you strive to do the right thing, there will always be people who will take advantage of that. Because you, as the nice guy, refuse to stoop to the level of these assholes, and continue to have confidence that goodness will prevail. When they do get ignored or rejected, they hurt. They question what went wrong and they wonder what they could have done better, what anyone really could have done better to get a better outcome. And it takes them some time to get over it. They’re human, after all.

But are you this person? Or are you the guy who laments that this girl doesn’t like you because you’re ‘nice’ when in fact, you’re not? Is the behavior you call ‘nice’ actually emotionally manipulative?

I’ve met guys who genuinely believe that the reason girls don’t like them is because they’re the ‘nice guy’. They share the ‘an open letter to the girl who let the nice guy go’ articles, collate movie quotes about being ‘friendzoned’ and bemoan that they will never be with the girl they really want because “I’m too nice”. When I see all of this, I raise my eyebrows, turn to them, and say, “But you’re not.”

You see, these guys have fallen head over heels for a girl and have exhibited the ‘nice’ behavior to her. They then confess their feelings to her. And here’s where it gets tricky because the girl knows that she’s now standing on a balance. If she flat out rejects him, it’ll be like stabbing a knife through his chest, but if she doesn’t give him a straight answer, she’ll be keeping him on the hook. So she politely says, “That’s really sweet but unfortunately I don’t feel the same way about you.” There are different variations to the way girls say this but bottom line is, she’s said ‘no’ without sounding too harsh. But now these guys feel they qualify as being ‘nice guys’. Because they exhibited the ‘nice behavior’ and remained ‘nice’, they are somehow the ‘nice guys’ who’ve been wronged. They passive aggressively post these articles on Facebook or Twitter to somehow tell the world, and her, that they’re one of the wronged guys. They send ‘sweet’ messages to the girl to tell her things like “I’ll always think about you” or “I miss you”, and they hang around hoping to ‘accidentally’ bump into her to just chat with her. There are some guys in this (not) ‘nice guy’ group who tell the girl that they’ll never give up on her and will strive to one day win her affections.

This. Is. Not. Nice. This is emotional manipulation. By doing these things, you’re pushing the other person in a corner. They’ve done their best not to hurt your feelings by rejecting you as gently as possible. Of course you’ll be hurt because this person isn’t returning your feelings. But they’ve really tried to make sure you don’t hurt too much. So they leave you to mend the wounds. But you putting your hurt in their face by moaning about how sad you are, how wronged you feel and how you don’t accept their “no” instead of keeping it to yourself and your friends/family is you emotionally manipulating them to feel for you. They can’t sit there and nurse your wounds because they have no obligation to do that and because you have to take care of yourself. You’re pushing them to be harsher with you to break the connection. And honestly, a lot of them don’t want to. It’s not their fault that they only see you as a friend. People have different attractions and they shouldn’t be blamed for that. If they act out of turn by leading you on or taking advantage of you, then yes, there is blame there. But because of the increasing exposure to articles on how to handle these situations, people are learning how to be less harsh but at the same time say ‘no’. If you cannot accept that and emotionally manipulate that person, either they will become really harsh with you in a strongly worded angry statement that will definitely hurt you, or they will choose to avoid you, which will also hurt you.

There are genuinely nice people out there who handle rejection as everyone should, as a stepping stone to something greater. That could either be a lesson learnt for yourself or a step to finding someone else who will be attracted to them. Pretending to be a nice guy and wallowing in self-pity while emotionally manipulating someone is really not nice. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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