The movies aren’t always right. You can be as nice as you ever will be to a man and still fall flat on your face – stranded, confused and struggling to figure out what you did wrong. Because there will never be a real answer, it’s impossible to find closure so we’re forced to carry the funk with us to our next relationship. Nice guys, it seems, always finish last, but is there something bubbling underneath the surface we fail to acknowledge?
It’s important to know the difference between being a nice guy and being a good person. We all strive to be the latter. Some even try to take it to a whole other level, but we can’t all take two years off to go volunteer for the peace corps so what do we do? We make our efforts visible through actions, words and moral principles. Our true character is always going to be transparent by how we treat our fellow man, but let’s not forget the basics of human psychology: there’s an intention behind everything we do.
I learned the hard way. Guys who are good people are vastly different from those who aim to be a nice person because they never forget to reward themselves. Nice guys are often left in the dust. He wants people to like him so he molds his personality around that particular goal. He allows men to walk all over him, eventually setting himself up for failure.
When push comes to shove, it’s always directed back to low self-esteem. Nice guys are rarely truly nice. When we go that extra mile to make someone like us, the intention is usually just that: to make them like us. We can get confused whenever someone doesn’t return the favor because we’ve set the “nice” standard so high even we can’t reach it. The battle to attain validation from the world is ongoing and if we can’t get it from being a nice guy, how else can we get it?
There are countless of gay guys who’ve fallen into the nice guy trap. Once we’ve created that image for ourselves, it’s hard to get out. Our friends and family only acknowledge the outer shell, rarely seeing the person who lies beneath it unless we rack up the courage to show them.
Being a nice guy has its perks. You’re trusted much more than other members of your group, people might come to you for advice, they’ll expect you to lift their spirits when they’re down (which you proudly do), and you’re likely seen as a saint – a clean breed. On the flip side however, we are also more likely to become a punching bag, we might lack the courage to approach men, it’s easy to get pushed around by louder personalities, and we’re vulnerable to taking non serious things to heart. All in all, we’re sensitive creatures.
But can this sensitivity eventually become our greatest weakness? Nice guys across the world are consistently getting knocked around and taken advantage of because of their kindness. If it’s all rooted with low self-esteem or lack of confidence, I say it’s time for us to start building both.
Not everyone in this world is going to like us. That’s always going to be hard to accept, I know. The only thing we can do is be ourselves and never stoop to becoming a doormat for the world to wipe their feet on.
Being nice to be good is different from being nice to be liked. Fake kindness is never something to strive for. Whenever we’re kind to ourselves, we allow possibilities for that goodness to shine through. It’s time to make ourselves a priority.