A nice guy holds your coat, but a good guy holds your heart.
Niceness is a quality many gay guys strive for, but most of us fail to see that the importance of being good outweighs even the nicest, kindest or most gentle dudes amongst us.
Good men know their worth and they have a backbone because of it. They’re not afraid to dive into a pool of possibilities because, to them, being good to themselves is just as important as being good to others.
I’ve dated many nice guys—hell, at one point in my life I was the King of Nice. I always wondered why the guys I liked always went for the bad boys. I put men on a pedestal, placing their needs above mine, and often skipped over my true opinions so I wouldn’t hurt the people I loved.
I had it all wrong.
You see, I’ve come to learn that being nice is something we’re taught as children in school: “Be nice David,” “Say you’re sorry,” “We’re going to be nice today, okay?” “If you’re not nice, Santa won’t bring you any presents…” were things I heard constantly.
Well into my teenage years I began to associate niceness with being submissive; making other people comfortable and getting people to like me were all that mattered—that was being “nice.” Eventually it bled into the way I treated potential boyfriends.
There’s a reason why we say nice guys finish last. It’s because they’re happy to finish last (they don’t want it any other way). It’s a sacrifice they believe will give bring them respect. Giving the trophy to someone else, bending over backwards so other people can be happy and think highly of them, is something nice guys like to do because it makes them feel validated. Doing nice things for validation or social expectation doesn’t make you a nice person; it’s kind of selfish.
There’s a difference between doing nice things and doing good deeds.
Being a good person requires you to see the bigger picture. It involves trust, dependency and awareness of the world. You don’t need to surround yourself with fake people in order to feel secure about your value. Your focus isn’t on trying to get people to like you, but rather living authentically and knowing you’re enough regardless.
A good guy has a purpose and respects others as individuals rather than a piece of ass or someone who can give him something. A good guy believes in himself and inspires others to believe in themselves. He spends just as much time on his own projects than he might with helping other people on theirs.
The line between being nice and being good is thin. It’s a divide we feel internally rather than consciously. We know it when we see it, yet we hardly ever look for it in ourselves.
There is so much desperation in the gay community today. We want to be liked, we want to be respected, we want people to think we’re sexy—we also want to think we’re sexy ourselves. The game of people pleasing is dangerous; if we find a way to redirect it towards ourselves—have us be the judge rather than the world—perhaps, then, we can find our own goodness.
We are exactly what we say we are.
I used to call myself a nice guy (perhaps you still do), but I urge you to take a step back and reevaluate the term. You shouldn’t ever strive for people to think you’re a nice person—that’s so uninteresting. Instead, strive for them to know you’re a good person with a good heart and strong character.
The way to find goodness is to have courage to build it. Remind yourself of the goodness that’s in your heart and carry it like a torch. You know how much you’re worth, but so long as you keep giving it away for nothing, your value will slowly decline.
Do the right thing rather than what’s popular–every time.