Nice Guys Suck

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trooper6:

OmniscientOstrich:

So you should immediately ask someone out if you find them attractive without any attempt to get to know them, forgoing any chance to see if you're actually right for each other in the first place? Okay sure...that's not impetuous or anything...

Well you ask someone out in order to get to know them better to see if you might possibly have some chemistry (romantic, political, social, intellectual, etc).

That first outing doesn't have to be all romantic and high pressure either...I find meeting for lunch or coffee to be the best thing. It is low key and mellow. You meet, eat, and talk...get to know each other better. If there is no spark then you don't go out again, if there is a possible spark, you go out to another lunch or dinner or whatever and continue the get to know each other process.

Two things there, the first being from the perspective of the person you like some random stranger coming up to you asks if you want to grab a drink without a word prior, that'll go well I'm sure, that doesn't come off a little creepy or anything. The second and more important being that with that statement she appears to completely negate the concept of relationships being born out of friendships. I see plenty of people IRL and on this very site who talk about how their significant other was their good friend for quite a while before they decided to start seeing each other. I have other issues about the very heteronormative presumptions about relationship dynamics which it denotes and no, adding a gender nuetral clause at the bottom of the article doesn't give automatic exemption, but it's probably best not to get into that...

GrandmaFunk:

Ariseishirou:

So yeah, not every man who tells a woman that he's okay with being "just friends" is completely full of shit, thus it would be unfair of me to assume they all are.

would it be fair of you to assume that some might be?

because that's what I'm trying to communicate.

Nope. I'm going to assume that grown men can weigh the consequences of their own actions, and be honest, forthright, and truthful about their intentions and their feelings. And if they can't, that's on them.

It's only what I'd expect of myself.

From my experience, it usually goes like this.
I get really good friends with a girl I like, spend alot of time with her and then BAM, she's suddenly in a relationship with some guy she just met. Why does this happen?

I've only got one thing to say on the matter of providing advice on love (I've said this before and say it again) -

In a society where more than half , 53%, of the marriages end up in divorce, I don't really want to hear advice about my love life from someone.

Statistically speaking, they're full of shit.

Piorn:
From my experience, it usually goes like this.
I get really good friends with a girl I like, spend alot of time with her and then BAM, she's suddenly in a relationship with some guy she just met. Why does this happen?

Because the guy asked her out and you never did. Rather you decided to be friends with her.

Ariseishirou:

GrandmaFunk:

Kahunaburger:

Well, the unattracted party in this particular situation *can* string the attracted party along, but that would be A) kind of a dick move, and B)a pretty uncommon move.

I'd bet it's just as common as Nice Guys are.

and all it takes is going through that once or twice in your teens to make you a Nice Guy for life.

Are you joking? That is a messed up thing to assert. I had a male friend string me along when I was a teenager, too, when he was actually interested in a friend of mine and using our friendship to get to her. The writing was on the wall but I was in denial, telling myself that maybe, if I just held on long enough he'd notice me... It didn't ruin me for relationships forever. I realized I'd let it happen, that I was never going to get what I wanted out of him, and I moved on. Asked out another guy I liked. That is what a normal, well-adjusted adult does. They don't remain mired in the bad habits of their developmental years forever - they learn, grow, and mature.

Insisting that men - or people in general? - can never learn from their mistakes is one hell of a skewed and immature worldview. As is blaming someone for believing another person when they lie. No dude, it's the liar's fault. Always is and always will be.

I think I'm losing track of tone by replying to too many lines of thought at once and my points keep getting lost.

I'm trying to highlight POTENTIAL scenarios that lead to SOME ppl falling into these pattern.

I do NOT think having a bad experience in your teens locks in your dating habits for life, simply that it CAN happen for SOME ppl, and yes, that's sad and unfortunate.

Just like I DON'T think everyone lies when they say they want to be friends, but i DO think it's silly to not expect that it IS a possibility.

---

All my posts amount to one thing: I'm interested in trying to find out what things lead ppl into becoming said "Nice Guys".

simply demonizing these ppl and writing them off as manipulative liars comes off as mean and kind of futile.

I like nice guys. I can work with them on naughty bedroom skills.

GrandmaFunk:

Ariseishirou:
he lies and accepts the offer of friendship and assuming he has done so in good faith makes me the bad guy?

it doesn't make you the bad guy, it makes you painfully naive.

Ariseishirou:

Sorry dude, I have lots of "actual friends" who are male. It is entirely possible. We are all over 20. They are not lying fucks. Many of them are married. We just happen to have no romantic connection.

how many of those started off as dates you rejected? because that's the context being discussed, not whether opposite genders can be real friends in general.

I hang out with a former girlfriend and two girls that have turned me down in the past regularly, with no romantic feelings for any of them anymore.

OmniscientOstrich:

Two things there, the first being from the perspective of the person you like some random stranger coming up to you asks if you want to grab a drink without a word prior, that'll go well I'm sure, that doesn't come off a little creepy or anything. The second and more important being that with that statement she appears to completely negate the concept of relationships being born out of friendships. I see plenty of people IRL and on this very site who talk about how their significant other was their good friend for quite a while before they decided to start seeing each other. I have other issues about the very heteronormative presumptions about relationship dynamics which it denotes and no, adding a gender nuetral clause at the bottom of the article doesn't give automatic exemption, but it's probably best not to get into that...

Well I don't think you should ask out a person you have never had a conversation with (unless we are talking about online dating). Generally, conversations are involved first.

As for friends becoming romantic. Sure it happens...but in my experience, not that often...and usually both friends are maintaining the hots for each other the whole time, just not able to act on it at the moment. But everyone's experience on that level is different.

Anyway, to address the heteronormative presumptions about relationship dynamics in the response...I can't speak for Lara, but following much of the reading I've done on Nice Guy Syndrome, I believe that Nice Guy Syndrome is basically rooted in misogyny and sexism. It's about male privilege and entitlement to women's bodies. It is about objectifying women. Because of that, Nice Guy Syndrome is not going to work itself out the same way in same-sex relationships. In many ways, Nice Guy Syndrome is a problem of heteronormativity. It is a problem of patriarchal relationship codes. It is a problem of the predator/prey understanding male/female sexuality in the first place.

I object to your Disney Princesses analogy.

I treat every woman I might want a relationship as if they are a Disney princess and I am the love interest character, and you know what? So far it's paid off every single time.

I firmly believe in what Steve Martin said, 'I think people should watch more movies, everything you need to know about life can be found in the movies.'

Treat your life like a Disney movie, find a girl who wants to remember what it's like to be a Disney Princess (you'll find if you do the former the latter will just happen), and life should work out alright.

http://weheartit.com/entry/18071702

Nickolai77:
Good article, as i was one of the readers who found the disdainful remarks about Nice Guys a bit offensive, i'm glad of the clarification and can say with personal confidence that i'm a nice guy and not a Nice Guy (TM).

Last paragraph was also interesting, should we be moaning about being introverted guys then instead? However, what happens when this goes too far and we make another distinction between introverted guys and Introverted Guys (TM)?

Another issue is that being a "supernova" can contradict another common piece of dating advise- "Be yourself"- what if your the kind of guy who doesn't get behind the mike and wear a silly hat? Do you be yourself or sacrifice who you are for the sake of finding someone?

You be yourself - but you have to be able to express who you are without fear. I'm sure you know this, though.

And yes. A thousand times yes. Ms. Crigger, I adore you. I've seen you give advice in the past that seemed a tad sketchy to me, but I always thought you knew your way round these issues.

And now that you've railed against so-called "Nice Guys"(TM) I kind of want to marry you. I've been there once before and only afterwards did I realise what a self-centred shithead I was being. It's one thing to be arrogant and boorish, it's another thing entirely to be arrogant but maintain a belief that you're somehow a hard-bitten underdog who's just a bit shy and sensetive.

I confess, I subscribed to the latter view. It's amazing how my social life, my self-confidence and my capacity to treat people well increased when I shed it. I actually managed to get a girl, against the odds, but I completely alienated her because I was so petulant, so childishly angry whenever anyone questioned my motives or put me down, or whenever what we had didn't live up to what I thought I deserved. And then I had the temerity to act like the victim...

Just... just, good show, Lara. I loved seeing you put down the whole "Nice Guy"(TM) mindset. I'm shallow like that.

trooper6:
Great post Lara...too bad that many people here aren't going to get it. They think they are "nice guys" but really they are Nice Guys (TM).

Hey all you folks who think you are nice guys and women are the problem because they won't date you because they only date jerks...you often go on about how you listen to women...well listen to them when they tell you nice guys are usually entitled jerks and not nice at all.

Here is a website that talks more about this in depth...
http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/ng.shtml

Opening text on the page:

"All too often we hear self-professed "Nice Guys" complaining about why they can't get a date, and whining that women just want to date jerks, etc. etc. The truth of the matter is that there are genuinely caring, compassionate, decent, fun guys out there who have NO TROUBLE meeting people, getting dates, and having relationships.

Unfortunately, many of the guys who DO have trouble, insist that women don't want them because they are "too Nice". These people who call themselves "Nice Guys" can't see that THEIR OWN behavior is the problem. That behavior either drives women away or attracts the WORST kind of predator - one who is manipulative and self-serving. Whether it is targeting women who are troubled to begin with, setting themselves up to be taken advantage of, or acting in a manipulative, patronizing or obsequious fashion, these guys sabotage themselves and often blame "all women" for their misfortunes.

This section is devoted to the guys who suffer from that self-professed "Nice Guy" affliction. Here is the place to find out why YOUR behavior isn't as "Nice" as you think it is..."

Excellent, now I know what to link to explain to my friends, both male and female, why I'm not interested in pursuing romance at this point in my life. Not that they ask that often, but...sometimes people wonder, because they often see me as smart, fun, outgoing, etc, when they meet me or hang out with me. Of course there's more to a person than what you see in one night :P

Anyway, thanks for the link, it's very interesting.

How about instead of being all knit-picky about the article we interpret for ourselves and learn a thing or two from it? It's pretty obvious what the author meant to me @_@

Lol, so basically if you have any sort of empathy or human compassion, women hate you because you're a nice guy.

Wow, this is so ridiculously fucked up I don't even know where to begin. Why bitch about men being assholes if this is the kind of approach you take?

Acrisius:

Excellent, now I know what to link to explain to my friends, both male and female, why I'm not interested in pursuing romance at this point in my life. Not that they ask that often, but...sometimes people wonder, because they often see me as smart, fun, outgoing, etc, when they meet me or hang out with me. Of course there's more to a person than what you see in one night :P

Anyway, thanks for the link, it's very interesting.

You know...this post of yours brings up another thing that chaps my hide...the assumption that everyone must be dating or they "aren't complete" are "missing out" or are in some other way damaged or to be pitied.

A person can be single and be happy, smart, fun, outgoing, with a great social life. You don't want to pursue romance at this point? That is totally cool. As long as you are content, that is what is important...not whether you are single or paired up (or in a polyamorous relationship with 10 people).

Our society, as a whole, has way too many messed up ideas about romance and sex.

Good article.

It basically amounts to: sure, be nice, but mainly be yourself. A nice guy who is only nice because he's after something, or because it's the way he wants to be seen - is not very nice really.

Also I completely agree, why would you be proud of being a 'nice guy', it's such a vague thing. Instead, be an awesome guy who people also say is nice.

trooper6:

Acrisius:

Excellent, now I know what to link to explain to my friends, both male and female, why I'm not interested in pursuing romance at this point in my life. Not that they ask that often, but...sometimes people wonder, because they often see me as smart, fun, outgoing, etc, when they meet me or hang out with me. Of course there's more to a person than what you see in one night :P

Anyway, thanks for the link, it's very interesting.

You know...this post of yours brings up another thing that chaps my hide...the assumption that everyone must be dating or they "aren't complete" are "missing out" or are in some other way damaged or to be pitied.

A person can be single and be happy, smart, fun, outgoing, with a great social life. You don't want to pursue romance at this point? That is totally cool. As long as you are content, that is what is important...not whether you are single or paired up (or in a polyamorous relationship with 10 people).

Our society, as a whole, has way too many messed up ideas about romance and sex.

Yes of course you're right about that, and you don't have to tell me :)
I agree completely. Society is waaaaahaaaaaay too centered around sex and relationships. What you said just now is already taken into account when I said what I said. But I realize that your argument is valid regardless.

I don't think you're that interested in my personal life, and I don't exactly rejoice at the thought of venting on a very public forum. Let's just say that I have some things to take care of before I can start loving myself, and that I'm tired of being a "Nice Guy"...(FYI that's something I realized long before reading any of this.) :P

Nailed me to the wall, it did. Still, identifying the problem is the first step towards ignoring it.

Acrisius:

I don't think you're that interested in my personal life, and I don't exactly rejoice at the thought of venting on a very public forum. Let's just say that I have some things to take care of before I can start loving myself, and that I'm tired of being a "Nice Guy"...(FYI that's something I realized long before reading any of this.) :P

I don't know you personally and don't expect you to vent on a public forum. But I'll say this: Know that I give you good thoughts across the ether. If you are on a quest to take care of yourself so you can start loving yourself, I say that you can do it. You seem to have a level of self-awareness, and that speaks well to your ability to achieve your goal of self-change. I'm a stranger, but I'm rooting for you.

Stevepinto3:

FinalHeart95:
Oh, so THIS is the guide to being able to date any female you could ever imagine. Thank God women are such simple creatures that the same thing works for all of them. [/sarcasm]

Yeah, I'm incredibly awkward and my current girlfriend somehow finds that to be fine. Probably because I'm NOT a supernova. A lot of people aren't. And if you try to be a supernova, you'll attract people that you don't even like. So screw being a supernova, be yourself.

I think you're kind of missing the point. When she said "be a supernova" she basically meant "be yourself". She's demonstrating that being "nice" isn't a personality, it's just a trait. A personality is the sum of what you do and how you act. You should play up what your good at and people (ones that you actually like) will be probably be a lot more attracted to you.

Here's a phenomenon that needs to go away, the perceived dichotomy of either being totally nice or a complete jerk. There's a whole gulf of people in between, you're never just one or the other. You don't need to be a center-of-attention jerk-off just to get women, and being a bit shy or awkward isn't a going to make you forever alone.

The way it was phrased it definitely seemed like she meant be a supernova as being extroverted even when you're not. Especially with the examples given. That may not be what was meant, but it's definitely how it came off.

And for the record, I agree with the whole "nice guy" thing. She's spot on, in fact. And I agree with what you said about the whole nice guy thing as well. It was just that bit at the end of the article that I found kind of disagreeable (if that's even a word).

Oh look: yet another article about the evil that is "nice guys". Joy! I won't even comment about this in particular. I just wish people would stop taking advice about their love life from articles on the internet. Most of them are either biased, or are only someones opinion, and are generally full of crap either way.

I only now noticed this series of articles. Does the Escapist really need this?

trooper6:

Acrisius:

I don't think you're that interested in my personal life, and I don't exactly rejoice at the thought of venting on a very public forum. Let's just say that I have some things to take care of before I can start loving myself, and that I'm tired of being a "Nice Guy"...(FYI that's something I realized long before reading any of this.) :P

I don't know you personally and don't expect you to vent on a public forum. But I'll say this: Know that I give you good thoughts across the ether. If you are on a quest to take care of yourself so you can start loving yourself, I say that you can do it. You seem to have a level of self-awareness, and that speaks well to your ability to achieve your goal of self-change. I'm a stranger, but I'm rooting for you.

Haha, thanks, but you realize that this all sounds super-cheesy right? :D
I appreciate it though. You sound like a kind person! (See what I did there, I didn't say nice ;) )

Besides, I'm not that messed up. I just need to change a few things, and start filling up the schedule for my spare time with stuff other than "Sit at PC" :D
Thing is, I know I have a lot of potential, so my expectations on myself are perhaps higher than what is perfectly healthy, but until I start living up to them, I won't be satisfied with myself. It's just a matter of time though, I'm not worried :)

trooper6:
Well I don't think you should ask out a person you have never had a conversation with (unless we are talking about online dating). Generally, conversations are involved first.

As for friends becoming romantic. Sure it happens...but in my experience, not that often...and usually both friends are maintaining the hots for each other the whole time, just not able to act on it at the moment. But everyone's experience on that level is different.

Anyway, to address the heteronormative presumptions about relationship dynamics in the response...I can't speak for Lara, but following much of the reading I've done on Nice Guy Syndrome, I believe that Nice Guy Syndrome is basically rooted in misogyny and sexism. It's about male privilege and entitlement to women's bodies. It is about objectifying women. Because of that, Nice Guy Syndrome is not going to work itself out the same way in same-sex relationships. In many ways, Nice Guy Syndrome is a problem of heteronormativity. It is a problem of patriarchal relationship codes. It is a problem of the predator/prey most of understanding male/female sexuality in the first place.

I don't know enough about psychology to judge the validity of that claim, but my overriding issue with her statement is that seems to insinuate that there is something insidious behind the idea of wanting to know a bit more about a person before asking them out. That not wanting to impulsively dive right in on the sole basis of physical attraction and preferring to see if you actually have some common interests or rapport/chemistry before deciding they want to try and initiate a relationship is somehow unsavoury. Even rolling with the theory that Nice Guy Syndrome is strictly a straight male state of mind, that still doesn't vindicate the assumption that it's somehow on the guy's shoulders to be the one to make the first move, neither does it account for a persons inaction stemming from a lack of knowledge or skepticism. They might refrain from asking someone out because they don't feel there is really enough to go on to really build a relationship, or they know that they're going to get turned down and that the interest is not mutual and accept this knowing that a relationship with this person is unviable, but liking the person enough to remain friends. Basically I just find it annoying that inaction is somehow seen as insidious in it's intent, that some people are going to be accussed of exhibiting 'Nice Guy' traits or manipulative behaviour for...literally not doing anything. What irritates me is this kind of statement is perpetuating the perception that coyness, reticence or passiveness are to be looked upon as symptomns for this Nice Guy Syndrome.

Drake666:

The problem is, I don't think is I don't think being introvert (or extrovert) should be called a "personality trait". It's more a scaling on which you show the word the guy you know called "me".

Just my opinion :)

Well, introversion and extroversion describe a series of related personality traits. For instance usually introverts are reflectful, and this trait can lead to...say, creativity and ingenuity, but also depression and poor people skills. So your right, intra and extraversion arn't personality traits in themselves, but they relate to certain other personality traits which tend to occur on the spectrum of how expressive you are of yourself.

I'm a nice guy to everyone, regardless of gender. My problem is that I'm so introverted that I don't really interact with a whole lot of people in general. Out of that small group of people, only a subset of them are women. And out of that set of women, there are none I feel could make a positive enough impact on my life, or I on theirs, worth the relationship hassles.

I like to think, I like to learn, I like to work on projects (extremely goal-oriented) and I like to improve on everything I do. These are things that give me true satisfaction in life.

Unfortunately, I usually find that involving people in the things I like to do only gets in the way of accomplishing said task. It's very odd because most people like working with me and think I'm some kind of cheery people-person, usually seeking me out for conversation and advice. They are always shocked to learn I can't stomach people for extended periods of time.

It's not like I'm putting up a facade either. I tell my friends when they've been bothering me either too long, too frequently, or both and tell them to chill out because I need space. Problem is I can and have gone on for months without seeking anyone out and I do not feel an ounce of loneliness, need or desire for human interaction. Then they start calling and wondering where the hell I've been. I feel like an ass because they are my friends and they deserve better but I sometimes just want to be left alone for a really long time. It's not a depressive need, either. I don't sit home and brood. I learn things, I relax, and I get shit done.

This behavioral pattern is not conducive to relationships. And I don't know why this is normal to me or how to "fix" it. Heck, I'm not even sure it's a problem. It's just different.

Actually, really thinking about it, it's not that I don't like involving other people into my hobbies, It's just that most people I know don't like to do the things I like. And the few that I know that would share a common interest tend to be like me: self-sufficient pragmatists.

This is a bit of a well-tread topic amongst dating commentary. So much so that I'm surprised so many people didn't understand the earlier mentions. Here's an old blog post talking about it:
http://divalion.livejournal.com/163615.html

snowplow:
Lol, so basically if you have any sort of empathy or human compassion, women hate you because you're a nice guy.

Wow, this is so ridiculously fucked up I don't even know where to begin. Why bitch about men being assholes if this is the kind of approach you take?

No, that's a reductionist view of the dynamic. I'm not claiming to be an expert at this, but the whole nice-guy behaviour is mostly founded upon the idea that the most fundamentally important thing is not to pressure the lady at all. Which means every single thing they do is utterly passive and designed to make the woman suddenly fall in love with them when they realise that they've had that person who's been there for them all along. If you've ever read Thackery's Vanity Fair, Dobbin is like the prime example of this kind of behaviour.

They shouldn't really be called 'nice guys' so much as 'passive guys'. It's that whole "I want you but I'm going to remain a friend until you see me for the compassionate human being that I am" mentality that most women I've met despise. They don't want that crap, because there's no chemistry involved in that kind of courtship. You can be as caring and nice as you want, but if you want to date someone you have to be kind of assertive about it.

So don't settle for being "nice". Strive for "amazing", or "unforgettable", or "the greatest man I've ever met".

So to get a date you have to be the greatest man in the world.
I may as well just give up now.

trooper6:

GrandmaFunk:

if a man spends months trying to win a woman over, usually by being her emotional dumping ground, obviously it does not entitle him to sex..but if the woman isn't interested, why does she allow this to continue so long? obviously the woman is getting something out of this, and it's fair for her to assume the 'kindness' is given for it's own sake..at first.

but come on, it becomes pretty obvious pretty fast that the guy you friend-zoned is still interested in you and is doing all this with a heart/head filled with hope.

so yes, in this case he is a victim, his weakness is being exploited.

Here is where we are going to disagree. Most Nice Guys (TM) dishonest liars. They say, "I want to be your friend, that is why I"m being so kind to you and listening to your problems."
And the woman says, "Great, because you are in the freind-zone."

Then they have a friendship. Friends talk about each others feelings and hang out. But the Nice Guy (TM) lied to the girl about wanting to be friends just so he can hope to get into her pants...she is not leading him on, he is not the victim. He's a lying, deceiving, manipulative creep.

This assumes all men enter friendships with females just to get in their pants.

What if a guy enters a relationship and then over the course of a many months develops feelings for a girl? Can this just never happen because he's in the friend zone? is he a nice guy or a Nice Guy TM?

Gotta say, I think you may have the love leads being a better person thing backwards. When you're great at what you do, self-sufficient and just generally a good person to be around, love will come a'knockin'.

Love will also make you a happier, better person, but after all is said and done if and when it comes time to break up you still get to be that great person even after they're gone. Because you were already worthwhile to begin with.

Also, the reason you try dancing badly is so you learn to dance better. You wear stupid hats so people tell you your hat is stupid and you learn to dress better. You take risks, not just for the thrill, because you learn what does and doesn't work whether or not you succeed. Just in case that wasn't clear.

Quotes from the article between brackets:

[This behavior is often bundled with a fearful, passive, or insecure approach to dating and women, which shouldn't be surprising, considering that Nice Guys™ are nothing if not insecure. (...) You've got to put yourself on the line. Because love only comes to those who earn it.]

Up to about this point, I was actually quite happy with your article and I think that you're spot-on; it's not hard at all for a insecure guy to believe that simply 'being there' and other similar behaviour somehow merits/qualifies them for a relationship with a girl. Love, like so many things in life, has to have an element of risk, you have to actually state your intentions at some point (although when to do so is debatable and I think you make it seem like it's strictly necessary to do so very early, which isn't necessarily true), and I like that make clear how this is distinct from being a nice guy (i.e., being a nice person).

It's starting below that I think that you start to write in a very unfortunate way, that makes your message seem something that it isn't, a real shame:

[Generally, I think being "nice" to attract a mate is overrated. (...) That's just standard practice for living in polite society. And just because people often aren't nice to each other doesn't mean that when you are, it somehow makes you more distinctive or desirable. I mean, it's like flossing. You really want to hang your hat on the fact that you floss, and other people don't? I mean, sure, you'll have nice teeth. But... what else?

A woman who tells her friends that, "well, he was nice" is damning you with faint praise, because it means she can't think of anything else to remember you by.]

Sorry, but the way you write the above makes it seem as if there's an actual problem with being nice... I mean, I understand what the message you're trying to get across is, but you've expressed yourself in an pretty bad way, which is lamentable.

If I understand you correctly, what you want to say is that simply being nice to other people doesn't make for a particularly attractive personality characteristic and that no woman/man would likely be interested in man/woman that is only 'nice' (i.e., courteous and whatnot) to them and is seen as such.

The problem is that you're creating a situation where people are reduced down to a single characteristic. No relationship between two people that isn't incredibly superficial, and let me emphasize that I'm not just talking about romantic relationships here, happens in such a way that the only thing that the one person can observe in the other is their 'niceness'. If that's somehow happening, then it's not really a relationship and more of the case of two people who very casually know each other and, in that case, what should be happening is that if one of them is interested in the other, they should simply work to get to know the other better.

So, to make sure I'm very clear about this: if A looks at B and can only think of how B is 'nice', then the clearly A and B don't really know one another yet; as long as B realizes this (and if he/she doesn't, he/she might very well be a Nice Guy (TM)) and understands that it's necessary to get to know the other person better, then what you're written above doesn't really apply.

[So don't settle for being "nice". Strive for "amazing", or "unforgettable", or "the greatest man I've ever met".]

This, again, isn't per se a bad piece of advice, just poorly expressed. As in my above comments, what you're trying to say is that a person should do more that just be 'nice' and should make some effort to impress the other as they get to know one another which is something that, as long as you're not misrepresenting yourself, I agree is pretty good advice.

It really is ok to show off some of your better characteristics, together with your not so pleasant side; that's a part of getting to know anyone better and there's nothing wrong with making sure a person you're interested in can see more of better side quickly, otherwise why would they ever think in being interested in you?

The problem is that the way you write (and see below for more), you see to imply that a guy (in particular) needs to be arrogant or proud or 'jock-like' to succeed which is, most definitely, not the advice you're trying to give; it just [sounds] like that.

[Yes, be respectful, generous and kind. Be nice. But also: Do the things you do well. Don't apologize when you win.]

As per the above, this is good advice, although 'win' is a little ambiguous. ^_^

[Tell jokes in a crowd. Take the mic in Rock Band. Be the DM. See the world. Laugh loudly. Dance badly. Try the things that scare you. Wear a stupid hat.]

Again, poorly expressed. VERY poorly expressed. And I think you've misjudged your audience badly.

A introvert (and, with reasonable odds, that's the sort of person who's reading this right now) will read the above and think that what you mean is, again, that it is necessary him/her to act like an extrovert / jock / to call attention / to do things that they absolutely don't feel comfortable in doing, to have any chance with the opposite sex.

I know this isn't what you're trying to say, in fact, I think you're most likely just trying to highlight some ways that a person can showcase some of their more attractive personality characteristics and emphasizing again that you do really have to put yourself at risk if you want to establish a relationship. Again, both are sound advice.

And, again, the problem is that I think you've picked some really poor examples that probably come off, again to an introvert, as stuff that they wouldn't feel comfortable at any level in doing. That, in fact, they would need to radically change they personality to have any chance. Or, and I'm exaggerating for effect, that they have something of a personality disorder, in that they necessary steps towards finding love requires them to do stuff they find almost abhorrent.

[Share your opinions freely. Share your kindnesses even more freely. Love yourself first, and without restraint.]

Better, much better, but sandwiched between two 'misleading' parts and, quite easily, lost.

[Just burn, burn like a flame that can't go out; burn brighter and hotter than even the sun.

Fuck being a nice guy. Be a supernova instead.]

And, yeah, I've got nothing else to add to that, what I've written above applies liberally to these last lines. It sounds nothing like the message you're trying to pass.

Now, you may be asking yourself, why have I taken the time to write out such a long analyses of your writing? Because I have nothing better to do? Because I have some sort of personality disorder? Because I'm attempting to troll you really badly by spending far too much time on it?

No, it's simply because the message you're trying to get across is, essentially a good one and one that should be told more often: that you have to take risks in trying to find love, that you must be ready to be rejected, that being a Nice Guy (TM) is not healthy for yourself (or others, really), that you shouldn't be ashamed of highlighting some of your more attractive quirks, that being nice (in the literal sense of the word) is not enough, that you must seriously look at yourself and try to reason whether you're a Nice Guy (TM) or just a nice guy, and so forth.

I just think that, as an introvert, this message is almost lost in the way you write (you're far to aggressive at some points, which will make many readers go on the defensive) and that the message that comes out from a more causal reading is, instead, that: to have any chance with the opposite sex, you have to become an extrovert / jock, that you shouldn't be nice to other people, that you might have to radically change your personality / that you can't be yourself, etc.

Obviously, NOT what you intended, but it's a terrible shame, as this is the last thing that Nice Guys (TM) and nice guys/introverts need to hear; it'll either despair them (the latter) or convince them that they should stick to what they're doing (the former).

TL;DR: Lara, if I might make a suggestion: read what you've written again, quickly and without too much reflection and try to put yourself in the position of introvert, of a person who has difficulties in expressing themselves, of a nice guy, of a Nice Guy (TM); what message comes across from your article? What do you think people will take from it?

<Whew, that could have qualified for a whole article in itself!>

Combustion Kevin:
you people do realise that this is the opinion of ONE woman?
bias is inevitable, she likes extroverted guys, that's it, and while that is generally an attractive trait, you may just find another girl who likes the quiet type.

It is the opinion of one woman who is being enabled by a website that we presumably all like, and she should be held accountable when she steps over the line. If it's just her taste in men, she should say that. But she's making these statements as if their universal facts. Furthermore, the nice guys that this article is about (that is [i]unsuccessful[i] nice guys) have generally not found that there are other girls that like their type. Which is kind of another problem I have with this: she is basically kicking a demographic that is already down.

And seriously, if you hate romantically unsuccessful nice people then you have absolutely no business writing a love column.

trooper6:

GrandmaFunk:

It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth when I read rants about the evils of Nice Guys, it feels a lot like blaming the victim.

The problem is that Nice Guys (TM) aren't victims...for the most part they are passive-aggressive manipulators who harass their female friends. Tt the extreme end they end up like a couple of those guys like George Sodini who killed women in a gym in Pennsylvania because women don't date nice guys like him.

If you think you're a victim because a woman won't date you...then you are a Nice Guy (TM) and not a nice guy. No woman (no person) is obligated to date you. You are not owed a date by anyone. Not getting a date doesn't make you a victim. A woman turning you down for a date doesn't make her a victimizer.

Being rejected by someone you're in love with doesn't really make you a victim, but it makes you feel like it. You're hurt and it's more or less "caused" by the person that rejected you. That's just how it works. Of course, there can be a difference between what you feel and what you think. Rationally speaking, of course it's not the fault of the rejecter, but tell that to someone who's heart has just been broken.
Of course no woman (or man) is never obligated to date you, but when you don't see what's wrong with you or your approach, isn't it quite natural to ask "why doesn't s/he like me?"? That's not "disrespecting their opinion/choice". You can't expect all people to just always instantly say "oh well, on to the next one".

As for the entitlement issue: I think a certain sense of entitlement is natural. I mean, if you love yourself enough to be self confident, presumably you think you deserve certain things. Surely you think you deserved some of the things that you have. Hell, I'm pretty sure a variant the phrase "you gotta earn it" was used in this thread. So how do you earn it? By happening to be naturally confident? By having many interests? By being good looking? By working hard for it? It seems a little hard to define. So is it really so crazy that someone who has been trying his best for (let's say) 25 loveless years maybe feels a little bit cheated by life when all around him everybody has been in dozens relationships seemingly for no reason at all? If you ever felt like you deserved love, can you blame someone who doesn't have it for feeling the same?
Also, it seems quite natural to think you deserved a relationshup more if you spent a period of time (voluntarily) doing everything for someone you like, compared to some random dude who is being a jerk to her.
I'm not saying that emo-ing to the internet about it is a great idea, but in moderation it's a very natural and understandable feeling. And people who already have that something should probably reflect on how they would feel if they hadn't before bitching about it.

trooper6:

GrandmaFunk:
oddly the clarification doesn't feel any less insulting and still amounts to : girls don't want nice guys, you're better off being a jerk than being yourself.

You misread it. Gals do want nice guys who are themselves...and those selves are interesting (which might be introverted or extroverted). What they don't want is jerks. Many of the so-called Nice Guys (TM) are not actually nice guys, but jerks...which is why women don't like them.

And (in my experience) many, many, many more self-called nice guys are actually just that: genuinely nice guys. The thing is: I think a lot of nice guys didn't even come up with that label themselves. It's what everybody keeps telling us is the reason that we aren't successful in love. So people start identifying with that label (not as a sole identifier, but as one of many labels that applies to them), and when someone starts saying that all nice guys are deceitful, manipulative bastards that is extremely offensive. Whether you later put a little trademark sign after it or not. And what's even more offensive is the constant insinuation in this thread that if you are unsuccessful in love, you must not be a (genuinely) nice guy, but the manipulative asshole variety.

Of course it's not true that women only want jerks, and it's not right to think or say so, but I'd still like to elicit why it seems so. First of all, it's because people tell you ("you shouldn't be so nice"). But I think the real problem with nice guys is that they care and invest more (too much). I'd say that the "nice guy approach" is basically to get into a relationship through friendship. Note that this is different from trying to "get into her pants" (I'm not saying you can't be a nice person if that's what you're pursuing, but I don't think that fits romantically speaking that fits the "nice guy profile". And often it's not a premeditated thing either, so they don't just become friends for the relationship. But when they eventually do fall in love with their friend, the situation is a lot more complicated then it would have been if they had just asked that person out (back when they weren't really attracted to them yet). Rejection hurts and costs more, namely a friendship (possibly). And that's when you actually did get rejected instead of just doing nothing at all.

It's just not a very optimal "strategy". People who care and invest less are able to iterate much faster, which will help them be more successful if only because of sheer numbers (I also think that people are generally more attracted to this approach, and that this'll give you more practice). But not really caring about the person who's pants you're trying to get into can often feel like kind of a dick move. But the thing is: this nice guy approach is more a thing of incompetence, not malice.

If you, or Lara, wants to address that incompetence, then by all means do. But don't go around flaming an entire group of perfectly nice people. If you want to address liars, call them "liars". If you want to say "not all people who say they're nice are actually nice", say that. Saying "nice guys are jerks" makes about as much sense as saying "black guys are white".

trooper6:
Anyway, to address the heteronormative presumptions about relationship dynamics in the response...I can't speak for Lara, but following much of the reading I've done on Nice Guy Syndrome, I believe that Nice Guy Syndrome is basically rooted in misogyny and sexism. It's about male privilege and entitlement to women's bodies. It is about objectifying women. Because of that, Nice Guy Syndrome is not going to work itself out the same way in same-sex relationships. In many ways, Nice Guy Syndrome is a problem of heteronormativity. It is a problem of patriarchal relationship codes. It is a problem of the predator/prey understanding male/female sexuality in the first place.

You're obviously using a different definition of "nice guy" that I am, but let me just say that in my experience nice guys are usually as far from misogynists and sexists as could be. The problem rather seems to be that they have too much respect for other people (including the women they're attracted to), which leads them to approaching dating with too much caution. They don't just ask women out, because they don't view them as sex objects and would rather get to know them as friends first (and partially because they're afraid to).

Great one, Lara. Although you have probably noticed that by now, since this article has about 3 times the replies you normally get. I talked about how good you are at addressing your audience before, but it turns out we're not just gamers and geeks: mosts Escapists are both male and nice(tm) as well. ;)

I think the whole problem with the nice guy thing is how do you tell or show a girl you're into them and when? You like the girl/guy/whatever and you want keep the ball rolling (don't want wanna quietly fade away or be forgotten) so you talk and keep talking but nothing ever happens cause you don't know how to made something happen, Till all you think you can do is keep talking.

Everybody loves confidence, But it ain't just something you can pick up and get. It's earned through experience and support. There's a bit of a paradox there, it usually requires confidence to go out and do something and earn experience but confidence usually comes from experience and it's all to easy to be burnt from a bad experience. So it usually ends up those with confidence keep get more confident and those without stagnate or become more withdrawn.

Damn world everything's circular whole chicken and the egg thing it's amazing anything happens.
Sucks when you're out of the loop and don't know how to get back in.

There's one thing the article didn't mention, and it really should: the Nice Guy(TM) trait of listening to every little problem, being there for the girl, helping out with stuff, fixing her computer[1], and whatever else they wind up doing? It's basically the guy doing all of the less pleasant things expected of a boyfriend, without getting any of the pleasant benefits. These guys really need to learn that they're pretty much giving away the milk for free by doing that, and the girl isn't going to be interested in buying the cow. People who are just friends don't usually do that kind of thing. Neither should people who are "just friends" and want to be more. This is especially important, because the guys who do this are almost exclusively young and inexperienced with dating. For most of them, it takes a lot of heart break before they realize what's going on, if they ever do; a lot of them just go from unhappily single to bitterly forever alone.

[1] or her car, or whatever; this varies depending on what the guy is skilled at

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