Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 04:27 pm
Men have a lot to contend with in their lives starting from teenagerhood to adulthood and beyond, and how to not be the nice guy is one of them.
In the world of men, it is almost taboo to be a nice guy because you are going to be bashed by your peers, and ridiculed by everyone including books and the media.
You are reminded at every turn that you are not masculine enough and to man up or grow balls.
With the pressure from all angles, one would not but forced to learn how to not be the nice guy.
However, do we actually know the meaning of a nice guy and the characteristics that earned him the description?
This post will look into who he is, the types, examples, and how to not be the weak nice guy. A “good guy” will be used interchangeably with the term.
Table of Contents
- Who is a Nice Guy?
- Types of Nice Guys
- Dating the Nice Guy
- Most Men Outgrow the Negative Nice Guy Rut
- Men Detest the Nice Guy
- How to Not Be the Nice Guy
Who is a Nice Guy?
The concept of a “nice guy” typically refers to a person, usually a man, who is perceived as kind, considerate, and respectful towards others, particularly women.
However, the term ‘nice guy’ often carries a negative connotation as it has been used to describe a person who claims to be nice but is actually manipulative or entitled in their interactions with others, particularly women, and often feels entitled to a romantic or sexual relationship in return.
Therefore, a “nice guy” is often seen as insincere and lacking in genuine kindness and empathy.
The good guy seems to be fighting a hell of stubborn insecurities and is unsure how to go about it.
Types of Nice Guys
There are practically three types of nice guys and they are as follows: Positive, negative, and toxic nice guys. We will take them one after another.
The Positive Nice Guy
The ‘nice guy’ term is used positively when it describes a man who puts the needs of others ahead of his. A man who doesn’t like confrontations does favour and gives emotional support to others.
He does well to avoid trouble and is decent towards others including strangers.
In dating, the good guy can also mean a guy who is honest, loyal, romantic and shows genuine respect.
This nice guy is the dream of most women because he seems to be a very disciplined man and plays by the rules.
It is in this category of men you have the gentlemen who are fastidious about a peaceful society and are advocates of good conduct.
However, this does not mean they are scared of people, they are only principled and respect the rules.
When pushed to the wall, he can react aggressively in a way that is unexpected.
The Negative Nice Guy
In the negative sense, a nice guy is described as a man who is unassertive, insecure, non-masculine, or battles with fragile masculinity.
This kind of nice guy is seen as weak, doesn’t have a mind of his own, and hardly voices his opinion.
He agrees and goes with the crowd even when it is not agreeable to him. Most young men who are honing their confidence and masculinity fall into this category.
The opposite of this nice guy could be a jerk which means insensitive, blunt, selfish, and a person who doesn’t care about others. Also, the alpha male posturer has a close call with a jerk.
The Sarcastic Nice Guy
Sarcastically, it is used to describe a man who prides himself to have “nice guy” qualities, even when he does not.
He employs this strategy of friendship and uses social politeness to get around women for sexual relationships.
He feels he can get women’s attention by simply being nice. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Nice Guy Syndrome”, – which is the entitlement attached to being nice to a lady and expecting romance in return and its consequent anger and irrational behaviour when this expectation is not met.
Dating the Nice Guy
Some women like extra-polite, kind of guys while others like their guys to come with mixed traits. But never seen a woman who likes the timid, unassertive nice guy.
Though women might have them around not because of romance, but to use them as a means. This is because they are negatively humble and loyal.
Below are what it is like to date different types of nice guys.
Dating the Positive Nice Guy
As described somewhere above, women like the positive nice guy because he does not bring drama and sticks to rules. He is what some people would call the perfect gentleman.
Dating though is more interesting where there are occasional dramas according to some people.
Some women love the mix of niceness and jerkiness lol – if there was a word like that. Just trying to manufacture the adjective of a jerk.
Being nice all through and sticking to rules looks monotonous and boring to some women.
Example of the Positive Nice Guy
According to answers on Quora on the topic – who is a nice guy?
Nicole Stowe answered by giving the following anecdote:
Dating the Negative Nice Guy
This kind of nice guy is initially attractive to ladies because of their caring and concerned nature. They can absolutely make people around them comfortable.
Their smiles and unoffending, harmless nature, and their willingness to always help make especially women feel cool with them.
But things would quickly change after the talking stage when more is known. He might be shy and lackluster in asking for more intimacy even when the lady anticipates it.
The negative nice guy has so many fantasies that he lacks the will to bring to reality even when the fantasy is staring him in the face.
Example of the Negative Nice Guy
The bad nice folks are boring. Forgettable. Lackluster.
He doesn’t appear to have any hobbies or interests nor to be passionate about any causes or endeavors.
He doesn’t even appear to possess any notable personal traits – humorous, imaginative, and ambitious. Simply put, the “nice man” is pleasant.
His distinguishing characteristic is that he meets the minimal standard for social contact, just like the front desk clerk at the dentist’s office or the waiter at the morning restaurant who just does his job.
Strangely, he thinks he’s unique. He considers himself to be a shining example of morality among abusers and criminals, and he thinks that common decency and consideration belong to a select few.
He elevates women and places them on a pedestal that they did not choose to be on, and worships them
Dating the Toxic Nice Guy
The sarcastic nice guy or the toxic guy comes off in dating as manipulative and demanding. He projects his niceness as a tool to win over a woman.
This means the trait is not inherent but a cloak that would be removed when it doesn’t yield the desired result.
He is repulsive and annoying to a woman who knows what she wants.
Women generally avoid this type of guy as most of them battle harmful masculinity.
This type can ask for their gifts in return when a woman decides not to date them or calls off the relationship.
Example of the Toxic Nice Guy
On the same topic, another Quora user Yana Timoshenko also has this to say about the nice guy:
“I personally like guys that are nice. If you’re rude, I won’t date you. I dislike “nice guys,” though. I particularly avoid good people who think of themselves as such.
A charming guy struggles with poor self-esteem and has a propensity to seek self-validation from women.
They believe that they have difficulty navigating the dating scene because they believe women are attracted to jerks, but they completely overlook the consequences and obvious signs of their lack of confidence.
Instead of concentrating on themselves, they are more concerned with what other people, especially women, think of them (as well as their own principles and goals).
She went ahead to say more…
The problem with the nice guys is that they never know when to stop being polite. There is no place to minimize inner strength in the harsh, cutthroat environment we live in today.
Polite guys believe that being nice is enough to win someone over. While vitally essential, decency is not the only quality we consider.
In summary, being “kind” is not the issue. The issue is a lack of self-assurance, a supple disposition, and erroneous ideas about social interaction.
Most Men Outgrow the Negative Nice Guy Rut
For most men, the negative nice guy rut is a stage in the development of man and they quickly outgrow it with experience and with developing needs.
Young men upon attaining adulthood are apprehensive about their view and how others view them. And the anxiety is even more intense when in contact with a woman.
But with few flops and practice, they can quickly snap out of this rut and become confident and assertive to project their needs.
But there are some men who get stuck and at a loss on how to free themselves from the embarrassing rut.
Men Detest the Nice Guy
In the midst of men, they detest and mock any man who has nice guy traits, especially the negative nice guy.
This sends apprehensive feelings to young men who do not know how not to be nice guys.
This is also a problem in Pick-up Artis (PUA) community where they advise men not to be overly nice too, especially women.
They are taught that being nice to ladies is against the principles of the almighty alpha male crusaders’ communities where they teach men how to be tough and dominant.
How to Not Be the Nice Guy
Though a positive nice guy is good and at least makes a man peaceful and agreeable in society, many men use the ‘nice guy’ term for anyone who is weak and curries favour by being nice.
Below are some steps to take to become assertive and stop being unnecessarily nice:
1. Know you Need to Change
Knowing you have a problem that needs to be changed is the first step to making the needed changes.
The factor preventing progress and change is when an individual does not believe there is a problem.
By recognizing that there should be change, you can go ahead and find ways to effect this change.
2. Don’t Expect a Reward When You Are Nice
Move on and do not expect to be rewarded when you give a hand. If you are interested in a lady, go all out and make your intention known in a mature way and not by being ridiculously nice.
Being nice is okay, but it should be as natural as possible, and not doing it to be rewarded with romance or any other gesture at all.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Say no
Most nice guys are used because they cannot say no or turn down a request because they are shy or can’t just bring themselves to disagree.
Be bold enough to say no when your interest does not align with the situation or if you are not comfortable.
Pleasing people against your own will can have a negative effect on your mental well-being.
Saying ‘no’ means looking out for yourself, and not necessarily hurting or spiting anyone.
4. Stand up for Yourself
Standing up for yourself means protecting your interest and charting your own course.
It might come off as selfish, but there is a thin line between the two. You should know when to give up your own comfort and give a little of yourself.
When you demand your needs in the right way, they would be given handed to you if you deserve it.
5. Be Nice genuinely, Don’t Fake it
When you are moved to be a nice guy, do so naturally and genuinely. Take the compliments and move. Faking being nice means you have an agenda that will be seen through before long.
Being yourself can never go out of fashion. Ask yourself if you can actually do that favour without feeling bad or waiting for a reward.
6. Work on Your Confidence
Confidence is the most important quality of masculinity. A man who lacks confidence would be tossed around, and used by people.
And if he tries to exercise confidence prematurely, he may slip into the rut of toxic or fragile masculinity.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Nice Guy
How do you know if you are a nice guy?
Here are the tell-tale signs of a nice guy:
- You fume and complain when he is rejected or turned down
- You complain and blame yourself for being too kind after his expectations are not met
- You are insecure
- You are always suspecting that women are scheming and you demand too much respect
- You belittle and write other men off in the presence of whomever you are pleasing
- You believe a woman should submit to you because you are nice to her
Do girls like nice guys?
It is clear that women are attracted to nice guys, but when he eventually becomes the negative nice guy, he becomes a turnoff quickly and be friend-zoned.
He will be friend-zoned because he would always be needed for handyman duties and at convenience.
However, the power of niceness should not be underrated when the man knows what he is doing.
Niceness is a big tool to use to disarm ladies when it is wielded by an experienced man.
Studies have shown that possessing a naturally nice personality can enhance a man’s attractiveness.
What is the difference between a good guy and a nice guy?
A good man is a genuine person who is naturally nice and not because he is getting something. He needs no accolades or external validation.
On the other hand, a nice guy mostly gives to get in the case of the negative nice guy. He enters into what is called a ‘covert contract’ where his motives are to get something in return for being nice.
What do nice guys do?
There are three types of nice guys. The first one is naturally nice and a gentleman who is rational and not a pushover.
The other is unnecessarily nice to everyone and can hurt himself by pleasing others. The other is nice
The third is a scheming guy who is nice because he has an agenda. He gets upset and dissolves a relationship if his agenda doesn’t go through.
What is an example of a nice guy?
The act of showing kindness to a lady with the intent to seduce her. Insisting that toxic men are the reason they were rejected believing that being, particularly kind requires them to exhibit fundamental human decency and manners.
Refer also to the examples of positive, negative, and toxic nice guys above.
Every man should understand how to not be a nice guy – the negative or the toxic nice guy when socializing with people. It saves him from being used.
However, being a positive nice guy is what every man should aspire to.
Though being a nice guy is taunted and condemned by especially men, not all nice guys are annoying and a sign of immaturity or weakness.
Being a nice guy is not bad when it is done naturally without hoping for a reward.
In the dating situation, niceness is used to scheme into women’s hearts and get what one wants, but it does not take long before it is exposed.
Being genuinely nice is the key.
- How to Stop Being a Nice Guy: Getting Over the Nice Guy Syndrome
- How To Stop Being The Nice Guy With These 7 Tips
- The Problem With “Nice Guys”
- 5 Reasons Why The ‘Nice Guy’ Is Actually An Assh*le
- How to Stop Being the Nice Guy – 10 Steps
Pyo Merez (PsyD) is a distinguished adolescent and adult psychologist at the forefront of mental health advocacy.
With expertise in cognitive and developmental psychology, focusing on social relationships, cultural contexts, and individual differences, Pyo has dedicated his career to empowering adolescents and adults.
As a sought-after speaker and panelist, Pyo shares invaluable insights on issues affecting young people, contributing to a deeper understanding of mental health and well-being in today's society.