Let's talk about Nice Guy Syndrome.

My friends sometimes call me a Mister Nice. I've written plenty of articles about alpha males and nice guys like myself before.

Here I'll show you what I've learned and why being a nice guy can sometimes hurt you in the long run.


What is the Syndrome of a Nice Guy

Nice Guy Behavior is a term for a man who is outwardly nice and approachable but, in reality, can be motivated entirely by self-gain.

By its most common definition, people with the symptoms of a nice guy are typically males who have been conditioned by their life and society to believe that the only way to be accepted is to be kind and agreeable to others. Because of this belief, they try to disguise the darker and more unlikable parts of themselves from others, fearing rejection and abandonment by others.

Eventually, these people begin to feel entitled to have intimate relationships with others because of their niceness and feel personally wronged when they don't get what they want. They don't realize that nice guys finish last because attracting the opposite sex isn't a matter of just being superficially nice; it's just a simple chemical reaction.

Virtues of a Nice Guy In A Relationship

Being a nice guy might seem like it's working at first - you might earn some friendships and maybe even spark something deeper. However, keeping up this nice guy persona is mentally exhausting, which can strain the relationships he's formed. By constantly trying to live up to his ideal self and denying what doesn't fit, he ends up putting unreasonable expectations on himself. These expectations can be draining and might seriously damage any meaningful relationship he creates.

Another aspect of displaying the virtues of a nice guy is that, because of the belief that all he needs to be accepted is to be nice, he begins to feel superior to others. If he believes he's being nice all the time, sometimes he can be tricked into thinking he's entitled to the affection of other people. Especially when it comes to women, he might be led to believe that he's especially attractive to them and might feel wronged by them when it doesn't happen.

What women want in a man differs depending on the woman, but being nice to women doesn't prove that the guy is a beacon of masculinity - it proves that he is a decent human being.

What's Wrong With Pretending To Be a Nice Guy

Being nice and caring in itself is not a bad thing. By respecting people's needs, the nice guy is being kind and respectful to them. It can lead to a foundation of trust and closeness, resulting in a long and meaningful relationship with others. When an ulterior motive forms, it can harm his relationships, especially romantic ones.

He may find himself wanting more from women whom he's befriended. He may want to become more intimate with them or extract sexual favors from them. He may also constantly seek approval and praise from others due to his perceived niceness. Attempting to enter intimacy early can be turn offs for women, especially if they end up discovering your ulterior motives. In the worst case, they may also lose respect for their boundaries and become exactly the opposite of what they believe themselves to be.

However, being pretentious isn't just harmful to others; it can also be detrimental to the man himself. Driven by the belief that to gain acceptance, one must be consistently kind, he is constantly rewriting his personality to seem approachable to others. He may also be bottling up his real feelings out of fear that he'd be shunned for them.

By constantly cutting out the parts of his personality he doesn't feel are flattering, he is entering a cycle of self-loathing and self-denial that can seriously damage his psyche. Kept for long enough could lead him into destructive behavior that, ironically, will achieve the exact opposite of what he wants.

Good Guy versus Nice Guy: 5 Differences

The main difference between a Nice Guy and a Good Guy is primarily their intent. A good guy doesn't expect anything in return, while a nice guy may have an ulterior motive driving his actions. Most of their differences stem from this fundamental difference in expectation.

1. Good guys don't want anything, while nice guys usually want something.

A good guy is naturally kind and just. They're just an all-around great guy without any ulterior motives in mind. They don't expect or need anything from the others and will do a good thing for the sake of it. Meanwhile, a nice person might want approval, a reward, or a favor, in exchange for their kind acts.

2. Good guys instinctively help others, while nice guys help others when it benefits them.

A good guy always helps their friends almost without thinking. If there is a thought spared, it's most likely to be how to best support their troubled friend. Meanwhile, a nice person might think twice about helping their friends. It may be driven out of self-gain, or whether or not they can gain something through assisting them.

3. Good guys don't fear reproach, while nice guys choose their words carefully.

A good guy will happily voice their own opinion. They don't put too much stock into what people think about them, so long as they aren't saying something wrong. Meanwhile, nice guys might keep their opinions to themselves. They might agree with everything the other is saying, fearing that they might push someone away if they say what's on their mind.

4. Good guys don't like rejection, while nice guys run away from it.

A good guy doesn't fear rejection. He might be hurt when rejected, but he'll likely continue being friends with the other party and won't treat it as a major loss if they're rejected once or twice. Meanwhile, nice guys deeply fear abandonment and rejection, and each rejection may scar them deeply and influence their actions towards others.

5. Good guys don't mind being intimate, while nice guys crave it.

A good guy doesn't care about how intimate he is with a woman. To them, they're at the same level as friends - if they're in a romantic relationship, then they don't care how intimate they are with the other, as long as they can at the right level. Meanwhile, a nice guy might want to get close to women, especially at a deeper level of intimacy, depending on their motive.

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How to Deal with Someone Who Shows Symptoms of Being a Nice Guy

If you suspect that there's a lot more going on behind your friend's niceness, then there's a possibility they might be having the behaviors of a nice guy. It can be exhausting dealing with that sort of person who is kind and caring but also rather dishonest about his feelings. It could even create a serious rift in your relationship with him. We'll help you find ways to handle such a person.

1. Encourage them to be honest.

Nice guys have trouble being honest with their feelings, especially when they believe that they'll be rejected for having them. Start by approaching the nice guy, and reassure that no matter what they say, you'll accept them. Let them know that they can be themselves around you.

This may take some time to accomplish, but it's important for repairing your relationship.

2. Talk to them personally.

Let them know you're talking to the person behind the nice mask, no one else. This might shock them into talking honestly about what they feel and how they feel about things and help break the barriers they've put up around them. Speak informally and personally to them so that they know you're also talking from the heart.

3. Get them to relax.

The nice guy might find themselves feeling that they're constantly walking in a minefield, afraid of taking a wrong step. Prove to them that you can be trusted. Be patient and understanding of their feelings. Let them know that it's okay to let their guard down a bit so that they can feel secure in your presence.

How To Get Over Being The "Nice Guy"

If you suspect you're trying to be a nice guy, it's probably time to discard that mindset. If you feel your relationships are in jeopardy because of your niceness and mildness, then now is the time to act. I'll teach you how to stop being the nice guy and teach you how to become a better man despite that.

1. Confide in your loved ones.

They say that everything starts at home. Confiding in people close to you can help you practice being honest outside of the house. Being honest with family members, especially close friends, can help you learn to be the same with other people.

2. Ask for favors now and then.

Nice guys are driven to do things for others but rarely want others to do something for them. Try to ask your friends on small, simple errands at first: things like "can you get this for me" or "could you help me with something?" Not only will it help you learn to trust them, but it will also show them that you're not completely meek, either.

3. Find a role model.

One way to learn is by imitation. Find male role models to help you become a better, more ideal man. You can read books, listen to podcasts, or learn from someone particular in your life... The important thing is to set a goal for yourself to reach while moving away from being just a plain old nice guy.

4. Express your anger.

Now and then, it's okay to let loose some steam sometimes. If you feel like you've been wronged by other people or want to unleash some pent-up frustration, find a quiet place to let it all out. Don't take your anger out on people; find non-destructive ways to purge the bitterness from your system. Doing so can help you shed that nice guy behavior.

5. Get some professional help.

You're not alone in the signs of a nice guy. Countless men have faced the same thing. If the above methods don't work for you, you can seek a psychiatrist's aid to help undo the damage to your person being a nice guy has inflicted. Professional assistance can help you properly put your past behind you and start anew.

Awesome Books That Can Help You Unleash Your Inner Alpha

If reading this article has convinced you that you should no longer be just a nice guy, then it's time for you to make a choice - do you want to be an alpha male or not? If so, here is some suggested reading for you to read through. It'll teach you how to become an alpha male that everyone can appreciate.

1. Robert A. Glover

Robert A. Glover wrote this book that contains important step-by-step guide that teaches you how to make the most of your interactions with other people. It teaches you about the pitfalls of being a nice guy and what you can do to escape it. It's a must-read for the budding alpha male.

2. The Code of Man - Waller R. Newell

Masculinity has evidently evolved in the time since it first manifested. The twenty-first century brought about changes to masculinity that have strayed far from its roots. The Code of Man teaches us to look to the past to find out how to be a better man - encouraging us to trace back to our roots to strengthen ourselves.

3. Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity - Justin Baldoni

More of a personal account than a guide, this book explores one man's struggles on the topic of their masculinity. This thoroughly enchanting book explores the finer and gritter details of masculinity and what thinking goes into it. This is highly informative and personal read that can help you understand your own experiences better.

4. The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love - Bell Hooks

This book demonstrates the pitfalls of masculinity and how a wrong interpretation can seriously lead you astray. How to express yourself and your feelings, how to stay away from turning that masculinity into something toxic... This book teaches you the best way to change yourself to be a better, richer man.

5. The Way of Men - Jack Donovan

Simpler and straight to the point, The Way of Men cuts right into the heart of the matter. It teaches you about masculinity without the addition of religion, morality, politics, or things that add confusing elements to ones understanding of the male spirit. It's a straightforward read about what makes a man and what a man faces in modern society.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you test yourself positive for having symptoms of a nice guy, it's important to recognize that you need to move on from that way of thinking. That way, you can start changing yourself to become a better, nicer, and stronger person. However, if you still need convincing, I have answers to some frequently asked questions that a recovering nice guy might ask.

If nice guys fair last, would it be better to be a bad guy?

Of course not! Sometimes people like a bad boy, but being bad just for the sake of attractiveness can seriously damage both your relationships and your reputation. Doing bad things can also seriously get you into trouble, which won't help you or your friendships. It's okay to be a little rough around the edges, but don't turn into a bad person. You can form healthier relationships with others without being bad or being overly nice. It's important to find a healthy balance in your behavior.

Why do nice guys always get friend-zoned?

A stereotypical nice guy tends to be mild-mannered and agreeable, two things that, in another way, could also mean boring and unassertive. Women often look for assertiveness in men; otherwise, they will find them too easily manipulated to be attractive. They may also find you too nice to want to get into a romantic relationship with you instead of being a close friend.

There are methods of teaching you how to get out of the friend zone, and most of them involve being able to step up for yourself. If you're afraid to commit to it, try it out in small ways before moving on to big ones.

Why do nice guys always lose?

Nice guys often have traits that make them seem meek to others. They don't assert their opinions enough and often go along with what other people say. This makes them easy prey to manipulation and gaslighting from others because they don't defend themselves nearly enough. It's important to show others that you are kind, but remember that you also need to show others that you aren't easy meat, either!

Why do nice guys get treated badly versus the guys that are doing wrong?

Nice guys, seek approval. Bad guys don't. When a nice guy doesn't get the approval he craves, he'll sometimes hold it against the people who deny it to him. On the other hand, bad guys didn't need and didn't ask for your approval - which can be a sign of assertiveness and dominance that people look for.

Don't let yourself be treated badly by others. Learn to defend yourself when needed. Also, don't let yourself engage in passive-aggressive behavior, either. Doing wrong is still wrong and won't earn you the friends you want.

More Helpful Articles To Explore

I hope you've learned something about this article on the dangers of being a nice guy. If you want to learn more still, try some of these articles about male wellness and masculinity. Do you want to be an alpha male? Shed that nice guy behavior and try reading these helpful articles.

  1. If you're looking to remove yourself from pretending or want to learn how to be a more assertive male, try these alpha male body language tricks to show others your good sides.
  2. You can also learn more from an alpha male's mindset - this way of thinking can help you earn the attraction of your chosen other half.
  3. Furthermore, why not take the test and see if you can find signs you're an alpha male?


Nice Guy Syndrome can sometimes be damaging to your relationships and send you down a dark path in life. Being able to pick up the signs and move away from this mindset can help you overcome any relationship problems you face. In changing your mindset from being a nice guy to a good guy, we hope it results in a better you.