Have you ever been in a situation where you tried to be really nice to someone to win them over?
Did it work?
Today’s post is all about niceness and how it doesn’t guarantee anything in our relationships. Being a (formerly over) nice guy myself – most of the below is from personal experience. If you have something to comment, discuss or disagree with, please comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you!
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Niceness Can’t Tell You Whether a Relationship Will Last
Niceness is a really simple, convenient measure of character, especially for outsiders who look in.
“Oh, but he seems really nice. I wonder why she dumped him. Bitch.”
“Oh, but she was so nice to him. I wonder why he dumped her. Bastard.”
Unfortunately it’s not a good measure at all. It’s too superficial – and doesn’t show very deeply into character. I’m sure Adolf Hitler was very nice to his mistress too.
Neither does it look at how compatible a couple is – whether they have common goals for the future, whether they plan to live in the same country, whether they have mutual interests. It can’t do very much for chemistry or attraction either.
For example, when a lady receives a bouquet of flowers from a guy she doesn’t like – it doesn’t make her like him any more. She might feel gratitude, indebtedness and feel touched, but those are very different things from attraction.
Expectations and Entitlement
A common complaint in the aftermath of a break up is “I poured out so much love to him/her. It isn’t fair.”
But take some time to look at the fallacy of the argument of “fair”. None of us are actually entitled to anything in this world.
Does studying medicine entitle a student to eventually become a doctor? Does singing karaoke 10 hours a day entitle an aspiring singer to win a Grammy? Does being elected to parliament entitle a politician to act like a douchebag?
Are you entitled to be forever loved if you put in effort to love someone?
Sure, you can work towards your goals. And you should. You’ll be happy if you spend time improving yourself. But you’ll forever be depressed – if you feel entitled to things because you’ve decided to work for them.
So look at your motives. Are you nice to people just because you want them to like you? Do you let people walk over you in your bid to please them?
I’m not saying that you should stop being nice. You should – especially to your partner. But if you do want to be nice, don’t do it with expectations. Let it be as sincere and expectation-free as possible.
Lessons From Nice Guys
Let’s look at the nice guy syndrome and take away some lessons from it. You know – how some guys do everything under the sun to try and win the affections of their targets – but usually fail and end up being friendzoned?
People always say that women don’t want to be with nice guys. This isn’t true.
Women just don’t want to be with guys who are nice to women to get into their pants. The guys might seem sincere and pure, but it’s still a transaction. And we don’t want our relationships to be transactions. We feel emotionally manipulated.
Find a man who is genuinely nice to women, without needing or expecting anything in return – and you’ll have a supremely attractive man.
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So if being nice doesn’t guarantee you a happy relationship, what does?
The answer is of course: Unfortunately there are no guarantees.
But you can maximize your chances. Build a bulletproof self-esteem and treat yourself right. Don’t waste time on people and relationships that are going nowhere. Look deeply into the character of people – instead of just external actions.
And if you’re going to be nice, don’t expect anything back from it.
*The original version of this article first appeared on Emmagem
Pic Credit: “Broken Heart Grunge” by Nicolas Raymond