9 tell-tale symptoms of nice guy syndrome

Do you think you’re a nice guy?

Or, are you dating a guy you think may have the nice guy syndrome?

Well then, this article is for you!

So what exactly is the “nice guy syndrome”?

Let me explain:

Nice guys have been conditioned by family and society to think that the only way they can be happy is to be liked and accepted by everyone.

They do this by acting in a way that they think is expected of them, while hiding so-called “negative” traits that they think people won’t like about them.

The term “nice guy” has also become popular in recent years in describing guys who think they’re entitled to getting women just because they’re nice. And when they get rejected, they’re anything but nice about it.

Let’s take a look at the 9 tell-tale symptoms of a nice guy

1) Nice guys are dishonest

Nice guys aren’t exactly an open book. They tend to hide their bad traits and imperfections because they think they have to be perfect.

The thing is that they’re afraid of being called out for not living up to other people’s expectations.

That’s why they’ll avoid sharing their real thoughts and feelings in order to make the other person happy or to avoid any sort of argument or conflict. You’ll often hear them say things like, “Whatever you want honey.”

What’s more, they think that they deserve some sort of medal for their compliance and their accommodating behavior.

2) Nice guys are often narcissistic and self-centered

They’ve convinced themselves that because they are nice guys and doing what they think is expected of them, everyone should like them.

When a woman rejects a nice guy, it comes as a huge blow to his self-image and sense of self because, in his mind, it means that the woman doesn’t see how awesome and special he is.

They also lack social skills because they’ve never come to grips with the real world. They live in their own fantasy world where they’re the nice guys and everyone is supposed to see that.

So every time a woman turns a nice guy down, he takes it personally. He feels like he’s being rejected by “the whole world” and feels a great injustice is at hand.

A nice guy thinks there’s something wrong with the woman who rejected him – how could she resist someone as nice? He doesn’t understand that the reason may simply be that she doesn’t think they’re compatible.

3) Nice guys are manipulative

Nice guys like to play the victim.

They’re not great at dealing with rejection, because how can someone say “no” to a nice guy?

Picture this:

A girl goes on a terrible date with a guy she has nothing in common with, who spends the whole night talking about himself. At the end of the night, she can hardly wait to get home when he says, “What a night! We should do this again sometime soon!”

This leaves her more than a little surprised. She tries to politely get herself out of another date with this guy when he starts to play the victim card.

“Why does this always happen to me? I’m a nice guy, I took you out to a fancy restaurant and you don’t want to go out with me again? Do you know how many creeps are out there? Why don’t women go for the nice guy” and somehow she ends up being guilted into going out with him on a second date…

All in all, nice guys’ behavior can be creepy and irritating. They use manipulation tactics to take advantage of a woman’s kindness just to get what they want.

4) Nice guys always expect a favor in return

Nice guys aren’t nice for the sake of being nice. They never do something without expecting something in return.

Simply put: They expect gratitude for their “nice” behavior.

If they do something nice for a woman, they expect her to do something nice for them.

For example, if a nice guy drives a girl home after a date, he’s expecting her to invite him in or at the very least give him a kiss.

Or if he buys a woman a gift, he’s expecting her to be touched by his generosity and want to give him something in return.

Nice guys get turned on by the idea of women being appreciative of them. They’re more concerned with receiving validation from people than giving it because it makes them feel good about themselves.

The bottom line is that a nice guy feels he has certain rights and thinks he’s owed something in return for being nice.

5) Nice guys are passive-aggressive

Nice guys are full of resentment, frustration, and disappointment for not getting the praise and validation that they think they deserve.

And because they don’t know how to express themselves and say what’s on their minds, they often resort to passive-aggressive behavior.

Rather than saying how they feel, they’ll express their negative emotions in indirect and often ugly ways.

They’ll refuse to communicate, they’ll sulk, they’ll play the victim, they’ll make the other person feel guilty, they’ll be full of backhanded compliments, and basically, express their anger or disappointment in a roundabout way.

In short, if a guy starts to act passive-aggressive instead of communicating his displeasure, it’s another tell-tale sign that he’s a “nice guy”.

6) Nice guys brag about their niceness

Nice guys don’t let their actions speak for themselves, oh no. In fact, they’re constantly telling women how kind, generous, and thoughtful they are.

They have a tendency to brag about how helpful and compassionate they are, what good listeners they are, and how much they give back to their community.

They’re basically in love with the idea of making themselves sound more attractive by trying to get women’s sympathy.

The truth is that they think that if they can get a woman to see them as “the poor, nice guys,” this will make her want to go out with them, or even feel guilty for rejecting them.

7) Nice guys are insecure

Deep down, nice guys are insecure. They’re scared to reveal who they truly are, that’s why they have to put on the “nice guy” act.

Are you tired of pretending? Are you tired of being a nice guy?

But what if you could change all that and be yourself? What if people actually liked the real you more than the nice guy?

The truth is, most of us never realize how much power and potential lies within us.

We become bogged down by continuous conditioning from society, the media, our education system, and more.

8) Nice guys put down other men

hes4 9 tell-tale symptoms of nice guy syndrome

In my experience, nice guys resent other guys – the guys who actually succeed with women.

That’s why another thing that nice guys do is to put down other men when they can’t get the women they want. They’re quick to point out men’s shortcomings, weaknesses, and flaws and have a tendency to be very direct in saying what others need to improve on.

But wait, there’s more. They’ll even go as far as telling women that they’re better off without a man and that the world would be a better place if there were no men out there.

They think this gives the woman more of a reason to want them because they feel they’re the only one who understands her. This also gives them an excuse for their own shortcomings.

9) Nice guys are controlling

Finally, nice guys can be controlling.

Their controlling nature actually comes from their total lack of confidence.

They will try to get a woman to want them by making her feel guilty and by controlling her.

They’re emotionally needy and pushy and will try to have everything their way.

But the thing is that controlling behavior isn’t attractive on anyone. And because women can often see right through the manipulation tactics of nice guys, it’s another reason why so many of them get rejected.

Common things nice guys tell women

  • “Nice guys never get a chance because women like bad boys” – they think that they’ll get a woman to go out with them just for being nice. But there’s a lot more to dating than two nice people getting together. They don’t understand that attraction and having something in common also plays a big part.
  • “You owe me a chance, I’m a nice guy” – again, they think being nice is enough. Also, the fact that they feel that they’re owed something for being nice makes them seem like quite the opposite. Like, “Hey, I deserve a medal for not being an a**hole”.
  • “Oh great, I’m being friend-zoned again” – either he wants to be her friend or not. The problem is that a nice guy may pretend to be a woman’s friend, all the while waiting to make a move. And when she says, “I don’t see us that way, I think we make really great friends” he’ll get upset and complain about being stuck in the friend zone. Not a true friend is he?
  • “I’m nice, I asked you out when nobody else would” – this is something a so-called nice guy might do when rejected by a girl who doesn’t conform to popular beauty standards. In other words, he’s saying, “You can’t be picky so you should be grateful I asked”.

How to stop being a nice guy

1) Know the signs

The tell-tale signs above will give you all the information you need to know if you’re a nice guy.

The first step to fixing something is recognizing the problem.

So if you’re always trying to please others and make them happy; if you have trouble expressing your own needs and desires; if you like to manipulate women into going out with you; and, if you think you deserve a medal for being so “nice”, then congratulations, you’re a nice guy.

2) Admit to yourself that you’re a nice guy

The next step is to admit that you’re a nice guy.

The reason you’re trying so hard to be “nice” is because you think being nice will make women want you and want to go out with you. And that’s your biggest problem.

You’ve been thinking this way for so long that it’s become a part of who you are. The truth is, if no one likes you for the real you, then what’s the point?

It’s time to change the way others see you, and most importantly, the way you see yourself.

Trust me, I know that change can be difficult and not everyone will believe in your real potential right away, but it’s worth it.

3) Understand that being nice doesn’t get you anywhere in life

As Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown explains in the video below, being nice doesn’t get you anywhere in life because by trying so hard to be nice, you’re living your life according to the values and standards of other people.

YouTube video

The problem is that you never really reflect on what it is you really want deep down inside.

So if you want to stop being a nice guy and start being yourself, I really recommend watching the 4-minute video above.

4) Stop trying to please everyone

The most important step to being a nice guy is to stop trying to please everyone.

The bottom line is that if you want someone to like you, then it’s really as simple as being yourself.

Don’t pretend that you’re someone you think others want you to be. Instead, be yourself. If they like you – then it’s the real you that they like and not some phony good guy who tries too hard.

The truth is that you can’t have everyone like you, and the sooner you accept that, the better.

Just be yourself and start living your truth. You’ll find that you will meet a lot of like-minded people and feel happier and more fulfilled.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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