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No More Mr. Nice Guy

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I also remind them they weren't put on this planet to meet anyone else's needs (except those of their children). By contrast, IMO, Glover comes across as a lazy and incompetent copycat, borrowing ideas from Covey, and deploying them poorly.

Women consistently tell me that even though they may be initially drawn to a nice guy’s pleasing demeanor, over time they find it difficult to get excited about having sex with him. The one thing Glover seems never to have done is talk to a large and diverse array of women about what their experience with bad partners was like and what they really do and don’t want from the men in their lives, and why. This controversial e-book phenomenon became a best-seller and landed its author, a certified marriage and family therapist, on The O'Reilly Factor and the Rush Limbaugh radio show. Relationships are a team project of negotiation between equals toward mutual goals, not a hierarchy or a battle or a vending machine.

Men who escape this vicious cultural cycle are probably more likely the ones who will cope better and develop into more competent adults (and per that last link I just directed you to, there is scientific evidence backing this point). Only by asking himself what he believes is right, and then doing it, does he become a man of integrity. Over the last several years, I have watched countless men "do something different "by applying the principles contained in this book. The dynamics that keep Nice Guys stuck in dysfunctional, unsatisfying relationships are often the same dynamics that keep them stuck in dysfunctional and unsatisfying vocations.

In my experience, this is probably the most difficult concept for Nice Guys to understand and accept about themselves. These men have been conditioned to believe that if they are ‘nice’, they will be loved, get their needs met, and have a smooth life.These recommendations conform to a general rule I advise following as much as you can: do not rely on any author who isn’t an actual expert specializing in a pertinent field, discussing actual empirical science or findings in the subject; or an author who is competently conveying what such men and women have written. If they still, after all that, are a terrible partner or you don’t really like being with that person, don’t. I am left to evaluate him just on a basis of philosophy and personal experience and the pertinent science I can reference, which is hardly scientific; I don’t need his book to do that. Trying to become what you believe others want you to be can be a product of selfishness, laziness, insufficient personal development as an adult, being on the antisocial personality spectrum, or any of a dozen other things. As another example, Glover insists “these men learned to hide their flaws and tried to become what they believed others wanted them to be,” but what is the difference between “hiding one’s flaws” and actually working to become a better person?

He makes a bunch of assertions about child psychology—and despite there being a vast literature on that subject, he never links anything he is saying to any of it. This can sound like permission to be selfish, putting yourself first, being pushy or demanding—and thus feeling justified in one’s “disappointment” when it doesn’t come through. If you are not taking women’s voices seriously, you’ve found your first failure-mode that you need to fix, stat. This kind of power not only successfully deals with problems, challenges and adversity, it actually welcomes them, meets them head-on, and is thankful for them. Glover describes the middle alternative thus: “An integrated man is able to embrace everything that makes him uniquely male: his power, his assertiveness, his courage, and his passion as well as his imperfections, his mistakes, and his dark side.Being assertive is not the same thing as being a selfish jerk; ergo being unassertive is not what it means to be nice. In one of the best selling self-help books of all time, Peck addresses issues of discipline, love and spirituality. Yet toxic ideas about masculinity driving their dysfunction are more frequently going to come from men than from women, don’t you think? landed its author, a certified marriage and family therapist, on The O'Reilly Factor and the Rush Limbaugh radio show.

And for all these reasons, because they think they are “nice” but are actually being treated like the person they actually are (the one who is doing all that other stuff) rather than being loved and approved of as they expect, Nice Guys also have pent-up anger and resentment issues. There is some trite “love yourself for who you are” psychobabble here, which has the merit of being sort of true, but easily misconstrued as saying something just as toxic as the attitudes Glover is trying to correct. Life won't always be smooth, it may not always be pretty, but it will be an adventure – one not to be missed.I tell Nice Guys, "no one was put on this planet to meet your needs” (except their parents – and their job is done). But confidence in yourself as a person is not the same thing as self-respect, and neither of those are the same thing as “body image. The only positive thing I can say about it is that what he draws up as bad mostly is indeed bad (no one should be ticking any of the boxes in his Nice Guy profile) and most of what he draws up as better is indeed better (with some misses and ambiguities I’ve already made note of). He cites no scientific basis for this concept, as a thing or its cause, nor ever explains what age of children he is even talking about—children change substantially in their worldview and egocentricity as they age, but Glover seems unconcerned with such distinctions, and continually uses anecdotal examples that conflate adolescence with childhood, and childhood with infancy, which is all suggestive of a lack of scientific rigor to anything he is doing here. As another example of what I mean, Glover says, “Trying to be ‘good’—trying to become what he believes others want him to be—is just one of many possible scripts that a little boy might form as the result of childhood abandonment experiences and the internalization of toxic shame.

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