Nice guy syndrome describes a male living a life that pleases everyone but themself. Usually, these guys do not work towards having their wants or desires met, which leads to dissatisfaction for them.
The “child” nice guy was raised not fully exhibiting their identity but was one who acted as people expected or wanted, so as adults, they strive to satisfy others’ needs before their own. That doesn’t mean they don’t have needs or prefer these be met and won’t look for ways to get them taken care of.
Considering the situation, the nice guy isn’t necessarily nice at all. He is ultimately being “inauthentic.”
What is the nice guy syndrome?
The good guy or nice guy definition is the male concerned with ensuring the other person is satisfied, needs are met, or is content. They want to appear as though they do everything by the book.
These guys prefer no conflict and avoid every chance of upsetting someone. The nice guy stereotype has generosity, a need for tranquility, and is hopeful to appear unique from other guys to potential mates.
The individual believes these qualities will ultimately bring them fulfillment and contentment, and they will find love. (Sentiments of Robert Glover, author of the book, ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’)
What causes the nice guy syndrome?
According to Psychologist Dr. Robert Glover, the nice guy syndrome is genuine and relates to the men’s upbringing, with each sharing commonalities in that they were not well-connected with their dads, who might have been physically and emotionally unavailable.
Perhaps this is because of the dad being a good guy as well. That can deprive their son of a masculine role model. The men become nice guys because there is a greater connection in their formative years with women, ultimately leading to a “masculine/feminine energy” imbalance.
Rather than finding validation within, these individuals need validation from those around them, resulting in the “nurtured nice guy.” Check this study to learn more about the nice guy syndrome found in research.
What characteristics create the “nice guy”?
There’s such a thing as being a good guy, and then there’s what is a “nice guy” that ventures into the syndrome. The person has nice guy traits that include an eagerness (that goes far beyond the scope) to make everyone happy, especially a potential mate, and that eagerness extends to please this person.
The primary thing to understand that most people find with the syndrome is the contrasting characteristic of disingenuousness. The individual might be kind, but the over-the-top traits are done to gain something, whether a date or to get people to become friends.
With the nice guy, you will be clung to. The individual can be described as a pushover, but it’s wise to pay attention to a wave of “implosive” anger; the result of what the mate feels is a lack of appreciation from the world despite a tremendous effort on their part.
15 signs of nice guy syndrome
It’s generally evident if you have the syndrome as part of your makeup. Most nice guys recognize the behavior because it can be manipulative. The effort is to try to gain some personal benefit.
If you hope to break free from this tendency because you realize the behavior is not getting you anywhere on the dating scene, but you’re unsure precisely what characteristics to focus on, check out these signs of a nice guy.
1. The signal you’re sending out
You recognize you have the syndrome from the standard nice guy signs of “people-pleasing,” but you might not recognize the signals you’re giving to those around you.
Once you’re aware of what to look for, then you can begin to take steps to break some of those habits typical of the stereotypical nice guy so you can get the next date.
2. Admit you have a problem
If you can’t openly admit you’re a nice guy, perhaps you should take a nice guy syndrome test to ensure. It might be challenging, but it’s the first step to recovery, especially if you find it difficult to get dates.
There are worse things you could be than nice. If you have a friend who can offer more masculine traits, you might have missed out on growing up, reach out to them, and take a lesson or two.
3. Predictability is likely one of your strong suits
When dealing with nice guy syndrome, you will be predictable to those around you. It’s essential to keep things interesting if you hope to progress with a mate, or the person will become bored with the same routine.
Switch up your behavior so a new partner doesn’t know what to expect next. Maybe you show up at the same time on the same days every week with flowers in hand. Skip a week.
The following week, show up a bit late, skip the flowers and go somewhere the date would least expect, maybe have some cotton candy while looking up at the stars at the planetarium.
It can be overwhelming for a mate when their date shows up with an armful of gifts. When you exhibit nice guy syndrome, this is one of the symptoms. Generally, when arriving for a date, you’ll appear with a plush toy, candy, and a bouquet.
That’s too much for a first date and someone you don’t know well; it’s too much for anyone, really.
A small gesture that didn’t cost anything would be kind; perhaps you can walk the beach and find a pretty hag stone or beautiful seashell; if you live coastally, wrap it lovely for presentation. It’s very thoughtful and will be seen as such.
Regardless if you have a fulfilling life, it’s vital to portray that facade. Clingers are generally avoided at all costs. Men and women are put off by those who don’t get the hint there’s no space for them in their life full-time. It’s vital to depict that you have an individual life outside of that person.
6. You try to please everyone
It is okay to say no to a potential mate though you have likely never done so. If you have initially denied them something, the partner probably was able to change your mind quite easily with a mere flirt or cutesy tactic.
That needs to change. Significant others want a strong, stable, confident partner who has their own set of boundaries instead of someone stuck in the nice guy syndrome.
7. You are always available
No matter when a mate requests your time and attention, you make yourself available, any day, time, whether convenient or not. This goes back to the same vein as having individuality and independence.
You want to let a partner know you won’t drop everything in your life just to be available to them. When you have commitments, especially if these relate to work, you must keep these, and a significant other will need to understand.
8. You do not challenge your partner
It’s natural for partnerships to face challenges periodically. They’re not supposed to be perfect. There will be occasional disagreement if there’s passion, individual opinions, or differences.
Avoid an occasional text or don’t return a call. A mate might grow suspicious that you’re talking to someone else behind the scenes. That’s good for you. This will spark a confrontation, something you’re not used to but need practice with, plus you’ll see how much your partner genuinely cares.
9. There is a need to add some masculinity
You don’t have to be rude or obnoxious to be masculine. It’s more of an energy that you project and might be something to work towards if you find this to be a weakness.
10. You don’t step out of your comfort zone
If you’re not getting dates because of the nice guy syndrome, look at your lifestyle to see the activities that you engage in. Many partners enjoy trying varied activities and prefer mates who are more adventurous in that same capacity.
If you tend to maintain a sense of safety and comfort, it’s wise to consider stepping outside that comfort zone. Your lifestyle should reflect what you’re looking for with a date. That means engaging in things you might have never participated in.
One of the signs of the nice guy syndrome is when you do not believe in just letting your partner be. It’s okay to approach someone you feel attracted to but then leave it. If that individual shares that interest, they’ll return to continue the conversation. They will avoid you entirely if you begin to smother them with calls and messages.
People prefer a challenge, someone who might play a bit “hard to get.” When you make it exceptionally easy, a potential date loses interest.
Don’t be a pushover. That’s another classic sign of nice guy syndrome. Partners will walk over you if you allow it, which most nice guys do. If a relationship is strong enough, it can withstand confrontation. If it can’t hold up to the occasional argument, it wasn’t an authentic partnership worth having.
Mates are going to attempt to step outside of the boundaries. Protect them, stand up for yourself, and you’ll be respected.
In that same vein, share opinions and enjoy the deep conversations that allow a deep connection to develop. Your mate doesn’t want you to fear their approval; they want to hear your thoughts; otherwise, discussions are dull, and you grow boring.
No one wants to have someone that merely follows their lead and always agrees with their thought process.
14. Your mate might not always approve
It’s not bad that you care about how other people feel. We need more people like that in the world. The problems arise when you put everyone before yourself in every circumstance.
People pleasing and seeking approval before reacting won’t always serve your greatest good; it could harm your situation. Sometimes take a few minutes to think about how it might affect you.
15. Establish your self-worth and confidence
Good people comprise the “nice guys.” You deserve to find a mate who will care for you in the same ways you show love and respect for them.
The optimum way to accomplish that is to establish personal boundaries and develop your sense of self-worth and confidence so a partner will recognize the value.
How to get rid of the nice guy syndrome?
The ideal way to recover from nice guy syndrome is to learn to set healthy boundaries with the people in your life and not accept when people cross those boundaries. To do that, you must develop your self-esteem and feel your worth.
An excellent way to gain these traits is to reach out for counseling. A professional will give you the tools to establish what is lacking in these areas and guide you toward considering yourself along with the needs of others.
This video of expert Jessica Claire speaking briefly on curing nice guy syndrome will help you understand this better.
Niceness, but in moderation
Nice guys seem to be good people, but these individuals also tend to have a plan. In certain situations, these guys go to those great extents to please potential mates and possible friends to get these people to like them. Is that a bad thing, maybe somewhat manipulative? To a degree.
If these people were to engage in counseling to find their authentic self and grow to appreciate who that is, perhaps it would dawn on them that other people need to be given that same opportunity instead of being presented with a facade.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.