By George Streeter Relationship Coach
Often, those whom I coach become my friends; this makes sense since a friend always has your best interest at heart. The coaching relationship can become intense when I see my client engaging in behavior that is extremely detrimental to his relationship goals. At these times my client can’t see how his behavior is killing his relationships. This is certainly true with obvious reckless behavior like drugs and alcohol, but it is just as true with a chronic male behavior of being too nice and accommodating to everyone.
Mr. Nice Guy often ignores his own best wishes and desires to win the approval of other people in his life. And while everyone wants to be liked, the Nice Guys need to be liked and have the approval of others.
According to Dr Robert Glover, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy, the nice guy has formed a mental map and paradigm of life to create a “smooth happy life”. They go out of their way to cover up feelings of inadequacy they felt as children. Being nice is a coping mechanism, a sort of mask worn to keep people from seeing all of the Nice Guy’s “internal toxic shame”. The Nice Guy is trying to survive a world of uncertainty by being nice to create love for himself. It often fails in relationships. Here is why.
Many women are accepting of this type of behavior until they really like a guy. At that point, a woman wants more than sensitivity from a man; she wants a man who can energetically hold all of her emotions, outbursts, and inconsistencies, and the torrent of feelings that she is constantly trying to manage. She wants a man who can see all of her without running away or mentally checking out.
From the Nice Guy’s perspective, her energy can feel like drama and intensity. He either wants to run or placate her emotional energy. He sees an upset woman as someone he needs to protect; he doesn’t really care if this is what is really needed for her growth. In his mind, a woman who is upset simply wants more kindness and placation and he simply wants her emotions to go away. He wants to stop her upset and feel like he is approved and loved again and to gain this approval he will violates his own person to placate her. Women quickly tire of this behavior.
The idea is to get her into a happy state as quickly as possible. Frustration, anger, sadness, and discontent are all emotions that can threaten the “smooth” life of the nice guy. And while it is valid and true that women want to move quickly through their emotional blocks and barriers, it is also true that a woman wants an emotionally strong man to be a holder and supporter of her emotions. She wants a man with some grit who will be honest with her and both tender and strong.
Hence the problem for Mr. Nice Guy in relationships: he is less interested in her expression, expansion or emotional development that he is in his own peace and stability within the relationship. Women easily recognize this limitation when it occurs in a man and routinely opt to play small and demure around a man she feels can’t handle her. Women choose to bottle up parts of themselves, incrementally letting their full personality out. Then once it is clear that Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t care about her concerns but only with pacifying them, she will lose interest and Mr. Nice Guy will try even harder and resent women even more. Until neither she nor he can stand the situation.
To be a man that women find utterly irresistible, be a man who can own his own desires, his own passions, and his own dark side as well as his gentlemanly side. Be authentic. Drop the desire to impress, be approved of, or feel validated as a human being by your partner. It is great when it happens, but stop being Mr. Nice Guy and trading “niceness” for love and approval. Get in touch with your own emotions, passions and desires and learn to express those, even when they are in opposition to your partner. She wants to know your truth! She wants to feel like she can bring here entire emotional life to the relationship. So stop being so damn nice! She wants to know you can handle all of her emotional sides.