No more Mr. Nice Guy (Part II)

Lately, I’ve been hanging out with a friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend. Her and her ex-beau had been together for nine years (that, IMHO, is entirely too long.. and deserves a post of its own). She found out that he’d cheated on her – even went so far as to introduce her to the sideline chick. After a while, the sideline chick felt compelled to come clean, and the sh*t hit the proverbial fan. So I try to check on her as much as she can tolerate. I know the pain of a broken heart, and I just couldn’t imagine what it must be like for her. She seems ok… for now.  


The thing is, I’d previously considered him a really nice guy. You know, doesn’t dress too flashy, seems like he knows what he wants out of life, laid back, not too agressive,e tc.  I realized that alot of self-proclaimed Good Black Men are not that ‘nice’. I was really cool with her guy, and had no indication that he was capable of that level of deceit. This was not a guy who constantly ran the street, who had questionable habits or treated my friend with disrespect. In the end, however, he was a liar. And lying to someone you love is not a nice thing to do.  


Who is Mr. Nice Guy?

 According to the site No More Mr. Nice Guy (no relation to this post…lol),

A nice guy’s primary goal is to make others happy. Nice guys have been conditioned to believe that if they are good, giving, and caring, they will be loved, get what they want, and have a smooth life.

  • Nice guys seek the approval of others.
  • Nice guys try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.
  • Nice guys put other people’s needs and wants before their own.
  • Nice guys sacrifice their personal power and often play the role of a victim.
  • Nice guys tend to be disconnected from other men and from their own masculine energy.
  • Nice guys co-create relationships that are less than satisfying.
  • Nice guys create situations in which they do not have very much good sex.
  • Nice guys frequently fail to live up their full potential.


I’m sure we all know a really nice guy. The kind of guy who doesn’t have an ounce of bass in his voice; the guy who is always there for you in a pinch, who’s really sweet and ultimately would make a great boyfriend or husband if you were attracted to him. Which you probably aren’t.   There’s nothing wrong with this type of guy. Really, there isn’t. The archetypal Mr. Nice Guy gets a bad rap – but Mr. Nice Guy is not really real. I think the Mr. Nice Guy persona stems from personal insecurity. So the guy who would wear this mantle is not the guy he portrays himself as. Instead of being assertive, aggresive and/or selfish, this type of guy goes the other extreme and becomes passive. He probably thinks that if people perceive him as being this great guy, then he’ll get what he wants. In essence, the Mr. Nice Guy persona is an elaborate manipulation that ultimatey doesn’t work.  


Why Mr. Nice Guy Really Finishes Last

Underneath the facade of MNG is the heart of a vain and selfish man. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.. we are all selfish to a certain extent, and part of our personalities seeks outside approval from others. With MNG, that part is bigger, and gets more energy,  than in other people. And the falsity in MNG stems from his attempt at manipulation, not his genuine nature. If a guy is really a nice guy, he is kind, giving and sweet to others out of the generosity of his own heart. There is no ulterior motive behind his actions. He’s not being nice to you because he is concerned about what you think of him. He is nice to you because he values you as a person. And because his actions are sincere, he doesn’t become upset when others take him for granted. Because he actually likes to give. MNG, on the other hand, uses his actions as bait for attention from others. “How nice he is, how considerate of others, how sweet!” we exclaim. And his overindulged ego just soaks it all up.  


But after a while, this is all we see. Because the real man is hiding behind the smoke screen of being nice. And the real guy is afraid to come out, to shatter that perfect image, to have us see who he really is. So we see nothing. We see the guy who’ll always help us when our car breaks down, we see our boss who won’t say anything if we take extra time at lunch or miss deadlines (but will send passive/aggressive emails to all his subordinates), and we see the guy who’s been trying to get with us for years, but is stuck in the friend zone. In his frustration, MNG blames everyone else – the Thugs and Bad Boys who act on their feelings, and don’t hide behind a mask; the Hot Black Women who they wear this mask for, who are attracted to bold, assertive men, the opposite of what MNG has allowed himself to become; and even the everyday women who would give them a chance, if MNG weren’t so busy being nice to Hot Black Women. Everyone else gets the blame, because MNG was nice and no one appreciated him for it. If MNG hadn’t smothered his personal power behind the mask of being nice, he wouldn’t end up blaming others for his own mistakes. He’d be secure enough in himself to say what it is he actually feels.  


What You Should Watch Out For

What’s interesting though, is what happens when MNG does get the girl. I’m not saying I’m a Hot Black Woman (in my mind, I am..) but I have dated Mr. Nice Guy. All of those nice, sweet, good actions go away after you are wooed and won. A mean sort of selfishness sets in, as if MNG is saying “I’m taking what I want, and holding onto it firmly, since I don’t know when I’ll get what I want again.” Which is another extreme behavior/attitude. A guy who is truly ‘nice’ wouldn’t lie to get what he wants (like my friend’s ex did), wouldn’t have you believe that he’s someone he’s not, and would know how to assert his own wants while being respectful of yours. These types of guys never say “the nice guys finish last” because they are never placed last; you see them for the real guy they are and not an invisible front that they show the world. And they don’t have to tell you they’re nice, because you already know it.  


I wish all MNGs knew that they’d be accepted, embraced, noticed, if they were just themselves. Its great that a man would feel compelled to do nice things for others and be a respectful person. What’s not nice is to have these actions lorded over you by a man who wasn’t genuine about them. The myth of Mr. Nice Guy would die if men who felt safe hiding behind the mask of niceness would learn to act in a manner that respected his desires while treating others well simultaneously.

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