Dr. Glover explains that in details. He explains that by introducing what he calls, “The nice guy syndrome.” It’s clear that this book is for guys, but the ladies can read it to understand who they might end up dating.
One of the very first concepts that Dr. Glover explains is the idea of toxic shame. He says that nice guys grow up with an internalized sense of toxic shame. They feel that they are bad.
It’s probably the same shame idea discussed in Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection. It’s just here related to little children and how to cope with it as they grow up and become adults.
Then everything the nice guy does is about coping with this toxic shame. Throughout the years, they develop coping mechanisms that are supposed to help them. But they end up hurting them even more. And instead of changing what they are doing, they just try harder.
Dr. Glover explains how Nice Guys develop. And when they are made, they are not nice at all. They have a deep need for getting approval. They give and give and give but with strings attached. They think that if they fixed other people’s problems, they will get the love that they’ve been longing for.
Nice guys are people-pleasers. They are afraid of shaking the boat or making someone upset.
They give, but only by using covert contracts. And they are terrible receivers as they do their best to appear needless. This hit me hard because I’ve been a terrible receiver for my entire life. I can’t ask for help.
Nice Guys are caretakers. They do that not because they love or care, it’s just a way to feel important, valuable, and good –another toxic way to cope with their toxic shame.
Mark Manson in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, says something that describes this type of behavior. He says, “She starts fire because it makes her feel important; he puts fire off because it makes him feel important.” Not because he cares. Not because he loves her. It’s just that saving is the way those Nice Guys get to feel good about themselves and to receive the love that they want. A strategy that never works.
(Note: usually Nice Guys get involved in relationships with people who help them complete the cycle. People who need fixing. People who start fire and are fond of drama.)
As you can see, the nice guy’s personality is fucked up. This type of guy will never find the love they want. As long as they are after approval, as long as they give with strings attached, as long as they are trying to please other people instead of connecting with them, they will always suffer.
Dr. Glover also mentions that nice guys have sexual addictions like masturbation and watching porn. In addition to that, he has an entire chapter where he talks about sex, how nice guys jeopardize their sex life, and how to improve one’s sexual life.
There is a problem. Dr. Philip Zimbardo alarmed that guys are failing socially, romantically, academically, professionally, and, especially, sexually. He came up with his own reasons for believing that. And many of his reasons were related to this Nice Guy Syndrome that Dr. Glover had introduced in this book. If it’s not the same, there’s an overlap.
If you want to have a healthy self-esteem and be the type of guy that you want to be, it’s important to overcome these barriers.
Dr. Glover defines the problem and offers solutions. It’s a great book if you’ve recognized yourself in any of the behaviors that I’ve mentioned above. Some people go to the extreme and claim that every guy needs to read this book. I disagree because I hate generalizations. But I can see why they make such claims. The nice guy syndrome affects, had affected, and will affect, many guys over the world, me included.
Articles inspired by this book:
- How to Have a Positive Self-image: The Only Tip You Need
- How to Be Assertive And Not Get Walked Over
Or you can check the entire Reading List