How to Stop Being a Nice Guy

no more mr nice guy book cover

In No More Mr. Nice Guy (2000) Robert Glover analyzes the personality and psychology of “nice guys”.
The author says that nice guys aren’t really nice, but are instead afraid of being assertive. Glover provides fixes and solutions to stop being the kind of nice guy who’s actually a pushover.

Bullet Summary

  • The nice guy syndrome is the belief that if they’re nice they will be loved, have their needs met and avoid problems
  • When they don’t get what they want, they do more of the same
  • Nice guys aren’t really nice at all

About the Author

About The Author: Robert Glover prefaces his name with “Dr.”, albeit I could not find anything about his specialization. That makes me think it might not be related to psychology or, knowing humans, it would have probably featured prominently.
On his own blog he defines himself as an expert on “nice guys syndrome”, helping men go from passive and resentful victims to empowered, “integrated” males.

Traits of Nice Guys

Most people have one or two of these traits, but nice guys have most of them:

  • Givers
  • Caretaker
  • Seek approval from others (especially from women)
  • Conflict-avoidant
  • Seek the right way to do things
  • Try to be perfect and avoid mistakes (so people don’t think they’re bad)
  • Repress their feelings
  • Want to be different from their fathers
  • They’re more comfortable being with women
  • They exert tremendous effort to make their partners happy

They give because they think that’s what makes them good.
And they tend to others because they put everyone’s needs ahead of their own.

The nice guy is afraid of conflict, so he avoids it at all costs by being nice.
Since he avoids conflicts, nothing ever gets solved with him. He might disagree, but he doesn’t say it or he might even pretend to agree, just to avoid conflict and arguments.
If you are thinking that sounds a lot like passive-aggressive, you got it right: the nice guy is the epitome of passive-aggressive.

When he disagrees, he still tells people what they want to hear. But, typical of the worst slimy people-pleasing behavior, he then reverses his words and decisions to please someone else.

Here is an example of a nice guy from the movie “I Love You, Man”:

The ladies are talking smack about him, and his own girlfriend added some personal detail of his life that she could have probably spared. Yet when he shows up, he flashes a super fake smile.

Why Nice Guys Aren’t Really Nice

Robert Glover says that nice guy is actually a misnomer and nice guys aren’t nice at all.

  • Lie telling people what they want to hear
  • Hide their true intention
  • Use indirect ways and manipulation to get what they want
  • Can be very controlling
  • Only give to get
  • Often brew resentment and anger

The Traits of “The Integrated Male”

What’s the “integrated male”?

Glover presents the integrated male as the antithesis to the nice guy and the type of man the nice guy should strive to become.

The key of the integrated male is total acceptance of who he is.

The integrated male:

  • Likes himself
  • Takes care of his needs
  • Is comfortable with his sexuality
  • Values integrity, and he speaks up
  • Sets clear boundaries and is not afraid of enforcing them
  • Accepts his flaws

How Do People Become Nice Guys

Nice guys received the following message in their formative years:

It’s not acceptable, safe or desirable to be who you are.

That can take many forms.
For example, parents who:

  • Abandoned them early
  • Had sky-high expectation for them and never rewarded them

The Two Types of Nice Guys

There are two types of nice guys:

  1. Those who think they are bad and need to correct themselves
  2. Those who think they are so good and lie to themselves to keep their self image.

The former had a troubled and rebellious childhood and now he feels like he needs to make up for.
The latter was the good boy of the family and he stays that way to keep his social identity, and his self-identity.

Overcoming The “Mr. Nice Guy Syndrome”

There are many ways Glover recommends to overcome the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome, including:

  • Forcing yourself to enforce your boundaries
  • Learning to please yourself first
  • Cut porn and learn to have sex for the sake of it
  • Facing your fears
  • Repeating positive mantras
  • Eating well
  • Doing sport
  • Spending more time with men

The last one, spending more time with men, is a common advice in the manosphere.
See for example “The Rational Male“, “The Way of Men” and “Tribe“.

Nice Guys Don’t Have Intimate Relationships

Nice guys cannot have intimate relationships.

Why?

Because intimate relationships require people to look within themselves and open up about who they really are.

But nice guys are always wearing a mask and always hiding their true self. That makes their relationships un-authentic.

The mask of the nice guys is different than the masks of masculinity of the alpha male posturers, but it’s a mask nonetheless.
And that makes stands between true human connections and bonding.

Two types of Relationship Nice Guys Have

There are two types of nice guys in relationships:

  1. Those who get over-invested and over-involved at the expense of themselves
  2. Those who are nice to everyone except their partner (and are emotionally unavailable)

Glover calls the second type “avoidants”, possibly referencing to the avoidant attachment style, albeit he doesn’t expressly reference attachment styles.

Nice Guys Must Learn to Set Boundaries

Boundaries are crucial for good emotional health and a positive social life.

The author makes the point that women want boundaries from their men as that makes them feel more secure.
As a matter of fact, she will test his boundaries to make sure they are strong and resistant.

Nice Guys Want to Be Good At Sex to Make Her Happy

The author says that all nice guys he has met had some issues with sex.

The issues span the whole gamut, but at the core nice guys are ashamed and uncomfortable with their sexuality.

The most interesting bit for me was that some nice guys pride themselves on being good lovers. However, good lovers for nice guys means always putting the woman first.

They are concerned to make her orgasm because they want to provide. And that also means that they approach sex like a robotic undertaking.
Ultimately, it’s not enjoyable for themselves and often not nearly as enjoyable for the woman.

The author has a very interesting point here: be more like alpha males in nature.
Confident, competitive and putting themselves first, including his own pleasure.

My Note: Not convinced on having to be “more like alpha males”
I am not convinced with this goal of “being more like alpha males”. Trying too hard to be an alpha male does not seem like the pinnacle of personal self-development, as it presents its own issues and mental blocks.
Also read: growing past the red pill toxicity.

Learn About Power Dynamics

That wasn’t a chapter in the book.

But if you want to truly learn how to stop being a nice guy, then read this website.

Quotes

Here are a few great quotes I loved.

On approval-seeking:

Just about everything a Nice Guy does is consciously or unconsciously calculated to gain someone’s approval or to avoid disapproval

On women’s pleasing:

One Nice Guy asked me, “If a man is talking in the forest and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?

On the extremes of the nice guys:

When our god fails to respond in the ways we expect, we humans tend to respond in one of two ways. We either blindly intensify our acts of worship or lash out in righteous anger

On values:

Self-respect, courage, and integrity look good on a man.

no more mr nice guy book cover

Real-Life Applications

“No More Mr. Nice Guy” teaches you what nice guys are and why it’s best to move beyond it.
If you are one of them, then your task is to understanding and becoming a more assertive, self-respecting human being.

What One Man Can Do, You Can Do
Towards the end, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” becomes a bit of self-help, motivational book. And I absolutely loved this quote:

What one man can do, you can do

Which is also one of the central tenets of Ultimate Power.

CONS

  • Fuzzy Descriptions, “Nice Guy” Like A Container

The psychological description of the nice guy seemed a bit of a huge container of everything’s that’s negative to me.

It goes from “seeing things in black and white” to “fear of failure” to “passive-aggressive”.
But fear of failure is not a prerogative of nice guys and I don’t see the connection to seeing things in black and white.

  • Personal Conjectures Presented As Facts

At times it feels less a book from a doctor and more of a text from a manosphere author who makes up random theories.

There is nothing wrong with that, but I believe that everyone should always mark personal conjectures as “my own speculations” instead of presenting them as facts.

  • Unscientific At Times

The author says that after World War II boys have been disconnected from fathers and forced to use their mothers as role mothers. So now men accept female definitions of what it means to be male.

Well, maybe that’s the case.
But until I see some data and statistics I must remain skeptical. Is the increase in divorce really as big as to justify Glover’s theory? Again, no numbers are provided.

  • Bit Confusing

First the book says that nice guys become nice guys because they get the message they are not good enough. Then a bit later it’s because men grew up with females and female culture.

Which one is which?
Possibly the author meant that both factors contribute, but he should have made that clearer.

  • Men-Bonding… ? 

Maybe spending time with other men can help some nice guys. The author certainly has more experience there than I do.
However, I can’t imagine that as working for everyone.
As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t recommend this to most people. It’s more about the quality of men you spend time with (and quality of women, for that matter)

PROS

Great Overview of Nice Guys
I listed a lot of cons, but I often do with great books because I hold them at a higher standard.
So don’t get it wrong, No More Mr Nice Guy is an awesome overview on the “too nice guy” phenomenon.

Review

Albeit “No More Mr. Nice Guy” is not an evidence-based book, Glover’s psychological analysis seems on point to me.

When it comes to “fixes” for nice guys, there are some good tips as well.
You can get more extensive coverage on the “fixes” on a website like this one.

Overall, I recommend the book.

Both to nice guys and even to non-nice guys who want to better understand nice guys’ psychology -and general  human psychology-.

Check out the best red pill books, the best dating books for men, or get the book on amazon.

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