Photo: Jeffrey Reed
Ah … The “Nice Guy” syndrome.
There’s a common misconception out there that there are only two kinds of men.
- Nice Guys
- Bad boys
But nothing could be further from the truth.
A nice guy isn’t actually a nice guy. He’s someone who’s afraid of speaking his mind and stepping on toes so he constantly obliges and panders to women, his superiors, and his friends in a desperate search for approval.
To put it simply … Nice guys are pushovers.
On the other hand, bad boys are the complete antithesis of a nice guy.
They don’t care about other people and are completely caught up in their own world. They will push others around, lie, and manipulate to get what they want.
Also … No bueno.
However, there is a third option. An option that I would encourage much more than “being bad” for a while before switching tactics.
This option is what I refer to as a “Grounded man”.
He’s kind, polite, courteous, and considerate of others. But he also knows what he wants, speaks his mind, and is willing to make other people uncomfortable for the sake of his mission.
Here are a few simple ways you can kill Mr. Nice guy and embrace the Grounded Man inside of you.
1. Prioritize yourself
Plain and simple.
You are living YOUR life. You don’t owe it to other people to go out of your way to pander to their every request and desire.
Be selfish and put yourself first.
Take care of your health and go to the gym before spending time with your friends.
Work on your career or business and become financially secure before loaning money to your buddy who just got out of jail.
Spend time developing yourself by reading books, listening to podcasts, and meditating even if other people want you to do something else.
Put yourself first so that you actually have something to give to the world.
Otherwise, you’ll constantly be running on empty.
2. Set stronger boundaries
The nice guys key flaw is that he is unable to set proper boundaries and, as a result, gets pushed all over the playground.
If you want to become a grounded man, you MUST set stronger boundaries.
But what does this actually look like?
Let me give you a couple of examples to illustrate the points.
Example 1: (Mom) “I’m so lonely. I really wish that you would spend more time with me during the weeks, it’s be so miserable here since your dad left me.”
Nice Guy: “Of course mom, you’re right. Let me come over right now and take you out for coffee *cancels plans with girlfriend*
Grounded Man: “Mom, I took you out for dinner last Friday. I love you and I know you’ve been upset since dad left but you need to go out and make some friends of your own, I can’t drive home every weekend to keep you company.
Example 2: (Girlfriend): Honey, I don’t want you going out with your friends tonight, you know how jealous I get… I just can’t stand the thought of you guys being surrounded by all those other girls .
Nice Guy: I understand honey, I’ll just tell the guys I can’t make it (for the fourth week in a row)
Grounded Man: Look babe, I’m sorry you feel that way, but you’re going to have to learn how to handle your jealousy. I haven’t seen my friends in two weeks so I’m going out tonight. You know you can trust me.
Do you see the difference?
A nice guy will do anything and everything to make others happy even at thie expense of himself. A grounded man will not.
3. Say “no”
This goes hand in hand with setting proper boundaries, but it’s so important that it deserves it’s own point.
Nice guys don’t know how to say no.
They will constantly say “Yes” to any and every request for their time no matter how preposterous.
Grounded men have a strong purpose and are willing to say “No” when they need to.
You don’t have to say yes if you don’t want to.
Learn to say “No” when someone makes an unreasonable request. Heck, even if the request is completely reasonable (like going out for beers with your buddies) but you have other things going on… JUST SAY NO.
4. Speak your truth
Nice guys will shy away from sharing strong opinions or correcting other people.
Grounded men will not.
Although a grounded man doesn’t go around looking for an argument, he’s unwilling to compromise in his values and, if someone else makes a remark or acts in a way that is at conflict with what he believes, he won’t be shy about it.
5. Be willing to walk away
Ultimately, a grounded man values himself enough that he’s willing to walk away from any interaction or relationship if it is serving as a detriment to his quality of life.
Whereas a nice guy will stay in a toxic relationship, put up with ridicule from family, or accept lying and cheating from his friends, a grounded man has no qualms cutting the relationship off and walking away.
It’s a hard pill to swallow. But it’s the truth.
This article first appeared on Quora.