Monday, 11 March 2013

Over to You on the Subject of "Nice Guys"

I am in active auntie mode today, rushing about doing active work of a motherly nature for 20-somethings in slight difficulties, so I have not been able to blog. Therefore, I will pass on today's question to you: How to deal with so-called "Nice Guys" who are not so nice?

One example of a Nice Guy who is not so nice is the guy who says, "I'm a Nice Guy, but I don't think I should be anymore because women  like only men who are rotten to them."

I am reasonable sure I have written about this twice before, but it was one of the Seraphapalooza questions, so I throw it out there today.

By the way, in honour of the two gentlemen who donated to my Emergency Canadian fund, I will have an Eavesdropper Edition on this blog on March 19, for it is St. Joseph's Day. Eavesdroppers are welcome to submit topics they think I should address, and only men will be able to comment that day. How exciting!

Of course, how foolish I will look if no Eavesdropper takes up this extremely generous offer.


Sarah said...

When guys say that, my face turns red and I launch into the most shrill lecture in five counties.

Seriously, though, that "Nice guys" subject has wrought some extremely heated discussions. Because usually I tell the guys something along the lines of:

"Maybe because ALL you bring to the table is "nice." Maybe you're a "nice guy," but you have no job. Maybe you're a "nice guy," but you smell like garlic. Maybe you're a "nice guy," but can never get your act together and ask any girls out. Maybe you're a "nice guy," but think that because you're so nice, girls owe you sex. Maybe you're a "nice guy," but you hate women and think they're to blame for your problems."

This goes for both sexes: "Nice" isn't everything. Nice isn't even necessarily a virtue, or at least, it's not a replacement for character. People often look at me funny when I say that, but some of the rottenest, meanest, worstest people I know are actually quite "nice."

MaryJane said...

I have been trying to figure out what "nice" really even means. I tend to agree with Sarah - it's a bit of an empty term, although it certainly has become the virtue of Modernity.

Usually "nice" appears as a qualifier: "oh, Joe Shmoe? He's a nice guy, but..." fill in the blank. I hope no one goes around saying that I am a nice girl, because whatever follows is sure to be not so nice.

I think jerks ("nice" guys who are not so nice) should be summarily ignored whenever possible. People hate to be ignored, esp. if they think they are too nice to be treated as such. Maybe eventually they will figure out that it is their not so nice behavior which is causing them to be ignored, and they will change it. Maybe not. Either way, you don't have to deal with it because you are ignoring them.

Yay for St. Joseph's day!

Jam said...

"Cry me a river!" I'm a supremely nice girl, and does anyone seem to care? No.

Seriously though, think about people you know who are in relationships. Think about workmates and relatives as well as friends and acquaintances. Think about people you admire. When I do that I come up with a mixed bag of "nice" and "not nice" of both sexes.

It's such an ugly, toxic thing when a guy gets fixated on self-pitying "niceness". Even if you're skeptical that virtue is its own reward, at least you should strive to see it as more than just a set of rules to follow in order to get what you want, which is what "nice" seems to boil down to.

Bernadette said...

Often, I find that when a guys pulls out the self-pity "nice guy" line, it usually means, "I did nice things for girls, expecting them to give me sexual favors in exchange, and now I'm full of resentment because they're not honoring their part of the bargain." Which means that the guy is not a nice guy at all, but the kind of guy who views the young women he's being "nice" to as a sort of prostitutes.

I have an allergic reaction to this sort of toxic misogynistic self-pity, so my typical response tends to be of the, "Maybe you're not as nice as you think." type, immediately followed by removing myself from his company as quickly as possible, doing my best to limit any future contact with him to the absolute minimum, and warning the young women of my acquaintance about his toxic attitude.

AveLady said...

I think there's a more genuine, though still unhealthy, version of the "nice guy." I'm thinking of the guys who genuinely wish to win a woman's heart, but seem to believe the way to do that is to simply be constantly on call for favors and cater to their every whim. Even a woman who does not exactly mean to take advantage can easily say to herself "Oh, I can call X, he'd be happy to do that, we're such good friends."

I can see why these guys become a bit embittered as they invest so much time only to be abandoned when someone comes along who actually asks the girl out. Which is where one comes around to the disordered bit of it all: for whatever reason it doesn't even seem to occur to them to be more aggressive in their courtship.

Depending on how deeply rooted the hang-ups on that subject are, I could imagine a decent-hearted (albeit somewhat cowardly) fellow vainly hoping to win a lady without that super-scary "asking out" step, and perhaps genuinely not understanding WHY that step is so important. I have little to no actual insight into the subject, as that type of fellow has not, to my knowledge, confided in me. It's just a theory.

Cordi said...

I'm sorry not be original or insightful myself, but I thought this article on the topic was very good, and I pretty much agree with what the author says about why "nice" guys don't usually get the girl.

Cordi said...

P.S. Well, okay, I don't agree with the caveman bit. I had forgotten about that.

-fabi- said...

I have another "nice guy" story. I went on a date with man of deep faith and a very well respected profession. When he asked me out I automatically assumed he would also be chivalrous and polite. During the date he was a little condescending and smug, but I made excuses for him because he was clearly labelled as a "good guy". Eventually, my sister met him and immediately after remarked how arrogant he had been. It's hard not to assume that popular guys will be good boyfriends because everybody likes them... and that makes them doubly dangerous!

Seraphic said...

Cordi, I very much liked that article. The guy who demanded to know if this was based on opinion or scientific research made me want to scream, as everything the author said was just so obvious, he might as well have been writing "The sky is blue" and "water is wet."

MaryJane said...

I loved that article! And I felt like this line really captured what we were talking about with a man paying for dates:

"Some men think women are vain and are simply interested in a man’s prestige because it translates into more money coming in. But the heart of this attraction is not the number of shoes she can buy, but the feeling of security a nice salary can bring. Every woman, at some level, wants to feel taken care of."

It was refreshing to hear a man say it.

Cordi said...

Seraphic and Mary Jane, so glad you liked the article! I completely agree that what the author is saying is spot-on, and it's delightful to have what I've always nebulously felt be articulated in such a masculine, clever way.