How women can help nice guys: Nice Guys (by this I mean a man stuck in Nice Guy Syndrome: having women as friends but not able to find a lover) often experience what looks like conflicting information from women.
Nice Guys tend to get very conflicting input about ‘maleness’ and the the best ways for a man to play out his role in women’s lives. They get to hear from their female friends a constant trickle (or a flood) of talk about the misbehavior of different men. They are also told directly, or by implication, that they are all right as they are ‘not like that’.
Yet, after telling the Nice Guy so many stories about the hard time she is having with her current boyfriend, she will often turn round and go back to the boyfriend rather than choosing the Nice Guy. This is hard going for the Nice Guy if he really has the hots for the lady. He hears here complain intensely about her ‘mistreatment’, yet it is the current boyfriend and not the Nice Guy she has a physical relationship with. He gets two different messages at the same time. He is told, “You are special and different”; and is being told, “You are not good enough for me.”, both at the same time.
He also gets the message “There is something wrong with men.”, and the message, “You are alright.” at the same time. Does that imply that he is not a man? It’s no wonder that it is confusing to be a Nice Guy!
What is also confusing for a Nice Guy is that he often hears women complaining about men not being ‘open’ enough. He may take note of this and set out ‘improve’ himself and be more open. Yet, this backfires too. For while the Nice Guy is ‘openly’ telling his women friends about the problems in his life he is probably also labeling himself as a ‘loser-in-love’ in their eyes. The more ‘open’ he is and talks about his worries and concerns (without balancing this by also showing his strong side too) the more his women friends will see him as a bit insecure.
Women don’t mind a bit of insecure or needy behavior in friends, and may even enjoy offering advice, help and encouragement, but it does not activate their mating instincts. They may like the man and enjoy getting glimpses into the male world. But, they will try and apply what they learn to the get closer to other men in their lives not to him . Of course, openness is a good thing. The problem is that it has to be counterbalanced by expressing some dynamic outgoing qualities or it can come across as ‘weak’.
How to Help the Nice Guy.
Nice Guys needs to be encouraged to develop positive male qualities. For example, when a woman talks to a Nice Guy about her boyfriend she could talk about the positive qualities she likes in men. Rather than only complain about her boyfriend; she could tell the Nice Guy what is what is good about her boyfriend. She may notice the Nice Guy get uncomfortable about this (as he may feel threatened) but it is good for the Nice Guy to hear about positive masculine qualities.
If she were to say, “What I really like about my boyfriend is that he is so confident in himself”, this would raise questions in the mind of the Nice Guy. After all if her Nice Guy friend had that quality she would want him, right? However, the effect of this unbalanced communication is that the Nice Guy rarely gets to hear anything positive said about the more assertive type of man. This just reinforces in him the feeling that his raw male energy is not OK and that there is something unredeemably bad or wrong about it. It pushes him further into feeling that he needs to stick with his ‘sensitive’ side. What Nice Guys need from the women in their lives is positive reinforcement of healthy male behaviour, not constant negative confirmation of unhealthy male behaviour. Yet, the latter is mostly what Nice Guys get from the women in their lives.