How being a nice guy can hold you back in life
This could be one of those controversial blog post. By the time you complete reading this post, you might not agree to what I have said or maybe we can be on the same page. Anyways read further and find out.
So since childhood, we have been taught,
You should always be a nice guy, be down to earth and should always think twice before you talk to anybody or do something. I always thought having manners, pulling out chairs, opening doors, and treating a woman with the upmost respect would get me considered as a “nice guy”.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad advice but on contrary this makes us timid, at least for me. I have been taught the same ideal thing by my parents and it is a right thing to do from parent’s POV.
We are always told that, nice guys finish last. But out in real world, the practical world, it is quite possible that “nice guys” would never see the finish line. I always wondered why all the wrong guys were ahead of me in every aspect of life.
I want to pen down two particular incidents from my life where I realized being nice is not a good thing.
While I was working for a software firm in my hometown — Ahmedabad, I had a teammate; he was good coder, a good leader with great decision making skill, an opportunist but most definitely not a nice guy. He would argue with boss to justify his point. He would not agree to something if he thought it was not right and would never compromise on the situations.
On other hand, I was always trying to be nice to everyone around me. I would agree with whatever my colleagues had to say without even putting my point. I would blindly agree with boss and would work my ass off to meet his crazy timelines.
During the increment and promotional period, everybody was excited, including me. There was a chance I might get an increment or even a promotion. Finally everybody got the news. I got a decent increment but I was hoping for a promotion (Insight: I was not) and no prizes for guessing who got the promotion, yes, the not-so-nice guy.
This got me thinking about how he got in to this superior position with this behavior. What made him succeed?
Shifting the timeline to my graduation days, there was a girl in my university who had already got very much attention because of her looks and charm.
She was my classmate. I had a huge crush on her but could never tell her because I couldn’t gather enough courage. I just used to adore her and sometimes if I would be lucky, I would even get to talk to her. I would always day-dream about asking her out. But it never happened.
Not much later, she was approached by a guy who was one of those ‘wrongs guys’ which you know are wrong for her. And, shockingly, she agreed. They were together. I was depressed and sad. How can she choose a wrong guy over a right guy (or nice guy as per my definitions)?
Like these two there are many other events in my life and in life of people around me depicting the same scenario, wrong guys lasted longer and were better.
What is that “thing” which makes them achieve more in life?
The only logical answer that I could come up with was, the “wrong guys” are just much more brave than the right guys or nice guys. End of story.
That’s it. This could answer all the questions that I have been always thinking. My office colleague, from first incident, exploited every opportunity that he could get. He didn’t hold himself back; he went for it without thinking of wrong or right. He saw the opportunity and grabbed it. He climbed the ladder and sits up there proudly. He would make all the decision without needing to impress anybody.
In second incident, that wrong guy in my university didn’t get scared in approaching that girl. He saw the opportunity and tried to convert it. Whereas all nice guy like me were giving themselves thousands of reasons why they shouldn’t do it.
Problem with Nice guys:
The lack of self-confidence holds us back. In an attempt of maintaining the image of “nice guy” we always end up on back seat of a car. We think about other more than we should do. Our decisions are affected by how people will judge us.
An article on Askmen, described the nice guy as an agreeable person; he’s got no control over his life. He allows everyone to come into his life, he agrees with them on almost everything and hopes and prays that other people will like him for being so agreeable.
Nice guys never stand up for themselves, because that’s what nice guys do — they don’t believe they can get anything. They’ve got this fear that they can’t get what they truly want, so they just accept whatever they get. Sometimes they literally beg their way into a relationship with a woman. And a woman knows that from there on, she basically has him by the balls.
All those people giving me advice about keep calm and wait for your time. What if I don’t have time?
Nobody knows what future holds. Should I keep missing all those opportunities or should give control of my life to others just so that I could keep my image safe in their minds?
Some say wrong guys won’t stay at top forever, while others are just waiting for them at top.
My friend, SlashG, being an amazing writer himself summarized this whole blog in beautiful way. He said, “With a good amount of recent experience, I have sort of disambiguated between being a nice guy and being a pushover. I will still pull seats, hold doors for people and say thank you with a smile. But I won’t let someone step over me and dictate how I am suppose to do things. I will hold my ground, of course, with a nice, warm smile.”
Let me know what you think about this? Or do share if you also have felt the same thing in your life.