Being the “Nice Guy” Is a Problem

There are approximately 7.2 billion people on the planet. For the sake of posterity, let’s go ahead and split that number in half. That leaves 3.6 billion males, and 3.6 billion females. Now funnily enough, and realistically, these numbers are slightly skewed. The female population outweighs the male population by a margin of a few percentage points. Which means that females outnumber males. Which means your odds of finding someone that is meshable with your personality has a higher probability than a female finding a male who does.

So why haven’t you? Or how have you?

That’s the question we all ask ourselves right? And I am going to tell you a little story about why you haven’t, and for the guys that have – sit back, relax, and add your input as you see fit. Or don’t. I don’t give a shit.

A few weeks ago, I went to visit a college buddy in LA. Let’s call him Jeff. Jeff and I have been close friends since college, liking all the same shit, getting into too much debauchery every now and again. Usually involving too much tequila. And scaling to the nearest rooftop.

Anyway, Jeff and I like a lot of the same things. His obsessions and fandom go deeper than mine to be sure, but we both love a good comic or Star Wars story. So when Jeff invited me to an event in LA, essentially a fat party with a bunch of geeks dressed in cosplay and drinking, I jumped at the bit to take part. These sorts of events always have the best people watching and if I get to drink some whiskey while doing so, I’ll call that a successful night.

We get to this party fairly early, enjoying a few drinks downstairs before scaling the escalator to the rooftop bar. The place is jam packed, but we manage to find a standing table and I settle in for some good, old-fashioned, observation. There’s dozens of guys walking around, dressed as Boba Fett, various anime and manga characters I can’t name, and the occasional superhero. The girls are all dressed in the same fashion, walking around in groups of gals or clinging to their boyfriends’ arms, screaming “I’m taken” without saying a word. The single ones stood around, servicing a variety of guys’ conversation openers with the patience of saints, or chatting happily with the guys who caught their interest. It’s important to note that I was wearing no memorabilia that would betray my nerdy nature. I decided I didn’t necessarily want to blend into the crowd, and it’s always fun to fuck with the occasional person who thinks you can’t hang with the big boys based on the way you’re dressed. I’m easily entertained that way.

We spend a long while staring out into the crowd, laughing with the brave souls singing karaoke for the whole bar, and shooting the shit like we always do. At this point, I’m feeling the whiskey start to creep, and I’m feeling better with every passing minute. Jeff is feeling the same, and runs to the bar to grab some irresistible cheese balls and wings. Because, holy shit, cheese balls are incredible.

Naturally, as all human beings who live in the USA and are by themselves for longer than 12 seconds, I pull out my phone and sit on a nearby stool. Remember how I said I looked out of place? Well I must’ve looked like a disinterested baby deer in a pack of uniform-clad group of…possums? I have no idea. All I knew is I stuck out in the worst possible way.

I felt a soft tap on my shoulder and turn to see this cute female Hufflepuff staring at me with a concerned look on her face. Almost like how a cop used to look at you when you were a kid, wandering the suburban streets too late at night by yourself. Her first question, and the one that made me audibly chuckle: “Hey, are you ok?”

“Yeah of course. How are you?”

“Good, I’ve had a bit to drink, but you looked a little lonely.”

“Nah. My buddy is up at the bar. But thanks for checking in.”

“Yeah! Just want to make sure you’re having a good time!”

“Absolutely. The best. Have a great night.”

Like this. But nicer.

She walked away. End of conversation. That’s when I decided to do what I do best and observe the people she was with. Want to know what I saw? Sure you do. I saw four or five angry looking geeks, scowling in my direction as she walked back over toward them, collapsing their costumed circle around her person as she sat back down, smothering the shit out of the Hufflepuff before she should whisper, “Accio booze. Accio as much booze as you can possibly give me.”

I talked it over with Jeff when he got back with those delicious cheese balls. There were even tater tots, so you know it was a party. Between handfuls of cheese balls Jeff and I talked about the hilarity of the situation. What did those guys think they were going to accomplish? Were they saving Little Red from the Big Bad Wolf? I’m sure they thought they were.

But guess what? Not 10 minutes later, Hufflepuff wanders back up, and we launch into a conversation, not a care in the world. And still, her posse stood nearby, silent and ever-watchful, and with every opportunity, showering compliments or strange acts of “chivalry,” literally carrying her away from Big Bad. Aka, me. Yet, here she came, wandering up and back toward us again, eventually confessing that she keeps visiting the table to, “avoid the creepers.”

The Creeper Epidemic

Creepers. Not my words, but hers. The nice guys, the “chivalrous” few, the ones showering her with compliments and attention, were now creepers. Eventually, she and I stayed together for the rest of the evening, chatting, dancing, kissing, before parting ways happily at the end.

This is the strange part. The part that really ground my gears down from vain amusement, to bafflement, to near anger. The creepers watched as Hufflepuff and I connected and still stuck around. They watched as she drifted toward us and still did everything in their power to win her back through faux niceties and compliment showers.

It wasn’t that they watched that irritated me, it was that I could see that their perception of their actions were that of the watchful protector. That because they stood and watched and waited that they were entitled to her time, her person, or even beyond, perhaps her heart. In their mind, they were the “nice guys,” so of course they deserved her time.

Wrong. Being a “nice guy,” especially in the modern, pop culture-ridden bastardization of the word, is a sickness.

Let’s back up here though. I’m not bashing the quality of being nice. As a matter of fact, I wholeheartedly believe that kindness is the quintessential quality for the world to run smoothly. However, I also wholeheartedly believe that you can be kind without being nice. Especially in the modern interpretation or usage of the word.

“Niceness” has evolved. I would argue even within our lifetime it has changed, adapted, and twisted into something that carries a negative connotation amongst many.

I can see you shaking your head. Maybe you don’t agree, maybe you’ve picked up what I mean and are nodding vigorously. Either way, there is truth that “nice” has evolved. And not for the better.

Don’t be “nice”

At some point in time, it meant exactly how the dictionary defines it: virtuous; respectable; decorous; agreeable; pleasant, the list goes on. In essence, it could be used synonymously with “kindness.” It meant holding open doors, donating to charity, loving your wife, being good to animals, kids, strangers, and projecting your goodness into the world through respect and quiet dignity.

As time has gone on, however, the word has manifested itself into something uglier. Now, the “nice guy” as he’s so called, uses this cover of traditional definition to conceal the true nature behind his actions: entitlement. He gives with the full expectation of reciprocation. He opens doors for a smile. He buys flowers for a kiss. He puts his card down on the dinner check for a one-night stand. The “nice guy” now operates with the sinister underpinnings of a person who believes he is entitled to a woman (or man), never giving without the expectation of a gift in return.

I guarantee either you or someone you know has said something along these lines:

“Well this is bullshit. I took her out to dinner and she said she wanted to be friends? Why? I’m a nice guy, what’s wrong with being with me?”

Or even cringier, and the worst of the worst:

“Milady. How about you dine with a nice guy like me?…No?…Well you’re a fat, ugly bitch anyway.”

What’s wrong with these two scenarios? The first one is easy: men often believe that money or the sacrifice of personal effects will lead to the inevitable romp in the sheets. The second one is trickier, but it falls along the lines of the nerd party story above. When “milady” originated it would refer to women of nobility or grace. Ergo – and correct me if you believe I’m wrong – it was intended as a title, and a compliment.

Oh and I just want to state the obvious just really quickly – don’t call women bitches. Especially one you’re trying to win over – that just makes you the dumbest of dumbasses.

I look up 'emotional anime' and the first thing that comes up is this x'D                                                                                                                                                                                 More
Looking at you, buddy.

Let’s circle back to that compliment shower we spoke about above. There’s a misconception that has plagued the dating world and traditional social circles in general, that introduction, flirting, or beyond has to be suave and complicated. That it’s an elaborate dance of sexual mental chess between two opponents like every, single one of James Bond’s interactions. That you need to come up with an earth-shattering, knee-shaking comment in order for a woman to interact with you.

Guys, the compliment shower isn’t necessary. Nor is it necessarily warranted, nor wanted.

Guys are shallow. It’s just how we are. When we get compliments on our appearance, we relish it. We’re visual creatures, and base a lot of our decisions about ourselves and our potential partners based on we/they look. Naturally, we believe that all people should feel the same, it’s part of the reason why verbal sexual harassment toward females is so rampant. So as the “nice guy,” most of them believe that saying, “wow, you look so beautiful tonight,” would evoke the same emotional response as it would if they were told that they are looking handsome.

Surprise! It doesn’t. Women are inundated with so many compliments on their appearance daily that hearing a “wow, you’re beautiful,” doesn’t cut it. So when you stand in the back, arms crossed, angry that the compliment shower that you’ve rained upon your potential prospect hasn’t made her panties drop immediately, you look like an ass. What you’ve perceived as “nice,” she’s perceived as routine. Everyone and their mother has called her beautiful, so what makes you special?

See the human, not an object

Step into her shoes for a moment, that’s all I ask. Don’t be a sniveling, entitled, cookie-cutter looking, blob person that’s looking  to get into the pants of every female that walks past you at the bar. Instead, try this revolutionary approach:

“Hi. I’m Joe. How’s your night?”

Holy shit. The simplicity, the grace, the humanistic opening. Wow. What’s a spectacle.

You’d be surprised by the response you get from being a human fucking being. And treating the other person as a human fucking being. There’s no entitlement, there’s no expectation, there’s no exchange of money or bodily fluids. There is only pure introduction, which is always the first step to a fruitful interaction.

No one owes you a damn thing. Just because you throw down money, just because you rain compliments upon a person, just because you wait on them hand and foot for a few hours doesn’t mean that you are owed their time or presence. No one owes you their time and respect even if you keep up the charade up for years.

Stop begging for it. Stop wasting time on being the “nice guy.” Start just being the guy who enjoys buying a drink for a friend. Start being the guy who likes talking to a girl at a bar to simply get to know her. Start being the guy who can go out to dinner with a human being and not expect them to hop in the sheets after you. Give your time, energy, and kindness to the people who you truly want to, and if someone doesn’t want your time, then it’s not worth your effort.

Remember: giving with expectation leads to entitlement, and if that entitlement leads to empty hands, you’ll inevitably feel a cold bitterness toward the person/thing you gave yourself or your possessions for. You’re better than the man who begs, or who stands in the corner and cries when he loses.

And if you’re not…well then best of fucking luck to you.