To be a truly confident, integrated male in this world you need to set yourself apart from the rest. But first, you need to identify the issues that are preventing you to do so. Over the past few months, I’ve been seeking some answers to questions that plagued me throughout my young adulthood. Questions like, “Why can’t I get what I want?” “How can I really improve myself?” “How can I not only improve myself but my relations with others?” “How can I add value to people around me?” Not all of these questions came at once though. They’ve emerged over time as if I were playing a metaphorical game of wack-a-mole where the moles are overwhelming at first but get slower and slower as you keep playing.
During this process of self-exploration and self-improvement I stumbled upon No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover. I had heard some good things about his book while reading Mark Manson’s Models: Attract Women Through Honesty so I was already warming up to the idea that this book could potentially help. With my half-skepticism I hopped over to Amazon and started reading the first chapter. At about the halfway mark and experiencing about ten “oh shit” moments I knew that this information could very well change my life.
So what does it mean to be a “nice guy?” Here is a list of the descriptions of a “nice guy” that most resonated most with me:
Nice Guys Are Givers
I’ve always been a giver in my life and almost to a fault. Now this is not to say that you shouldn’t be generous, but being a giver as a “nice guy” usually involves what Dr. Glover calls a Covert Contract. More on this in a bit.
Nice Guys Fix and Caretake
“Oh, you broke up with your boyfriend? Let me console you and dry your tears!” I was that guy when I was younger. I never really occurred to me that this very action to ride in and save the day essentially did me more harm than good.
Nice Guys Seek Approval of Others
I’ve always battled with peer pressure and the idea of conformity. Seeking approval always seemed to be a function of confidence, or in my case a lack thereof.
Nice Guys Avoid Conflict
I can’t count how many times I would get in an argument with an ex-girlfriend (usually because of something I did) only to try and defuse it as quickly as possible. Things often got “resolved” without actually getting to the root of the problem. The fights would reoccur and the bad movie would play over again.
Nice Guys Repress Their Feelings
As of about 1.5 years ago, I had no idea what my feelings were. I would consistently repress what I was thinking in the fear that my partner would get upset. In retrospect though, repressing my feelings ultimately made things worse, not better.
Nice Guys Are More Comfortable Relating to Women Than to Men
I think this mostly related to the fact that my siblings and myself were my mother’s primary focus as we were growing up. As such, she became the much more dominant figure in my life. Dr. Glover attributes this situation as to why most men relate to women better than men. This is something that I was definitely guilty of. Not too long ago I remember thinking to myself, “Why would I want to go out and meet guys? That’s so pointless!” Now that’s a great mentality isn’t it?
As you can tell, all of these things when mushed together into one person could spell disaster.
During the time I spent reading I noticed that each chapter successively progressed through the different areas in a man’s life where he can take back control and become a much more integrated and confident male. Dr. Glover sums it up well in chapter 7 when he conveniently lists all the different aspects “nice guy” has to address when trying to turn around their life:
- Approve of themselves
If you hold any shame or guilt inside you will not be able to wrangle the mindset that you can put yourself first and do things that make you feel good.
- Put themselves first
No more of this give give give mindset. Do things for yourself. Only when you’re comfortable doing things for yourself you should start giving to other people. Never ever ever give with the expectation of anything in return. You will end up resenting the other person if they don’t respond in kind.
- Reveal themselves to safe people
This was a tough one for me at first but once I started hanging out with the right people everything started converging. Find some strong male friends and create a safe space where you can talk about anything and everything. My best suggestion, if you’re lacking some male friends, is to take up a hobby that involves other people. You will eventually find like-minded high quality people to spend your time with.
- Eliminate covert contracts
Covert contracts are essentially the idea that you do something for someone and then you expect them to do something back. The catch? Since you’ve never told them what you want it’s highly unlikely they will do what you want.
- Take responsibility for their own needs
Don’t expect anyone, not even your partner, to fulfill your needs. You know yourself the best thus you know what would be best for you.
Dr. Glover defines surrender as “letting go of what one can’t change and changing what one can.” An example in the book mentioned one couple that had a rocky 8-year dating relationship. The man thought their dysfunctional relationship was because of the woman. After several failed attempts to fix his girlfriend’s issues and spending some time in a mens group he began to realize that these problems that he thought that she had were because of a fault he had himself. If he had not gotten that perspective his relationship probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer.
- Dwell in reality
This relates to the potential of unrealistic expectations that you could have for yourself or for your partner. Get out of your head and get real with the world around you.
- Express their feelings
Don’t have the mental energy to entertain your partner’s problems? Tell them immediately. Feeling sexually frustrated? Tell them immediately. I could go on and on here. Like I said before, I was quite guilty of this and it’s so easy to repress rather than express.
- Develop integrity
Did you frack up at work? Kill the cat? Clog the drain? Own up to it and/or fix it. Not owning up to mistakes and living life as a perfect princess won’t work out for you. People will eventually figure out that you did fill out that TPS report wrong or that fluffy isn’t missing she was dead in a dumpster down the street (you get the idea).
- Set boundaries
Not only set boundaries but keep them. Nothing spells wuss better than someone who can’t hold their own boundaries.
- Embrace their masculinity
Nothing is more fun than working on a motorcycle and/or driving down Skyline Boulevard on said motorcycle with a couple of your best buddies. I was definitely guilty of not doing this enough and i’m definitely enjoying life a whole bunch more now that I am actively embracing my masculinity.
If any of this has resonated with you, I suggest your next step is to listen to the Episode 145 of the Art of Charm podcast. I guarantee if you had some “oh $@#^” moments earlier in this post you will have twice as many listening Dr. Glover and Jordan chat about No More Mr. Nice Guy.
Overall, No More Mr. Nice Guy along with a whole slew of other resources have opened up so many more doors in my life. I know I have not regretted going through this process and it’s only getting more fun as I address all-the-things. As you could imagine, I was (and still am – no, I am not a perfect princess) guilty of many of the items in the list above. My only sincere hope is that this information gets to the people that need it and help make a positive impact on their lives.
On an additional final note, as I continue this adventure I will be posting further book reviews (if all goes well, one a month) so stay tuned! Also if you feel compelled to leave comments below i’d love to hear from you.