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How Not to Finish Last as a Nice Guy

How Not to Finish Last as a Nice Guy

We have all heard the cliche: Nice guys finish last. The idea behind the saying is that good deeds go unnoticed and you have to be selfish to succeed. After all, there are two kinds of people: a nice person and a selfish person.

A nice person is kind and selfless. They are givers who are willing to help others and don’t mind helping without giving something in return. But a selfish person is a taker. They only think of themselves and aim to get more through doing less.

While a selfish person seems to be the one more people hate, “nice guys finish last” is still a common belief. So can nice guys actually finish first?

Nice Guys vs. Selfish Guys

    You can find a nice person and a selfish person everywhere; they’re at work, among your friends, and in different relationships.

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    Think about it, at work you definitely have that one guy/girl who seems to always get recognition from the boss, and maybe even a raise, despite the action they are being rewarded for having been a group effort. While a nice guy would share the recognition with his team, the bad guy would justify that he deserves the praise.

    Likewise, you have probably had a friend at some point in time that seemed to always cancel plans you made in order to do something they deemed to be a better opportunity. Meanwhile, they expected you to drop your plans for them. Or, perhaps your friend who gets a lot of dates is constantly standing them up in exchange for a different, better choice. He/she winds up with an amazing partner, not knowing they are simply the best option at the moment. Meanwhile, you may be single because you’ve had to cancel dates to hang out with your friend.

    Nice people make others happy but exhaust themselves.

    Nice people typically always have big hearts. Because of this, it’s in their nature to try to help others by trusting them and working as a team. In their eyes, this teamwork can help the group achieve more. Because of their interactions with people, they tend to get help and support from those people when they need it.

      Unfortunately, working with others and always trying to make someone else feel good can often lead to exhaustion. It can also make it hard to keep up with which compliments you’ve given people and which you haven’t. This can lead to some people feeling unappreciated. In turn, you feel like you’ve let someone down, and that can really weigh on your self esteem. Because people see the way they impact you, it can lead to them taking advantage later on.

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        Selfish people make themselves happy but ignore others.

        Selfish people are assertive because they know what they want. If you’re a selfish person, then often times you are willing to break the rules to win. You aren’t afraid to let others know what they’ve achieved, and while this can sometimes seem self-absorbed, it can also help remind people that you are an asset. You’ve also learned not to worry too much about what other people think. This confidence can provide a leg up on the competition.

          Success and intimidation don’t usually win a lot of friends, so if you’re selfish, you may not be well liked by many people. Along with being self-centered, you can’t always do all the work on your own; you’re bound to fall behind on occasion.

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            How to succeed as a nice guy?

            Ideally, you compromise. See, the above list of pros and cons outlines something very clearly: everyone has good aspects and bad aspects when it comes to personality and character. So it stands to reason putting those two character traits together would make a more ideal individual.

            Be nice, but also a little bit selfish.

              When nice people go to extremes, others can take advantage of them and nice people will still keep giving because it’s their nature to help. This is when others can mistake kindness for weakness. And let’s face it, life is survival of the fittest. But kindness can achieve great things when people learn when to be selfish and when to give.

              In the short term, being a selfish person has benefits but eventually poisons the well since others become bad around them. In the long term, being a nice person pays off big, though you risk exhausting yourself helping others.

              Achieve the best version of yourself

              Determine what you want to achieve the most. If you’re willing to really fight for that thing, then you should probably focus your attention there. For example, maybe you’re not a giver when it comes to creating a charity event, but maybe you’re a lot more willing to give in order to make a restaurant succeed. Great! You can be selfish about that cause while also recruiting a team of equally like-minded people to help.

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              Next, you have to build trust. Even if you know one hundred people who would want to help make a restaurant succeed, no one will want to help you if they don’t like you. In this case, you may need to be a little selfless and help others in order for them to see that you are worth helping, too. Besides, a support system is necessary. It will be good to have those people on your side in the future for other tasks you may come across.

              Stay humble when you need to, and promote your hard work when it’s called for. And if you’re working with a team, ensure you are promoting good behavior, and not negative, overly-selfish behavior.

              If you follow these tips, it’s possible to be a nice guy who can still finish first. Hard work and determination can get you far, but knowing when to be selfish and when to rely on others can get your farther. It’s not about using people, but learning when teamwork is the best choice for your success, and ultimately the success of those around you.

              You don’t have to be a “bad guy” or compromise your beliefs. You just have to compromise and continue to learn.

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              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Published on April 1, 2020

              Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It)

              Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It)

              There is one way to make sure that you wake up every single day feeling calm, joyful and blissed-out, and that is to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

              When you make it a conscious habit to express appreciation for your life, the Universe listens and responds with more love. Let me be clear… this doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person if you aren’t able to see the good on a bad day.

              Life is far from perfect. Sometimes things happen that cause us to react negatively. Having a pity party is okay now and then. However, it does nothing good for your mental and emotional well-being.

              An attitude of gratitude forces you to get outside of your problems and look at the bigger picture. In turn, you are better able to bounce forward when challenges occur in life.

              What Is an Attitude of Gratitude?

              An attitude of gratitude means that you operate from a place of abundance instead of a place of scarcity and fear. Each of us always has a choice of what we will focus on.

              Grateful people give thanks for everything in their life, even on the days when it feels like nothing is going right.

              To turn an attitude of gratitude into a sustainable habit, your foundation for feelings of gratitude must be independent of your circumstances.[1]

              Hence, even on the days when it feels like nothing is going right, you have to find the silver lining and give thanks for what is working.

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              As Melody Beattie says,

              “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion to clarity.”

              Why Is Gratitude Important?

              We all know how important it is to have a positive attitude. We’re taught to look at the world as a half-full glass, rather than a half-empty one. There’s good reason to adopt this mindset.

              Studies show that if you express gratitude, it raises your happiness by 25%.[2] When you take a moment to give thanks for what you have, instead of ruminating on what you don’t have, it fills you up.

              If gratitude is so good for your mental and emotional health, then why do so many people struggle to practice it? As humans, we are hardwired to dwell or fixate on the bad.

              Psychologists have found that negative events have a greater impact on our brains than positive ones, referred to as the negative bias.[3]

              As a result, a lot of people tend to move farther away from gratitude, which is an essential precursor to happiness. As Lewis Howes says,

              “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”

              4 Simple Ways to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

              Let’s look at 4 simple ways that you can develop an attitude of gratitude.

              1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

              If someone were to ask you right now what you’re grateful for, would you be able to answer, without overthinking?

              We often experience things that we should be grateful for, only to forget about them the next day. This is why writing down what you are grateful for is a good idea. By doing so you are rewriting your brain to focus on the good.

              Gratitude journaling is the habit of recording and reflecting on things (typically three) that you are grateful for regularly.[4]

              When it comes to practicing gratitude, consistency is key. Get into a routine of writing in your journal daily, preferably in the morning. This is a great way to start your day with a grateful heart.

              Here’s How a Gratitude Journal Can Drastically Change Your Life

              2. Express Your Gratitude

              Once you have developed an attitude of gratitude, you are free to share that love with others. How often do you take the time to tell people in your life how much they mean to you?

              Research shows that on the days that individuals strive to express their gratitude, they experience more positive emotions and are more likely to report helping someone and to feel connected with others.[5]

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              Think about the people in your life who have made a positive impact on you. Reach out and tell them how much you appreciate them. There are plenty of ways to express your gratitude.

              Start writing thank-you notes to anyone who has helped you along your journey, give out meaningful compliments, and celebrate the joys of others as if they are yours, too. Now, more than ever before, we need to uplift and inspire one another.

              3. Celebrate the Small Things

              We are conditioned to focus on and celebrate our big achievements, instead of our small wins. However, if you fail to ignore the small things and keep rushing from one thing to the next, you will quickly become demotivated.

              Who you become isn’t determined by the end goal. Rather, it’s determined by the person who you become along your journey to success.

              When you celebrate the small things, what you’re doing is celebrating your habits.[6]

              Take time to pause, slow down and savor the small things. Instead of obsessing about the future or dwelling on the past, be more aware of the present moment. It’s all you’ve got. Relish in it.

              4. Meditate on Gratitude

              Meditation is a powerful practice in self-awareness. The goal isn’t to silence your thoughts. Rather, it’s to become an active observer of them. The process of meditation is all about allowing the mind to do its thing and accept it as it is.

              I’ve always struggled with meditation. Sitting in silence for long periods of time isn’t my cup of tea. However, once I started combining meditation with gratitude, the game changed.

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              I began the process of transforming my inner and outer world. Today, meditation has now become a non-negotiable ritual in my life.

              Through meditation, we can build up areas of our brain and rewire it to enhance positive traits like focus and decision making and diminish the less positive ones like fear and stress.[7]

              When you master the mind, you master your emotions. All of a sudden, everything in your life flows with more ease. You become less reactive and are better able to handle life’s challenges with grace.

              The beauty of a gratitude meditation is that you can practice it anywhere. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule each day to reflect upon the things and people whom you are grateful for.

              If you’ve never tried meditation before, this guide is for you: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

              Watch your mood change instantly. It’s powerful.

              Final Thoughts

              It’s never too late to start cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

              What are you grateful for? Give thanks for whatever that is every single day. Life is beautiful. Take the time to stop and appreciate it. Gratitude has the power to transform your entire life.

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              More Ways to Practice Gratitude

              Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

              Reference

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