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8 Harsh Life Lessons Every Nice Guy Should Learn

8 Harsh Life Lessons Every Nice Guy Should Learn

You’ve heard the phrase, Nice guys finish last.” What if the phrase is true? You see, “nice guys” miss the mark so many times it’s a real pity. The problem with the “nice guy” is that he is dishonest. Underneath all that guise of courtesy and politeness is dishonesty with self and with others.

“Nice guys” act sweet and nice to get what they want or be viewed in a certain way. Often they do this without even realizing they are doing it. The “nice guy” has bought into his own lie that he’s really being a good friend; that he treats people better; that he cares, while in fact he is being phony. And that’s a big problem.

No one wants to feel like they are being manipulated or played by someone who is just acting, nor does anyone want to be known as someone who isn’t true to themselves. That’s where the “nice guy” parts ways with the man who happens to be a genuinely nice person.

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“Nice guy” vs. genuinely nice person

Clinical psychologist Guy Winch, Ph.D., says genuine people are authentic. “They have a good sense of self-esteem,” explains the author of Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts. “And people who have solid self-esteem are much less defensive about things usually. They can feel authentic, they can be authentic, because they’re far less worried about the implications of exposing who they are, because they feel OK about who they are,” Winch says.

Take a step back and analyze the collection of thoughts, speeches and behaviors that fill your days. Consider your own words and intentions. Are you genuine? Why do you do what you do? Do you truly care or are you just pretending because you want something? Nice guys” are fake, overly sensitive, vulnerable and predictable. Genuinely nice guys are authentic, ambitious, confident, honest and considerate. Here are harsh lessons every “nice guy” should learn:

1. Many people will love and support you, but many others will not.

This will happen no matter how nice and likable you think you are or how hard you try to be. You cannot please everyone. You might as well just be yourself and say and do what works for you. That way you will attract genuine people who like you for who you are.

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2. Seeking validation from others invalidates you.

Others’ opinions of you do not have to be your reality. You are as valuable as the next person. The moment you learn that and live by it is the moment you will be free to live the life you were meant to. As Bruce Lee said, “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” Affirmation might feel nice, but it is not essential.

3. Risk is the only way to change and improve your situation.

You cannot avoid risk without avoiding life. Understand that fact and you will learn the value of using every moment to improve your life and that of the people you care about. Don’t give up your life and surrender your happiness merely because you fear what people will say. Fear of rejection and failure is self-defeating. Henry David Thoreau said it right: “When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”

4. You won’t always get what you want.

It doesn’t matter who you are—you won’t always get what you want in life. Sometimes you will try and fail. People will let you down, stab you in the back, and abandon you. Still, do what your consciences tells you to do, and do it the best way you can. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. If things still don’t work out, accept it. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Life’s too short to dwell on the disappointment of not getting your way.

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5. Regret hurts far worse than fear.

If you give in to your fears – whether it is fear of making a mistake, fear of disappointing others or fear of failing – and allow it to stop you from trying, the regret you will feel later in life will be far worse than the fear you have now. Unfortunately, not many “nice guys” escape learning this harsh lesson firsthand. It is only when you face your fears, take your chances and risk losing that you truly open the possibility to win.

6. We hurt most the ones we love the most.

This happens even to the best of us because profound love requires reciprocity. As human beings, however, the presence of conflicting perspectives and different needs means we cannot reciprocate profound love completely and exactly as is expected. We are, therefore, likely to hurt those we love the most, and be hurt the most by those who most love us. Learn this lesson now and it will help you cultivate a deeper compassion for yourself and inspire more compassion and understanding for others.

7. The people you’re trying to please so much won’t be around forever.

The support, love and help you get from others can only take you so far. You will have to go the rest of the way if you want to improve your life situation. Fortunately, nobody can transform your life the way you can. Until you know yourself and diligently act from a place of consciousness, you cannot change your situation, touch lives and grow into your truest self. Be bold. Stand on your own two feet and do things for yourself.

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8. It may all be over tomorrow.

You never know what is around the corner: a car crash, a heart attack, a layoff; heck… the world could end tomorrow! So, have your priorities right. Spend quality time with loved ones and do things that bring you true joy and happiness: whether it’s making art or trading stocks, be YOU. Don’t be who the world wants you to be. Be a genuinely nice guy.

Featured photo credit: Dog and his owner – Cool dog and young man having fun in a park – Concepts of friendship,pets,togetherness via shutterstock.com

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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