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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 February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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