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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

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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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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