Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

The nice guy syndrome

Are you familiar with the term nice guy syndrome? There are some subtle things in life that we think are normal but are not. Whatever you don’t know can harm you. What you don’t know is more powerful than you.
Today I want to show you something you may not have considered, and if you have, maybe not at the depth at which I am going to reveal it in this article.
In this post, you will learn about the nice guy syndrome, and the nice guy syndrome cure.

Nice guy syndrome is the way of life of some selected few individuals. It doesn’t have anything to do with gender (my own opinion). Both male and female can equally be victim of the nice guy syndrome. People who are victim of this behavioral disease think they are living right in their right senses but unaware that such lifestyle is harmful and dangerous to their wellbeing in the long run.

As an ex nice guy, I am a living witness of how the nice guy syndrome can sabotage your success, and make you an object of manipulation to other smart people who don’t suffer from the syndrome. I assume by now you are eager to know more about the nice guy syndrome.

Nice guy syndrome refers to a behavioral pattern in some men (women inclusive) of being very nice to others. Being nice is not a bad idea, after all we want others to be nice to us, and according to the law of cause and effect, we get back what we sow. However,  when you become excessively nice to others even at the expense of your own good, then you have been infected by the nice guy syndrome. Being nice becomes abnormal when you are nice to others just for the purpose of pleasing them and avoiding confrontations.

When you found yourself in that state where you habitually put others first, avoid confrontation by being people pleaser, and became very attentive to every woman(man) you have the opportunity to meet like a perfect gentleman(lady), then you have been infected.

Dr. Robert Glover, the author of “No more Mr. Nice Guy Syndrome,” a therapist who specializes in helping men with nice guy syndrome reveals the basic paradigm which the nice guy syndrome operates on.

According to him, nice guys are guided by the following three “covert contracts”:

1.If I am a good guy, then everyone will love me and like me(and people I desire will desire me)
2.If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me asking.
3.If I do everything right, I will have a smooth, problem free life.

No nice guy actually writes down these covert contracts as a rule to live by, but unconsciously they are the paradigm that dictates their behavior.

Nice guys are dependent on external validation. They act most often to please and satisfy everyone but themselves. They avoid conflicts like HIV.

Some people may like you and respect you for being a nice guy, but there are so many bad sides to being a nice guy.
In the course of trying to please people, you will end up living a fake life. You will want to act based on what people expects of you and not living your authentic life.  When you live so much out of your design, you lose yourself. The inner pain and conflict that comes with such lifestyle is indescribable.

Being a nice guy will make you to be too predictable, and hence you become a good object of manipulation for psychopaths. You are lucky to be reading this if you are a Mr. nice guy; at least you now have the opportunity to discover what you may never have considered. I broke away from the nice guy syndrome the hard way. At that time I didn’t know anything exists called the nice guy syndrome. I just knew intuitively that living that way is unhealthy and destructive to my overall wellbeing.

Mr. nice guys suffer the most in relationship. In any relationship, there is always the better lover, the one who gives everything, even when not convenient for him just to make the relationship work. Doing so is not a bad idea, but in a relationship, the display of affection should be balanced.

Most nice guys give and give until their emotional love bank becomes empty, and in most cases, all their efforts are rarely appreciated by the other partner. When you give something valuable excessively, the valuable object loses its value before the receiver. We value things because of their rarity. If money is everywhere like sand, no one will value it, and no one will work to earn it. If you become excessively nice to people, a time comes that your niceness loses its value before them.

To cure yourself of the nice guy syndrome, three things are essential,

Firstly, you must realize and accept you are suffering from the syndrome. “A problem identified,” said a wise man “is 50% solved.” Are you suffering from the nice guy syndrome? If you are a victim of it and you are aware of the reality, then you are halfway out of the dungeon of the nice guy syndrome.

Secondly, you must resolve to stop pleasing people at the expense of your own good, especially when you are doing it out of the need for validation, and fear of confrontation. If you chose to do an act of kindness, do it because it is the right thing to do at that time and not because you want to impress the other person. I have stopped impressing people long time ago.

Thirdly, choose to live an authentic life. To do this, you will need to do a simple exercise, make a list of the principles that govern your life and why you chose them, write down your values, and beliefs in vital areas of life. Identify or write down your likes and dislikes. Make sure your values are noble and ideal.

The essence of this exercise is to enable you to know who you are. Having done that, learn to live in line with your core values. Tolerance is a good behavioral trait, but you must learn to set healthy boundary. If you want learn more about setting healthy boundary, you can read, overcoming our inability to say “No”,  a blog post written by Marquita Herald, a fellow blogger and resilient coach.  Don’t allow anyone to sabotage your happiness and peace of mind out of their own carelessness or foolishness.

The more you start living an authentic life, the more you would be able to express yourself, not minding if someone gets upset or not. You would be more capable of asking for what you want, and saying no to others.

Living authentically will make you value yourself more. You will develop the capacity to give more time for yourself, and take care of your own needs.

Above all, you will have the gut to end every toxic relationship in your life without blinking an eye.
Mind you, if are still afraid to break away from your nice guy syndrome, one vital thing you must know is that there is nothing you can do, that will please everybody. Striving to please people is a waste of your human dignity and unique identity.
Always remember this; the same behavioral traits that will make some people to hate you are the same traits that would make others to like you.

The goal of life is not to live to be liked, but to express your authentic self. That is why you are given a unique finger prints and individualized DNA.

Final Thoughts

I want to use the opportunity to state clearly that the goal of this post is not to encourage cruelty; the central focus is to help you to cultivate the skill of assertiveness and setting healthy boundary.

The goal is not to discourage you from being nice to others; the message is to stop doing act of kindness out of fear of confrontation and the need for validation.

 I write this post to remind you and encourage you to apply the popular biblical injunction; “love your neighbor as yourself,” it didn’t say love your neighbor more than yourself. The nice guy syndrome is the habitual tendency to put others first, at the expense of your own good, and that violets the “love your neighbor as yourself” rule.

Above all, you must learn to apply wisdom when dealing with people. Sometimes you may need to do things out of your own convenience in the course of helping others; it is not a bad idea. Let your inner wisdom guide you.

Over to You

In respect to this post, I will be glad to see your opinion and suggestion on overcoming the nice guy syndrome in the comment section

Be a blessing to someone by sharing this post on social media. You are a click away.



  1. This is a thought provoking post. Being a "nice guy" is pretty great but not if you are sacrificing yourself in the process.

    1. Hi Dr.Elise,
      I am glad you found value in this post.
      I appreciate your thoughtful contribution.

  2. Hi Taiwo,
    I did not know that it is called nice guy syndrome :) But I can relate to this.
    Being kind is good, but it needs boundaries, some people do not know them.
    They even can get demanding. I learned to set boundaries. Kind people need to take care and be aware that others do not take advantage of them. This is not how it should be.
    Great post to make aware of this problem
    Thank you

    1. Hi Erika,
      I am glad to know you are just coming across the term nice guy syndrome for the first time via this post.
      I glad you can relate with the features. Thank you very much for your contribution to this post.

  3. hello sir nice article and keep up the good work

    1. Hi Paras,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      I appreciate your comment.

  4. Excellent advice Taiwo and you are absolutely right, Nice Guy Syndrome - commonly known as People Pleasing - is definitely not limited to gender. Thanks for including my post in your article and for providing such thoughtful insights on this issue.

    1. Hi Marquita,
      I like your alternative term for the nice guy syndrome (people pleasing).
      Good to know you supported the idea that nice guy syndrome is not restricted to the male gender.
      Thanks for your contribution to this, especially the link you provided for additional reading on setting health boundary.

  5. Hi Taiwo

    The post really made me think. Never heard of something like nice guy syndrome. Very well written post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Sonal,
      I am glad you learn something new through this article.
      Thanks for your kind words and comment.

  6. Hi Taiwo,

    Speaking from experience, playing 'Mr Nice Guy' is tiresome and ultimately unrewarding. No truer words than 'you can't please everyone', so you might as well please yourself. Of course not at the expense of others.

    I think you hit on the key for balance when you wrote that tolerance has limits that we have to know and live.

    About nice guys: "They avoid conflicts like HIV". Funny stuff! Thanks,

    1. Hi Edward,
      I am always impressed by your comment.
      Thanks for your uncommon contribution.

  7. Hi Taiwo,

    This is a really interesting article.

    I think most women can identify with having looked for the “bad boy” at one time or another.

    Lots of women have, but it rarely ends up nicely.

    Now, I do know nice guys who have never had trouble in their relationships.

    I think the key is, as you suggest in this article, that they must set boundaries and they must respect themselves.

    That doesn't mean they need to be mean or contrary.

    It just means that they have to show the respect for themselves that they do for others.


    1. Hi Donna,
      You are one of the bloggers I admire in the blogosphere. Your articles are always loaded with valuable information.
      Thanks for your wonderful contribution to this post.

  8. U37 Taiwo! I have actually am not familiar with the term nice guy syndrome, but after reading have come to conclusion that I do sometimes fall into this category! If I can avoid drama I am all over it!

    Great Share
    Chery :))

    1. Hi Chery,
      I am glad you learned something new via this post.
      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. Hi Taiwo,
    I did not know that it is called nice guy syndrome :) But I can relate to this.
    Being kind is good, but it needs boundaries, some people do not know them.
    They even can get demanding.

    Internet marketing tips

    1. Hi salman,
      I couldn't agree more with your submission.
      Thanks for your comment.

  10. I have never been a Mr nice guy, just as you mentioned, its a fake life. Thanks Tee

  11. I never knew is a behavioral pattern. I just know I don't like confrontations.
    Thanks for your insight. I will apply the solution so that i can give myself that maximum relief.
    Thanks my brother..

  12. Right here is the right website for anybody who wishes to understand this topic.
    You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that
    I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject which has been written about for decades.
    Great stuff, just great!