Author (Greek version): Georgia Kiziridou
Tranlsation: Evelina Koutsikopoulou
Editor: Harriet Spala
“He is a great guy they say… He has been a rather quiet and reserved person since childhood, never argued with anyone. Whenever anybody needed help, he was always there for them. Always polite to everyone he never caused trouble or any tension. Easygoing person, yet a little reserved. Probably, that’s his character. He likes to sacrifice himself for others…”
Has the above description reminded you of yourself or any of your family or friends? Have you ever wondered what lies behind this superficial kindness and perpetual altruism? There are people who prefer to say “yes” to others, but in fact, they say “no” to themselves and their personal needs. These people have the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome.
Excessive kindness to others is a result of childhood traumas, occurred from a very young age. More specifically it’s about people whom their parents were so demanding and severe that they got to the point of believing that they are unworthy to be loved for what they truly are. In early childhood, a child is completely unable to understand that it’s his/her parents that are truly unworthy to love and accept, so the idea grows as they believe that they are inferior and permanently need to struggle to achieve an equal position in any relationship. As a result, a guilty Ego is created and a depressive personality emerges. Therefore being too kind to anyone else is the effort of an oppressed person to regain his/her self-value, through other people’s acceptance. Gradually, an introvert personality is built of a person who avoids many social contacts, because he/she are afraid that they will not correspond to others’ needs and they will be rejected. Eventually, is Mr. Nice Guy a scared and trapped child?
The person having the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome is someone who fears rejection and struggles really hard for love and recognition by others, while constantly avoiding confrontations and conflicts. He/she is afraid that if he openly supports his opinion and disagrees with somebody else, he will be severely rejected. As a result, he oppresses himself, he doesn’t develop authentic and genuine relationships with others and eventually, many times, he walks out of a relationship and withdraws in his/her shell of loneliness, feeling unable to handle any pressing condition. He/she often depends on others’ opinions, so that’s why he doesn’t want to open up. If the slightest misunderstanding comes up, he feels like a defendant in court and he/she has to apologize for his/her point of view every time. Mr. Nice Guy is an apologetic and guilty person who oppresses his/her own beliefs and feelings, because of his/her desire for appraisal by others. However, his/her personal insecurities reinforce this way. The question that then comes up is whether the person having the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome can find a getaway and create sustainable relationships.
The answer of this question lies first within us. It is very important to reinforce our self-esteem, so we may have the courage to express ourselves, without being afraid that we will insult anyone else. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone’s needs all the time at the expense of our personal needs and wants. Through self-awareness, Μr. Nice Guy may understand how he/she would really like to be related to others. Precisely, by maintaining a necessary balance while this change occurs. The transformation of Mr. Nice Guy, who has always been considerate, indulgent and giving to a Mr. Bad Guy who will act selfishly and oppressively towards others, is not really a good idea. What really matters is the final result leading to the creation of safe relationships with acceptance rather than dependence, though the inevitable conflicts that happen in various areas of life, besides as Heraclitus stated: “Quarrel is useful because it creates greater harmony”!
Finally, if you believe that you suffer from Μr. Nice Guy syndrome, just try to remember when was the last time you said “yes” to yourself and your personal needs and when did you dare praise yourself for something you achieved?
So, remember to always love yourself…
Glover, R. (2003). No more Mr. Nice Guy: A proven plan for getting what you want in love, sex and life.Running press book publishers: Philadelphia.