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Nice Guys SHOULD Finish Last

You may see me being a little harsh (maybe even a little overly harsh ; ) here, but for all of those who consider themselves to be ‘too nice’, this is one of those cruel to be kind moments.

I have never met someone who is TRULY nice.

I’ve met people who are honest, who are earnest, I’ve met people who are generous and kind, but I’ve never met someone who is ‘nice’.

I find that people who say they are ‘nice’ are using it as a euphemism for being spineless and not rocking the boat.

Not only is that unimaginably boring, but it also means you’re dealing with someone who you don’t really know.

You don’t know what a nice person is really feeling, or what they’d truly like to do.

You ask them for their preference and they don’t give you a straight answer. They’re not honest about their feelings towards other people, or things that aggravate and annoy them. They just keep things on an even keel the entire time, holding onto the charade of being ‘nice’.

As I think about this subject, I think about the film ‘The Mask’.

I remember being struck on seeing this film by how much of a nice guy Jim Carey’s character Stanley Ipkiss is to begin.

He’s known for having finished a piece called ‘Nice Guys Finish Last’, as he somewhat nobly sees himself as a nice guy (and who in some ways resents the world because of it).

What we find when he puts on the mask is that he becomes a different character.

He becomes bold, edgy, and uncompromising. He becomes a force that drives towards whatever he wants, whether it’s women or money, and he goes after what he wants.

Now, he becomes a very unattractive extreme of this, but we know it’s a caricature of how he would actually like to be.

He hates when he’s a nice guy, and doesn’t respect that version of himself.

I find that nice people don’t stay nice forever. They often become bitter or resentful.

They get angry at the world for being treated badly, and they get angry at themselves for allowing others to walk all over them.

The insidious thing about niceness is that it can actually hurt the people it’s intended to please.

In being nice you’re not honest with the people you’re trying to please, you don’t give opinions that people need to hear, you don’t cut someone down when they need cutting down… And it can actually end up hurting the people it’s intended to help.

The phrase, ‘to be cruel to be kind’, is a very telling one.

Very often we have to have a sense of cruelty to tell someone something that will benefit them.

I believe KIND people deserve the world.

Kind people should be given every award and every bit of recognition. Kind people make the world a better place.

As an extension to idea that ‘nice guys finish last’, I put to you that nice guys SHOULD finish last.

Question Of The Day:

Are you guilty of being too nice? In what ways can you tilt the balance in favour of being kind rather than nice?

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119 Replies to “Nice Guys SHOULD Finish Last”

  • Dear Matt,

    Your advice has helped me improve my plan of action and set a time frame. Your work on Nice Guys, and Frenemies is right on, it is heard loud and clear and shows that you put a lot of thought in the work that you put out there for women. Thank you for that. Looking at my current hurricane in hindsight, what has helped me the most are the standards that I held for myself and others. See, it is really easy for one to say that I am this type of person when things are going great in one’s life. However, it is extremely challenging to stick to one’s standards when one is faced with a most devastating hurricane. The fact that I had those standards, has helped me to navigate through these rough waters and hold my anchor. Whereby, I was able to make non-destructive choices for myself and my golden eggs. Now, not only have those standards grown, but the things that are needed in my life are crystal clear because I chose to focus on the positive aspects of this storm. Ironically, the two main driving components of the hurricane, are the ones responsible for these positive revelations in my life.
    I’m looking forward to calmer waters. For now, it will be a wait and see approach. Please keep doing the work that you do. Your material brings a little bit of sunshine to some of my days where the sun has not shown at all.

    Saludos, y mucha suerte querido Matt :)

  • What a load of crap Matt.. I’m a ‘nice’ person and i am in no way a push over.. I won’t take any crap, if people let me down, i.e men, i won’t see them again or will let them know how i feel..i am honest and have been told i am a very sincere person.. I know some ruthless not so nice people and i do not associate myself with such people..

    I do not agree with u at all, and if i met you, i would tell u so, and i’m still a nice person.. I have been successful in my life with the choices i have made..i made it happen so there..!!

    1. Janey,

      Your tone in this post is not particularly ‘nice’. Perhaps you do not suffer from this personality affliction as much as you think you do?

      Matt’s video is about people-pleasing behaviours that interfere with expressing one’s integrity, which is definitely in line with the definition of the word ‘nice’ (which can often have undertones of hypocrisy, as in “to make nice”). Hope that helps clear up any confusion!

      1. Lol, I just put my foot in my own mouth, since my last sentence was pretty sarcastically ‘nice’. Guess I have to work on that ;)

  • Dear Matt,

    I agree with your point and value the word “kind”. It actually annoys me when people say I’m “nice” or “too nice”. I have had people pleasing behavior since college that I’m trying to break. I became that person because I had a hard time making friends growing up and socializing. I was teased and hurt a lot. The behavior carried over into dating. I thought being “nice and accommodating” to everyone even if it may hurt me was the answer. It’s not.

    I don’t like to think of myself as “nice” anymore. I’m well intentioned and polite in the sense I don’t feel I have to be aggressive, difficult and a “bitch”, or curse to get my point across. And I don’t hurt people on purpose. However I’m still too conflict avoidant and doing my best to speak up more among friends and men when need be. I worry too much about what others may think and still need to work on this.

    At the same time I feel some people around me want to turn everything into an argument (the people who still say I’m “too nice”). My opinion is you can just ignore negative people instead of always making it a battle. If that person isn’t going to stay around in my life, why waste time saying anything or cussing them out? Sometimes no attention is more powerful than providing attention. Choose your battles.

    And yeah, “nice guys” (or as I like to say “Nice Guys ™ “) are irritating. I used to want that type of guy because I was so afraid of conflict. Eww! The funny thing is “nice” guys don’t like “nice” girls!

    There are genuinely kind hearted men who respect themselves and they don’t have to remind people of how nice they are. Self proclaimed “Nice guys” give, and give and give expecting something in return. And then they complain about how they “gave” too much or “tried too hard”. Yeah. A lot of the time what he gives either isn’t something the girl of interest actually values, or he really hasn’t given as much as what the guy she prefers has.

    The irony of it all is the “nice guys” are essentially doing the same thing that the girls who don’t like them back are doing with the “jerks” who the girls choose (I put “jerks” in quotes because a lot of the time these men aren’t jerks, they’re just more confident than the “nice” guys and understand women more) I mean, “nice guys” chase after a girl who continuously rejects them, or treats them like crap. Isn’t that the same thing the girl they want is doing with the jerk, not treating her as well? Well, hey like attracts like.

    I had a guy friend complain to me how he’s always “Plan B”…well you can’t be her Plan B if you don’t wait for her and aren’t there to listen to all her sob stories. You have the right to say she already had her chance when she returns wanting you to be more than friends.

    Some people wear their “good deeds” like a badge of honor and constantly remind you the “good” they have done for you. I’ve been this person, sadly!! There’s no need to give more and more if you aren’t receiving any appreciation for your kind actions.

    I think a lot of us, men and women were fed this tale that we just have to be “nice and pleasant and giving” to whom we are attracted and they will love us back. If it were that easy, there would be more deep passionate relationships out there. I certainly value a man kind and being pleasant but that isn’t what really helps get anywhere in dating. I mean these days, respectful and pleasant is a basic requirement for me, not the icing on the cake.

    And let’s face it “nice” guys, feel the same about us. They are attracted to girls who aren’t always nice over the ones who always are nice and let them do whatever you want to them, just because they asked. It’s because men AND women are attracted to confidence and authenticity and if you are truly authentic, you won’t always be “nice”. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the other end of the spectrum and be a rude pain in the ass. But even something like ignoring unreasonable requests, or saying “no” in a respectful manner is ok. The world won’t end.

    So when men play the “nice guys finish last” card and cry about how all women are b*****s, I roll my eyes. If the same thing keeps happening, they need to change their actions and/or change choices in women. You can’t control people but you can control yourself. Value those who value you instead of trying to gain approval from someone who doesn’t care enough.

    I’m doing my best to take all my advice here to “nice guys”. Old habits die hard and it’s easier said than done but it’s the only way. Take baby steps and have the courage.

  • Fuck you dude. Your a self righteous piece of shit. I hope you wake up in the middle of a civil war or a famine, you might learn to appreciate the simple niceness of people. You put your own insecurity on a concept. nice, like kind, honest any other sentiment we as a species aspire to is worth more than everything you will ever “achieve”. Those who want to be nice shift the normal distribution toward a better world. You justify your own weakness and fear…and in so doing give license to all the assholes who have commented below. Blame the nice..they had it coming. Either you did it for hits and your a media whore or you did it cause you say a lot of mean shit without thinking about anyone else and want to justify it. Either way your a prick. keep on making our world a better place to live…

    1. Congratulations, Barry, way to prove his point about self-proclaimed ‘nice’ people being angry and bitter. ‘Nice’ is nothing to aspire to – at least not for emotionally mature people. ‘Nice’ is just the baseline, it takes no effort to achieve. The fact that you see this basic behavior as some kind of lofty thing that takes effort to aspire to says a lot about your lack of character. It’s probably better if people like you stayed away from the rest of humanity for whom nice behavior is the normal default and not something we put massive effort into, and so, childishly demand a gold star for.

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  • I wish I had seen this before I entered into a relationship.
    – He used to say – Don’t worry I’m a nice guy..-
    And it’s true, I had no idea who I was dealing with.
    But now it’s more clear, he was spineless, bending his standards, trying to please everybody… And the world was a place that did him wrong.
    Thank God, this guy is now my ex.

    Matthew – you clearly proved your point!

  • What amazes me is that guys don’t dump the Nice Guy behavior after the first rejection. If he continues with this behavior after seeing that it does not work it is his fault. If the Nice Guy is basically unattractive to women (even after dumping his nice guy mantle) he can at least focus on his career and education where he will see a tangible return. When I was single I never fit into the Nice Guy category but I was quiet and reserved (not brash and cocky) and could not get dates. All around, other guys had so many women that they were pushing them away. I accepted that these other guys won fair and square so I could not resent them; It was like a competition between two professional athletes after a fair competition-may the better man win. Nor could I resent the women-they have a right to go out with anyone they want. I guess that is my main point to guys who cannot get dates: There may NOT be a woman for you. Women are free agents and can date anyone they want and it may NOT be you. I changed my attitude about women at age 30 as follows:

    FROM: What I wanted from women (love,compsnionship)

    TO: What I expected from women: NOTHING

    Expect nothing from women and you will experience a great feeling of peace…

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