No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
Therapist exposes the psychology of the modern male
There’s this phenomena in modern culture that has be called “nice guys”. But not many people actually understand what it’s about.
Robert Glover has become one of the go-to experts on this topic. In No More Mr. Nice Guy, Robert exposes the good and the bad behind this psychological paradigm. And it’s not pretty.
Why It’s Awesome
What is a nice guy?
To him, he’s the good guy. He doesn’t want to rock the boat, take risk or cause too much trouble for anyone. He believes that by being “polite” and always playing by the rules others have set out he will get what he wants.
You might ask “what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with being nice?” But it isn’t that simple.
At the same time, life is a struggle for the nice guy. Girls don’t pay him much attention, he doesn’t seem to get that raise at work and overall his life is one of mediocrity. This is eternally frustrating to the nice guy, who can’t figure out why he keeps getting “screwed over”.
I know this first hand because I definitely fit many of those descriptions growing up. Do what you’re told, don’t cause a scene is what most people, not just “nice guys”, are conditioned with.
Robert gives the most thorough explanation of “nice guy” behavior I’ve ever seen. For anyone who relates with this, prepare for your reality to be busted open.
Nice guy behavior is largely a psychological defense mechanism. They subconsciously live a life based on the fear of disapproval and rejection, which causes them to shield themselves from the world.
Although they usually like to claim moral high ground, Robert explains that nice guys are fundamentally dishonest. They have to lie in order to hide all those “dirty secrets” they don’t want the world to see about them. However, because being a liar would go against their self-image of being a “good guy”, they will often deny the truth to themselves about why they are lying.
Nice guys are angry people. They feel resentment towards themselves, the world and others because their needs don’t get met. In reality, their needs don’t get met because nice guys are typically afraid to ask directly for what they want
Nice guys are faux people-pleasers. Because their primary intent is to not rock the boat and risk social rejection, they put on a “front” they hope other people will like. This stops them from authentically connecting with anyone because they don’t actually let anyone in.
Nice guys repress their emotions. Despite their claim that they are more emotionally available than other men, typically they are afraid of their own emotions. They’d rather analyze than feel.
The truth is that nice guys are unconscious. They don’t know why they do what they do and they can’t connect how their behavior is the exact thing that is causing problems in their life.
Before judging the nice guy though, we have to ask ourselves a question: how did this happen? Why are men acting like this?
Robert explains that nice guys are created. Unconscious behavior isn’t evil, it’s just unconscious and is usually the result of years of conditioning and / or traumatizing experiences.
I want to give an actual example from the book so you can get a real understanding of what I’m talking about. Here is Robert’s description of a man named Jose:
A successful business consultant, Jose was afraid of intimate relationships. Jose was highly educated and had a stressful, high-powered career. He was physically active and his idea of recreation was taking a hundred-mile bike ride or climbing a mountain. He repressed his anger and tried to never say anything that would upset anyone. He saw himself as controlling and acknowledged that his drug of choice was “recognition.”
Jose was attracted to dependent women. He found it interesting that he seemed to be attracted to incest survivors. He stayed in his present relationship because he was concerned about the financial welfare of his girlfriend. He was afraid she wouldn’t make it if he left.
Jose openly acknowledged that he came from a dysfunctional family. He was the second of seven children in a lower class family. At around the age of 14, he took on the role of parenting his younger siblings. Jose reported that there was tremendous chaos in his family and he saw his job as protecting his brothers and sisters from its effects.
Jose saw his father as angry, controlling, and abusive. He was explosive and demeaning to the boys and sexually abusive to the girls.
Jose’s mother was manic-depressive. She had extreme mood swings and had a difficult time staying on her medication. When she was manic, the house would be spotless, she would talk of entertaining politicians and socialites, and she would begin destructive sexual relationships. When she was depressed, she kept the windows covered, the house became a wreck, and she would threaten to kill herself.
When he was 15, Jose had to break through a locked door and take a loaded gun away from his mother. She had been threatening suicide while all seven kids stood by terrified. Jose saw this as a typical scenario growing up in his home.
Jose worked hard all of his life to be different from his family. His family had him on a pedestal and he was the one to whom everyone turned whenever they had a problem. His job as a family member was fixing chaos. His job as a business consultant was fixing chaos. His role in relationships was fixing chaos. Jose’s life script required chaos, because without it, he would be out of a job.
Jose considered his natural intelligence, work ethic, and ability to solve problems his “saving grace.”
It was these factors, he believed, that allowed him to escape his family dysfunction and make something of himself. Without them, he was convinced, he would have ended up just like his parents and the rest of siblings.
Not so easy to judge after reading that.
This is admittedly an extreme example. Not everyone has experienced this high degree of trauma or is that deeply in nice guy territory. But I wanted to use an extreme example so you could see the connection between past experiences and how someone acts as an adult.
The solution is for nice guys to become what Robert calls an integrated male. Here is Robert’s brief description of that:
Being integrated means being able to accept all aspects of one’s self. An integrated man is able to embrace everything that makes him uniquely male: his power, his assertiveness, his courage, and his passion as well as his imperfections, his mistakes, and his dark side.
An integrated male possesses many of the following attributes:
- He has a strong sense of Self. He likes himself just as he is.
- He takes responsibility for getting his own needs met.
- He is comfortable with his masculinity and his sexuality.
- He has integrity. He does what is right, not what is expedient.
- He is a leader. He is willing to provide for and protect those he cares about.
- He is clear, direct, and expressive of his feelings.
- He can be nurturing and giving without caretaking or problem-solving.
- He knows how to set boundaries and is not afraid to work through conflict.
An integrated male doesn’t strive to be perfect or gain the approval of others. Instead he accepts himself just as he is, warts nd all. An integrated male accepts that he is perfectly imperfect.
There is a lot more nuance in the book, but hopefully you’ve gotten the basic gist. Nice guy = ineffective belief system that must be discarded at some point in a man’s life.
Why Does It Suck
It really doesn’t. This is a top-tier book for anyone who is ready to hear its message.
The Wrap Up
An absolute must-read for any nice guy who is finally tired to beating his head up against the wall. Sometimes it’s not about effort, but having the right map.