Ever feel like no one takes you seriously? Are you everyone’s friend but nobody’s special someone? Do you feel like life’s passing you by? If so, there’s a good chance you’re stuck being a nice guy.
Guess what? There’s a lot of resentful nice guys out there who watched other people take what they wanted.
If you can’t find a balance between being nice and getting what you want, things like jealousy, bitterness, and cynicism can take over. Nice guys finish last is a common saying because it tends to be true.
If you stop being a nice guy, you don’t have to become mean or a bad guy or an arrogant jerk.
Learning your boundaries, knowing how to say no, worrying less about people’s feelings than telling the truth can help you evolve from a nice guy everyone treads on to a guy that people take seriously.
Want others to listen when you talk? Want girls to stop seeing you as another version of their little brother? Want to boost your self-confidence and feel good when you look in the mirror? If this sounds like you, keep reading.
How Do You Stop Being a Nice Guy?
It’s not one thing. It’s a long and winding road, my friend, and it’s full of missteps, dead-ends, and mistakes.
But if you focus on being the best person you can be, it doesn’t matter if others think your nice guy or not. They’ll need the skills you have to offer.
When we first meet someone new, we decide whether we like them or not in the first few seconds.
Our gut reactions may be correct or incorrect, but it takes a lot of work to reverse our initial reaction. If people assume you’re a nice guy off the bat, it can take a lot of hard work to undo it.
This is why it’s super important to consider the look you present to the world. As social media shows us, the way we look speaks volumes.
Things like posture, fashion, hair cut, and personal grooming tell us a lot about a person’s personality.
If you’re trying to be taken seriously rather than nice, consider how you hold your body while talking to others or moving about the world.
Having two feet planted firmly on the ground about shoulder-distance apart can make you feel more grounded and confident while speaking to someone.
Looking at them in the eye can feel uncomfortable initially, but it’s a great habit to get into. People love it when you look them in the eye and wouldn’t describe it as a nice characteristic.
If you’re speaking to a group, talk to each person individually instead of the whole group. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Bend your knees a little and relax your shoulders.
Confident body language can take a little while to appropriate. At first, it might feel like you’re faking it. However, with a little practice, things like good posture and eye contact feel natural and superior to the nice-guy alternative.
Inoffensive, nice clothes can come across as boring and conservative.
You don’t have to dress like a punk, but choosing a particular personal style can make you feel better about yourself. Wear clothes that fit you and make you feel comfortable, and you won’t be seen as boring, Mr. Nice Guy.
You should own at least one suit, and you should know how to tie a tie. Everyone looks suave in a well-fitting suit.
You don’t have to be James Bond with a Savile Row tailored three-piece, but a nice suit with matched shoes, shirt, and tie will add a dash of devilry to your nice guy attitude.
A nice pair of jeans goes a long way. Jeans and a t-shirt are pretty much accepted in every social situation, so have a couple of options in more than one color.
Different shoes will allow you to fit into any situation; don’t just wear skate shoes everywhere.
If you’re sick of being the nice guy, try mixing up your fashion. Radically altering your wardrobe is a great way to feel new. There’s nothing wrong with a little experimentation. Women want to see a man who’s willing to try new styles.
Scientists have learned a lot about how the brain works in the last few decades. With psychiatry, psychotherapy, and neuroscience, we understand more about brain function and mental health than ever before.
Understanding how you think can be a great trick to get yourself unstuck from unhelpful patterns. If you want to change how others treat you, it can help to understand who you are.
The OCEAN method is great for learning about your own personality.
Every person fits roughly into a 6-factor personality test, made of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Also known as the Big Five personality traits.
Knowing where you fit on each spectrum can make it easier for you to understand your strengths and weaknesses, the parts of yourself that may be holding you back, and which patterns you might want to stop.
There are plenty of personality tests, lectures, and useful sites online where you can learn about who you really are.
Maintaining and improving your mental health can be one of the best ways for others to respect you. If you can take care of yourself, people will assume you can take care of them.
In the same fashion deteriorating mental health can negatively affect our relationships with others, if our physical health is compromised, it can severely affect the way we interact with the world.
Strength and conditioning are essential if you want to take yourself seriously. Strength of character can come from strength in your body, and doing exercises as simple as push-ups can improve your overall life.
While you don’t have to bench two hundred, a set of weights or a kettlebell goes a long way coupled with some instructional videos on YouTube.
Thousands of personal trainers can walk you through the difficult journey of getting strong and fit.
Yoga is also great for improving strength, balance, and breath control, and it’s getting more and more popular with men. Team sports can increase your athletic ability while also providing camaraderie and social engagement.
Combat sports like MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have grown extremely popular since the early 2000s, especially among young men. Learning how to fight and handle yourself physically is a great method to boost your confidence.
If you can say no to someone and back it up with the confidence that comes from being physically fit, they’ll like you, not because you’re a nice guy but because they respect you. Everyone can tell if you’re just trying to please them.
Don’t always be a “Yes” man.
If you’ve found yourself in the friend zone, ask yourself if you ever say no.
Maybe you like helping her out, maybe you don’t want to offend her, and maybe you just want to spend more time with her. Whatever it is, not being able to say no can create a whole bunch of problems.
Saying yes all the time when you want to say no is actually a form of low-key lying.
When we say yes to someone we like when we want to say no just to be nice, it’s an easy opportunity to be filled with resentment and bitterness at the person for asking you and yourself for saying yes.
Learning how to say no can do wonders for your confidence and levels of self-respect. People will like you, as it’ll be easier for them to know your boundaries without guessing.
When you say no, don’t beat around the bush or offer made up excuses.
Pull it off like Band-Aid, and just say no. Be courteous and assertive. It can benefit from rehearsing beforehand, though don’t memorize lines as the conversation will rarely go as planned.
Once you’ve said no, don’t go back on it. People are going to come back at you with altered terms, trying to negotiate a yes. Be firm, and, yes, even selfish. If you want to get what you want, you have to be willing to get what you want.
Spend time with friends
Do you feel as if you’re trodden all over? Do you never spend time doing what you want? Do you only ever hang out with her friends?
Aside from finding it hard to say no, nice guys often sacrifice what they want to make others happy.
Remember your friends, the ones you had before the relationship. Remember how much fun you had with them. You need to connect with more than just one person.
A solid group of friends is a great way to maintain independence and strength of character.
Friends make you refine your sense of humor, see things from a new angle, and put things in perspective.
Life can be made up of echo chambers. Being stuck in the same echo chamber of being a nice guy can make people feel angry and depressed.
One of the best ways to get out into a new headspace is by hanging out with good friends, preferably people who’ve known you for a long time.
Friends can act as a buttress when things get shaky. They can also provide uncomfortable truths when you’re ready to hear them.
If you’re worried about being a nice guy, ask your best friend what they think. Chances are, they know you better than you do.
Spend time on your own
Being clingy isn’t attractive to men. Some women think so too! Being overly nice can sometimes be a cover for not wanting to spend time alone.
Learning how to be comfortable by yourself is an awesome way to drop the nice guy vibe.
How would you feel about going to a restaurant on your own? How about a movie? Does the thought of being alone in public make you tremble in dread?
People respect men who are confident enough to be by themselves for an hour or two. It strikes us as intriguing, desirable, and smart. Someone who can spend time on their own must be interesting and worth getting to know.
So, how do you spend time alone? What do you actually do?
Don’t immediately reach for your phone. Digital connectivity can be another way of hiding from the present moment. It’s more comfortable to hide behind a screen than it is to accidentally catch a stranger’s eye.
If you do catch someone’s eye, smile, and don’t be embarrassed. Embarrassment is catchy, as is confidence. People who exude confidence make other people relax and feel happy.
So, sit back, think grand thoughts, and spend a while with yourself. Were you interesting or boring and nice?
Learning to be comfortable on your own comes with practice. I wouldn’t recommend starting with a solo trip to a fancy restaurant for a three-course meal with champagne.
Try going for a walk in a park. After you’ve done that a couple of times, sit down on a bench. It’s not hard. Go get a coffee and sit in the window. Watch the world go by.
With a little practice, it’ll get easier, and I bet you that after a while, you’ll learn to enjoy it.
Another great way to learn to be comfortable in your skin is by learning to meditate.
While there’s no one approach to meditation, the essential idea is the same across all the iterations. Basically, you’re practicing focusing your mind. You can focus on your breath, or chant a mantra, or use a guided meditation.
There are plenty of apps and websites out there to learn more about meditation.
Meditation helps you focus and concentrate, as well as improve your self-awareness and self-esteem. Women tend to like guys who foster kindness from a place of confidence rather than fear.
Meditation is a powerful practice to become more comfortable with who you truly are.
A super simple way to meditate is by following your breath. Sit in a cross-legged position on the floor, close your eyes. Breathe in and out through your nose. Focus on a particular place in your body – the nostrils, chest, or belly.
When you find you’ve been distracted and are thinking of other things, don’t worry. Just let the thought go and return to the breath.
By repeating that for a few minutes every day, you’ll get better at controlling yourself, your thoughts, and your life.
Build a routine
One of the best practices you can do to adopt a new attitude and way of seeing yourself is by developing a solid and manageable routine.
It can be hard putting on a brave face day after day. If you’ve set up a framework to fall into, a lot of the hard work is taken care of, and you can just cruise.
Try to wake up at the same time every day. Having a regular sleeping pattern helps regulate the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythm.
If our sleep’s out of whack, it doesn’t take long to start feeling anxious, testy, and depressed. Going to bed early and getting up early doesn’t work for everybody, but it works for most people.
You can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep by adopting a few simple strategies before bedtime.
First, limit your screen time. If you can, close all your electronics a good hour before bed. This helps your brain tell your body it’s time to start getting ready for bed, thus releasing lots of sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin.
You should also do some exercise every day because it helps you get a good night’s sleep.
Exercising outside gets plenty of fresh oxygen into your system while flushing toxins out. When your head hits the pillow at night, it’s a lot easier to sleep if you’ve worked out hard in the day.
Limiting caffeine consumption after one or two pm can help improve sleep quality. Eating a large meal right before going to bed doesn’t help matters.
Neither does alcohol. While a drink or two in the evening might help you fall asleep quicker, alcohol actually decreases the quality of your sleep, especially if you drink numerous times in the week.
Set your own goals
Being a good, reliable partner doesn’t mean you don’t do your own thing. A girl usually wants someone who’s got their own thing going on but is willing to share the ride. This means you need to set your own goals and live your own life.
Ask yourself what you really want to do. What dreams are you not willing to concede? Then figure out a reasonable and realistic plan of how you’ll get there. No matter what other people say, never compromise on your dreams.
If you step off a path you know is a good one because you’re trying to be nice, you won’t end up happy. Instead, you’ll end up angry and full of resentment.
Being nice at the moment is a great way to agree to something you know you shouldn’t and change your life for the worse.
You are not living your life for someone else. You don’t have to make your decisions based on how you think other people will take them.
Stop worrying about what your parents think or your friends or the girl. Knowing what you want out of life and working on getting it is sexy as hell.
Knowing how to set and achieve goals is a useful life skill. Using the SMART goals system can help you increase your chances of success, as well as getting them right the first time.
Make your goals SMART! Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By following this easy acronym, you’ll not only reach your goals but exceed them. Trust me; they’ll help you for years.
The ultimate answer to how to stop being a nice guy is to become independent. Nice guys are normally nice because they can’t be anything else.
Not being nice doesn’t mean being mean, aggressive, intimidating, or arrogant. Not being nice means that you don’t care what other people think.
Being independent-minded helps conquer your fear of the world. Read up about various subjects. Learn about history and science, and art. Having a well-rounded understanding of the world can help you build a firm foundation for yourself.
Learning to trust your intuition also helps to stop being Mr nice guy. You don’t need to spend your whole life saying and doing what other people want you to.
You have every right, as much as anyone else, to go out and grab what you want out of life.
It’s not easy. There will be challenges, some of which will batter and bruise you.
But a life spent learning, improving, and expanding will bring you far more appreciation for the world and everyone in it than spending your whole life figuring out how to be a nice guy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I stop being a soft guy?
Strengthening your character can help you develop confidence, and an ability to say no. Mental and physical strength comes from building a balanced routine full of exercises, workouts, and healthy practices.
2. What does it mean when someone says nice guys finish last?
It means that if you’re too nice, you’ll let everyone go in front of you. If you’re playing in the game of life, you have to get what you want and not allow people to step all over you while playing fairly and being a good sport.
3. What is the good guy syndrome?
A guy suffering from nice guy syndrome believes he’s entitled to a date because he’s a good guy.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a perfect partner will fall into your lap if you do everything right.
It takes more than being a nice guy to catch the woman of your dreams. It takes hard work and patience, along with a hefty dose of humility.
4. Do girls like nice guys and sweet guys?
On the whole, no. This doesn’t mean a girl wants a guy who doesn’t respect her, treats her poorly, and acts like a jackass in front of her and her friends.
Most women want a guy who’s assertive, confident, strong-minded, and independent, not a guy who’s simply just a nice person.