Sometimes we must learn how to not be a nice guy to get anywhere in life. It is really about how much you put up with that counts.
We have all heard, “Nice guys finish last.” As much as I HATE to admit it, it is true, usually nice guys do finish last. But, it isn’t really that someone is nice in the way that we generally use the word. It is a different kind of nice. So, if you want to know how to not be a nice guy, it isn’t about being nice. It is about not being a pushover.
There is a difference between being a nice guy and being a pushover. A nice person helps out, is a team player, but they don’t necessarily put someone else’s needs above their own. You don’t have to put everyone else first to be nice. A pushover is someone who doesn’t stand up for themselves or assert their own wants and needs.
How to not be a nice guy anymore – 8 small steps for a big difference
If you find yourself finishing last, losing the girl to the friend zone, or losing out on the promotion due you, it might not be that you are too “nice.” It means you get rolled over. You don’t have to be a dick to get ahead, in fact, that usually works opposite. What you do have to do is play nice, but play the game to win.
#1 Don’t always put other people’s needs before your own. The nice guy loses because he is nice to everyone but himself. If you think being nice means you must throw yourself on the knife, that isn’t the case. You can be nice and play fair, but you don’t have to be the martyr.
Likely, if you are stepped on and becoming the nice guy, it is because you forgot about the most important person that you’re obligated to—you.
Nice means helping people out when they need it, be kind, and doing unto others as they would do unto you. So, evaluate how people do unto you, and how you are doing unto yourself. Nice doesn’t equal sacrificing your own needs or wants for someone else. [Read: Are you suffering from the white knight syndrome?]
#2 Know what the goal is. You can be nice, but don’t take your eyes off of the prize. The person who trained for a marathon for a year and stops to pick someone who falls, right before the finish line, isn’t being nice.
They forget the intention of running a marathon. If you keep your eyes on your goals and don’t get sidetracked by making decisions that aren’t in your best interest out of emotion, then you won’t come in last.
#3 Don’t be afraid to call in favors. The problem with being nice is that you actually can be too nice. That puts you into pushover territory. You can be nice, just make sure you are nice to the people who are nice back.
Don’t waste your time being indiscriminately nice to people who don’t have your back or won’t return the favor. Only invest in those people who invest in you and don’t be afraid to ask for the same niceness from those around you.
Niceness is something that should go both ways in a relationship. If you are the only one being nice, then that isn’t nice, that is being pushed around and used.
#4 Voice your opinion if it is warranted, even if it might step on toes. One of the overlooked things you can’t ignore when you want to know how to not be a nice guy is that being nice doesn’t mean that you can’t speak the truth. If you have an opinion and it is valid, speak up. You aren’t mean by thinking or addressing an issue.
Whether it is work or your personal life, voicing what goes on in your head doesn’t make you mean, it makes you real, valuable, and a part of the team. If you are everyone’s “yes, man” then that isn’t nice. You are a pleaser, big difference. [Read: Here’s how you can be masculine without being a jerk]
#5 If someone uses you, call them out and be done. If you want to know how to not be a nice guy, you need to remember that you have no obligation to be nice. Nice is not something that all people deserve. Sure, start out your relationships with people on a “nice” note. But, if they abuse your niceness, or take advantage of your kind-hearted spirit, you should call them out.
For some people, the nicer you are, the more they abuse and use you. If you allow people to walk all over you, that isn’t niceness, it is cowardly. Sure, it is much easier to keep the peace, but not if it comes at your own expense and self-esteem.
#7 Nice isn’t the opposite of competitive. If you have a secret crush you are trying to win over or a job promotion you want, being competitive doesn’t negate being nice. You can be competitive, stay after and work extra hours, or convince the person of your dreams to choose you, and still be nice.
Working hard to get what you want isn’t about being nice. Competition is competition and outside the realm of nice or mean. Don’t confuse the two. As long as you play fair and don’t do anything underhanded or cunning, it is okay to go for what you want. Stop worrying about how nice you are. [Read: 13 traits that split apart weak men and strong men]
#8 Don’t lose your basic niceness, that isn’t you. If you read this, you probably feel as if your niceness is the thing that holds you back from getting what you want. Being nice never hurts unless you let it hurt you.
Don’t change who you are, thinking it is your basic goodness that keeps you behind. You don’t want to become those people who’ve hurt you, won by cheating, or made you feel less than. You just want to stop them from getting ahead or making you feel bad.
You don’t have to change who you are to do that. Redefine what nice is and who is worthy of your niceness and who is not.
There is a difference between being nice and being the nice guy. A phrase often misunderstood, it is a good thing to be nice, but it is never a good thing to let people take advantage of your kindness. Don’t lose your essence because you think being honest, fair, and kind gets you in trouble.
What keeps you back is a fear of being your true self, putting yourself first, or only granting your “nice” to those who are worthy.