Many nice guys imitate someone from their surroundings — either some idols, or an internalized image of the right guy. In their life they take a role of a good-hearted guy, pretty boy, idol, buddha, which is however built on the wishes of their surroundings and has nothing to do with their true selves, with who they really are. So a big gap opens up between the role they play, the life that unfolds around that role, and their true self hidden somewhere in a deep forest they have no access to, even if they sometimes hear its voices and sounds.
Roles belong to life, they have their power and wisdom, but, as probably all teachings of wisdom and psychological schools say, these roles need to be built on a firm, authentic inner structure of a true self which is however more than often collectively suppressed, ignored and shadowed by demand, masquerade, supermarket.
Social roles would have to be rather marginal in the ideal case, but for a nice guy they are dominant. His true self is buried somewhere, it isn’t present or is very limited. For a nice guy, these roles are strongly related to fulfilling the needs of others. The nice guy himself has the only need in performing these roles: to be seen, heard, and accepted as a good one, a right one.
The real fact is that in the end, a nice guy isn’t nice at all, because, while somewhere in the deep he wants to return back home to his true self, true feelings, emotions, thoughts, he doesn’t because it would mean that he would occasionally conflict with the wishes of the surroundings to make everyone adapt, everyone in agreement, everyone coexisting, and everyone safe.
On the other hand, I found out that if you tell this to a nice guy, he starts disagreeing, compulsively criticising, forcibly opposing authority for every price, swinging in doing so from the utter conformity to the utter unconformity. (Seeking the golden middle way requires everyday, every moment’s self-reflection instead of assuming another mask and role.)
So another nice guy’s strategy might be that he finds out right to be critical, violent, negative, bitter, defamatory, intriguing, manipulative (that’s always the case), and he doesn’t realize he’s again serving the demand of his subconscious authority and so he’s back in a role based on demand.
A nice guy naively fulfils whatever his surroundings want in order to please and make it happy, and this drive is completely unconscious. Finally, he ends up with burnout.
To be continued.
This is second part of my translation of a text about the nice guy syndrome written by Zdenek Weber, a Czech mentor, speaker, and entrepreneur.