What, exactly, is a “Nice Guy”? I’m not sure. There’s no occupation or glaring trait that screams to the world, “I’m nice!” One thing I’m fairly sure of is that the term “Nice Guy” is subjective. It’s a title given to someone because of their pleasantness or meekness. The Nice Guy may be charming, yet not obtrusive; he’s there when you need him, says yes to everything (even when he wants to say no), makes good light conversation, but doesn’t obtusely butt in where he doesn’t belong. In short, he becomes the most pleasing friend that he can realistically be. The Nice Guy’s behavior is always near-constant and changes only slightly regardless of the situation.
The Nice Guy has no problem acquiring plenty of friends, sure, why not? Everyone likes a Nice Guy, but no one especially loves him; Nice Guys show their strongly supportive natures when needed, yet make little impression when the situation requires real leadership. Don’t get me wrong, Nice Guys are an integral part of the community and they mean well. The world likes Nice Guys because they make the world a somewhat better place; it’s just unfortunate that no one wants to give them any credit for their efforts.
In that sense of the phrase, many years ago, I had certain “Nice Guy” tendencies. I soon realize that I was able to derive more benefits socially and professionally by becoming a “Smart Guy”. Smart guys understand the dynamics of a situation and proceed accordingly. They display behavior that best suits the situation while assuring that the experience is mutually beneficial.
Society values form over substance and the thrill of fulfillment over the stale calm of utopia. Therefore, in the natural selection that is society, “Nice Guy” tendencies may be perceived as a weakness over the long term especially when gratuitous, gregarious self-promotion is the norm. If Nice Guys finish last it is not because they deserve it, it’s because society chose them to finish there.
The Nice Guy’s only hope is time and experience when the day breaks and he finally sees the light that allows him to proceed accordingly.