If you believe you suffer from Nice Guy Syndrome, there is an ever-growing wellspring of resources – thanks in part to Dr. Robert Glover, the author of No More Mr. Nice Guy – to help you break free and become an Integrated Man.
Dr. Glover has a number of certified No More Mr. Nice Guy coaches and therapists who are committed to helping Nice Guys start living the lives they want. There are men’s retreats and support groups in cities all over the world. And there are countless online forums, message boards, and communities. Of course, reading No More Mr. Nice Guy is the best place to start.
There is not one right way to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome. Although, there might be a wrong way – and that’s trying to do it all by yourself. You simple cannot do this work alone.
There is not a specific timeline you need to follow, either. What’s most important is that you make a lasting commitment to personal growth. And hopefully, you’ll keep growing until the day you die.
Still, Nice Guys tend to think in black and white. They want all the ones and zeros to magically line up. They want step-by-step instructions. They want to get rid of their Nice Guy Syndrome and they want to get rid of it now.
Nice Guys frequently ask things like: What’s the easiest way to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome? Is there a guide I can follow? How long is this going to take? The answers they get are rarely the answers they want.
No More Mr. Nice Guy is the closest thing you’ll find to a complete guide to breaking free from the Nice Guy Syndrome. Use it as such for the rest of your life, because breaking free from the Nice Guy Syndrome is a journey that never ends.
Based on my experience as a certified No More Mr. Nice Guy coach and the author of The Big Stick: Collected & Applied Wisdom from the Teachings of Dr. Robert Glover, however, I do believe that radical transformation is possible in a relatively short amount of time, as long as you challenge yourself and do the work. In fact, I believe that radical transformation is possible when you follow a simple roadmap.
BREAKING FREE ROADMAP
In truth, breaking free from the Nice Guy Syndrome isn’t easy. It requires a massive paradigm shift and major changes in behavior. It requires doing something different and facing your fears. It will almost certainly affect your personal relationships. There’s no way around this.
That said, you will likely experience profound growth when you do the following:
BUILD A FOUNDATION
Breaking free from the Nice Guy Syndrome begins with releasing toxic shame and breaking several bad habits. So, it is crucial that you build a solid foundation as you begin the process.
Your foundation should consist of safe people. You must reveal yourself to and receive from these people. Because Nice Guys desperately seek the approval of women (and for a number of other reasons), your safe people should all be men, if possible.
Dr. Glover has been leading men’s groups for decades. He frequently acknowledges that the most significant aspects of his own recovery occurred in the context of a men’s group.
While you can certainly recover from the Nice Guy Syndrome without the help of an entire group, groups are probably the most effective tool for facilitating the recovery process. Based on my experience both attending and leading groups (like Integrated Man University), I believe this to be true.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN NEEDS (AND MAKE THEM A PRIORITY)
When I start working with a new client, I spend the first few coaching sessions trying to understand his world. I always ask: What makes you happy? What lights you up inside? What do you need to live a rich and fulfilling life? More often than not, he responds by telling me he has no idea.
Nice Guys are terrible at getting their needs met. Most don’t know what they’re needs are or believe they’re bad for even having needs. But taking responsibility for your own needs is a hallmark of maturity.
As Dr. Glover likes to say, “Nobody was put on this planet to meet your needs except you and your parents. And your parents’ job is done.”
Start treating yourself with love and respect. Learn to ask yourself: What do I want? What feels right to me? Then, do it. Ask others for help when you need it.
TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Nice Guys are terrified to tell the truth. They have an impressive ability to either withhold information or blatantly lie and still believe they are honest people. But Nice Guys are fundamentally dishonest. And dishonesty is childish and immature. It keeps you living in fear and perpetuates feelings of powerlessness and helplessness.
When you tell the truth, you communicate to your unconscious mind that you are powerful and you can handle whatever comes your way. So, pay attention to the things you least want to reveal – the things you least want others to know. These are the things you most need to share.
You may need to share a specific truth several times until you reveal all of it. If others react negatively, that’s okay. Telling the truth is part of living with integrity. And it is far better than living a life of lies and deceit.
Because Nice Guy Syndrome is an anxiety-based disorder, Nice Guys must learn to soothe themselves. This is essential to breaking free from Nice Guy Syndrome.
Nice Guys must also remember that thinking causes anxiety and acting cures it.
Here are three simple, yet effective ways to soothe yourself:
1. Breathe. When you’re anxious, your breathing is shallow. Practice diaphragmatic breathing (deep, slow breathing) to change the oxygen content in your blood and calm your nervous system.
2. Tell yourself you’ll handle it. Repeat it to yourself. No matter what happens, I’ll handle it.
3. Remind yourself of past successes. If you’re in a situation causing you anxiety, remind yourself that you’ve gotten through other similar situations.
As someone once said, “people only treat you one way, the way you allow them.” When you start to set boundaries, you’ll stop reinforcing the behaviors you find intolerable.
Your power to set a boundary is predicated on your willingness to remove yourself from a situation, if necessary.
Don’t defend yourself. Don’t argue over your boundaries. Don’t hang out with people who treat you badly.
Because Nice Guys have a scarcity mindset and believe there isn’t enough to go around, they’re often waiting for the other shoe to drop. They resent anyone who appears more blessed. But abundance is flowing all around us.
Start living a life of gratitude. Each day, write down a few things for which you are grateful.
Now, before you move on with your day, take several deep breaths. Exhale slowly. Clear your mind.
Once relaxed, picture yourself living in an abundant world. In this abundant world, there are no limitations. Good things continuously flow. Imagine everything you have ever desired – a comfortable home, friends, love, joy, wealth, success, peace of mind. Picture yourself living your life surrounded by abundance.
Practice this visualization until it begins to feel real to you. Open your arms, open your heart, open your mind. Get out of the way and let it happen.
You’ll find everything you need to break free from Nice Guy Syndrome inside Integrated Man University Get lifetime access when you join today!
Tony Endelman is an author, blogger, entrepreneur, certified transformational life coach, certified No More Mr. Nice Guy Coach and the founder of The Integrated Man Cave.