As I write in my review of “No More Christian Nice Guy” by Paul Coughlin, I am skeptical of the every developing syndromes of the modern Western world. Perhaps we have syndrome syndrome. but having read Coughlin’s book I wanted to read Robert Glover’s work.
Whether there is a “Nice Guy Syndrome” or not I’ll leave for others to judge. Like Coughlin, Glover addresses the passive-aggressive way some men deal with fear and anxiety. Glover describes the condition this way: “Nice guys have been conditioned to believe that if they are good, giving, and caring, they will be loved, get what they want, and have a smooth life.” But they are frustrated when they don’t get what they want from these covert contracts.
Glover describes the Nice Guy this way:
- He is the relative who lets his wife run the show.
- He is the friend who will do anything for anybody, but whose own life seems to be in shambles.
- He is the guy who frustrates his wife because he is so afraid of conflict that nothing ever gets resolved.
- He is the boss who tells one person what they want to hear, then reverses himself to please someone else.
- He is the man who lets people walk all over him because he doesn’t want to rock the boat.
- He is the dependable guy at work who will never say “no,” but would never tell anyone if they were imposing on him.
- He is the man whose life seems so under control, until BOOM, one day he does something to destroy it all.
The book has good advice for men who work from this anxiety-based condition. Much of the solution revolves around being open about what you want, learning to draw boundaries, being comfortable saying “no”, and living with integrity with others. Men who feel they are being trodden underfoot or have problems being assertive will find the information useful.
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