Greg, a single man, is a good friend to his buddies and a nice guy to women. Recently, Greg stumbled on my video of an interview I had with Connor Beaton (founder of ManTalks) discussing the book Nice Guy Syndrome by Dr. Robert Glover. Connor and I were talking about why nice guys finish last.
While watching the video, Greg realized that he might have nice guy syndrome.
Greg used to work up north. When he’d be home for those few days a month, he loved fixing stuff at his place — repairing the fence, replacing old boards on the deck, painting the shed.
He’s also a nice guy and helps his friends with repairs needed at their places. After all, that’s what friends do.
Greg grew tired of working out of town all the time and decided to quit his job and go into construction. After all, he likes working with his hands and seeing the result of a job well done.
It was a perfect transition, except for one thing: Once Greg was around more often and had all this “expert” knowledge, his friends called on him more frequently.
At first, Greg felt great about it — he’s a nice guy, remember — but after a while, he started to feel kind of resentful. He hated himself for feeling this way.
Greg knew his friends appreciated him. They thanked him almost every time they called on him.
Sometimes they called on him without any notice: “Hey, Buddy, what are you doing? Wanna help me out with this fence?”
It was no different than when he had been working up north and available pretty much anytime when he was home — except that now it was his job.
Plus, word had gotten around that he was good at building things and new “friends” were showing up out of the woodwork asking for favours. “It’ll only take a sec,” they’d say.
Greg started to feel taken for granted. That’s when he found my video …
Greg realized that his friends weren’t so much stepping over his boundaries but that he’d never had boundaries!
When he thought about it, he realized that he’d been overly accommodating with the women in his life, too. He started wondering if that’s why women lost interest and treated him poorly.
He grew bitter about helping; it no longer felt good. So, then he started avoiding his friends’ calls and making up excuses that sounded “legit” for not helping out.
He became standoffish with women he’d meet.
Finally, he decided to gather up the guts to approach his friends. Because he hated conflict and didn’t have any experience setting boundaries, his approach came off offensively.
He received a couple replies from disappointed friends and one from a longtime friend that was quite painful to receive.
There were also positive, understanding responses and even a few apologies, but he focused on the negative reactions.
He felt like such an asshole.
But Greg also knew that he couldn’t keep doing what he was doing, because his disappointment in himself would be far greater than any of his friends’.
He took a deep breath and decided that he needed new friendships. Some of them would come from these same old friends who were willing to navigate a new relationship.
And if any of his old friends no longer wanted a new relationship with him, Greg knew that God would bring him new friends and that he (Greg) would take responsibility for setting boundaries from the beginning.
After several nights of fitful sleeping, he prayed and released the outcome to God.
And, you know, a funny thing happened: Greg felt relieved and happy.
He started engaging with women in a more positive, confident way, and eventually won the heart of a woman who treated him with respect and appreciation.
This story isn’t about intimate, romantic love, but it is about love. Self-love.
I believe that we cannot offer more love to someone else than we have for ourselves.
When we have standards — expectations we have for ourselves and others — we can figure out where to set boundaries.
Boundaries let others know what those expectations are and give those people the goal posts to our needs in a relationship.
Setting standards and having boundaries is attractive because they show our self-respect.
Healthy people respect people who respect themselves.
Boundaries also give others the opportunity to make informed decisions. When we know where someone stands on certain things, we can decide how, and if, we want to engage with them.
Having standards and setting boundaries is empowering for everyone because there’s less room for guesswork, misunderstandings and misdirected expectations.
And, of course, when a man can stand up for himself, a woman will subconsciously know that he can stand up for her if the need arises. That’s sexy.
Standards = Self-Respect
Self-Respect = Boundaries
Boundaries = Attractive
Attractive = More choices
More choices = Better choices
Better choices = You get the one you really want!
p.s. If you don’t even know how to figure out what you really want, you need WakeUP2Luv, dude. It’ll change your love life. I promise.
I was inspired by Greg’s story and took some needed action in my own life. That video is below. (Mind my shaky voice, I was still a bit emotional about it.)
And … the follow up video! …
Cheers to your success in life and love! Love is the answer, people!!
Vancouver Dating Coach for Shy Guys & Introverted Men. Matchmaker Liaison. Founder: Wingmam