“But What’s Wrong With Being Nice?”
That’s a question I get asked about 5 times a day from potential coaching clients, friends, family, and people I have just met. My answer is “Nothing. It’s great to be nice. The nice guys I talk about are fraudulently nice.” I know these men. I used to be one of them.
Fraudulent niceness is when someone puts on an appearance of being kind and considerate, but their motivations are actually self-serving or manipulative. This behavior is often associated with the "Nice Guy Syndrome," in which a man will try to ingratiate himself with others, particularly women, by being overly helpful or accommodating in the hopes of winning their favor or affection. However, these actions are not genuine, and the individual may become resentful or angry if their efforts are not appreciated or do not bring the desired results. Fraudulent niceness can create problems in relationships, as it is based on ulterior motives rather than genuine care and concern for the other person. It can also lead to feelings of frustration and resentment for the individual exhibiting this behavior.
Fraudulent niceness, or insincere niceness, does not work in relationships because it is not genuine. It is a facade that is put up in order to gain something from the other person, whether it be love, approval, or a sense of control. This kind of niceness is not based on authentic care or concern for the other person, and it is often motivated by selfish reasons. As a result, it is not sustainable and it can ultimately lead to resentment, bitterness, and disillusionment. When people sense that someone is not being genuinely nice, they may feel manipulated or used, leading to a breakdown of trust and a breakdown of the relationship. Additionally, when Nice Guys are insincere in their niceness, they may neglect their own needs and desires, leading to feelings of frustration and resentment. In the long run, this can have negative consequences for both the Nice Guy and the people they are trying to be nice to.
This type of behavior often manifests in the dating world, as the person may try to be extra kind and accommodating to their object of desire in the hopes of winning their affection. However, this lack of authenticity can be easily detected and may ultimately push the person they are interested in further away. In the workplace, fraudulent niceness may manifest as a person trying to ingratiate themselves to their boss or coworkers in order to get ahead, rather than simply being a hard worker and team player. In friendships, this behavior may involve constantly agreeing with others and not standing up for oneself in order to avoid confrontation or to be liked.