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Nice Guys Don’t Have to Finish Last

Nice Guys Don’t Have to Finish Last

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Writ­ten by: Ray­ford

Nice guys don’t have to fin­ish last: A to-do list for being more assertive

We’ve heard it all before, right? “Nice guys fin­ish last.”

So we have two options then? Being a “Nice Guy” or “Win­ning” — are these mutu­ally exclu­sive? Let’s find out.

If you’re like me, you’re a peo­ple pleaser. Unfor­tu­nately, this often­times puts us in sit­u­a­tions we would rather not be in. Has your boss ever asked you to work the week­end shift and feel oblig­ated to say “yes”, even though you already had plans? Ever been stuck being “DD” because you felt awk­ward say­ing “no”? Or refused to send back a cold steak for fear of upset­ting the restau­rant staff? Me too. We decide to just bite the bul­let in lieu of mak­ing a scene or hav­ing oth­ers feel uncom­fort­able.  We then ratio­nal­ize our deci­sion as “Eh, it’s not that big of a deal” or we make a men­tal note for that per­son “owing us one”—which never seems to be rec­i­p­ro­cated, right?

A mes­sage to all of my fel­low nice guys: It’s time to be more assertive! Being assertive is being able to tow the line between a push-over and being aggres­sive. If you’re too pas­sive, then you never get to express your needs; if you’re too aggres­sive, then you can come off as bully. How­ever, if you’re assertive, then you are able to express your desires and stick to your guns while being respect­ful towards oth­ers. This will in turn increase your chances of get­ting what you want and deserve.

Do No Harm Resize 300x200 Nice Guys Dont Have to Finish Last

Curi­ous how to be more assertive? Read on:

Stop Try­ing to Please Everybody

First and fore­most, if you want to be more assertive you need to come to the under­stand­ing that you are not going to be able to please every­body. I am as guilty of this as the next nice guy; being torn in mul­ti­ple direc­tions try­ing to make every­one happy while putting my feel­ings or goals on the back burner. We con­vince our­selves that we will be happy as long as every­one else is happy. How­ever, this is a copout because often­times we leave our­selves in the dust feel­ing frus­trated and annoyed. There is noth­ing wrong with putting your­self first to ensure you’re not get­ting the short-end of the stick.

  • Think about it: Wast­ing your time wor­ry­ing about every­body else can lead to less sat­is­fac­tion in your life. By chang­ing your focus to your goals and needs life will become more ful­fill­ing. Ful­fill­ment leads to more hap­pi­ness, which then allows you to be more capa­ble to help oth­ers find hap­pi­ness. It’s a win-win.

Express Your­self

Nice guys some­times have trou­ble say­ing what is on our mind when the major­ity opin­ion is dif­fer­ent. Don’t be silent when you have some­thing to say! C’mon, it’s your God-given right as a red-blooded Amer­i­can to express your­self. Where would we be today if our fore­fa­thers didn’t express their dis­taste of tax­a­tion with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion? I’m not telling you to start a rev­o­lu­tion, wait—yes I am! Today is the day you start your per­sonal rev­o­lu­tion to become more assertive. If there is an oppor­tu­nity for you to express your­self, then just say it already!

  • Prac­tice: The next time you and your friends are talk­ing about that new block­buster or TV show that every­one is crazy about, don’t be afraid to say that you didn’t like it by explain­ing your perspective.

Set Per­sonal Boundaries

Before walk­ing into any sit­u­a­tion it is essen­tial to set lim­its for what you are will­ing to do for another per­son with­out jeop­ar­diz­ing your per­sonal needs. Tired of spot­ting your “I’ll pay you back” com­padre when­ever you grab a bite to eat? Tell him you’re not going to cover for him until his debt has been paid. Has your boss been call­ing you in at the last minute to work your day off? Tell him on the front-end that you uti­lize your days off for per­sonal endeav­ors and would appre­ci­ate at least three days notice. Set­ting per­sonal bound­aries gives you a solid base when mak­ing deci­sions and helps ensure that you’re not get­ting walked on.

Have you ever dealt with a noisy neighbor?

Les­son: Not being assertive can lead to Parkinson’s. Thanks, Michael!

Get Com­fort­able Say­ing “No”

We nice guys are not the only ones who often feel guilty for say­ing “no” when asked a request; it’s merely human nature. Com­pa­nies take advan­tage of this fact every day. Why do you think every time you’re at the check-out counter the cashier asks “would you like to donate to char­ity?” or “would you like to super-size that?”, it’s because peo­ple in gen­eral don’t like say­ing “no”. Don’t be afraid to say no if the request makes you uncom­fort­able or gets in the way of your per­sonal goals. Remem­ber, the most impor­tant per­son is you!

  • Chal­lenge: Take one day this week and respond “no” to every request that is asked of you. Yes, every request. Doing this will help you get com­fort­able with say­ing no and will show you how unlikely peo­ple will become upset by your rejection.

We Can’t Read Your Mind

We often walk through life expect­ing peo­ple to know what we are feel­ing. This is a com­mon fal­lacy among us nice guys. You may think that your room­mate knows his late night Call of Duty cam­paigns are keep­ing you from a good night’s rest, that your girl­friend knows you think she owes you a night with the guys, or that your mom knows her daily calls/texts are a major incon­ve­nience for you. The real­ity is that no one knows how their behav­ior affects you until you tell them. Don’t use the excuse that those around you know what you want/feel in lieu of hav­ing an uncom­fort­able con­ver­sa­tion that could make your life more at ease.

It’s sim­ple, gen­tle­men. Being assertive gives you more sat­is­fac­tion in your life because you are tak­ing care of your needs first and achiev­ing your per­sonal goals. It may seem counter intu­itive, but being too easy-going does more harm than good. By tak­ing con­trol of your life and com­mu­ni­cat­ing your needs you get what you want, you become more con­fi­dent (which is more appeal­ing to women–right Lady in Red?), and peo­ple will respect you for tak­ing a stand. Today is the day you start tak­ing con­trol of your life.

So long, Mr. Nice Guy!

 

Any other tips for our nice guys out there? Any ques­tions for us? We would love to hear about it in the com­ments below!

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