Have you ever come across someone who is just too sweet and nice all the time, so much so that it makes you question the authenticity of their niceness? Especially when a guy often presents himself as a selfless and giving individual to get validation from strangers, seek professional growth, or even aim to attract women? While kindness is a strong virtue when executed selflessly, there exists a phenomenon called ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’ (NGS) that goes beyond simple niceness and generosity and involves hidden agendas. In relationships, identifying the signs of NGS in your partner can be crucial but necessary to ensure a healthy connection.
Let’s understand this phenomenon in detail and the 10 signs to watch for in your partner that might indicate the presence of ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’.
What is the ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’?
When an individual portrays themselves as an excessively sweet, considerate, and generous person, expecting something in return, there’s a possibility that they might be dealing with the ‘Nice Guy Syndrome'. However, NGS is not all about just being nice to others, there’s usually a hidden agenda behind this behaviour. These individuals are usually non-confrontational and people pleasers. However, this behaviour often leads to feeling unfulfilled and gives them a sense of dissatisfaction. Most often, this outward niceness can mask deeper issues, and it becomes necessary to address them to overcome this syndrome.
10 Signs of ‘Nice Guy Syndrome’
They are always available for you
The most common sign of NGS is that they are available all the time. They mean it when they say they’re just a call away. Despite their busy schedule, they will always make themselves available for you. They always seem to prioritise others before themselves. This behaviour usually stems from the fear of letting others down with their unavailability. They fear disappointment from others and tend to do anything to maintain their nice guy image.
They are people-pleasers
While caring for and helping others is undoubtedly a good quality, having a strong urge to please others, especially at your own expense, is worrisome. Some people struggle to say no and set healthy boundaries. Even though sometimes it makes them uncomfortable, they go to great lengths to sustain the relationship and will take no chances of being disliked.
They struggle with personal boundaries
The inability to set healthy boundaries is a serious issue faced by individuals with NGS. They usually struggle to maintain a healthy balance between firmness and kindness. As they can’t say no to others, they always tend to put their needs on the backseat and prioritise others’ needs before theirs. They are too scared to walk away from the people who encroach upon their boundaries as they don’t want to jeopardise their relationships.
They constantly need validation from others
Individuals struggling with ‘nice guy syndrome’ usually have deep-rooted insecurities and self-doubt; hence, they seek external validation all the time. They usually underestimate themselves and second-guess their self-worth. If you find yourself constantly giving assurance to your partner for their insecurities, this might be a sign to look for.
They often get passive-aggressive
One of the most significant signs of NGS is them being passive-aggressive. Instead of directly addressing their concerns to you, they always choose indirect forms of communication to express their discomfort. They might pass a sarcastic comment or they go silent for a few days. This approach often causes misunderstandings and leads to disagreements between the two of you.
They don’t take a stand for themselves
‘Nice guys’ often avoid being assertive as they don’t want to come across as a dominating person. Their tendency to be a pushover stems from a strong concern for external opinions. These individuals care too much about what others think about them and won’t do anything which will cause a dent in their ‘nice guy’ image.
They usually don’t express their opinions
Individuals with NGS often fear being judged by others and hence hold back from truly expressing themselves. In an attempt to avoid arguments, they most likely don’t express their opinions to their partners. This is not a sign of a healthy relationship as they are striving to maintain their perfect image and not truly being themselves.
They struggle to say no
If you notice your partner consistently agreeing with your plans and never expressing your preferences, then they might be dealing with ‘nice guy syndrome’. This perpetual agreement might build a feeling of resentment sometimes time as it will gradually take a toll on their mental well-being.
People take them for granted
People take ‘nice guys’ for granted primarily because of their constant availability. As the ‘nice guys’ are non-confrontational and usually are ‘okay’ with any plan, others tend to overlook their opinions and feelings. These individuals usually don’t express their preferences which can be a reason for diminishing the importance others attribute to their input.
They expect a favour in return
While some people are born with genuine kindness and selfless nature, individuals with ‘nice guy syndrome’ often use their niceness to get something in return. They’ll compliment you with the anticipation of receiving a compliment in return, or they’ll give you gifts and expect you to reciprocate the gesture. This leads to a transactional approach to relationships rather than a genuine display of kindness.
How to deal with individuals with ‘nice guy syndrome’?
There’s a fine line between genuinely being a nice person and using niceness to get things done or expecting something in return. It can be difficult to identify that you are dating a person with ‘nice guy syndrome’ as sometimes the signs are too subtle. However, if you feel you’re being manipulated by their behaviour, don’t hesitate to directly address your concerns to them. You can also support them to overcome this issue by encouraging open expression of feelings, offering them occasional pep talks, and assisting in setting boundaries. If their good behaviour is exhausting them and affecting their well-being, seeking professional help may prove beneficial.