Podcast #407: How to Overcome Nice Guy Syndrome

We’ve been told since we were little kids to “Be nice.”

But what if being nice isn’t really that good and it’s making you and those around you miserable?

That’s the provocative argument my guest today makes. His name is Dr. Aziz Gazipura. He’s a psychologist and founder of the Social Confidence Center. In his latest book, Not Nice, he makes the case that being nice is holding a lot of men back in their lives.

We begin the show by talking about what people think “nice” means, but how it usually plays out in reality. Dr. Aziz then digs into the issues that pop up over and over again in the lives of people pleasers, like anxiety, depression, anger, and resentment. We then discuss what the opposite of nice is, and no, it’s not being a complete jerk. He then shares specific tactics the chronically nice can start using today to be more assertive, like saying no without feeling guilty, getting over feeling responsible for everyone’s feelings, and stating your preferences.

If you’re a chronic nice guy, this episode is for you.

Show Highlights

  • What do most people think it means to be nice? How does it really end up playing out?
  • Why being nice often comes from fear
  • Negative manifestations of being nice 
  • How does niceness play out in men?
  • Aziz’s story as a recovering nice guy and getting over his shyness and social anxiety 
  • The disease of over-responsibility and assuming the burden of other people’s feelings
  • How niceness builds resentment 
  • Where people learn niceness and how it starts in childhood
  • The abrupt break from childhood to adulthood 
  • If niceness isn’t the goal, what are we aiming for instead? 
  • Strategies for getting better at saying no 
  • Why you shouldn’t apologize for saying no or not accepting an invitation 
  • The mindset shift that needs to happen in order to stop people-pleasing 
  • Why do “nice” people have a hard time establishing and keeping boundaries 
  • How to overcome being a nice parent 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With the Dr. Aziz Gazipura 

Dr. Aziz’s website 

Dr. Aziz on Twitter

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