Problem: I lack strong conviction and confrontational skills, which often leads to failure to reach my desired outcomes. I don’t always get what I want because I don’t fight hard enough. This condition has also been referred to as Nice Guy Syndrome.
I’ve always been a nice guy. From as long as I can remember, I’ve had a knack for compromise. “Plays well with others” and “Respected by his peers” were frequent and common comments left on my elementary school report cards. Through a combination of nature and nurture, I’ve never possessed a rebellious attitude.
Playing soccer was a large part of my childhood. I loved it. Working together as a team to achieve a goal was so satisfying. The smell of freshly cut soccer fields in the nice weather with my friends during practice was great. Refining my skills and fitness through practice and reputation taught me the values of hard work.
The part I loved most was winning. Beating the competition made all the hard work worth it. It was a thrill to come home on a Saturday knowing that we were the better team.
I continued to play soccer from elementary school all the way up to high school. I was an above average player, but definitely nothing spectacular. I could run fast, handle the ball well, and had decent power in my leg. In spite of all my good attributes, I always struggled with 50-50 balls.
A "50/50 ball" is a scenario in which two players from opposing sides are approaching a ball where both have an equal chance of getting to it. Usually the ball in in the air and you need to head it out of the air (In football).
(Image from http://extremesoccerloverx.blogspot.com/2012/11/heading-in-soccer.html)
Ultimately it comes down to who wants it more. The player who usually ends up with control of the ball is willing to risk injury and be forceful. I would often hesitate in fear of getting hurt or lack of confidence in my skills which would often cost me possession of the soccer ball. In general, I think this small sports example encapsulates a bigger problem that I have – I’m too timid!
While ideating about this paper, I came across some literature that really spoke to my core. Robert Glover describes guys like me and some general attributes surrounding nice guys.
Characteristics of Nice Guys according to Robert Glover’s No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want In Love, Sex and Life:
• Nice Guys avoid conflict – They avoid doing things that will ‘rock the boat’
• Nice Guys have difficulty making their needs a priority – They feel it’s selfish to put their needs first
• Nice Guys are givers – They believe their generosity will make others love and appreciate them
• Nice Guys fix and caretake – they will frequently attempt to solve and fix the situation often without being asked (Glover)
On the surface, these attributes seem like a good thing, but Glover goes on to explain. A focus on others and the need for approval results in nice guys not getting what they...