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  • Lachlan Stuart

The Nice Guy Syndrome: Setting Boundaries

Updated: Jan 26

As men, we are taught to be strong, stoic and competently independent. But many of us find ourselves stuck in the “Nice Guy Syndrome” – a pattern of behavior where our need for approval overrides our own needs and boundaries. We all want to be liked but it can come at a cost. Let’s explore what this looks like in practice and how we can set boundaries that help us stay true to ourselves.


We all want to be liked but it can come at a cost.

What is the Nice Guy Syndrome?

The Nice Guy Syndrome (NGS) refers to a pattern of behavior where men put other people’s needs before their own in order to gain approval or acceptance. This often leads to feelings of frustration, resentment and anger beneath the surface because they feel they cannot express their true thoughts and feelings without compromising their personal relationships. They may also have difficulty setting boundaries and saying no due to fear of rejection or disapproval from others.


Why Do Men Get Stuck in NGS?

There are many reasons why men get stuck in the cycle of NGS, including cultural norms that reward conforming behavior, lack of self-awareness, low self-esteem, or an unhealthy need for approval from others. In any case, it is important for men to recognize when they are engaging in this type of behavior so that they can take steps to break free from the cycle.


Cultural norms can lead men to believe that they should be strong, independent, and unemotional and that they should put others' needs before their own and to suppress their own emotions in order to be seen as "masculine". This can lead to men feeling as if they are not allowed to express their own needs and desires, which can lead to a lack of assertiveness and difficulty setting boundaries.


Men with low self-esteem may engage in NGS behavior as a way to try to prove their worth, believing that by being a "good guy" and putting others first, they will be able to win the love and respect of those around them.


Men with an unhealthy need for approval may believe that they need to be liked and approved of in order to be happy and fulfilled. This can lead to them engaging in NGS behavior in order to try to win the affection of others.


In any case, it is important for men to recognize when they are engaging in this type of behavior so that they can take steps to break free from the cycle.


Men with an unhealthy need for approval may believe that they need to be liked and approved of in order to be happy and fulfilled.

How Can Men Address NGS?

The first step is understanding your personal values and setting clear boundaries around them so that you can stay true to yourself even when faced with pressure from others. It is also important to practice self-care by prioritizing your own needs over those of others.


Finally, understanding that rejection does not define you or make you less valuable as a person will help you manage your emotions more effectively when faced with difficult situations.


It's easy for men to get caught up in the cycle of Nice Guy Syndrome but it doesn't have to be that way! By understanding your values and setting clear boundaries around them, practicing self-care, and recognizing that rejection doesn't define you as a person, you can take back control over your life and start building healthier relationships with others.


If this sounds like something you'd like to work on then why not join The Man That Can Projects - Strong Men Of Value Academy today?


Ready to take control of your life.

Ps. If you enjoy this blog. Be sure to check out our podcast "The Man That Can Project"




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