5 Signs of the Nice Guy Blindness
The number one thing that I have consistently heard from nice guys over the years has always been in regard to their relationships. I wish I had a dollar for every time that I heard a nice guy say, “I’m the logical one.” I don’t know why so many nice guys, by default, believe that they are logical, reasonable and objective when so many of their behaviors are clearly fear-based and even strange. They do so many things that are clearly based on emotions and their denial of such is profound and even alarming. Sometimes it’s even a form of self-delusion. We were discussing this idea recently at The Orion Way and we were talking about nice guy blindness.
This is almost exactly like it sounds. Nice guys view the world through their own type of beer goggles. They choose into alternative views on reality that include themselves, their choices, their relationships and most often the women that they attach themselves too. There are a lot of behaviors and choices that they make day in and day out that result in the problems and chaos that comes with it while they stand around with their hands up wondering why this always happens to them. They are blind to so many of their own contributions. Here’s a shortlist of five of the most common results and indicators of nice guy blindness.
- Their relationship has turned into a complete dumpster fire but they still believe that it can be fixed – Some relationships get so bad that they can’t really be saved and it’s better to take it behind the barn and shoot it. Over the years I’ve seen countless nice guys that remain in relationships that have serious problems – she has a personality disorder, temper issues, there is too much resentment built up that insurmountable. The relationship is completely toxic and even abusive. In some situations she has even had an affair, lied to him, taken his money, his relationship with his children is going off the rails and now he’s asking if it can be fixed?! He refuses to face or accept a certain version of reality. This is just one of the indicators of their lack of boundaries. It’s almost as though they are unable to perceive and understand when they are way past the point of no return because it’s all just a part of things that they refuse to see.
- They believe that their situation is different and special – I have frequently heard from nice guys that their situation is different. A recent example of this that came across my table was a dude that was monkey-barring or transferring from relationship to relationship. Monkey-barring is so unhealthy and it always results in a big disaster yet people do it anyways. Like this guy, who was so sure that his situation with the girl he met was definitely different and therefore an exception to the rule. Nice guys recognize problematic behaviors and they can see the folly of making certain decisions when it comes to other people but show a lack of insight when they look at themselves. Hell, most people have a hard time seeing red flags in their own relationship due to their blindness, but nice guys especially.
- They believe that they can fix, rescue and save broken women – It’s extremely common for nice guys to land in relationships with some really broken or mentally ill women. I wish I had an extra five bucks for every nice guy that I have that is enmeshed in a relationship with a woman who has borderline personality disorder. Nice guys are honestly some of the only males that are willing to stay in these relationships and it’s extremely common for them to talk as though they are doing their best to fix her, manage her and control her. I’ve even heard them use that exact wording. They will say things like, “I’m getting her under control,” when control is a myth and a lie. I tend to feel a bit alarmed when I sit and listened to a man talk about how he thinks he can control other people, especially his partner who has borderline personality disorder. In reality, women with borderline are among some of the hardest to treat, even for the most experienced, hardy and qualified mental health professionals. However, this doesn’t stop nice guys from convincing themselves that they are in a good position to elevate these women to a blissful state and rescue them from their tragic life. You do not have to be Captain Saveahoe, in fact you probably shouldn’t even try if they don’t have a medical mental professional working with them already. But this goes back, again, to the fact that part of their blindness is believing that they are unique and special. It’s important for guys to be honest with themselves about how realistic it is for them to actually help these women they don’t have any idea about what they are doing because they usually end up being a negative enabler in the process. Honestly, the real reason nice guys try to be the hero is so that they can hide their own problems, and they do it subconsciously. If her problems are in the forefront and he is actively working on them, then his don’t have to come to the surface.
- They ignore and look past red flags – Nice guys are certainly capable of noticing and acknowledging red flags, they almost willingly ignore them and in that regard they are willfully ignorant. They have a tendency to do this because they become highly committed to the idealistic values that they want out of a relationship. They keep psychological blinders on and they only look directly ahead. But it’s also by ignoring the red flags and remaining idealistic that contributes to their relationship turning into the dumpster fires that can’t be recovered. They see the perceived prize and then they hit the throttle when they need to slow down and address issues along the way.
- They aren’t insightful about their own emotions – I’ve already stated this but repetition is good. Nice guys always say that they are logical and they are blind to their own emotions. Nice guys are people too, they aren’t special when it comes to feeling disappointed, resentful, angry, hurt or lonely. Dr. Robert Glover talks about this in his work with nice guys. One of my favorite quotes from him is that “nice guys are afraid of two types of emotion; theirs and everybody else’s.” Nice guys are afraid to face themselves. They live in a state of denial. Emotions terrify them. Perhaps they believe that their emotions will mean something bad about them, perhaps they are ashamed They aren’t as logical as they think they are, not even close. But this isn’t a bad thing. Being emotional doesn’t make them bad or unlovable but their failure to understand this leaves them feeling ashamed of how they feel.
Most “Nice Guys” don’t even think there is anything wrong with themselves. They think that they are good people and a great partner who bends over backwards for their significant other when they are needed, but the truth is they are only putting their needs and wants on the back-burner. Unfortunately, nice guys show a covert type of narcissism and I hate bringing this up because I really don’t want to put them down or chase them away. This is more so a call for them to face their issues with the help and support of their brothers. We must start having different and better conversations about masculinity and what it means to be male.
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