WORK-LIFE BALANCE / FEB. 09, 2015
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Why Nice Guys Really Finish Last

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We all know one, a guy/girl so sugar sweet and apologetic that they grind on your nerves like the latest Nicki Minaj song. I mean, how can anyone really be that nice? He brings donuts for everyone at the office and listens to anyone that needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. He/She is an unbearably obnoxious twit, but there is some justice in the world for the incurable cynics out there. Nice guys do finish last and here’s why.

Nice Guys are boring

Yes, I said it and if you’re a nice guy you’ll probably agree. See, by agreeing to everything, nice guys are about as engaging as an under watered fern. For those keeping score at home, an under watered fern is not engaging what-so-ever. They’re agreeable, complacent and just the right tone of social beige. An honorable man, or as history names them in many cases a great guy, stands up for what he believes in. A nice guy just hangs back and says: ‘He right about that freedom of speech thing, but he’s really going to hurt people’s feelings talking about religion like that.’

Lack of passion

A simple foray into the linguistic implementation of the word ‘nice’ will convince you. What if you had a burger that wasn’t all that great, but it was relatively palatable, you would say: ‘Hm it was nice.’ What if that burger, though, was the most astounding, earth shattering culinary experience of your life? I’m sure you would say: ‘That was the most astounding, earth shattering culinary experience of my life!’ or something to the effect of ‘That was a damn good burger,’ if eloquence escaped you while your cheek was full of beef chuck created of godly ambrosia. Nice is just kind of humdrum.

What nice is and how nice acts

As I mentioned in the intro, nice basically means agreeable. Straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, trust and modesty are a few characteristics of being nice. Those are negative personality traits no matter what light you see them in. Not being a nice guy isn’t exactly the opposite of those, though. Yes, the opposite of nice is mean, but the opposite of agreeable is disagreeable. Disagreeable isn’t as negative as you may think though, most disagreeable people don’t seek or create conflict, but instead hold strong to their ideas, perspectives and positions when conflict arises.

There is scientific proof

Scientists have actually proven that people who are more agreeable tend to make significantly less than individuals that are more assertive. This is because people that are less agreeable are considered harder negotiators and perceived to keep to their vision much more than someone agreeable.

Everything in measure

I did mention that being too agreeable can be detrimental to your bank account. Being too disagreeable can have the exact same effect, though. There’s an even further caveat to this comparison. An ideal leader is a balance of agreeable and disagreeable (with a lean toward disagreeing). For example, decisiveness is an important trait for any leader, and is a characteristic most at odds with the nice guy persona. On the other hand, if you make a blind decision based only on your own perspective or ideas, you might be ignoring a valuable resource in the people that you work with.

Are you a nice guy that managed to get ahead? If so,  restore our faith in humanity and let us know in the comment section below.

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