63rd Ask Josh – Nice Guys

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2008 at 1:26 am

by one of the ladies

dear josh,

you say you love questions about relationships, so here goes:

why are all the confident guys douchebags and the nice guys ridden with self-esteem issues? this is a lose-lose for the ladies.


Dear one of the ladies,

The good people of Procter & Gamble take all the confident guys to this factory and they take them to this ledge, and when the confident guys aren’t looking, they push them into this vat which leads to a processor that converts the confident guys into… oh wait, I get it, you mean it as a metaphor. Oh, that makes the second part of your question make more sense. However, I do see making female hygiene products out of guys really would be a lose-lose for the ladies.

You know why nice guys have self-esteem issues? Some kind of an outside influence made them that way. They try to be nice, and some kind of an outside influence doesn’t give them the time of day. Nice guys, often shy, are labeled as creepy when they go out on a limb to ask some kind of an outside influence out. Then they read articles like, “Signs You’re Too Nice.”

They hear the oft-misquoted Leo Durocher saying, “All nice guys. They’ll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last.”

In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the title character laments over the inevitable relationship failure of his friend Cameron. He says, “You can’t respect someone who kisses your [feet (for our purposes, let’s use the word ‘feet’)]”

James Franco gives a sad, but perhaps too true piece of advice to Shane West in the movie Whatever It Takes. Franco says, “Chicks dig [jerks].” We will label James as “Jerk” and Shane as “Nice Guy” just so you can see why jerks are the way they are, and why the nice guys are glum and insecure.

Jerk: Look, man, chicks dig [jerks], okay? … Remember in grade school when you always picked on the girl you liked? It’s kind of like that. Some girls are just insecure.

Nice Guy: You’re saying Ashley Grant is insecure.

Jerk: She’s the head cheerleader of insecurity.

Nice Guy: And if I treat her bad, she’ll go for it?

Jerk: Absolutely.

Nice Guy: Come on. That doesn’t make any sense.

Jerk: What, you’ve dated how many of these girls? That’s what I thought. … Simple question: Do you want her or not?

Nice Guy: Well, yeah, but– – Okay. … Even if everything you said is true, I don’t want to be mean to her.

Jerk: Right. Seeing as how she’s so sweet to you.

Extreme you say? While I wouldn’t say spot on, I must admit, the jerk’s words contain a kernel of truth. No, we don’t want to be mean, even if that does better our chances. But when niceness doesn’t work, and a part of me wants to say from experience that it does not, we must, like Alma, go “by another way” [Alma 8:18].

The same thing happens in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the play, Helena loves Demetrius, but Demetrius loves Hermia, and Hermia has no interest in Demetrius. Hermia is a jerk to Demetrius, and Helena loves him and declares it openly. Yet Demetrius does not care for the kind Helena, he goes for the ornery Hermia. No matter how much kindness Helena shows, Demetrius doesn’t care for her at all. This one is especially painful because close friends have compared me to Helena. In the following conversation Hermia and Helena both complain about how their actions toward the same man are both giving them unintended results.

HERMIA I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

HELENA O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!

HERMIA I give him curses, yet he gives me love.

HELENA O that my prayers could such affection move!

HERMIA The more I hate, the more he follows me.

HELENA The more I love, the more he hateth me.

HERMIA His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

HELENA None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

But your questions:

Why are all the confident guys [jerks]?

They are not [jerks] because they are confident, they are confident because they are [jerks]. They are [jerks], they get girls, and they wax more confident and then more [jerky].

Why do all the nice guys have self-esteem issues?

While I don’t believe self-esteem should have to come from the outside, I believe it wears down those kind fellas who just don’t have the heart to be [jerks]. They approach a girl and say she looks nice today, or they compliment some type of performance she had or something or other. She gets creeped out, for reasons we guys will never understand, and avoids the man. His confidence is bruised. He sees the same girl with an idiot boyfriend, how should he feel? The nice guy can only stand to hear, “It’s her loss,” “She doesn’t know what she’s missing out on,” “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone” so many times. After a while, he knows you’re just patronizing him.

Then again, what do I know?

  1. So girls want attention and negative is the most dependable.I think you’re right, as sad as the truth is. One of my professors earlier this week was teaching how being direct with people is a better way to communicate. I felt like this was an obvious truth, but then, maybe it really isn’t. People don’t do it. Why do you think people are afraid to be direct?

  2. You’ve nailed it on the head once again. I don’t know how you do it

  3. I think I’m beginning to understand what you are talking about, but do you think you could answer it in a little more detail?

  4. So how much money have you made since you’ve “bought-in”? I’ve been doing my part.

  5. haha to get a positive compliment i don’t think us girls would be creeped out unless its a girl who thinks shes better than the rest and sticks w/ her own ppl ..

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