NICE SHADOW


Sometimes being a nice guy is not all that it’s cracked up to be. I have been a nice guy for many, many years and in my family it was either very well rewarded on its own merit or for diffusing anger when my father was not so nice. I learned early that there was a big payoff for being nice.

As you can imagine, I do not run into too many people who take a lot of pride in not being nice. Most people, if asked are they a nice person, will either say “yes” or “I am working on it”. In my men’s group this past week we talked about an interesting part of “the nice guy”. We talked about the shadow side or the “not-so-nice” part of the nice guy and how we use being nice to help get what we want. As I found out this week, this is not a very comfortable topic.

What I realized about myself is that I love being nice…….some for loving reasons…..some not. What I got in touch with is that I use being a nice guy sometimes to make sure that people love me. If I have lots of people who love me, I will never be abandoned, and if I am never abandoned I am surely good enough…..works for me. Other men shared similar feelings and also shared that being nice is a great way to avoid conflict, anger, and fear. It is really hard to be mad at a nice guy.

I struggle with finding a balance where I can be kind, direct, loving and also know that I am good enough no matter what. I have shared with you my feelings on nice vs. kind and each day I want to be more compassionate towards that part of me that always wants to be nice, even when it is not serving me.

So my confirmation that I am where I need to be came in the form of a fortune cookie this week that read “From now on your kindness will lead you to success.” I like that.

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