Sunday, December 06, 2009

Nice Guy Syndrome

A woman has a close male friend.he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

DragonflyBlade21 at

Couple of days back a college time buddy of mine called me after a long time.His wife (who was also our classmate) has asked him to call me. They were based at USA and they had just returned from an All Indian get together where they had watched "Wake up Sid" on their host's home theater system. She said Ranveer Kapoor's character and mannerism reminded her of me . Needless to say I was Instantly inflated and asked "Oh really ! Do I look like him ?" ." No ! Dumbo , its not about looks its about mannerism "She replied.(My Ex would have agreed with the dumbo part).
Though I was kinda disappointed to know the finer points of her compliment, still It gave me a hope that something in me stand a chance to get a Hot Bong chick like Konkana Sen someday. for now It looks like I would have to settle for a lot less. Anyway after 30 Min of who-is-where-doing-what catching up .They enquired about the state of my romantic life (Ah! finally I found someone who gives a shit ). I said its OK, a bit like IRAQ after US attack, ravished but trying to resurrect and at times missing Saddam Hussien.

"That's sad ..But you know something ?that's what happen to Nice guys ..Always..without fail" She said . That was followed by a rare event when a woman said something which every man from Adam onward has been wondering ."I don't know how girls think" She said .
For the record I don't know that either .And this post is not about neuro anatomical functioning of half of the world population . Its about the observation my friend made about nice guys. They are indeed unlucky with girls. She is not alone in thinking that. As it turns out this is a consistent observation across geographies.Many amongst us have tried to decipher it . It won't be an exaggeration If I say that It has acquired status of a pseudo science. so much so that New Scientist has an article which quotes a research to argue that when it comes to dating their is a contradiction between stated preference of women and their Actual choice.

They prefer to date so called bad guys. nice guys are often "just Friends" material who with a little bit of luck might hope to be "transition man" for their Female friends. nothing more than that . Academics call it "Nice Guy Syndrome" . I have seen it happening way too many times . I agree with the observation but often time I find the conclusions of these article to be incomplete. So here is two cents on this topic.

Nice Guys :

Lets deal with the easy part first.I might be disappointing a lot of my brothers by saying this but in majority (not all) of the cases these so called "Nice guys" are not Nice in true sense of word.their nice act don't originate from a genuine niceness from with in but their chivalry is driven by a desire to fit in,to validate them self. They are subconsciously dependent and insecure whiners at Best and shrewed long term strategist at worst.

I have seen a lot of such specimen in my life. the insecure types keep on doing things for female friends and in the back of the mind they keep on accumulating some sort of Karma points which they think they can redeem on judgement day. so when like a hidden cost in credit card contract ,when female discover the finer point of "service" they are often shocked and forfeit the payback .they back out. guy's investment becomes Non performing asset. At that point These guys join the Nice guy brigade. "After all that I have done for her.......Bitch " goes their statement after the first brush of reality.

There is a sadder version of story too . In few cases girls say YES because they are unable to say No .They don't want to hurt him . After all He is a Nice Guy and nobody want to hurt a nice guy.Add to this a motley crew of girl's gossip loving friend( HE is invariably a Friend to them too) who will say some thing like " Now come on ..Look how cute He is and HE care for you too" or "Decide fast or I will gona grab him " (Yea that's why he is still single) . This cute-caring logic is a pure bullshit .I care for Katrina Kaif and I am cute too (see above ) . I guess All I need now is bunch of her friends to lobby for me. wish me luck.

My observation is that This kind of cute ness infected association are usually not long lasting .a little change of surrounding a new city ,a new job, a new school or new friends and puff....there goes the clutter romance.

Other kind of nice guys are the strategist . They are dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. Ever heard the campus rumor where a female broke up with Her long standing relationship and her BEST friend was there to "Support" her in difficult times ? Well the Truth is that in all probability This best friend is usually a big contributor to her difficult time . He is the self serving catalyst who fuel the petty difference /spats of couple. when these differences pile up They are always there to listen to them and agree with Her unconditionally.Their claim to fame is that They "understand her ". which is absurd ( come think of it.Can anyone ever understand her?? ).
Trust me on this I know a case where a south Indian guy with zero knowledge of Hindi used to sit down and listen to the Hindi rants of a UP girl who couldn't speak basic English .Best part is that HE was able to "understand" . Love can over come any barrier it seems.

This is not to say there are not good guys around . There are and they also screw up the things too. Problem with genuinely nice guys is that they are ..Well Nice. They are always trying to reconcile their desires with their moral standards. Am I acting selfish ? Am I good enough ? is it right to feel this way ? . Yes you ARE Horny Buddha of our age .Now go do something to fix it.In their quest for a life of higher morals they start denial / justification of their feelings .This results in a person being more anxious around someone he is trying to cultivate a relationship with. they Mask it under some stupid "friend " stuff. They try to fool themselves.Thanks to temptation of proximity to their object of desire, by the time they realize the nature of their endeavour they become as manipulative and deceitful as the other guys discussed above. My heart goes for such folks .

Its very hard to tell the difference. one possible indicator is guy's behavior out side of romantic context . How He deal with people he is not romantically inclined to . I am not saying that he should treat everyone in same way .There SHOULD be SOME deviation,some special allowance for partner. But too much of deviation and there is a problem.As they say in England Someone who is nice to you but rude to waiter is not a nice person . Other definitive indicator is Friction . a genuinely nice guy would give You a friction once in a while. The REAL Nice guy would stand up against you for principals. A subtle indicator is their approach . I have seen that a real nice guy would tell his feelings to come clean of guilt , to stop being two faced, not for the purpose of knowing your response. This is not to say that their guilt is girl's obligation or it make them a better candidate . No its not like that . Its just an intention vector. YOU still have to choose .He can still be the wrong guy for you but He will not be BAD guy for sure.

Good Guy screw ya! and Bad guy screw ya ! and Rest of them don't know how to screw ya
Samantha Jones in Sex and the City

Now lets talk about the BAD Guys .He is the "Lucky Bastards" down the street.The guy with ear ring and ponytail. Jerk ,bully,non committal. He drinks , smokes and do fast bikes. He had 5 girlfriend in college. and all were Hot chicks. sounds familiar ? Meet The Bad guy . Now who gave him this label? His Ex Girlfriends and Nice guys . I admit that most of BAD guys are BAD in True sense .But their "Achievement" are generally exaggerated . We are often very selective in our observation.

Lets talk of statistics first . The assertion that they get more girls. well they get more girls because they try more .Do your math right . lets say I invest my energy in one girl at a time. so if I do not succeed, I fail 100%. My roommate, juggling four girls at any given time, fails only 25% whenever he is rejected. And even if both of us courts the same number of girls, he will have gone through his girls much faster than I. This alone gives him "more girls". plus when you are aiming for four girl its likely that you won't be emotionally invested in them . so it would be easy for you to move on .
However there is a lot of baggage which comes with being a BAD guy . But thanks to their arrogance "bad boys" are just themselves without reservation, for good or bad. in that narrow sense the bad boys seem more honest.At times their arrogance gets them laid. but most of the time it also get them in trouble.

So how come they end up getting girl.Well I don't claim that I know how it work with girls (who can ?) . My experience with them is fairly limited .I can count the number of girls I have dated on my left thumb and I can count the number of rejections I faced on remaining fingers of my left palm . But in spite of my limited exposure I can say that their is something weird about them and I am not talking of anatomy. I am talking about their whole approach toward the subject of relationship. like pseudo nice guys explained above , many girls ( not all) too fool/justify them self by self serving constructs .They are confused and indecisive .In fact some enjoy this a lot .and thanks to skewed gender ratio in educated young people they can easily afford to be that .Many of girls I know practically maintain a "buffer" of potential partners to choose from. They keep on doing things for her and she purposely pretend to be oblivious to the ulterior motives of the folks around her.

I guess some of the confusion and complication can be PARTIALLY attributed to our social structure.In spite of media propaganda about gender equality our society has yet to get rid of gender stereotype.We need to learn how to deal with an independent women.We assume and enforce the world view of female dependency. for instance I am 30 and still single cause I want to wait for the right sort of girl.But when it comes to my social acceptance my single hood is not a showstopper its only a minor nuisance. I doubt I could have afford to do that had I been a woman.I bet life would have been a hell and I would have well past my expiry date by now . By that logic dependability becomes a major factor for girls. Since social cost of a failed relationship is very high for women. and the power balance in relationship is inverted the moment they are committed. ergo they keep on delaying the decision and keep on enjoying the free lunch in the mean time. Eventually when they have to choose She can choose only one person so rest of the pack is bound to feel shortchanged and harbor bitterness.ergo Legend of a Bitch is born .

Labeling people is wrong and putting them in boxes is BAD. As a human we are evolving all the time .In due course of time both men and women realize that there's a difference between being a genuinely good man and just being a Nice Guy. so Nearly every sane woman over a certain age learns that what she wants is a good man, not a bad boy or a nice guy. What give them a bad name is the things they do in between .

So this was my take on the whole thing .As an alleged victim of Nice guy syndrome I admit that don't know how to deal with it so I am leaving that part as an exercises to readers.