Wednesday, January 24, 2018

No More Mr. Nice Guy

I am a nice guy. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a nice, sensitive, and caring person. Wait, there is one exception that immediately comes to mind. If you ask my younger sister, she may tell you a slightly different story. As a child, I have been known to gently terrorize her, her friends, and her pets (laughing).

With that written, let me get back to the story at hand. As far back as fourth grade, I recall buying gifts (i.e., flowers, jewelry, etc.) for the girl of my affection. Based on popular culture, and the advice from my mother, I always thought that being nice and charming was enough to win a woman’s heart. Unfortunately, as I have learned many times since elementary school, being nice doesn’t always lead to getting the girl. No, often times it led to being locked into the dreaded “Friend Zone.” [Add dramatic music here]

Don’t get me wrong, being liked and getting along with people has its advantages, but when you lose the girl that you’ve been pining after for years, being nice just isn’t enough. How many guys (and gals) can feel me on that?

As I grew older, let’s say high school, I was tired of being the “good guy.” No, I wanted to finally get the girl of my dreams, but it required a slightly different game plan than what I had originally subscribed. Instead of chasing after one girl, I had to simply open myself up to meeting a lot of people. The more I dated, the less I focused on just one person. If you take that experience, along with a huge boost in confidence (and probably plenty of teenage hormones to boot), I was finally realizing how it felt to be wanted by the female persuasion. Can I just say that it felt GREAT!

Somewhere after high school, probably during my transition into college, I was tired of the loneliness that was associated with the excessive masculine bravado. I wanted to genuinely connect with someone, but emotions often led to weakness, codependency, and a loss of attraction. It’s only when I became indifferent to the situation that I was able to maintain control, dominance, focus, and, of course, the lady’s attention.

As I grew up through my 20’s, 30’s, and even now into my 40’s, I found similar instances of niceness and eagerness to please that I displayed as a child. However, instead of just being locked into the “friend zone,” I realized that other issues were surfacing. Being accommodating, for example, opened the door for being taken advantage of, walked on, disrespected, and mistreated. No, I didn’t like it, but I also didn’t do anything to stop it. Hence, it continued.

Why didn’t you stop it? You ask. Honestly, I believe it had everything to with the fear of loss. When I feared losing something important to me, I ended up embracing a weak position, adopting timidity, and accepting whatever hot mess was given to me.

As I seriously reflect on this long-time lesson, I recognized that being “nice” wasn’t always the right answer. While I’m not suggesting that anyone become offensive, disrespectful, manipulative, mean, or rude, what I am saying is that one should know their value and never accept anything less.

If you find that you are being walked on, mistreated, disrespected, looked over, taken advantage of, cheated on, lied to, devalued, abused, put down, or made to feel less than, then it’s time to put your foot down and say, “Hey, I’ve had enough! No mas, no more!”

Beyond the verbal declaration, which is a good start, you also have to put action behind it. This means that you have to be willing to walk away and never look back if things don't change. If that 4th grade crush could not see my value, my worth, and my contribution, then it was her loss, not mine. There were plenty of other girls on the playground to choose from.

While today's message used the interpersonal relationships of my youth, we can take the same lesson and apply it to many of our grown-up situations. From dealing with our boss, employees, children, spouse, landlord, neighbor, friends, family, business partners, and co-workers, we all have the same power to stand up for what we want, what we need, and what we deserve without settling for crumbs. It is when we decide, take action, and remain steadfast in our convictions by being willing to walk away from situations that no longer serve us, that we see the desired change in our lives. Even if that change is only within ourselves.

“You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” ~ Tony Gaskins

Ok, Champions, let’s make today a really great day!

How To Avoid Being A Pushover

Here is a Facebook Live that I did in relation to this article.



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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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