Can I.T. approaches, like user input and beta testing, help us in the “Nice Guy” debate?
In my 20+ years working in I.T., I’ve had many opportunities to talk to students in information technology. When they would mention school, I always stressed focusing on the how and the why. If you know how things work and why they work like that, you can usually figure out the what — what is wrong, and what you need to do to fix it.
I thought, Could I take these same principles, and apply them to the “nice guy” debate? Well, we can only try, and see where it takes us.
What is the anatomy of a “nice” guy? There are basically 5 things that make up the “nice guy” effect.
- You have a guy who’s average to below-average in looks, financial success, physical stature / athletic prowess, etc.
- He desires a woman who has above-average beauty. It might be more than a sexual desire. He might be looking for a long-term commitment, but there is definitely a sexual component to his desire.
- He believes the societal saying that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
- He takes the societal view that women are, by nature, not shallow.
- He wonders why when this fails and he calls out the woman’s shallowness, he is labeled the bad guy.
If the first four are correct, I can see how a person can logically conclude that this is the best approach to dating a woman who is out of their league. I can also see how someone would logically feel betrayed and used when this doesn’t work.
Why this might not work:
- Your assumptions could be wrong. This is especially true of #4.
- She may have a boyfriend who is everything inside as well as out.
- She may get a boyfriend who is everything inside as well as out. You may have taken too long.
- There is something in your approach that signals you don’t actually have the traits in #3.
- There is something unforeseen that wasn’t accounted for.
If we were to approach this as an I.T. problem, we might want to get input from users and do some beta testing. One of the things nice guys do is try to be helpful and supportive. You can use this to get user input: What type of man is she looking for, Does she have a boyfriend, etc. Beta testing would include things like asking her for help or emotional support. If she doesn’t value you as a friend, it’s unlikely that she’ll value you as a lover. You may be able to incorporate both by asking for advice. You may be able to determine how she views you as compared to her ideal man. You can then determine the best way to “roll out” your project.
Before we wrap up, I’d like to take one more look at E. There is another societal belief that doesn’t show up in #3 or #4, but is something I strongly believe to be true: What goes around comes around. And for those who believe in the rule of three, it comes around good and hard.
If I was your I.T. consultant, I would tell you to treat people with kindness. Keep an open heart to possibilities. If you truly believed in #3, instead of as a cynical ploy to get #2, you’ll probably find it. You might even get #2. I would still beta test, though. No one likes to be used, and of course you measure the value of your friendships based on the times you needed your friends to be there.
Photo credit: Bob Mical/Flickr