I was watching a YouTube video from one of my favorite online streamers the other day. Sweet Anita, she’s called, and she’s a unique streamer because she has Tourette’s syndrome. She started live-streaming to create awareness of her condition and to give other people the confidence to understand that it can be done and be well received at the same time. Her YouTube channel is basically a mishmash of the last day’s conversations. It’s a good watch.
Her latest video was about the conversations she had on the topic of “nice guys,” or the latest buzz word for them is “simp’s,” I think. If you’re an old fogey like me and are not used to attaching buzzwords to names then you’d basically know these men as men that are incredibly nice to people but want something in return, secretly. It was probably one of the most compassionate and empathic presentations I’ve ever heard about these men, considering the situations she found herself in were incredibly manipulative.
That being said it encouraged me to share my story of being one of these men. Because there’s a lot of mis-information about it.
For instance, the whole opening the door for women and wanting something in return scenario that seems to be a hot topic. Generally, when that happens, we’re just being nice. Most of us were raised by our mothers to be upstanding white knights upholding our valor’s of honor and will literally bend over backward for any random female. Don’t take it personally.
But the manipulation and the attachment comes when we know you a lot better. Opening a door for a random lady, we’re just being nice. It’s in our code of honor.
So, here’s what I believe, based on my experience: men like this are generally lonely. They are so desperately void at the core that the only thing they know is how to be nice to people so in return they are treated well themselves. It gets so bad that it becomes an addiction, being nice, and the validation that it creates from external sources.
This was me in a nutshell.
My life revolved around validation from my friends and potential women friends in my network. The only thing that I cared about was getting praise from people. That was it.
I really didn’t care about anything else. And conflict, well, I hated to deal with that. Being nice was my way of avoiding the conflict. There had been so much trauma in my life that I just wanted to stay clear of it.
But where society edges away from my reality is when these guys are all classed as predators and people that prey on you.
I believe most of it actually comes from a well-meaning place.
The compliments, the boosting your self-esteem, the gifts, the going out their way for you — it comes from a good, well-meaning place. I mean, “nice guys” don’t generally rub their hands together evilly in the understanding of what they are doing. I hazard a guess that many of them are not conscious of the fact they are being manipulative and controlling. If they truly had the revelation of what they were doing — they’d probably be shocked.
Like I was, when I had that realization. I cried. All night.
I just wanted a partner you know? To love me, and to cherish me. Because this is how some so-called “nice guys” believe their self-worth comes from. It’s what we learned in childhood.
For me, it stemmed from emotionally distant parents that taught me conditional love. If you do x, then I will love you. In my case, it was a combination of my mother and father’s idea of self-worth that transitioned onto me. Their constant feuding and using me as a weapon — it didn’t bear well on my emotional health.
But since I’ve grown, I’ve realized that life isn’t perfect, and we all have our own little faults, and it’s not about how we hide them, it’s more about how we live with them.
But my transition from nice guy to a healthy person brought its own revelations too. Some of the women that I was hanging from, devotedly asking for validation, they themselves were getting off on my attention whilst keeping me at arm’s length. And when I stopped giving them the validation, it turned nasty. It’s not that I was being mean, it’s just that when you’re in an intimate relationship you shouldn’t be discussing those things with other men. They were all in relationships. It didn’t feel right anymore.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not excusing these men for what they do, only that I have a little compassion for them because I understand their plight. They are often socially awkward, probably didn’t have the greatest family life, and haven’t yet met any good male role models. And on top of all that society kicks them when they are down. It’s a long way up from rock bottom.
And this is why I appreciated Anita’s recount. Even although she sounded like she had some really shitty run-ins with these guys, she had the compassion and understanding to healthily give a balanced recount of what happened.
There needs to be more of that in the world. Compassion and understanding. If I want to understand something different, I will go right up to someone and talk to them (or several people) about it and try and understand.
Understanding for me is the key to everything!