Can't Say No? – Learn How to Become a No More Mr. Nice Guy

    how-to-stop-being-a-mr-nice-guy.jpgPart 2 of 2

    Think you might be a Mr. Nice Guy? Think it might not be the best thing for you? Read on.

    In the previous article, Have Trouble Saying No? - Become A No More Mr. Nice Guy, we looked at some excerpts from the article The Good Guy Contract: A People-Pleaser Stops Worrying About What Others Think of Him from Psychology Today.

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    Here are some more excerpts describing the benefits of becoming a No More Mr. Nice Guy and how to do it:

    • I'd somehow discovered a way to love and value myself without feeding off the love and esteem of anyone else. And most fascinating of all, without my ever discussing this with my ex-girlfriend, she never asked me for another favor again.
    • I'm not arguing there's anything wrong with wanting to be liked. Nor am I saying I no longer care if I'm liked or not. What I am saying is that in freeing myself from the need to be liked -- in learning to derive my self-esteem from internal support -- I can more easily let go of the dissonance that (still) occurs when I'm disliked. Ridding myself of the need to sign Good Guy Contracts has brought me tremendous benefits, including enabling me to:

    • Stop suffering when people don't like me. I can't control how others respond to me, and being freed of the need to write Good Guy Contracts has freed me of the need to try to influence others to like me as well-which has freed up an unbelievable amount of my time.
    • Become an effective leader. If your primary concern is to please everyone, you won't be able to make good decisions for the right reasons. I could never have taken on the leadership roles I have had I not eliminated my need to be a people pleaser (another name for a Good Guy).
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    • Establish more genuine friendships-friendships based on mutual interest, free of the underlying agenda in which I would use the goodwill of another to support my self-esteem.
    • Be compassionate. Freed of the need to be liked, I can now contemplate compassionate action motivated only by the desire to add to the happiness of another person and not by the imperative to sustain my self-esteem, making it far more likely my actions will be wisely compassionate, the importance of which I discussed in a previous post, What Compassion Is.
    • Avoid explosive expressions of pent up resentment. Being unable to say no leads to resentment toward oneself that often gets projected onto others but that's paradoxically rarely expressed (becoming angry at someone would violate the terms of the Good Guy Contract) -- until it builds up to the point where it must be expressed and then often is in explosive and damaging ways.
    • Avoid feeling overwhelmed by too much responsibility. What a relief it's been to be able to own what's mine and not what belongs to others.
    • What, then, can you do to stop? Other than taking up the practice of Nichiren Buddhism, the most effective method I've found is to practice disappointing people. That is, when disappointing someone is genuinely necessary, I approach it as practice for developing my self-esteem. If I fail, that's fine. After all, it was only practice. I get back up, dust myself off, and make a determination to try again next time, reminding myself as I do so that violating the Good Guy Contract and setting appropriate boundaries doesn't usually lead to being disliked as we people pleasers fear, but rather to being respected.
    • Sometimes I still have to remind myself consciously not to be overly affected by the opinions of others. But the ability to let go of my need to be liked, even if it sometimes requires conscious effort, is one of the greatest bits of human revolution I've ever accomplished and absolutely worth every bit of suffering it required.
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    If you think you might be a people pleaser or a Mr. Nice Guy, give disappointing people a try for a few weeks and see what changes happen in your life.

    This is the second article of two on being a Mr. Nice Guy. Read the first article, Have Trouble Saying No? - Become A No More Mr. Nice Guy here. Sign-up for our blog at the bottom of this page and don't miss other great articles like this.

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