Confessions of a perfectionist: Inside the mind of a Nice Guy


You’re about to read something very deep and personal.

I am humbled to have the honour of sharing this with you. I deeply respect the author for having the courage to open up like this.

I am always scanning the internet for Nice Guys and Girls. There are many of us, though I am now reformed. We are the people who suffer in silence behind an aloof mask of helpfulness, self-deprecating humour, and perfection.

Recently, I came across this post on Facebook. I knew I had to make contact with the guy.

If you think you might be one of these kinds of people, check out this heartfelt confession (published with the author’s permission – he wishes to remain anonymous).


And if you have any messages of support for the author, comment below and I will pass them on…


I was told I should write more. But I don’t know what to write about. I don’t feel like I have anything to say.

Anything that’s honest that is. I’ve been lying for so long that that’s the only thing I know how to do. Lie.

Go on, roll your eyes. I know the feeling. That’s almost my trademark – the rolling of the eyes. Every time someone attempts to express their feelings I roll my eyes.

Why should we ever feel anything? Emotions make us weak. Emotions make us vulnerable. And others can use our emotions against us. That’s what I was taught. So instead of allowing ourselves to feel, we build walls around us. And keep everyone outside. So that they can’t hurt us. We’re not ready to deal with hurt. Or rejection. Or disapproval. We want to please everyone. Make everyone look up to us. Lead by example.

That way they won’t say or think anything that will hurt us. We hide our insecurities. We hide our imperfections. We hide our true selves from others.

And we retreat inside these walls and we begin to reshape who we are. We reinvent ourselves. And we decide to only come out when the armour is ready.

And thus the quest for perfection begins.

We train ourselves to be a certain way. We fake everything. The way we talk, the way we walk, how we present ourselves to the world. And the more we do it, the less we realise we’re doing it. It becomes us. It becomes an obsession. Obsession for perfection.

Nothing is ever good enough. We are never good enough. We are never ready. Never ready to open up to the world again. Never ready to open our hearts and feel alive. And never ready to let others in.

Until we forget who we truly are. We forget what it’s like to feel. We forget that little boy or girl that once was. We forget to dream. We forget to live.

Picasso said that as kids we all know how to draw. But we forget as soon as we grow up.

Because instead of staying true to the kid within, we blame him/her for everything bad that’s happened to us. We tell that kid off. We tell him/her that it’s time to grow up. That following dreams only leads to disappointment and pain. The dream of true happiness – we convince ourselves that it’s an illusion. That it doesn’t exist. So we stop chasing it. We walk away from that kid, and don’t look back. And he or she is crying for us to return, but we don’t even bat an eye. Determined to do what is ‘right.’ We train ourselves to be brave. To stay strong.

And always, always do what is right.

We forget that there ever was a kid. Lonely and in need of love. We convince ourselves that he or she was holding us back, so that we can justify our decision to walk away. We justify it, because we cannot bare the guilt. We don’t wanna feel the shame. The shame of selling out on who we are.

And we tell ourselves that that one day we will return to that kid. When we are ready. When we are happy with what we have made of ourselves. Of our lives. When we will feel proud. When we will be comfortable. When we will not have to wear the armour anymore. One day. One day. And that day never comes.

Whose approval are we waiting for? Whose respect?

The truth is…there is no truth. And there is no perfection. Just an obsession for it. And life goes by, and each moment that passes is gone forever. And no matter what we do, we cannot bring it back.

I never did anything, because I was too afraid. Afraid of making a mistake. I never wrote anything because I hate my English. I hate it with all my heart.

I never followed my instincts. Or my heart. I never listened to the voice of that kid inside of me. And after years of ignoring him, I can barely make out his cry. Still there somewhere, still trying to get out, trying to escape the tower I’ve locked him in, still trying to show me who I am. Still hoping to make me see. But I continue to block him out.

And all that is left of me is this stranger that I’m trying to get comfortable with.

Don’t live in fear. Don’t forget who you are. Because, in the words of Al, there is nothing worse than the sight of an amputated spirit. There is no prosthetic for that.

Don’t give up on your dreams. And don’t sell out your soul for anything. I’m telling you this in my plain and at times ridiculous English. I can’t say it any other way. I’m not perfect. No one is perfect. There is no perfection. And if there were one, the road to it would be long and lonely.

There is no perfection, so stop chasing it. Imperfections are what make us unique. Special. Reach out to that kid. He/she is still there somewhere, still crying for your love. And without your love, he or she will never come out to play again. It is never too late.

Love yourself.

And live.

If you think you might also be a “Nice Guy”, to take the quiz to find out, click here: Nice Guy quiz

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Dan Munro, Confidence Coach, Director
The Inspirational Lifestyle

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