Nice Guy Narcissism: The hidden selfish motives behind people pleasing

Nice Guys and people pleasers give the appearance of being self-sacrificing, altruistic, and intensely concerned with the wellbeing of others. It’s hard to imagine that they’re motives are complete selfish and that they don’t really care about other people. Especially because they see themselves as giving people as well.

But as a recovering Nice Guy and coach, I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that Nice Guy Syndrome is a completely self-centered condition that focuses exclusively on controlling others through manipulation in order to feel good about yourself.

In this video, we’ll unpack the inherent narcissism concealed behind people-pleasing behaviours, and look at what it means to drop this act to become genuinely kind, caring, generous and confident instead.


To recover from Nice Guy Syndrome, contact Dan for coaching


Full transcript (unedited)

Let’s take a moment to talk about nice guy narcissism might sound like a paradox, but the irony of people pleasing is how self centered it is. What on the surface looks like it’s about everyone else is actually only about the person doing it, it’s gonna be hard to see if you are one, it was certainly hard for me to see it. Because you constantly call yourself a nice guy, maybe even call yourself a people pleaser. You can see patting yourself on the back about how good you are to other people compared to how others are to each other. You’re always focused on being good to others. So it makes sense in your head that you’re the good guy, and that this is about other people and you’re doing it for them. It’s very easy to turn people pleasing behavior into a story about how you’re altruistic and self sacrificing. And you know that you’re just empathetic and caring and loving and compassionate. The idea that you’re narcissistic, that this is all ego, this is all about your own needs being met, regardless of the harm you do to others. It doesn’t even occur to you. Why would it? Everybody else is telling you how nice you are. You’re never getting feedback that you’re a bad person. So why would you even look in that box? Right? Well the reason you’re getting such good feedback is because you are manipulating people into giving it to you see what classic narcissists get wrong so a malignant narcissist is there out in the open they’re how awful they are. They don’t try to make people like them with pleasing they try to make people like them with guilt tripping and gaslighting and all these sort of like nasty obvious. Negative manipulation techniques are nice guys are far more devious. Nice guys will make you love them. Well, they’ll make you love what you think they are. And it’s all an act. So what you don’t see when you’re a nice guy narcissist is how manipulative you are, and how every interaction you have you adjust gears turning and calculations and forecasting and anticipation. You’re highly vigilant for how people feel all the time so that you can cater what you are expressing to meet their needs, and control them. And it’s all about control. nice guy syndrome. The one thing all nice guys have in common is the primary purpose is controlling people, controlling people so you can control their feelings about you, which helps you control your feelings about yourself. Everything you do as a people pleaser is aimed at controlling other people. And if that means they must suffer, then you’ll do it still don’t believe me? Let’s have a look at some of the classic manipulation techniques used by Nice Guy narcissists. Self sacrifice kinda sounds like the opposite of narcissism, doesn’t it? Like I give my life for yours. Like the ultimate heroic act said what it really does as a school social points. So you’re forcing people using their psychology against them into feeling that they owe you something that you’re a good person. Because on the surface, it looks like you’re suffering for other people’s gain. And it’s impossible for someone to hate you for that. Actually, you’re not suffering at all, you enjoy this ship to get pissy. So you’re going for there like the weakest form of approval possible where someone feels sorry for you, you’re constantly kind of subtly dropping hints about how much you suffer in your mission to help other people. You’re not doing this quietly ie letting everyone know that this hurts causes guilt. Like I said, people feel like they owe you something, it will feel like they’re holding you back. People feel like they need to repair the damage they’re doing, even though they never fucking ask for your help. And of course, it prevents intimacy, you still want to be a god living by yourself. And by sacrificing yourself for others that creates a wall between the two of you, they owe you something, you’re better than them. They are worse than you they bear the burden and you’re the strong one you can never connect when there’s an imbalance, humor and entertainment this was my specialty is a nice guy narcissist, and makes people like you. As much as I love stand up comedy. There’s something inherently manipulative about someone forcing you to laugh, we can’t help but laugh. And some comedians talk about this, how they start to resent the audience because they can just basically push a button and make everyone laugh. They call it killing, you know, they can just commit murder just anytime they want. And they start to sort of look down on their audience like look how easy you are to control. I used to feel this when I was doing the pickup artists thing as well. I could so easily entertain girls that I could predict when they would say certain responses when they’d be disgusted when they would laugh and they would jokingly punch me on the shoulder I can make it happen with like the push of a button and I started to resent them for it being humorous and entertaining steals a spotlight maybe there’s somebody else who’d like to have the glory for once maybe somebody else has got a funny joke or an interesting idea the team meeting too bad for them because you’re going to jump in there first, aren’t you and you’re going to steal their glory and you also force happiness on people got a nice guys will die on the Hill of believing that making other people happy as a good Think that you see, when you make someone feel an emotion, you’re preventing them from feeling other emotions. You cheer someone up when they’re grieving, they don’t get to process the grief properly. You make someone laugh when they’re trying to be angry, they don’t figure out what their boundaries are properly, cheer someone up, when they’re sad, they don’t process whatever kind of lost they were going through. You make someone feel better, when they’re frustrated, they don’t get motivated enough to make a change. You’re stealing helpful emotional processes away from people by forcing happiness on them for your own benefit. So they feel good around you and they like you so that you can like yourself, that’s not helpful. Counseling and supportiveness. There’s nothing nice guy Nasus loves more than to be a pseudo therapist, you come and dump your problems on him. He likes even pat himself on the back and call it self sacrifice, because they are he has to hear everybody else’s problems. And nobody will listen to him as if he’s not engineering the situation to create codependency, you know, I used to get so much guilt. When I look back on this, I’d see the girls that I dated, and they came to me as basically strong, independent woman. And then they became needy. And suddenly, they couldn’t do anything without me. And took me a long time to see that I was making that happen. I was making them lead me by being so supportive, that they actually got rusty and didn’t know how to solve problems by themselves. It also means you’re doing this impression management, you’re constantly creating this reputation of being a good, helpful person. Now it’s an act, it’s a forced behavior on your part. But you’re making so that people really just can’t dislike you. They can’t even measure you accurately, because you just come with this goal and reputation all the time. And this extends to being helpful and available all the time. Again, it’s very hard to think of yourself as a narcissist, when you’re always putting yourself out there for other people. It’s like narcissists don’t do this, do they? Well, they do when it racks up social debt they do when it creates even more codependence. They do when it’s unsolicited advice aimed at making people more convenient to you rather than doing what’s right for them. It prevents uncomfortable emotions that you can’t be bothered dealing with. And you get disappointed if you don’t get recognition and thanks. All of that sounds pretty fucking narcissistic. To me, the thing that we can’t see when we’re in our system, nice guy is the victim hero story, which I’ve talked about in other podcasts and such. And that is that we are the main character of our story. And we’re actually superior to others because we’re the victim, because we’re self sacrificing. And we’re the only good person and we’re the most helpful, and we’re the one entertaining everyone and keeping everyone happy. It’s a story like I’m the hero gives up everything for everybody else. So I’m actually the victim and the hero. I’m the underdog and the winner. I am just fucking amazing. And I get to complain about it. How good is that? Say true giving generosity of spirit. altruism, there’s no ego when it doesn’t matter if people notice doesn’t matter if they appreciate it. That’s not relevant to somebody’s truly giving, you know, you do it to align with your core values rather than to get an outcome of approval from another person. So just doing it is rewarding. It doesn’t matter how people react, uncomfortable emotions are welcomed. Sometimes true giving means hurting someone’s feelings. Sometimes true giving means provoking anger, outrage, disappointment, letting someone process some real shit so that they can improve in their life. You talk to people who are actually giving her work and like rehabilitation services and stuff like that. They’re not around making people happy ever. Making people happy doesn’t help them grow. It doesn’t improve. So if you think giving is making people happy, then you don’t know what giving really is. When you’re giving you encourage others to become more independent, you’re constantly pushing the responsibility back on them. If you are mentoring or teaching, you want that to be short term you want them to take off without you to do better without you than they did with you. And truly giving people lead by example, rather than living a double standard. So rather than trying to like self sacrifice, and make things easier for everyone else, they show what it’s like to lead. They show what it’s like to live a healthy life. They let you copy them and get ideas from them rather than doing it for you. So if you’d like to stamp out the narcissism in your life so that you can become a truly generous and giving person without the nice guy yucky stuff attached to it. Get in touch And we’ll talk about how you can build your integrity

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