One of my common “types” of coaching clients are Nice Guy Husbands. And one of their regular issues is that they “walk on eggshells” around their partners (and others).
Walking on eggshells is the term we use to describe moderating ourselves, taking extra care, and holding back what we really think around certain people who we believe will react “badly” (whether that belief is true or not is irrelevant).
It’s essentially a passive form of controlling manipulation to prevent someone from experiencing emotions that we find unpleasant, threatening, or inconvenient.
A quick confidence building tip for overcoming Nice Guy Syndrome is to do what I call crunching eggshells.
Crunching Eggshells means that when you’re in those moments, you deliberately choose to say what’s going to upset them, to do what they don’t like, to prioritize your integrity over their particular preferences and their mood.
You poke the bear and let her roar!
This doesn’t mean being deliberately provocative; trying to seek a bad reaction. It just means you keep living your life and speaking your mind as if you’re in the presence of someone who fully accepts you and never responds badly to your honesty.
If you can learn to crunch those eggshells and just cause whatever reaction it is that you’re afraid of, you instantly break out of nice guy syndrome.
Whereas, if you continue walk on eggshells, you’re going to build up resentment and contempt towards the person. You’re going to poison the relationship. You’re going to hate yourself later… nobody wins.