As psychologists started to unravel the Nice Guy syndrome more thought and research went into how Nice Guys are made. As you probably guess it all started back when you were a tiny baby…
When we are born into this world it is said we have 360 degrees of innocence. We don’t know or haven’t experienced anything. We are narcissistic in a way, we think the whole world revolves around us and that anything good or bad is a result of what we do.
We are developing our experiences and as we do so, an important part of the brain, the amygdala has started to record our life experiences. This part of the brain runs some pretty important stuff like our heartbeat and breathing, it keeps us running and is ultra-fast. It is also responsible for our fight, flight freeze response and, where this is really going, it stores our early emotional memories.
Now if we are lucky, we had some great parents. They were attentive to our needs, they looked after themselves, they were mature and differentiated adults and were basically there for us. In this place, we started recording messages of I’m lovable, valuable, safe – this all bodes well for us later in life. But, if our parents didn’t offer healthy parenting, they were enmeshed, not available, immature, not looking after our needs and didn’t protect us, then it was a different story. Things like I’m not good enough, not safe, my needs aren’t important come up.
In this world, we started to create a state of toxic shame. There must be something wrong with me. I am unlovable and must become what others want me to be in order to be loved. Also, I need to hide my flaws or I will be rejected. Defensive walls started to be built and we hid or became passive-aggressive.
As adults Dr Glover in his No More Mr Nice Guy book explains we live our adult life seeking approval, avoiding conflict, hiding our needs and wants. We also sign up with covert contracts, hiding our sexuality and seeking validation from women among other things.
If any of this is sounding familiar then book a free strategy session with me. I’m a recovering nice guy and will be your guide on the road to becoming a more integrated male.