Nice Guys aren’t Good Men.

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Are you a nice guy or a good man?

If that seems like an odd question, bear with me for a moment, because there is a distinct difference between the two.

A nice guy will tell a pretty lie to avoid the discomfort of telling an ugly truth. A good man will deliver the truth, however unpleasant, because his integrity will not let him deceive anyone for his own comfort.

A nice guy will do nice things with unspoken expectations attached. He will take a woman on a date, expecting to get something in return. A good man does things without expectation of a payoff, but because he is acting in accordance with his core values. Should he receive a return—it’s simply a bonus.

A nice guy is worried about his reputation, but a good man is only concerned with his character.

A nice guy fears rejection and so he seeks validation. A good man is self-validated and does not tie his worth to whether he is accepted or rejected.

A nice guy will cloak his intentions and be unclearwhile a good man will be upfront with his intentions and be very clear about his aim. The good man leaves no space for ambiguity.

A nice guy will have loose boundaries and will bend over backwards just to seem nice. A good man has clear boundaries andthus, earns the respect of the people around him.

A nice guy will smother his current love interest and will make her the center of his universe. A good man will give appropriate attention to a lover without becoming overbearing or taking over her life.

A nice guy will blame others, circumstances, or fate for his lot in life. A good man recognizes his role in whatever has transpired, takes responsibility and, when necessary, redirects his course.

A nice guy will make lofty promises to look good while a good man will only make the promises he knows he can keep.

A nice guy wants to play the knight in shining armor, but is quick to disappear when sh*t gets real. A good man knows it’s not his job to rescue anyone but will show up and have your back when needed.

A nice guy will discard anything and anyone that is no longer useful to him. A good man will respect another persons’ inherent dignity and treat them kindly even when they no longer have a role or purpose in his life-plan.

A nice guy lacks leadership abilities and is content to let others guide his life. A good man takes charge of his life and becomes the master of his own fate.

A nice guy will do anything to avoid hurting someone’s feelings while a good man realizes that sometimes, the kindest thing one can do for another may initially be hurtful, but will eventually be helpful.

A nice guy will say what others want to hear while a good man will say what others need to hear.

A nice guy won’t apologize even when he’s wrong because he thinks it makes him weak. A good man is quick with apologies and even faster with reparations.

A nice guy lives in service of himself and his desires while a good man lives in service of humanity.

At the core, the major difference between a nice guy and a good man is that a nice guy is concerned with appearances and etiquette. The good man is concerned with character and morality.

The nice guy takes the easy road. The good man is committed to his development and is willing to do the work to become a good man. The good man realizes that he is not going to get there by taking shortcuts, in life, business, or relationships.

The good man will do the work, and reap the benefits while the nice guy looks on in envy.

If you’re a nice guy, it’s okay. You can become a good man.

Start by speaking your truth, owning your life and choices, and start living for a higher purpose.

Start making decisions that align with being a good man. Change your approach to living.

If you’re a good man—thank you. The world needs more of you.



Author: Lisa Vallejos 

Image: Unsplash/Toa Heftiba / Flickr

Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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Vincent Boyd Sep 6, 2018 11:47am

What a bunch of touchie feelie, preachie-weachie, opinionated bullshit! I mean give me a break.

Val Spicer Jul 18, 2018 9:34pm

And please note this is the same for women as well

Quinn E Darrow Jun 18, 2018 10:10am

Dr. Lisa Vallejos I agree that these so-called "nice guys" may be lacking in character, assertiveness, and confidence. But so are many of the women that are with these "nice guys". Why call out only one side of the coin? Or do you feel that only men should strive to exhibit character, assertiveness, and confidence?

Quinn E Darrow Jun 18, 2018 10:02am

Dr. Lisa Vallejos "Thank you Barbara." Your post agrees with me completely so I shall label it articulate and thoughtful. But I still won't give it any kind of substansive response.

Quinn E Darrow Jun 18, 2018 9:59am

Dr. Lisa Vallejos You may welcome differing opinions, but by your own words you're unwilling to debate with anyone that disagrees with you. You are definitely sounding a great deal like the "Nice Guy" you have demonized.

Quinn E Darrow Jun 18, 2018 9:56am

Walter Pacheco I agree, there were no personal attacks in what you said. The essence of all her responses are essentially "Thank you for commenting". She does not seem willing to engage with anyone that has any substansive criticism of her article.

Quinn E Darrow Jun 18, 2018 9:52am

Jessica M Henke The study you failed to link to only asked men in the coutries of Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, and Palestine. And the women in those countries, percentage-wise, believe it almost as much. The study has nothing to do with what men in Western cultures believe.

Ned Roulston Mar 30, 2018 12:19am

Thea Ross This is a perfect example of marketing. She's polarizing the audience so half love her and half are angry at being insulted, either way people are talking about it and that gets attention, which equals sales. Im sorry you've experienced such shallow people. I suggest you reconsider the criteria you use to filter your suitors. I don't deny that there's plenty of lousy men out there, but just as many are kind candid gentlemen who don't really need someone else to define them

Keith OSteen Mar 18, 2018 11:16pm

Uh...your hypothetical "nice guy" isnt very nice at all. A truly nice guy would autmatically also be a good man.

Liz Garside Mar 4, 2018 12:09am

Omg so true

NJ Thompson Mar 4, 2018 12:09am

So wrong. So very wrong. Let me help you out. 1. "A nice guy will do nice things with unspoken expectations attached." Nope. That's rather the antithesis of nice. That's a jerk. 2. "A nice guy is worried about his reputation." The one has absolutely no correlation to the other. Where did you come up with that? Oh...make a point about character seem more valid. Falacious reasoning. 3. "A nice guy fears rejection." You spelled "everyone" wrong. 4. "A nice guy will blame others, circumstances, or fate for his lot in life." (This may have been my biggest "wtf??" moment in this piece.) That would be a narcissistic jackass, not a "nice guy". HUGE difference. (Seriously???) 5. "A nice guy will discard anything and anyone that is no longer useful to him." Once again: the absolute opposite of nice. People who do this are not nice; therefore your premise here is (once again) wildly off the mark. 6. "A nice guy won't apologize even when he's wrong". What guys have you been hanging around with? They sure as hell aren't nice. Every "nice guy" I've known apologized all over the place, even when they weren't wrong (which is why they were perceived as weak). 7. "A nice guy lives in service to himself and his desires". Once AGAIN, not the definition of "nice". (You really should have looked that word up before using it so many times. You're giving the indication that you've never experienced nice things or people before.) Ridiculous article. Very disappointed

Didy Didy Mar 3, 2018 4:18am

Excellent read!

Doug Langille Jan 29, 2018 6:13pm

I came across this article a while ago and refer to it often as I work through my journey away from narcissistic and gaslighting behaviors. It's a good mental model. Some of the comments here miss the point and that's sad. Being a good man is as much about the journey as the destination.

Alex Wong Jan 13, 2018 11:47pm

Successful marriage is based on lies

Igor Drvendžija Jan 8, 2018 1:14am

This is a gem! Awesome read.

Del Zamora Dec 24, 2017 12:37am

This is spot on Ms. Vallejos. Some will not like it for the same reasons stated in your article. The truth can sometimes be considered as rude, obnoxious, opinionated, etc. In reality, truth is avoided by many in our society. Truth can be ugly, or unpleasant. However its beauty lies in being what it is. The Truth. My father was one of these nice men, who manipulated, seduced and used many beautiful women. They adored him at first. However, the real person is eventually revealed, and that is when they realized how they were deceived by him. His top shelf good looks, strong sexuality, and fun personality, seduced them. He also taook advantage of men, sleeping with their wives, defeating them in business, etc. He was married 8 times. None of his past wives has any respect for him, once his niceness was revealed for what it was. Manipulation. You described him perfectly, when you compared nice, versus good. I am a good man, because I was raised by my amazing Mother. Our father, left when I was 5 years old. My sisters were 18 months old, and newborn, when he left us. He never paid child suppport and burned the candle on both ends, ensuring that he would die young (58). He was a player, a functioning alcoholic, successful businessman, that bed almost all of the women that worked under him. He was a classic sexual harraser. He for some reason, got away with almost all of this. His looks and personality, made people adore him. His step children adore him. I think that even if they heard how he put down their Mothers, they would have liked him just as much. He had that teflon personality. My Mother is my hero. She raised us by herself, worked a full time job, and got her BA Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Mexico (Sociology), and her MFA Summa Cum Laude from California State University at Sacramento. How she did this, amazes all of us. She is a KIND person, who in the end, lived a much more successful life, than my father did. Yes, he was wealthy, while he was alive; however he drank himself to death. and was never really happy inside. He was a nice man, admired by many, but he was never, ever a kind man. Thank you for writing this piece. It resonated with me.

Dr. Iz Dec 23, 2017 4:26pm

That's not nice.

Dr. Iz Dec 23, 2017 4:26pm

VIRTUE is its own reward -- ROMANS.

Dr. Iz Dec 23, 2017 1:25pm

Good luck with that. Is nice writing good writing? And who is to judge? Careful what you ask for. Co-dependence runs deep. How can you be the martyr you want to be without finding the persecutor you need? Or being it? So much for Bohemian Soul-searching. Keep us posted. It may turn our you're a little confused, but will you be able to admit it? Try not to damage too many people along the way. Lastly, consider: Strength , Honor, Mastery and Courage. A PhD should be able to identify truth. All is calm, all is bright.

Miran Shah Dec 21, 2017 4:51am

"Nice article" but methinks you have greater chances of finding a unicorn! The good man sounds like a normative ideal who is probably living happily every after with some good woman in nowhere land. Apologies for the cynicism but....

Rachel Leber Dec 20, 2017 10:06pm

Rachel Leber Dec 20, 2017 10:06pm

Arthur Andrews

Rachel Leber Dec 20, 2017 10:05pm

Brent Colacchio check out this book, if you are interested in learning more:

Rachel Leber Dec 20, 2017 10:04pm

I suggest reading this book. It is actually a psychological phenomenon that has been identified in men, not just by women but by the men themselves.

Rachel Leber Dec 20, 2017 10:03pm

actually, sometimes "nice guys" aren't being malicious, they are just disowning parts of themselves and are afraid to show up as who they really are, for fear of rejection. I'm not defending these behaviors—I am only saying it is not either "asshole" or "good man" or a player disgusing himself as a nice person . .I have been with " a nice guy" for a long time and I love him but the relatonship is not tenable as it is not based on truth and authenticity. It is sad, and, I have compassion for him, and I have compassion for myself as well. He knows he has work to do, and, at the moment, he isn't able to do the level of work that it would take to really show up as a "good man" and still struggles with "being nice" when he really feels a different way . ..