Note: This is a 3 part email sequence, all the 3 parts have been compiled in this blog post. Each email is separately labeled.
What's going on brother,
It's that time of the month again where we dive into a vital recovery subject so that you can take another step towards freedom.
We're dealing with a big one, especially among Christian men... Nice Guy Syndrome (NGS).
This is a term coined by Dr. Robert Glover whose seminal book, "No More Mr Nice Guy" has literally sold millions of copies since its release many years ago.
The first time I heard of Nice Guy Syndrome, I immediately thought to myself, "What's wrong with being a nice guy?"
Then someone told me that's literally the first clue that you have NGS. Crap.
If you take a look at scripture, you observe that kindness is celebrated and encouraged. It's even listed as a fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5.
But nowhere in the Bible is being nice applauded.
A while back, I shared with you all the dirty dets about my relationship with my ex, and why we were so dysfunctional.
I also shared that the relationship ended when she cheated on me with her ex.
I vividly remember going home the night I found out, crying myself to sleep, waking up in the morning and saying to myself, "That's it! No more Mr. nice guy."
Maybe you can relate...
-Have a hard time saying 'no'
-Sacrifice your own needs and desires to appease others
-Make decisions based on how others will feel
-Rarely set boundaries in relationships
-Struggle to speak up for yourself
-Sugarcoat the truth
-Secretly hope people meet your needs without you communicating them
These are classic NGS symptoms.
I was the KING of them.
It was all about keeping the peace and making others happy, even if it was at my own expense.
So when my ex cheated on me, and I concluded I was done being a nice guy, you'd think that would've been a good thing.
But truly – I was hurt and I wanted my revenge. And "No More Mr. Nice Guy" simply meant I was done trying to be a good person to others.
Some of you reading this might have had similar experiences where you got hurt, concluded that your kindness was the culprit, and became bitter and calloused as a result to ensure you don't get burned again.
Now, I wish I could tell you that I've delivered all the bad news and we can get on to the more encouraging and uplifting stuff, but I actually have to make one more difficult point first.
Nice Guy Syndrome always leads to ruin.
Read that line again.
Not sometimes. Not most of the time. ALWAYS.
As long as you allow NGS to persist in your life, you will experience a mix of:
-Resentment and bitterness
-"Cheap intimacy" – affairs, porn, compulsions, etc.
Do any of those apply to you?
If they do, you're probably struggling with NGS more than you realize.
Now, for some good news.
Nearly every client we've ever served struggled with NGS.
(I thought he was giving us good news?)
There is an unmistakable link between NGS and porn addiction.
If you can solve the root issues of one, you automatically solve the root issues of the other.
In tomorrow's email, I'm going to show you how.
We're smack in the middle of a series on Nice Guy Syndrome – something that many men around the world struggle with.
It's time to uncover the real causes of NGS and what you can do about it.
Today's email starts with a trip down memory lane...
It's summer 2014. I'm interning at the ministry school that literally changed my life (their program is where I began to experience freedom from porn).
My role was Small Group Leader. I was the pastoral support for a group of about 6 guys, and then I also got to lead a 3-week outreach where we did ministry around the world. It was fun.
In-between semesters, all 8 SGLs at the school rented a cottage for a few days to get away from the hustle and bustle.
We had a BLAST – campfires, canoeing, long nights and deep chats. There's nothing like your early 20s man. Life was bliss.
Now there's a critical piece of information that I left out.
I had a pretty big crush on one of the SGLs.
So in addition to all the great friendships that were being built on this trip, I was hoping to build a little something else too, if you know what I mean.
One more important detail...
We were all super poor lol.
This was an unpaid internship. Our food and accommodation were covered, but not a penny more. So we were all relying on the meagre savings we had built up prior to the school.
To put it another way – none of us owned a car.
Having a rented vehicle for the weekend opened up many more options because we didn't have to rely on public transit.
On the late-night drive home from the cottage, some of the girls (including the girl I liked) got all excited when they realized that we could stop at Krispy Kreme the next morning before we return the car.
My Nice-Guy ears perked up.
The next morning I woke up pretty early. I think I was still wired from all the driving.
I checked the group chat to see if there were any talks about Krispy Kreme.
Everyone was still sleeping. They probably forgot about the Krispy Kreme plans by now anyway.
So I thought to myself, "I'll do one better. I'll bring the doughnuts to them."
I got in the car and started driving to Krispy Kreme, it was about 25 minutes away.
15 minutes into the drive, I got a text (from the girl I liked).
"Hey! Are you still down to drive us to Krispy Kreme?"
Obviously I'm down.
But I was also already on my way.
So either I had to turn around and play it off like I wasn't trying to be a hero, or I had to tell her I was already on my way to Krispy Kreme which would show that I basically tried to make this thing happen with them them (her).
"Yep! I'm good to go in 15, that work?" I texted back.
On the drive back to pick them up, I remember thinking, "All I had to do was a send a text to the group to see where everyone was at before I left. Why did I try to be a hero?"
I'll tell you why.
It's the same reason that drives NGS in men around the world...
I was bound by a contract.
You see, all Nice Guys form 3 Covert Contracts (which are discussed at length in my interview with Dr. Robert Glover).
1) If I am a good guy, then everyone will love me and like me (and people I desire will desire me).
2) If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask.
3) If I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life.
My Krispy Kreme debacle is a classic example of covert contract #1.
You know what's funny?
These covert contracts always lead to:
-Fear of rejection & abandonment
... literally the top 3 drivers of porn addiction.
If you get your needs met healthily, experience godly intimacy, and learn to love yourself apart from people's acceptance of you – you become unstoppable, destroying porn addiction and NGS in the process.
Which is why by solving porn addiction, you can solve NGS too (and vice versa).
But the reality is that as long as you've made these covert contracts – NGS will prevail in your life.
To break out of NGS, you ultimately have you fire yourself. You have to terminate the contracts forever.
And it all starts with one simple concept: Knowing your worth.
We're going to break all of that down tomorrow. If you haven't already, make sure you check out my interview with Dr. Glover to get some more info in the meantime.
PS. In the end, everyone got their doughnuts, they were delicious. And things never worked out with that girl (thank God - my wife is way better).
Alright my man, we are wrapping up this series on Nice Guy Syndrome with some SUPER practical stuff.
Here's the thing...
We can talk about Nice Guy Syndrome all day...
You have this, I have that. Blah blah blah.
And I can provide you some useful advice or concepts that make you go "Yeah that makes sense. Cool story bro."
And then we continue living miserable, nice guyed lives.
Rotting in relationship dysfunction.
Porn addiction escalating.
Fully aware of why we're so messed up, yet no tools to actually do anything about it.
That's no way to live.
So that's why today we are getting practical, and I am going to cut straight to the chase.
Can I be real with you?
There is at least one relationship in your life right now that needs boundaries that you have been too afraid to set.
Boundaries are not the only thing that sets you free from NGS, but truth be told, nothing better reveals someone's recovery from NGS than their ability to set boundaries.
If you're not willing to set boundaries, you're not willing to be free.
What are the relationships where you're being taken advantage of, neglected, disrespected, undervalued, etc?
Those relationships need a boundary, and they need it ASAP.
Read Dr. Henry Cloud's book on boundaries if you want some help with this. He's the pro.
To break out of porn addiction, NGS, and anything alike, the reality is that you must be willing to risk rejection.
Our third pillar in recovery is "Establish Your Identity". The motto for this pillar is "I would rather be 100% my true self and rejected than 80% my true self and accepted."
Chew on that one for a bit.
There is an area of your life right now where you want to grow, heal, expand, learn, express, etc.
But somehow your fear of rejection has been gnawing at you, keeping you at bay.
Enough's enough. Risk the rejection and what what happens.
DITCH THE CHEAP STUFF
You've probably heard the saying before "You can do it right or you can do it twice."
I'm frustrated by how many men I see struggling with porn addiction, NGS, etc., all because they are cheaping out on solutions.
When you skimp on solutions that address deep, fundamental parts of your life, you are communicating to yourself that you are not worth it.
So let me say this to you straight up: You are worth investing in.
And if you struggle with self-worth, self-esteem, etc (all drivers of NGS and porn addiction as we've discussed) – then every time you choose a cheap solution to fix your issues, you reinforce your low self-worth.
Make an investment that will cost you something – time, energy and/or money.
Your actions have to convey that you actually believe you're worth it.
Dr. Robert Glover runs retreats, camps, and workshops helping with NGS – check them out. He is fantastic at his job.
And you may know that I run an all-inclusive program helping men quit porn.
As I mentioned at the start of this series, nearly every client we've had has NGS. So we're getting pretty good at helping guys like you address porn addiction and NGS at the same time.
If that's something you're interested in, book a call with someone on my team and we'll see if our program is a good fit for you.
In the meantime, remember that this world doesn't need more nice guys.
Kind guys, sure.
Gentle guys, great!
But not nice ones.
Break the covert contracts, dare to set a boundary, and start acting like you are worth it.
The truth is – you are.
PS. Due to demand, we are limited with our coaching slots right now, so if that link didn't have anything available, try this one instead.
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