Dismiss Notice

Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The "nice guy" chart

Discussion in 'Singles (only*)' started by MacFall, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    In an effort to put this issue to rest once and for all (which, I'm sure, will be futile but no harm in trying), I have constructed this chart to demonstrate why nice guys are so often wrongly maligned.

    There is a tendency to conflate the "nice guy" with someone who is passive or weak, and (inconsistently, to a lesser extent) to associate jerks with strength or bravery. People try to construct a linear scale with weak, passive nice men on once side, and strong, assertive bad boys on the other.

    However, there are two separate axes to that issue. By conflating them, people misrepresent all the possible types of people that can lie on the chart. So I have made a chart to demonstrate something closer to the truth. One axis represents "nice guys" vs. "jerks"; the other axis represents passivity vs. assertion.

    [​IMG]


    As you can see, there are different kinds of jerks, and different kinds of nice guys.

    There are passive nice guys: the wimps that constitute the usual strawman of those who criticize nice guys. They tend do be self-pitying or self-loathing, wishy-washy, and while they try not to hurt other people they may blame others for their problems. They will also let themselves be trampled by the objects of their affection. They, along with the next sort of person, are those who are described as "putting women on a pedestal" and pandering to women without regard for their own emotional and spiritual well-being.

    There are passive jerks, who we could call passive-aggressive, manipulators, whiners, and the like. They have a sense of entitlement, and really don't care much for the feelings or needs of others, but prefer to use wheedling and guilt instead of domination to get their way. Like the wimp, they may place women on a pedestal, but rather than servility, they engage in pitymongering, threats of abandonment, and subtle insults.

    There are assertive jerks, or bullies. These are the straight-up A-holes that openly ridicule and hurt others out of spite. The typically-imagined abuser would probably fall into this category.

    And then there are the other sort of nice guys, the ones that always seem to be left out of these conversations. Though they are kind-hearted and do not wish to hurt other people, they are not obsequious or indecisive. They are polite, but they stand up for themselves. They have ambition, but they prefer to take others with them instead of stepping on them on the way up.

    I made this chart in defense of the last kind of man. I think that there are far more of them than people - both the girls who tend to lump them in the friendzone along with the wimps, and the jerks who think that domination is a virtue - give credit for.
     
  2. Howard Cneal

    Howard Cneal New Member

    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    10
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Interesting...

    What I find interesting is that typical Christianity has done a great job of making the stereotypical "nice guy" a virtue in men. Rather than focus on being a strong, powerful, confident man, the church has typically told men to be bearded women. It has exalted self-abasement, humility and the putting of the opposite sex (as well as everyone else) far above one's self. In trying to model 'agape' the church has, in many ways, effectively neutered modern masculinity.

    Typically, when people (both men and women) describe the "nice guy" they are referring to the wimp. He's the one they cannot stand. The other guys may get somewhere with women, but cannot hold a relationship for any length of time because they are too insensitive and uncaring. Yet they are, at least, able to procure a phone number, a date, a one-night fling or a semblance of the beginning of a relationship.
     
  3. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    It would be fairer to say that modern Christians, along with the world, have confused agape with passivity and an impossible standard of altruism (impossible because people who act in love and charity are still acting according to their own preferences). Agape is neither passive nor aggressive; it can be quite assertive when it confronts evil, but it is also polite and humble.

    I disagree with this. A one-night stand or a fling are nothing close to the beginnings of a relationship. Romantic relationships encompass all aspects of two person's beings - emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical. Non-romantic relationships are all of those things except physical. A fling is physical only; maybe emotional to a highly limited extent. It is not the beginning of a relationship any more than a lump of metal is the beginnings of a car - it is a necessary component to the making of a car, but could just as easily be used to make something quite different, even contrary in purpose to a car.
     
  4. Howard Cneal

    Howard Cneal New Member

    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    10
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    I think agape can be aggressive. 'God is agape' yet He is also pretty confrontational and in-your-face in the OT. He certainly does not seem very passive when He talks about whetting his glittering sword or spreading dung upon the priests' faces because they weren't doing their jobs properly.


    A fling is definitely not the start of a relationship (as a rule - and if it was, that would be a very bad start to one, that). I was just merely pointing out the simple fact that being a typical "jerk" can yield success in many venues; whether the goal is a date, a fling, a phone number, flirting, etc. I wasn't saying that a relationship and fling are the same thing, because they are far from it, as you say. Either way, the stereotypical "jerks" are often the ones the 'nice guys' decry and become offended with, because of their said successes in such avenues.

    H. Cneal
     
  5. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    You're confusing assertion with aggression. Assertion requires standing up for your rights; aggression requires infringing on someone else's rights*. Agape is necessarily respectful of other people's rights, as "love does not demand its own way".

    *I'm aware that the word aggression is often conflated with assertion; it's difficult to imagine a coach telling his football team to "be assertive on the field". But in ethical/moral terms, the two concepts are quite distinct.
     
  6. broken_one

    broken_one Fear is but something to be overcome.

    Messages:
    10,710
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Methodist
    This is pretty good, Mac. I think that it's somewhat more cloudy than that at times (for instance, I can be a real jerk at times), but overall this is actually a really good diagram.

    Maybe if we could somehow cue that up with abusive/overbearing fathers, it would be more accurate though? I'm just thinking that a lot of the girls who I'm into are often quite a bit more mental than I am, and somehow the "nice guy" comes from simply being non-abusive. Just a thought.
     
  7. Howard Cneal

    Howard Cneal New Member

    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    10
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Not really. I don't think spreading dung on someone's face is simply just being assertive. That seems pretty aggressive to me. lol I don't see aggression as a bad thing, and I think most (Christian) Nice Guys could stand to be a little more 'aggressive' (or 'assertive' as you like to call it).

    Of course, ultimately, the goal is to be a 'gentleman' as you describe him. And that's definitely an ideal. I don't know if I'd put him in the 'nice' category, though. He's a strong, independent, powerful guy... (Sadly) being nice is often tantamount to being "weak" and supplicating, which women obviously despise. I think what you're calling assertion, I am calling aggression (so it's all semantics anyway). I don't advocate being one who bullies others or put them down to make one's self look good. That's not right. But I like the term 'aggressive' so much more. It has more impact, to me personally. Anyway...

    The book, 'No More Christian Nice Guy' deals with this whole topic in great detail. A buddy of mine read it, and it has drastically changed his way of thinking. He now realizes how crippling it can be to be a typical "nice guy" and is starting to learn how to avoid the pitfalls and snares of being a so-called "Christian Nice Guy". I've glanced at it, and it seems to make some pretty solid points. Have you heard of the book?
     
  8. Thunder Peel

    Thunder Peel Did you build the smellascope ?

    Messages:
    12,500
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I still think the line is a bit hazy sometimes. How nice is too nice? How assertive can you be until you become a jerk? I don't think the lines are as clear as some make them out to be but I'd like to hear what others have to say about it.
     
  9. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    Messages:
    28,081
    Likes Received:
    387
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    The same person can be all over that map.
     
  10. MehGuy

    MehGuy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    34,931
    Likes Received:
    343
    Gender:
    Male
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Democrat
    Faith:
    Atheist
    IDK when I talk about nice guys I usually am talking about the pushovers, the guys that are afraid to have sex with women, like crying during it or something. But I guess its also the guys who are too gentleman like all the time as well. Though they are certainly better than the men who abuse their women.

    Like I said sometimes you gotta learn how to push. We are not the most PC species in the world and I'd assume your Bible confirms that.
     
  11. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    Not really. As God is the creator of the world, his rights encompass whatever he wants to do with it. But we, his creatures, are forbidden to do many things which he has the right to do.

    You can call it "being a horse" if you want, but that wouldn't be correct either. Words have meanings for a reason, and that reason is to distinguish concepts from one another - and assertion and aggression are separate concepts.

    I have, and I haven't read enough of it to make a judgment. But I've seen books that purport to make so-called "nice guy" Christians into (the author's idea of) "real men", which really do nothing more than encourage Christian men to adopt a definitively un-Christlike attitude, because the authors prefer not to acknowledge that meekness, humility, gentleness, and a basic respect for other people are among the virtues which Christ commanded to us.
     
  12. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    Yes; even those who will be counted as righteous still sin.
     
  13. Stravinsk

    Stravinsk Neo Baroque/Rococo Classical Artist

    Messages:
    6,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Widow/Widower
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Other-Religion
    There is a conspicuous lack of female input into this thread.

    Methinks they are all conversing and giggling in the corner at the collective headspin they have put men into - as evidenced by men who attempt to categorize and strain personalities out of broad archetypes.

    Just know your cave and carry a big club. That is all you need. :D:D:D
     
  14. Howard Cneal

    Howard Cneal New Member

    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    10
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    I don't believe God is a hypocrite, with different rules for us than He has for Himself. Ephesians 5 tell us to be imitators of God, so that's what I believe we are to do. (No, I'm not telling you to go around spreading dung on people's faces. lol)


    A rose by any other name...
    I'm curious, what is your source, in terms of 'how' you define aggressive vs. assertive. Can you cite specifically where you are drawing those two terms from?


    I wouldn't lump that book in that category. And frankly, the world often offers far BETTER advice on how to be confident and have success with women than the church does. The church often, effectively neuters men and makes Jesus into a woman with beard, when the Bible calls Him a "Man of War". YHVH is often spoken of in terms of a warrior, who strikes down His enemies and pities those He protects. He fights for what He believes in and leads others.

    I have personal experience which demonstrates that being a kind, nice, supplicating push-over, who is willing to do anything to win the girl he loves, will get you nowhere with women. Fast. Especially church-going girls. They are particularly resistant to the prototypical 'nice guy', which is why so many often simply don't date. Or go after a 'worldly jerk', to which the christian nice guys all cry "Unfair".

    The bottomline is, if your current approach isn't working or getting you the results you want, then something needs to change to get different results. It's no different with women. Women respond to confidence. Women respond to masculinity. One can definitely be like Jesus and be successful with the opposite sex. It requires a strong, determined spirit, one that doesn't back down when challenged, one that leads and doesn't care what others think, one that will do what is right, no matter the cost. The truth is, we can become religious about things and think we're being 'spiritual' but are we doing so at the cost of losing something else? If God wanted men and women to act alike, He'd have never created us so differently.
     
  15. Deacon

    Deacon New Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    33
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Protestant
    I am more gentleman then Bully....but I am very assertive in many things...I believe in discipline...so when I see a bully being well a bully....I punch him in the face....and be nice to the person being bullied....I'm a protector of the innocent....I'm Batman..

    [​IMG]
     
    Wren likes this.
  16. BranwenUerchLlyr

    BranwenUerchLlyr Veteran

    Messages:
    2,408
    Likes Received:
    19
    Faith:
    Other-Religion
    :D

    The only input I have to offer is if I hear the word "friendzone" one more time, I'm gonna flip.

    Note to guys: I don't want to have sex with 99.9999repeating% of you and never will. There are guys of all flavors that fall into that percentage of non-sex, including thousands upon thousands of examples in every one of the OP's categories. That doesn't make me a heartless ____.

    A guy at my new job that's been exceedingly friendly got mad at me today because I have a boyfriend that I wasn't interested in cheating on. I'm sure he feels like his pride has been bruised because I dared friendzone him despite his efforts. Doesn't he deserve a little action or at least a chance? How typical-woman of me.
     
  17. Deacon

    Deacon New Member

    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    33
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Protestant

    Actually he deserves to be punched in his junk and then uppercutted in his face...
     
  18. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    Why? Is there a better word for what happens when a woman in whom a man has a romantic interest decides that the man is "just a friend" and refuses to consider dating him?

    It's not necessarily saying the woman is doing something wrong; it's just a convenient way to refer to a common phenomenon wherein the fault can lie with either party, or there may be no fault at all. My objection is to the idea that I have encountered that guys who aren't jerks are only good as friends and nothing more.
     
  19. MacFall

    MacFall Agorist

    Messages:
    12,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Others
    Faith:
    Christian
    Then you aren't "imitating God" with 100% consistency, are you?

    God has the right to decide who lives and who dies, regardless of who they are or what they have done. We do not have the right to make such a decision on that scale - we have rules, from God, about when it is permissible to end lives. That doesn't make God a hypocrite, it only makes him greater than us in terms of his just power. Some things he has delegated to us as moral agents; other things he has not: he retains those things to Himself.

    The dictionary. The definitions accepted in ethics and psychology, which make them those which are useful in this discussion, are based in the words etymologies: "assertion" comes from the latin word which means a statement of defense (in a legal sense), or a positive statement. "Aggression" comes from the Latin word for an unprovoked attack. Thus, you assert your rights; you aggress against the rights of others.

    The Bible also calls him "The Prince of Peace". Nor does a recognition of God as a "man of war" invalidate the beatitudes. How do you factor "blessed are the meek" into your worldview?

    Kindness is part of the fruit of the spirit. So is gentleness. If a woman doesn't find that attractive, that's her problem.

    The problem that I am trying to address here is the idea that being kind, meek, humble, gentle, peaceful and other aspects clearly demonstrated and COMMANDED TO US by Christ is the same thing as being weak, passive, or a pushover. That is not true. It is a damnable lie.
     
    Kirisutokyoo-shinja likes this.
  20. broken_one

    broken_one Fear is but something to be overcome.

    Messages:
    10,710
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Methodist
    FTR: the whole idea of the "friendzone" is that you're in-between.

    If you Branwen specifically say that you see this guy as a friend and he gets upset, yeah it's stupid. Once declared, it's done. Guys have to move on.

    But if he was an acquaintance for months and you went on things that seemed objectively quite a bit like "dates", and then you start randomly sleeping with some other guy and he gets upset, that's a different story. Do you get it?
     
Loading...