Updated March 1st, 2019
Many years ago I was sitting on the couch with my girlfriend at the time, hearing her yell at me about something I don’t even remember. I was just looking at the wall pretending to pay attention when she immediately got wind of my daydreaming and said “yada yada your mother…yada yada yada….Sanjay WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!?”
“Ummm, you were talking about my mom and err…..Look, I’m a nice guy. A good person. I can’t fight over this.’
“Excuse me? Fight over what?”
“Well, to be honest…nothing.”
Are You a Nice Guy?
As self-serving as that statement may sound (and trust me, I know it sounds horrible), I’m proud to admit that I’m a nice guy.
I don’t mean nice in a I’m better than you sort of way.
I mean I’m nice like…I’m relaxed. Low maintenance. Easy going. And more often than not, even in those moments when you’re supposed to be selfish, like asking for a raise or getting the upper hand in business, success or romance with women (or men), I honestly don’t give a fu*k.
Does the World Care About Nice People?
We live in a world that appreciates people who are selfish. Trust me, I know. So do you. You’ve seen it and you’ve lived it.
Even the origin of the phrase “Nice Guys Finish Last” was meant to promote a victory in sports rivalries, which surprise surprise was based in New York. *cough wolf of Wallstreet cough*
When you answer that girl’s SMS/Whatsapp/Snapchat the second you see it, she thinks you’re desperate. When you hold off or actually get busy and don’t give a shit, you’re rewarded by becoming the predator from the prey.
The reward system of life encourages us to be selfish in many places, contrary to popular opinion. Every business uses terms like being cutthroat, being cocky, being aggressive and PLAY TO WIN.
All of us know this.
All of us take part in it.
Each of us is competitive with the other in these little social ecosystems we’ve all built for ourselves.
I’m guilty of it, and I’m only now recognizing it.
I used to think if this person did well in comedy or got a better show or a better video, it meant I wouldn’t. If my buddy pulled the most amazing girl at work, I was pretty much out of luck. We get so caught up in our little worlds and think that life is a zero-sum game (e.g. If I got the BMW, that means you won’t). It’s easy to think that way, but I’m here to tell you that when you step out of your bubble and look from the outside in, it’s far from reality. When you write “Happy Birthday” on someone’s Facebook and they don’t reciprocate back, you know who cares about that little battle you just think you lost?
So rather than trying to climb over everyone to hit the top of your mountain (and stress yourself out along the way)…maybe, just maybe…it’s time to embrace life as a nice guy.
Not necessarily because being nice is what your teacher told you. But because being selfish is honestly too much work.
If you’re the guy (or girl) who is always putting your friends or loved ones before yourself and didn’t expect them to return the favor, your life might actually become easier when you help others without expectation.
You won’t sit around waiting for karma (who is never on time by the way), you won’t keep a mental record of every good deed you did and to be honest, you’ll probably be a lot happier with your place in life given the new equation.
Being nice with expectations isn’t really being nice at all.
It’s a false notion of patting yourself on the back because you’re secretly waiting to be rewarded down the line, and you’re going to stress yourself out when it doesn’t happen.
Nice guys finish last.
Assholes finish first.
But it’s easier to be yourself than trying to pretend to be the badass you think you need to be.
I’ll happily answer your text because 90% of the time, my phone is next to me. Setting an alarm to reply back to you in two hours or two days, is honestly just not worth it.
How’s that for some relationships psychology?
Nice guys do finish last, but maybe that’s the point. I’d rather reach the top of the mountain with my friends (even if they go there first) rather than go at it alone, wondering where the hell everybody is.
Secondly, nice guys do finish last…but they do eventually finish.
And I guess in some areas in life (dirty joke intended), finishing last might not be a bad thing.
Sanjay Manaktala is one of the top stand up comedians in India who started building the comedy community in the country back in 2010. Since then his stand up comedy videos and podcasts have helped millions laugh or get motivated. His latest effort is the Birdy Num Num podcast, helping you learn creativity in life after engineering. You can learn about Sanjay here or check out his YouTube channel here.