on 13 March 2015
This is a book that has had a huge impact on me after the first reading - I am about to start reading again (as advised by the author)
The astonishing thing about this book is that it in every page the author seems to know me personally. I kept thinking 'that's me - I do that!' At first it was a bit scary and then hugely reassuring to know that my outook on life was so well understood and so commonly represented by millions of men around the world.
Dr Glover takes apart the myth that the world today (especially women) want and respect 'nice guys'. Let's be clear, this book does not advocate being a jerk. It is not about being horrible, nasty, dumping on others or any other negative view that might spring to mind with this title. The author agonised a bit over the title and it has probably put a few off buying it but the thing is that Dr Glover explains in depth the issues of the 'nice guy' and so he is being real to himself and his readers by sticking to the title.
If you are the sort of person who belives that others come first, that it is selfish to seek anything for yourself, that it is better to 'settle' than get what is your right - the right to achieve the most happiness that you can in this short life, then this is for you.
So this is a book in two parts (albeit that they thread together). It points out common traits and behaviors, then it tells you why (including a history lesson that is very revealing) and then it gives you some great pointers about turning things around. You will also find out that Dr Glover has spoken to many women on this subject and they simply endorse the views that he talks about - that might be a shock to you!
Sadly, I expanded my interest by signing up for one of his online classes and found that to be simply a money-spinner. The content is shallow, Dr Glover does not give any or at least hardly any of his time to each class , you are set homework in a discussion group that leaves you floundering to decide if you are on the right track or not. Quite pricey and really not necessary - enjoy the book and leave it at that.
To your happiness ...
on 6 December 2011
The writers of all the glowing reviews must have read a different book, because I found nothing to recommend about it. The author states it took him 6 years to put this together, several re-writes and massive edits. It shows, because the book is a jumbled mess of incoherent ideas, which manages to take 180 pages to say very little at all. Like many 'self help' books actually, so the author shouldn't feel too bad on that front. Despite a rigid structure of chapters with well divided sub chapters, they all seem to meander all over the place without ever actually making a point. The advertised 'proven plan' seems to basically be at every stage, attend a Men's group based around the 'nice guy' idea, and vent your issues to so called 'safe people' within this group. So that they can pat you on the back and tell you it's okay to be who you are.
If you are already happy with who you are, and a reasonably confident individual, but yet you are still nice to people, this book doesn't really give you anywhere to go. So I guess we alternative "nice guys" just carry on as we are, huh Doc?
Getting the life you want, is referring to the typical American dream, make a million, run a business, have nice material things, beautiful wife etc. It is also massively American in that, apparently if one guy can have all this, then so can you if you simply put your mind to it and work hard, pretty laughable, the author takes the view that the world is full of abundance. It is funny how wealthy Americans often share this view, I wonder what the people on the breadline might make of that idea.
The European culture is so very different from across the pond, I don't think the ideas here too well to our world view, there are similar problems like this throughout the rest of the book.
I saw a lot of myself in the book from some angles, the problem is that according to the author everything the nice guy does is basically false, and done only to garner approval from people, or based around the belief that if he does X he will get Y. Apparently nobody can do things selflessly. Which as far as I'm concerned is nonsense. I do things to help people because I want to, and I don't expect anything in return, nor do I get bitter about things not being returned. He then goes on to contradict this idea later on in the book, by saying that in order to get what you want, to have to ask other people to help you. But how can other people possibly want to help you, if nobody does anything to help anyone without expecting something in return? It seems to be saying, be selfish and take advantage of others who are less selfish and more giving. It's okay to do this because you have a "syndrome" that you are attempting to get over, and the other people, presumably, don't.
The nice guy syndrome is apparently all down to childhood abandonment experiences, even those very minor things, this conveniently explains why most of us will be able to relate to the 'nice guy' because we will all have had some abandonment of some sort, no matter how perfect an upbringing we recieved. Coupled with the fact that Daddy went off to war (so wasn't around) and Mommy became liberated (men are bad, do things the woman way). There is an obsession with Mothers running through the book and I think this speaks massive volumes about the authors own issues that he may or may not have overcome than it does about any great theory beyond that.
In that (brief) chapter on relationships and love, he states that by following this advice/programme (what programme?) your relationship will either flourish or fall apart. Great, that pretty much covers all the options Doc, good work. If you aren't being yourself, and then you suddenly change to be yourself, it is obvious that turbulence will arise in a relationship. Solution, be yourself, not rocket science. If you want a useful book on relationships try "I Love You But I'm Not In Love with You by Andrew Marshall".
The sex chapter (undoubtedly why most people will buy the book, because it says "sex" on the front cover, and as nice guys we aren't getting enough) states that in order to get sex you should; not avoid sex (duh), do not try to be a good lover don't focus on pleasing your partner, don't hide your porn addiction, don't settle for 'bad sex' and finally don't repress your life energy. Which frankly is about as vague a statement as you could ever make, and he doesn't explain what he means, short of that if you suppress your life energy, you become less desirable. Basically referring to underconfident overly nice people not having sex appeal I think, but frankly he could be meaning anything.
Do not fantasise, it is unhealthy, do not masturbate to visual aids, i.e. pornography. Learn to masturbate purely for the pleasure of doing it, and not for reaching a goal, i.e climax. The author attempts to define 'good sex' and in doing so peaks in his ability to state things in the vaguest of notions, wibbling on about energy, it wouldn't be out of place in something one might read about tantric sex.
The final chapter is something akin to what you might find in a Dale Carnegie book, though with added American schmaltz; how to get what you want out of life without sabotaging yourself (make your own decisions, face your fears, take responsibility, don't act the victim etc), and if that is what you are after, then Carnegie would be a far better read. People have been copying and publishing self help books with his ideas for a long time and with good reason. You will learn nothing new or useful here.
I was actually quite irritated and frustrated by the end, particularly when the author suggests you go back and read it all again, presumably because he knows how incoherent the whole thing reads. It promises so much, and delivers so very little.
Even for the light couple of hours read that it is, do not waste your time.