Being Men: Redeeming the Nice Guy

There are 5 relational styles men use to hide. The second style is called, “The Nice Guy.”

The “Nice Guy” is the constant people pleaser. He appears  kind and caring and never seems to have a shirt on because he is always giving it to someone else. Often he looks at you with big eyes wondering, “How can you blame me?” Therefore, you leave feeling more at fault. This is how he avoids conflict and remains unassertive. The Pastor is the exemplar of this relational type.

In contrast to the Nice Guy is the Warrior.

The Warrior is not the antithesis of the Nice Guy, but he is willing to take the strengths of the nice guy–concern and care for others–and defend them at all costs. Rather than seek self-preservation to win people’s approval, he strives to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Instead of soft eyes that ask, “How can you blame me?” he possesses steely blue eyes that take responsibility and action.

It was once a high honor to say “I am a Warrior.” These were the men who would, at great personal cost, sacrifice themselves for the common good. Their lives had a clear mission.

Warriors live by a discernible Code of Ethics and not the whims of human approval.

Warriors are competitive, but in the healthiest and purest sense of the word. The Latin root means “to strive in common” or “to strive after something in company with another.” Therefore, A Warrior wants to “strive together” with others. It is not to destroy the competition but to mutually strengthen each other. At the same time, it is not the Nice Guy who prioritizes the “togetherness” at the expense of the “striving.”

They want to “spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” Warriors want to place themselves shoulder to shoulder with other men looking to run one step faster and further. Therefore, Warriors are always looking to put themselves into contact with other Warriors. Warriors fight together for the greater good, while mercenaries fight alone and for their own benefits.

Peter Sagal captures the Warrior mindset when describing his running group. “Your running friends should be roughly at your level of fitness, with similar goals. You get no benefit from running with people you can’t keep up with, or who can’t keep up with you. But the key word is “roughly”–ideally, you should be the second-slowest person in your group. Having a number of friends who are constantly just ahead of you on the track, just a little more comfortable and faster in the long runs, who can go just a little further without a break, means you will be constantly pushing yourself to catch up, keep up and keep going, and pressing your limits means you will constantly be improving. Any running is good; but running on the edge of your ability, after comfort and before crisis is best….Why the second slowest? Because it sucks to be last.” It’s the Nice Guy who puts himself last…or is so worried about offending, upsetting, or causing conflict that he will not even show up to run with the Warriors.

The Nice Guy avoids conflict; the Warrior understands that healthy conflict is where strength, resiliency and perseverance reside. Nice Guys either avoid or accommodate when there is conflict. Warriors seek to compromise and collaborate without dominating.

Unfortunately, our culture has diminished the need for the Warrior because it has mistakenly ignored the reality of evil in the world. It would rather prioritize the tolerant Nice Guy out of fear of “toxic masculinity.” This means that evil, in our culture and in our own lives, remains unchecked.

Action Steps for Warriors–

Write down your Code of Ethics.

Write down three fellow Warriors who embody that Code of Ethics.

Identify the places of evil that need to be changed by that Code.

Take Action.

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