Customer Reviews: No More Mr Nice Guy
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on January 9, 2007
No More Mr. Nice Guy is a GREAT book However, the title is misleading, the purpose of the book is to boost confidence and help men reclaim power in their lives, it does not make men jerks. The author points out that you are the only person on this planet responsible for your needs, wants, and happiness. By boosting a man's confidence and ensuring the man's needs are met, women are naturally more attractive to these men. The greatest aphrodisiac is self-confidence.

The characteristics of "Nice Guys" are men who have difficulty setting boundaries in relationships with women and become doormats. The men often feel as helpless victims and seeing another person as the cause of problems. Many nice guys live life trying to gain approval for others.

Many nice guys did not have their needs met as boys. As a coping mechanism to try to get their needs met, they try to be nice. Later in life, Nice Guys apply the skills learned as a boy in dealing with women - by being nice - it does not work. When being nice does not work, the Nice Guys try to be even nicer.

Men need to set healthy boundaries in relationships with women. Avoiding conflicts in relationships is problematic - Women do not feel safe with a man they know they can push around. A woman wants to know you will stand up to her. That is how she will feel secure in the relationship. There is a catch - she has to test to see if she can trust you. When you set a boundary, she may strongly test and push against the boundary. She will tell you that you are wrong for having the boundary and do her best to find out if the boundary is for real. Generally, when women feel secure, they feel loved. When a man stands up to a woman, she believes he will likely stand up for her. Setting boundaries creates respect and makes women feel secure and feel loved.

Around 50%+ of marriages end in divorce and usually the mother has primary custody. This places the boy in a subservient position to women and minimizes the father's influence. The mother has a profound influence in upbringing of the boy. Mothers teach their daughters to be more independent and teach their sons to be "nice boys" - dependent on women's approval. During the formative years (0-5 years), most of the boy's school teachers are women, so they learn to be subservient to women. The boy must be nice to gain the teacher's approval and earn good grades. In essence, most of the boy's power figures are women and he must be nice to win their approval. Nice guys learn that their needs are not important or having needs contrary to the women's needs is bad, so they try to please others and become miserable in the process. They become wimps, doormats, nice guys - whatever to avoid conflict in relationships and try to make their women happy.

During the formative years, when a boy set boundaries with either his mother or female teachers - he was taught that it was alright to have those boundaries violated. Later in life these boys grow to become men, but use the outdated strategy developed in childhood to deal with women - by being nice and trying to make women happy at any cost. Since Nice Guys learned to sacrifice themselves in order to survive, recovery must center on learning to put themselves first and making their needs a priority. That's what this book is about.

There were 27 reviews on the book; I read all of them before buying the book. I also read the 3 new reviews since receiving and reading the book. A book of this nature cannot please everyone - it will save some relationships and bury some relationships that have been long dead. Depending upon your life upbringing, the book will either apply to you or not. Since I started reading the book, I have been raving about it. Get this book. I bought a second copy to send to a friend. I even recommended friend who is a single mother raising a son to get this book.
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on September 28, 2003
So far, reviewers aren't doing this book justice. I picked it up six months ago and was amazed at how well it described my plight as a "nice guy" (a.k.a. codependent). I've read stacks of self-help books, but this one stands above the rest. I mean it, it stands out, by far. And several guys I know who've read the book feel the same way.
This book fully described what I've been going through, told me how things got to be this way, and gave me concrete steps on how to change things. Since I've read it, my life has improved, I feel better, more powerful, and people are responding to me in a new way. If you're a guy walking through life feeling frustrated that you don't get the love, respect, and sex you deserve, you owe it to yourself to read this book.
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on November 25, 2007
This book is, in many ways, highly flawed. I cannot, however, rate it any lower than three stars because the core behaviors Dr. Glover advocates are fundamental pillars of psychological well-being. His core premise is that all human beings have needs. Among these are somatic needs (food, shelter, treatment for injury, etc.) and emotional/psychological needs (love, validation, affection, etc.). For one reason or another, however, many men have come to habitually avoid pursuing or expressing these needs and desires in a direct way. Thus, "Nice Guy syndrome" is characterized by attempts to satisfy those needs by indirect means. Glover describes some of the more pervasive behaviors: a superficial niceness (in which one does something nice with the unconscious assumption that he will get something in return - "hidden contracts" as Glover dubs them), passive aggression, and other means of manipulation. Of course, these tactics are most often ineffective and leave the man frustrated and needy. Oftentimes, these desires are rechanneled (into things like porn or drug addiction) or repressed (only to emerge in an irrational or misdirected show of aggression or an emotional breakdown).

Glover encourages the individual to take an assertive role in getting his needs met. He does not mince words, and says outright "you are the only person responsible for meeting your own needs." And the best way to make sure this happens is to take the direct route: express outright and honestly what it is you want, make your own needs a priority, and then pursue them (or ask for help). This is, of course, sound and commonsense psychology. The heart of the book really are Chapter's Three ("Learn To Please the Only Person Who Really Matters"), Four ("Make Your Needs a Priority"), and Five ("Reclaim Your Personal Power"). This is where the book is most thoroughly in touch with the roots of this self-sabotaging behavior and offer the most practical suggestions for improvement.

Where things get somewhat muddy, however, is Glover's analysis of the genesis of this behavior, and the fundamentally flawed model of the "integrated man" that he advocates for the "recovering Nice Guy." While an understanding of where self-sabotaging behavior comes from can certainly offer insight, Glover's theory is disappointingly Freudian (and more specifically, Oedipal; see in particular Chapters 2 and 6 on "The Making of a Nice Guy" and "Reclaiming Your Masculinity" respectively). Likewise, Glover targets the women's liberation movement and the paucity of male teachers in the classroom for having a deleterious effect on the psyche of men. He seems oddly fixated on a gender dynamic that is largely irrelevant to the heart of the problem: an underlying insecurity. While the absence of a father figure and the predominance of women in the public education system no doubt can play a role in a boy's development of sense-of-self (and consequent alienation from other men), these phenomena do not play as large a role as Glover seems to want us to believe. An understanding of WHY certain men are simply more susceptible towards these tendencies goes largely unaddressed, as well as the fact that many men who have gone through the exact same school-system, in the same post-women's liberation environment, whose father figure was absent, etc. have emerged perfectly functional, successful and happy.

In my opinion, these gender politics are merely Glover's shtick and have absolutely jack to do with recovering a sense of assertiveness and competence in one's life. It's interesting to compare this book to another in the male-oriented self-help genre - "The Way of the Superior Man" by David Deida. The modus operandi of much self-help literature is to pander to the reader's deepest insecurities: to convince him that he is fundamentally "broken" and needs fixing, and to fill him with an unscrupulous allegiance to a (mostly random) plan of "recovery." And, indeed, both Deida and Glover pander way below the belt: squarely at the reader's testicles.

Another major flaw with this text (and one that plagues just about all mass-market psychological theories today), is the lack of any control group to establish exactly what a "recovering Nice Guy" should realistically aim for. For example, much of Dr. Glover's sentences are prefaced with "Nice Guys tend to..." But, having spent most of his recent clinical career exploring the inner psyches of men who identify themselves as "Nice Guys" (and of course having been one himself), how exactly does Glover know that HEALTHY men DON'T also "tend to" engage in the same behavior? What this book would benefit from is an explicit idea of where to draw the line between debilitating pathology and functional "imperfections." The fact is, "the integrated man" that Glover speaks of is a theoretical ideal. He doesn't really exist. Even the assertive, talented, successful, and happy men that seem to exemplify this goal experience the selfsame fundamental doubt, frustration, and periods of ineffectuality that Mr. Nice Guy does. Luckily, Glover recommends throughout the book for these guys to get out there and form friendships with other men, which presumably would facilitate a reality check. Glover makes it clear from the onset that it is important that one have a healthy and supportive group of people with whom one can be honest and expose their frailties and mistakes to (he calls these "safe people").

Also, Glover's model of "integrated manhood" is unconscionably narrow. This is most apparent in Glover's use of quotations from Robert Bly out-of-context. One such quote deals with the "lack of vitality" of "soft-men" who are often seen with "strong women who positively radiate energy." Glover compounds the issue by evoking the issue of "softness" again in Chapter 6, where he admonishes the "many men who... even take pride in their [physical and emotional] softness" and then instructs his reader to hit the gym. Glover does not seem to consider that there are as many ways to be a man as there are men in the world. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with being a "soft" man. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with being involved with "strong women." Only one who is fundamentally insecure would argue otherwise.

And this is exactly the point: Glover knows this, and works his reader into a frenzy of attempting to reclaim their "birthright" of masculinity. Passages like this serve only to pander to the reader's insecurity and breed an allegiance to his system, however arbitrary and illogical. One need only hop over to Glover's internet support group to see this in full evidence: some of these men have been at it for years and truly believe they are on their way towards becoming an "integrated man." Yet they are still fundamentally insecure and stuck in Glover's schema of lost manhood.

It must be noted that, while Glover's theory itself is muddled and his tactics more concerned with breeding allegiance to his theory, he advocates fundamentally sound and helpful behavior. For example, he asks the reader to create a list of "safe people." This essentially fosters the formation of friendship: a cornerstone to a fulfilling life. He advocates honesty and assertiveness. This fosters the ability to get/express what you really want, thereby preventing frustration or repression. He advocates getting physical exercise and taking care of yourself. We all know the benefits of exercise and eating right. Essentially, Glover advocates being yourself and not being ashamed of it. This is possibly the most fundamental pillar of psychological health, is it not? All in all, Glover's advice itself is nothing new, nothing revolutionary, and nothing that has not already been accounted for in modern psychology: it's just dressed up with a hook that that bound to bait some of the the millions of insecure men in the world.

EDIT: December 18, 2011 -- Periodically, I like to revise my reviews with alternative suggestions. Recently, I've rediscovered the writing of the late Albert Ellis, founder of an early version of cognitive therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy. Deeply influenced by Greek Stoicism, Ellis was a deliciously no-nonsense voice of reason in the world of psychotherapy and self-help. His A New Guide to Rational Living still stands up quite well three decades after it was written. (However, I must warn you that Ellis' writing is quite rough around the edges; he often comes across as arrogant and dismissive, and his work often attracts, well, arrogant and dismissive people [see some of the comments to reviews of A Guide to Rational living to see what I mean]. Thus, some readers might prefer a work by someone other than Ellis himself. I like Be Your Own CBT Therapist by Ellis' far less caustic British colleague Windy Dryden.)

For people suffering from loneliness or insecurity particularly as it relates to the realm of romance, there is a wonderful little book called Intimate Connections by David Burns (also author of the classic book on alleviating depression, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, also highly recommended) which presents much of the same information Glover does, but does so through cognitive-behavioral techniques in lieu of Glover's somewhat clumsy psychodynamic approach. For those looking for an exploration of sexuality, I recommend psychologist Jack Morin's The Erotic Mind as an excellent (and comprehensive) exploration of formation and expression of the erotic imagination that makes Glover's gloss of the topic seem crude by comparison.
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on August 15, 2005
A patient of mine found this book and raved about it, so I bought it for myself. The author has found and described a very common pattern of 21st century male behavior: the man who thinks that to reveal his own needs will drive others away. Glover minces no words in pointing out that this pattern makes you dishonest and manipulative (only telling others what they want to hear) and leaves you ultimately full of repressed rage. His advice about what to do is very straightforward, and the book well written. I'm recommending it to many of my depressed male patients.
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on February 3, 2003
I think the main premise of this book is sound. The cover is misleading, because it sounds like a guide to male selfishness. But it's not that at all. After reading it in one sitting I realized that a big group of guys, myself included, have lost a sense of who we are as males. The author is NOT telling us to stop being nice or kind; he's saying that we should find out who we really are and live true to that. He says we try to get approval all the time so that we'll get what we want, instead of forming relationships based on who we really are. We actually hide our true selves because we think we won't be accepted. Each man probably has a different reason why he's trying to be someone other than himself, and the author lists a whole bunch of reasons that you can check yourself against. Glover says that you should look at his list with your wife and work at it together. He is correct that wives don't like the "nice" husbands they're having to deal with, because these Nice Guys are really not that nice. He gives excellent sociological reasons why some men have become afraid of and detached from masculinity. The activities he gives for the reader to work through help a guy to see himself as he really is. In the end, he says, guys will be much better husbands to their wives, and more genuinely helpful and "nice," if they do everything with pure motives and complete honesty. If you've been trying to be nice in your marriage and your wife isn't buying it, and you want more sex, read this book!!!
Some of the concepts are explained up to three times. Repetition is a good learning tool, but I got a little tired of it. The chapter on masturbation doesn't sit well with me either. It seems unlikely to help in the way he describes. My guess is that it would perpetuate the kind of compartmentalizing that is so harmful in the minds of Nice Guys. I also felt that some of the other concepts would only work if you have a professional counselor helping you. Many of us are not that good at self-analysis.
Overall this is an excellent book for helping guys to stop trying to get approval through everything they do and stop trying to get sex from their wives by doing what they think is "nice."
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on March 4, 2004
No More Mr. Nice Guy was the perfect book for me. As a former Nice Guy who was depressed and suicidal for many years, this book changed (and possibly saved) my life.
A lot of it is not for everyone. The book very specifically it targets males who seek approval from others (mostly women) for all the wrong reasons, and seeks to help them overcome this unhealthy behavior. Part of the book describes common approval-seeking behaviors, part of it goes into the (mostly Freudian) psychology behind why the author thinks that some men behave this way, and part of the book gives exercises with which to help Nice Guys get over their problem and get what they want from life. There are plenty of real-men examples, too, to compare yourself against.
One of the fundamental premises behind being a Nice Guy is that you feel that something is inherently wrong with you and your life and there is something that you must do or find or something out there that will make your life work somehow. If that describes the way you think, by all means buy this book. If not, you can still get some good use out of the common approval-seeking behaviors and psychology stuff. It's interesting to see how many people out there really do things for approval.
The method to get over it works, if you can make yourself do it. It's not an easy thing to deal with. I know.
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on February 7, 2003
As a therapist, I have seen guilt ridden male clients open up and claim their change process after reading No More Mr. Nice. Guy. The level of guilt and shame imposed by our culture, which views men as bad and women as good, prevents many men from stepping into their lives, becoming successful, and not being manipulated by women. Therapists with such men as clients can find their work moving much faster once clients have read this book. I have had many who read it several times, with much underlining and high lighting.
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on February 3, 2003
I own both the PDF and the soft cover versions of the book. `Just glanced at the reviews as I was checking on the hard cover version. As is frequently the case when reading reviews of books you have read you wonder if some others have read the same book!
Some of the misunderstanding, I suspect, comes from the concepts and definitions of "Nice Guy." If you define, "Nice Guy" as Dr. Glover does (and/or notices how he defines his terms) then you may be more inclined to understand and/or accept his hypothesis. In the years prior to my becoming aware of and acquiring Dr. Glover's book I paid particular interest to the Internet Newsgroup discussions of the "Nice Guy" vs. "The Jerk" in social relations (singles in particular) . Through at the very least several hundred if not one or two thousand messages I could see that the various comments and exchanges (some shall we say "heated") were closing in on "something." That something was not very clear, but the concept of a "Good Guy" vs. the "Nice Guy" started to emerge. I think what the discussion groups were coming close to hitting on is what Dr. Glover calls the "Integrated Man."
Dr. Glover does not claim to have discovered some new psychological phenomenon as far as I can tell. Rather, he noticed, documented and analyzed the thoughts and behaviors of some the men in his practice. Having noticed a common thread of thoughts and behaviors which seem to be limiting the productivity and happiness of the men (and their families) he was dealing with he went about working on developing a means of describing the thought processes behind them and how to deal with them.
If you substituted, "Man or Person engaged in thoughts and behaviors which self limit personal happiness and productivity" for "Nice Guy..." You might have a more properly descriptive title for the book (and a greater challenge fitting it on the cover). Through example and explanation of various clients Dr. Glover discusses the various beliefs he thinks drive certain "Nice Guy" behaviors like excessive self-sacrifice; giving with the hidden agenda (covert contracts as he calls them) of getting something; not taking responsibility for fulfilling your own needs like a responsible adult, etc.
Some resistance to the book could very well be due to the title. After all, who would think "being nice" is not a good thing?? Perhaps another alternate title for the book could be "How to be an AUTHENTICALLY Nice Guy who is true to himself and the people around him."
Once the operating concepts (or paradigms) of "Nice Guys" and their respective outward manifestations are identified; he goes about explaining how such thoughts and behaviors could have come about. Then he leads you through a series of exercises, distributed throughout the book, to help you overcome those self-limiting beliefs and behaviors.
No More Mr. Nice Guy is not a perfect book. I quibble with some of the explanations or origins of some of the behaviors or beliefs he gives. The outward happiness and productivity limiting behaviors tend to be right on target however! At no point does he promise a "quick fix" or instant success. He does do an excellent job of providing insight and suggestions for improvement.

Many books can enhance your personal productivity and happiness. Which one or ones is/are right for you is almost totality dependent on your personal needs, experience, and current knowledge. Many books came before this one in my life. Another favorite is Play to Win by Wilson and Wilson. If a person (certainly not really limited to "guys") finds themselves searching for information to help understand their feeling and results in life (especially if you have been told many times you're a "Nice Guy") then No More Mr. Nice Guy is an EXCELLENT book to check out and compare to your own experience. I think you will find insight into parts of your life you may not have even thought to look into!
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on June 10, 2013
This is an excellent book that really gets to the heart of why men become "nice guys" and why that phrase really is a bad thing. A nice guy is someone who due to circumstances in their youth be it abandonment, abuse, neglect, or a myriad of other causes decided that they weren't good enough just being themselves. They decided that they needed to be nice or "good" to people in order to get their needs met, to win love, and to have a life of smooth sailing. It sounds good in theory but in actuality nice guys can't and won't ever get the love or life they deserve. In a very real sense nice guys do finish last and in reality are anything but nice due to their giving to get mentality that leads to unhappiness, neediness, and passive aggressiveness that will likely deter people away from them rather than to them thus causing more unhappiness and frustration.

I personally came upon reading this excellent work after reading another great book with a similar subject matter by author Mark Manson in his book "Models: Attracting Women Through Honesty." After reading this book I see how much it influenced Mark's writings and for good reason. The main reason that most nice guys have major problems with women has nothing to do with them lacking mind blowing openers, routines, proper "peacocking" attire, or any other useless pick up artist shenanigans. It really has to do with the fact that most nice guys, the type of guys that you'd think women would prefer over jerks, are dealing with unresolved toxic shame, fear, neediness, and the inability to be vulnerable and who they really are. I know this for a fact since I would say that I am a recovering nice guy who didn't realize just how much of an issue I had being a nice guy until I read this book.

If you are someone who is considering reading a book on the pickup arts I would definitely advise you to pick up this great work first as it will deal with the real causes of why you're feeling unfulfilled and unhappy with yourself and likely the opposite sex. Hiding yourself behind canned indirect openers, routines, peacocking, demonstrating higher value, or any other lame PUA acronym is not the answer. If you implement everything that is in this book you will not only become more attractive but you will also do something that the PUA industry (which incidentally is near dead in the water because of their techniques) can never offer you. You will genuinely learn to love yourself and put your needs first which is exactly where they should be. Contrary to popular belief that is not a bad thing.

I would definitely recommend this book and the aforementioned Models to any man looking to improve himself with a real world, practical, and proven method that will make his life better and more fulfilling. Big ups to the author for writing this book. I am currently reading it again. It's that good!
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on August 11, 2003
I have known for some time that many of the paradigms that I have grown up with and that I hold today weren't correct but never before have I found a book that offers such a complete explanation of why my ideas of how the world works are flawed. Dr. Glover offers a professional explanation of what is missing in so many men's lives today.
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