I Did All the Right Things… So Why is Life Screwing Me?

by Alexander Heyne · 34 comments


“I did all the right things… so why did I get screwed by life?”

This story is something very commonly heard these days. People playing by the rules and not being taken care of.

What’s interesting about this, to me, is that this is something very similar to what nice guys say when they get rejected by woman after woman after woman.

So I call this “nice guy syndrome.”


I am a former nice guy. I was a nice guy for a long time. Until I was about 22 actually.

Through college, I was the guy who was always told by women “you’re the guy I’d marry, but not date.” In other words, I wasn’t fun, spontaneous, mysterious, and didn’t have cool stories. They were just being nice.

I wasn’t a machisto with cool ambition, man skills, and a grand plan for life. Consequently, I never once got the girl I wanted.  Story of a nice guy’s life.

Since that time, all of those things have changed almost 180.  And that was deliberate.

You see, I realized that nice guys have a set of highly undesirable personality traits (even as husbands). And these nice guy traits are the same ones that people who get screwed by life have.

The traits of “nice guys” (Aka guys who get screwed by women, and get screwed by life)

A couple things about nice guys:

  • They’re polite, afraid of stepping on toes, try not to be too controversial, too nice, not opinionated
  • They’re safe and secure, more on the conservative side
  • They have no backbone, no fight in them, no confidence
  • They’re smiles 24/7. Even if pissed, sad, upset, or anxious.
  • They are very conventional and ordinary
  • They love predictability, stability

People that get screwed over by life:

  • Polite, afraid to ask for anything, challenge authority, or do something never done before
  • Take the safe and secure route, play their cards “realistically,” get the predictable jobs, take the pre-set route
  • They don’t have any fight – they don’t fight for things they love, they don’t fight for a better life, and just kinda settle in life without much kicking and screaming
  • Very ordinary lives. No real dream or ambition, very typical relationships, 9-5 the same, 5-9 usually the same
  • Terrified of change and don’t make moves, even when they are miserable

See the parallels here?

It’s kinda interesting actually.

The nice guy personality is (in my opinion) deadly if you want to truly live a fulfilled life. So let me tell you the remedy.

No More Mr. Nice Guy…

One of the first things I did when I wanted to stop being a nice guy was this: I stopped giving a fuck about trying to please everyone – whether or not you agreed with my plan was tough shit.

I knew the path I wanted to take… and I started taking it. I wasn’t smiles 24/7 despite my emotions anymore.

When I was in college and I told people I was going to quit a job at some point and move to china to study Kung fu.

Some people were like “that’s sick” some were like “you’re a nerd” some were like “what about your job?”

Instead of being like “yeah , you’re right” I was like “fuck it man, you’re gonna work for 40 years? Or just get out of college and get married? That’s fine. But not the path I want to take.”

I became super confident and opinionated about my own stuff – And an interesting thing happened – instead of people criticizing me, they admired me.

There’s that whole dating psychology behind scarcity.  Ff you act like you don’t need the other person, that scarcity makes them want you more.

Nice guy rule #1: Stop trying to please everyone. Stop taking the plan and route others want for you. Start doing what you want, and start stepping on toes. For the love of god, please have an opinion.

Rule #2 Live a better story by actually having a fire for something

Learn to live a better story.

It doesn’t have to be some incredible James bond story, but it does have to be uniquely you.

See, at first I honestly believed that when I got married I would be an awesome spouse. But then I realized – who in the hell wants to be with someone boring? NO ONE.

It was around this time that I started getting into traveling a lot more too – and in just a few short years I visited 20 or 30 countries, collecting stories, life experience, and a different sort of mindset toward life.

I started to have all these cool things to talk about, ways to relate to new people, that I never had before. The problem was that they were without a context. Events without a story are meaningless.

So I figured out my story: I wanted to travel the world, study the various types of medicine around the world, and then bring them back to America and fuse them into an integrative clinic.  Cool, new story that was uniquely me. Suddenly I was living my own plan.

Rule #2:  Learn to live a better story – one that is uniquely you.

#3 Grow some BIG ass cojones

There is no doubt that being able to tolerate risk is one of life’s more important skills, followed by resilience.

Nice guys are terrified of manning up, even when they should.

Shortchanged 5 bucks at the pharmacy? “Oh… it’s okay…. I’ll just….”

At a conference, and you’re afraid of looking like an idiot or like you talk too much? “I’m just going to listen the whole night, see what people have to say, maybe hide in the corner and eat the fruit from the table.”

Talking about nice guys approaching or asking out women is a whole different story.

I just wanted to shake my former self and be like “For fuck’s sake man isn’t there anything that you CARE about in this world? Where’s your fire? Where’s that backbone, that fight in you?”

Nice guys are TERRIFIED of making the wrong move.  So they don’t make ANY moves.

I swear to god I lost count of all the great opportunities I missed in my life when I used to be nice.

Women, jobs, positions, travels. All because I was too afraid to speak up or just approach someone.

Learn to make moves regularly. Learn to make uncomfortable moves. If you’re scared shitless by a sexy girl in a tight dress, approach as many as possible and try conversing. Hint: the nerves never go away, that’s why it takes balls.

Rule #3: Take regular RISKS and make regular moves. You take more risks by growing a pair. Stop being terrified of making the wrong move – just make moves.

Risk = doing something with the potential for loss. Loss of money, time, face, etc.

You’re getting screwed because you’re playing life safe

As a no-longer nice guy (thank god), I can say that nice guys are generally, um, too nice in regard to the world.

They don’t want to cause anyone problems. They want to live a peaceful, stress-free life. They don’t want to make anyone else’s life tough.

If you’re the kind of person that life keeps screwing.. remember these three things. Stop trying to make everyone else happy – do what you want. Find something that actually puts a fire under your ass, and use that to start living a better story. Grow some big ass cojones and start taking risks.

The irony is that you think playing it safe ensures low risk and lots more security.

In reality, when you’re a nice guy in relationships, at work, or in life, you’re a lot more replaceable than you think.

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