So a while back I mentioned offhand that, due to my occasional tendency to blurt things out thoughtlessly, I self-sequester from Nice Guys™. (If you’re like, “Why does this chick hate decent men?” go read that link. I don’t. I’m referring to a specific social phenomenon.) This is not because I dislike and despise Nice Guys™. It’s actually based out of empathy and compassion because I don’t know how to keep from hurting them right now. I see a guy self-loathingly talk about how girls never choose him even after all he does for them, and I’m like, “Me = Bull. You = China shop. Me = LEAVING before I break you.”
It’s because I used to be one. (As a girl. A Nice Girl™. Gender socialization makes Nice Guydom different than Nice Girldom in many ways, but they both share a common emotional core. For the purposes of this post I’m reviving the archaic custom of having the masculine pronoun encompass both male and female perspectives of Niceness, unless a specific example is female.) As a Nice Girl, I trailed in the wake of the people I liked. I gave gifts, attention, and energy, desperately hoping they would love me back. I never said a word until far too late. And then when I was turned down, I was devastated.
I used to be one, but then I dedicated myself to years of beating back the darkness in my soul. Over the course of this quest I have learned secrets of Nice Guyism that no Nice Guy can hear without pain They are a very potent medicine; they can cure, but it is not a kind cure or an easy one. They stripped me down to my very darkest place and left me there for a long time.