Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This sentiment needs to die a death.

There's been a good deal said about the Nice Guy Complex.  I don't have anything new to bring to the table.  But holy God is it annoying.

Aside from the creepy self-entitled skeeziness of the attitude, here's what gets me: I will not give you brownie points for being nice to me.  I expect you to be nice to me.  Not to go out of your way, but yeah, hold the door if I'm right behind you, and feel kind of bad for me if I'm having a crummy week, and not tune out if I talk about hobbies we don't share.  This doesn't make us friends - this is what I expect from acquaintances.  If you dislike me, I expect you to avoid me, and I'll do the same for you, and we won't rub each other up the wrong way.  This doesn't make us friends - this is what I expect from acquaintances.

When I say I expect this, I don't mean to say that someone can fail to live up to my standards and fall in my esteem - this is my experience of how the world works, so it's kind of conspicuous by its absence.  It's what the reasonable people have done so far in my life, so for as long as these things remain pretty unchanged, it's what I'm going to expect from future reasonable people.

I don't understand if Nice Guys have never had any friends, or if they've only had guy friends and their are different rules for girls because boobs.  If you are my friend, of course I'm going to care and try to make you feel better if you're upset.  If it's your birthday I'm buying or making you food, because food is how I show affection.  If I can help you out I will, with varying degrees of inconvenience to myself depending on how close we are.  None of this should be read as an indication that I am attracted to you.

The Nice Guy Complex comes with a sneery attitude that women (all three billion!  Each and every one!) don't know what they want.  They say they want someone who's nice or funny, but then how come they don't settle down with the first nice, funny guy they meet?  Why do they go out with anyone with whom they might occasionally argue, as people will do in relationships?  They're shallow is why, they're just waiting for someone rich and handsome.  It doesn't seem to register that when, people are listing their ideal person, "and whom I find attractive" is implied.  The people I'm friends with and the people I get a crushes on can probably be described in similar terms, because that's the type of person I enjoy being around - the difference is that some will make me feel all fuzzy in my tummy, for reasons I can't define.  Girls are such harpies, having subjective tastes that you can't control.

What Nice Guys don't seem to understand is that they're cock-blocking themselves.  If you resent someone for not sleeping with you after you totally empathised when their cat died, they can tell.  Women in particular might be a little more tuned in to this because we're conditioned to be nice without leading anyone on.  I don't mean this in some nonsense PUA Roissy "Women can tell when you're interested and once they know you have lost!" way.  I'm far too socially oblivious to know when someone likes me - I didn't realise my first date with my boyfriend was a date, and when my ex asked me out I thought he was making small talk.  I'm not too clueless to realise when someone is viewing me as parts, as a girl before a person.  It makes me uncomfortable, even if it's not sleazy (old-boy professors who distinguish between women and people, anyone?), and  it makes me not want to be around you.  And it's really hard to sleep with someone who won't be around you.

And anyway, the fact of getting annoyed about having another friend is a bonus layer of creepy.  Why can't you be like these nice folks?


Eoghan said...

This is an attitude of entitlement for certain. (And a complete disconnect from reality.) But my favourite way of thinking about it is that the internet males are under the impression that the object of their affection is a vending machine. I.e

Misguided chivalry and self importance goes in. Sex/affection comes out. Unfortunately for these tools, thats not how normal human beings work. Perhaps in years to come some kind of bizarre sex robots will hit the market and they can blessedly keep themselves out of the gene pool.

Apology for an Idler said...

Even the most generous apologetics that can be made for them have women reduced to a separate sort of person.

Also I'm pretty uncomfortable with the obliviousness to desire being a factor. There's a cultural trope that women don't like sex, so if you view a relationship as trading dinner or affection or whatever for sex, then when a woman says no, it's not because she doesn't want to - though that doesn't make sense if she can't want to - just that the price is wrong. Which is I think where the "ah, go on, go on, go on" attitude comes from.

Incidentally, you have commented so much on this blog that you got flagged as spam. Creep.

Eoghan said...

Great, now all my comments have slime trails around them.