Today, I’d like to thank Georgia Beers for our conversation about titles, and for hosting me on her blog: Georgia Beers’ Blog
This weekend, re-reading Giraffe People, and thinking about the edit, I realized I’d have to play through on the Nice-Guy Myth. Here’s military brat 101: be wary of the kid who swarms you when you walk into the classroom on day one, and promises to help you navigate the school and its social hierarchy. That kid is Nice-Guy Myth, Exhibit A. That kid is trying to control the story. He or she is trying to get to you before you have a chance to collect data and form your own conclusions.
But the Nice-Guy Myth is everywhere — in your neighborhood, in your office, in your social groups. It’s most evident in breakups. Not just romantic breakups, but friend breakups too. The Nice-Guy is the one who phones everyone mutually known to the couple, and jumpstarts the spin. “I’m just so worried about her. She’s obviously in crisis, and her decision-making has been affected, and …” blah I’m the hero of this story blah. Side with me! I’m the nice one!
The Nice-Guy Myth insinuates in a way the listener finds uncomfortable, but can’t quite pinpoint. Why do I feel like I’m being manipulated? You’re saying you’re worried. You’re not being hostile. You seem concerned.
The Nice-Guy Myth is all seem. But it’s a control mechanism. It’s stammered propaganda. I’m this guy. Trust me. This is the guy I’ve always been. Nice-Guy. And she’s leaving because she doesn’t like nice. She doesn’t value nice. She eats nice dipped in virgin blood from the hollowed out bodies of puppies. But not at first. That story comes later. At first, I’m the Nice-Guy, and I’m just expressing my anxiety about her choices because I love her. I love her more than myself. And I just want her to be happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. You know me. And nice is important to you. That’s how we’re different from her. You and I.