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Why Nice Guys Don't Set Boundaries

Nice Guys see accepting disrespect and lack of boundaries as an expression of love.

Nice Guys want to be seen as nice and good, otherwise, they're experiencing an existential fear of rejection, abandonment, and social exclusion.

Setting Boundaries activates them because emotional tension is high.

-Calling out disrespectful behavior

-Saying NO to someone

-Protecting their needs

-Cutting off toxic conversations

-Protecting their personal space

For Nice Guys, Setting Boundaries is difficult.


Boundaries are the basis of trust, mutual respect, and psychologically healthy relationships.

If you protect yourself everytime I cross your boundary, over time, we'll have a relationship with clearly defined rules and expectations anContinue d we can get to continually know and learn from each other.

If you don't protect yourself when I cross your boundary, you will unconsciously create entitlement to cross mine. And then, if I protect myself, you'll put guilt on me:

"How dare you, after all I've done for you?".

Sounds nuts?

Well, this is what Nice Guys are doing, completely unconsciously.

They believe that's how the world works. They sacrifice their needs and wants and boundaries to prove to themselves their good morality. That's why they're entitled to put guilt on others.

In their world, someone always has to sacrifice a bit in order to maintain peace from the selfish ones.

This belief is coming from early childhood experiences, where their boundaries weren't honored and protected.

They normalized it.

So now they believe in sacrifice as an expression of love because that's the only thing they know. They sacrifice their needs and wants to give everyone what they want.

But here's the problem:

Sacrifice has nothing to do with love.

Sacrifice is a lose-win strategy that turns into a transaction.

Now I lose, next time you lose.

That's how it works.

So if someone steps over Nice Guys' boundary, he sees that as a transaction.

"Oh, okay. So this time I do it for you, next time you'll do something for me."

But, just observe what happens if you don't return the favor to the Nice Guy.

Resentment and bitterness - some of many forms of anger.

In his mind, he's a righteous victim:

"Look at how much I suffer because of you!"

And under the surface, he gets quite nasty:

"What a selfish, arrogant, narcissistic prick!"

"After all I've done for you, this is what I get in return?"

"You have no empathy, you are only focused on yourself!"

But of course, Nice Guy will never say that out loud, because being seen as angry is too dangerous for him.

So he will repress all that anger.

And he'll keep repressing it until he can't do it anymore, and then he explodes.

Anger outburst.

And with that, he will cross EVERYONE's boundary.

He will be stuck in this cycle where he tolerates everyone stepping over his boundaries and every now and then, hypercompensate all that with one massive anger explosion.

The balance is restored.