Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do Nice Guys FInish Last?

Recently I read an article on CNN that got me to thinking.  And I've decided that if I'm going to obsess about something then the least I can do is pass it on to you so you can obsess with me.  What fun!

This particular article is titled "Not nice guys, but cowards, finish last" by Robert Kiyosaki who is also the author of (I think) several books including Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Which I haven't read.  Have you?  Did you like it?  Anyway......

The article talked about a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, "Do Nice Guys -- and Gals -- Really Finish Last? The Joint Effects of Sex and Agreeableness on Income," by Timothy A. Judge of the University of Notre Dame, Beth A. Livingston of Cornell University and Charlice Hurst of the University of Western Ontario.  The study talks about how they have found that men who are "nice" or more agreeable tend to make less many than their more aggressive counterparts.  The article was a summation of four different studies that seemed to have found similar results.

In this particular article the author talked about what communication skills and also what defines a "nice guy".  He also talks about a business experience of his from the 80's where communication and constructive criticism greatly influenced his life.  Although he didn't finish the story about what happened to his wallet business, which I kind of found annoying.  He did share some good thoughts though.

"The world is full of people who make excuses, people who are cowards and people who use the term "nice" to cover up their inability to make a hard decision, say what needs to be said or defend themselves, their position or other people because they're afraid of how they'll be viewed or that someone won't like them anymore.
This is cowardly.
In my experience, many people confuse being cowardly with being nice. It's easier to aim to please and say what others want to hear than to form an opinion and fight for it, even if it means taking a risk or losing your job."
 The author seemed to focus on the ability to communicate relating to financial success.  And this is what got me thinking.  I'm a big fan of healthy communication skills.  Most likely because I seriously lack them.  I can express my opinion, both verbally and written.  And possibly excessively.  But expressing my feelings verbally is a real struggle for me, especially if I'm upset.  I have a fester and rot style of communication.  I can usually get my feelings across by writing them down, but how often do you have the chance to do that in life?  So teaching my girls healthy communication skills starting at a young age is really important to me.  We communicate a lot around here.  Feelings are talked about and expanded upon.  Whenever there have been hurt feelings we talk about it.  When there is tattling (can you imagine?!) the expression of feelings is encouraged instead of whining.  There are days when healthy communication starts as early as 5:30 and doesn't stop until the girls are in bed over 12 hours later.  At which point, I do sometimes appreciate a lack of communication for just a few minutes.                   

Now, I've been thinking about this article quite a bit in the last week.  Honestly, I don't know from personal experience if nice guys/gals finish last, first or middle.  But I do think there is something to be said about communication skills effecting your life.  I think that having good communication skills in a variety of situations can make for a more contented life because you're not festering and rotting over things that you should have said.  Or maybe shouldn't have said when you finally, completely lost it.

So, tell me, do you think nice guys finish last?  First?  Not at all?  Do you really think that good communication skills are essential to success, be it financial or not?  And is the only measure of success financial gain?  (I think not)  And, most importantly, do you think my fester and rot style of "expression" is making me age faster than healthy communicators?  I think that's a strong possibility....

**And today I learned that if you push control + p it will not, in fact, paste something.  It will post your unfinished blog post.  So don't do that.  Ya learn something new everyday! 


Barbaloot said...

I don't know about the correlation between nice vs. lack of communication---but low communication skills could seriously cause problems. Just look at all the issues among singles now that facebook, email and texting are the main forms of communication. A lack of emotional communication is getting bigger all the time.

Emily said...

I think nice guys can finish first but chances aren't as good for them. Think of all the "first finishers" out there--are they nice people? Do they have a good moral code? Do they have good business ethics? Some do, but from what I've seen, those who've finished first by the world's standards are not generally "nice."

But outside of the world's view, nice guys do finish first. And that's what matters most. When the money, fame, etc are gone, nice guys will still be at the top of their game while those first placers will have lost theirs.

And yes, we need to communicate much better. We've lost that art due to social media and cell phones and the Internet. I say talk it up as long as you can do it in a healthy, constructive way (even if I prefer to rot and fester at times). :)

P.S. I'm tired and a little out of it, so I hope this made sense.

Jessica G. said...

So nice is equivalent to having no backbone? Well, I can see how the writer would come to that conclusion but I don't think it should be taken as a wide-sweeping statement. Not all nice guys are cowards. Some just really don't have an opinion either way and let someone else make the decision. Kind of like planning my wedding. The Man has very little opinion when it came to colors or favors or what he would wear but when it came to the location? He spoke up. Because he did, I knew how important it was to him and that's where we were married.
Not necessarily a coward, just not overly-opinionated.

Emily said...

I think it totally depends on what your finish line is. Maybe if your only goal in life is to have buckets of money, then yes, shove people down and tromp on their faces on the way to the top. If your goal is to be happy, then yeah, not so much. I also think people can find a nice way to say anything at all, if they can just take the time to think before they speak. I would never consider myself a doormat, but I do consider myself to be nice. Totally missing out on the buckets of money, though.

Becky said...

Yes, most nice guys in the idea of people pleasures finish last. Nice guys or girls who are always trying to make people happy never know how to express their apposing view even if they have one. But a nice guy is not always a good guy. To me a good guy is one who stands up for you if people are messing with you or tells people to stop calling you fat when you are 9 months pregnant. I nice guy just laughs along trying to make everyone happy. I have read his books and found them very interesting. More important festering can be a good thing if you use they time to get more information, decide a solid view that you are going to stick with. most of the time I just fester with incomplete info and that just gives me wrinkels, lack of sleep and the crankys.

Camille said...

I'm just going to make sure I don't hit ctrl + p.... thanks for the tip! :)

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