Swinging The Pendulum Too Far When Fixing “Nice Guy Mode”

Episode #776

Have you ever felt like your efforts to be a “nice guy” in relationships aren’t yielding the desired results?

Do you find yourself swinging between extremes, from being overly accommodating to becoming assertive in an attempt to correct past behaviors?

In this engaging discussion, Doug Holt delves into the common pitfalls many men face in relationships, shedding light on the journey of self-discovery, the struggle to find a balance, and the quest for authenticity.

He explores the impact of seeking external validation and emphasizes the importance of finding a middle ground—a space where authenticity, respect, and self-love coexist.

In this episode, you’ll learn about the challenges faced by men who oscillate between being the accommodating “nice guy” and an overly assertive version of themselves.

Gain insights into the pitfalls of overcorrecting behaviors and discover the keys to becoming a powerful, grounded man in both relationships and personal development.

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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Doug Holt  00:01

What’s happening, guys? Great to have you here! Today, I am solo, and I want to talk about something that I see far too often. Now, let me set the scene for you because this is really important for most men, right? It comes out of, it’s almost like a sucker punch that hits a lot of guys right across the face and they’re not ready for it. And not only does it hit them, but it can make their marriages even worse while they’re trying to do the right things to repair it.

So let me just set the scene for you first, and I’ll get into through this episode on what exactly happens and how to correct it. And again, I don’t hear this talked about anywhere else, so hopefully this will help you guys out. So what happens typically is a man’s going through life. He’s working his b*** off. He’s providing for his family. He’s out there hunting and bringing home the kill, and he goes into, over time, what becomes nice guy mode. Right?

And Dr. Glover talks about this in his book, No More Mr. Nice Guy. Highly recommend grabbing that copy of that book if you haven’t read it before. It just sets the scene a little bit more than I’m going to have time to today. But essentially what happens is, as the man’s out hunting for his family, kids come along, stressors in a relationship, his wife becomes a little bit less happy. And so he tries to figure out what’s going on. Sometimes that could be lack of intimacy. So he’s not having so much sex or she’s not laughing as much.

So being a nice guy, he decides that he’s going to do more for her, right? He’s going to be the better guy. He’ll do more dishes, he’ll do more things around the house. He’ll buy her expensive gifts, take her on that dream trip. Yet it doesn’t seem to work long term. And over time, she becomes more and more unhappy. She becomes more dominant. He decides, you know, I’m going to keep the peace. I’m not going to start fights. And he starts biting his tongue. And over years and years of this, they end up becoming a desert in the bedroom. A lot of times it’s a sexless marriage by clinical definition, guys by clinical definition. But also it becomes a sexless marriage by their definition.

And sometimes this RESULTS over the years of emotional affairs by the woman, physical affairs by one or other partner. And it happens all too often. And so what happens when a guy wakes up to this? It feels like he’s unplugged from the matrix and he figures out, oh, my gosh, I’ve been in this nice guy syndrome, and it’s not working. It’s not what my wife wants. She doesn’t want a lap dog. She wants a man. And when men figure this out, they start to swing the pendulum the other direction. And all too often when this happens, guys swing the pendulum way too far.

What do I mean by this? Well, imagine you have a guy. We’ll call him John, right? John is an amazing man, ex athlete. And so John and his wife, when they get married, things are great. And over time, they start to erode, they start to break down. His wife starts to think, I’m going to live this life of quiet desperation, right? And John’s feeling the same way. They start to grow apart. But John, John’s a doer. John loves his wife, so he works his b*** off to make her happy. But yet the distance grows more and more and more over time. The times that they’re having sex become further and further apart. More importantly, the times that they’re having connected, passionate sex becomes less and less and less.

So John, he wakes up, he unplugs, he takes the red pill, whatever you want to call. He becomes activated, is what we talk about in the powerful man. And what happens, he wakes up and goes, wow, wait a minute, I didn’t realize this. I’ve started listening to the TPM show or whatever else it is, and I’m starting to put these things together.

So John decides, wow, what my wife really wants is for me to be a man, a masculine man. And he starts to do it. And as he’s doing, he’s starting to get some positive RESULTS. She’s starting to notice him a little bit more, right? She’s starting to pay more attention. It’s shaking things up. And John decides, hey, I’m going to double down on this. This is really working. This whole being a powerful man thing is working really well. But John misses a key ingredient, right? What often happens is us guys, especially us aggressive guys, those of us that are entrepreneurs, leaders in our communities or wherever else it may be, we go all in, right? We go all in because it’s working. I’m in, right? Whether it be working out, working on your finances, your business, you’re going to attack it with full gusto.

Now, you got to remember, John’s wife still remembers the old John for the last seven years. Who would, if she said, hey, babe, would you make me coffee? He’d get up off the couch, sitting right next to her go make her coffee. If she said, hey, babe, I want you to go ahead and make all the kids beds, he’d get up and make the beds because he was making her happy. So she got used to this person. Now she’s sitting next to a guy who’s very different, right? This man has woken up. He realizes that his wife doesn’t want a quote, nice guy. She wants a powerful man.

So John swings the pendulum the other way. No longer is he going to listen to her, no longer is he going to take her orders, and no longer is he going to show up as this weak version of himself. But what John misses is that he’s trained his wife and the people around him to treat him as the nice guy, to show up as the nice guy. And when he swings the pendulum the other way, it’s going to shake things up.

Now, sometimes this is really good, sometimes it’s really good to shake things up. And most of the johns out there should shake it up. But what happens is that pendulum gets swung too far the other direction. John starts making sexual windows. He starts slapping his wife in the b*** at inappropriate times and aggressively and telling her, I’m going to take you to bed and I’m going to have all of you. Then he starts making jokes. Or his wife says, hey, babe, would you refill my cup of coffee? He looks at her, says, what, your leg’s broken? You go make the coffee.

And what he’s doing here is he’s trying to correct course, correct the behaviors of the past. And oftentimes when someone tries to correct the behaviors of the past, they tend to overcorrect, right? That’s human nature. And so this is what we mean by the pendulum swinging too far the other direction is okay for John to get a cup of coffee for his wife. Is okay for John not to spank his wife in the a** at every occasion. He doesn’t have to be overly aggressive.

What we’re trying to do here for a John is get him unplugged from the matrix, realize who he is, what he wants as a man, and let him stand in his own power, whatever that means for him. The problem is, John now detests. He hates the old version of himself because he realizes all the things he’s lost. He realizes the countless nights sleeping alone, probably looking at p***, over drinking, or doing all of those other things. Yet his beautiful wife, someone who he desires, is right next to him.

He actually hates the fact that he’s been a lapdog. He hates the fact that his wife probably has been on social media talking to other men. This happens so much, guys. I see it all the time. Or maybe a physical affair. All because John was trying to be a nice guy, right? The fault was he was going through some default programming, thinking he was doing the right thing. And then when he found out that what he thought he was doing was right, was actually the opposite of what he should have been doing, John becomes resentful. Resentful at society, maybe resentful at his wife, but most definitely resentful of himself. So he wants to kill that old version of himself so much that he goes too far in the other direction.

And meanwhile, his wife is going like, what happened? Who is this guy? This guy who’s kind of been a doormat, is now a jerk. John’s telling inappropriate jokes. He’s trying too hard. And what she picks up on, what she picks up on about John is that John is doing all of this to get a reaction from her.

Now, when she picks that energy up, and women are great at this, guys, she’ll pick up that energy about John. And that John is trying to get her to react. John is trying to show her that he is powerful man, that he is a great man, and that he is no longer the doormat. But what he’s doing is seeking external validation. He’s doing this to get a reaction out of her. He’s doing this for his wife to say, oh, John, you’re amazing. I love this powerful version of yourself, this strong, macho version of yourself, or whatever it may be for him, wherever he swings that pendulum.

And because he is looking for the external validation from his wife, his wife knows that nothing has actually changed. He’s just more of a jerk now. Instead of getting him the cup of giving her the cup of coffee, she’s now sitting next to an a******, right? And the reason is he doesn’t have power, true power, because John isn’t seeking the power inside himself yet, but instead, he has swung the pendulum so far the other direction, yet still looking for external validation, validation from his wife, validation from the outside world that I am now a powerful man. I do not do things like this. I do not serve people.

And so John has done this. But he’s really saying is, you still have power over me, because how you react to what I do influences what I do. So therefore, you have the power, right? You have the power to change my behavior. You have the power to change the way I act. You have the power to change the way I feel about myself. And that’s not what a powerful man is at all 0%.

A powerful man is someone who’s grounded in themselves. They’re loving for themselves. They love theirselves. They found love within themselves. They love other people. They’re caring. The difference is, they don’t put themselves last. You see, so many guys that we talk to, so many guys call and are interested in our program and want to go through it, but it’s like, oh, I don’t know what my wife would say. Oh, jeez. I don’t know if I have time to invest in myself. They don’t say that, but I don’t know if I have time. But really what they’re saying is, I don’t have time to invest in myself. And what they’re really telling us, our advisors, they speak to, is, I’m not important enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough to invest in myself.

Now, it’s one thing if someone says, hey, this just might not be the program for me. Totally cool! No harm, no foul. Find something. Find something that’s out there that will help you. But what I hear when I hear this and what the advisors hear is, I’m not good enough. I’m not important enough because I’m a nice guy, or I got to make sure whatever my wife’s external validation is of me is okay.

And when guys swing that pendulum so far the other direction, they run into a different problem. No longer are they the doormat, but now they’re the jerk. They’re the jerk that’s in the house. In either case, doormat or jerk, their wife does not feel safe. I’m not talking about physically safe. The jerk is still not going to be physically abusive. The men that we work with, guys that listen to this show, they don’t tend to be physical abusers. Now, they could be verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, usually unintentionally. But all of that to say their wife doesn’t feel safe because they are constantly seeking external validation from somebody else, from something else. Maybe it’s a new car. I don’t feel good about myself, but if I buy that new Porsche, that’s going to make me the man, right? And they don’t think about this consciously, but marketers are constantly thinking about this and marketing it to the johns of the world.

Now, John could be any name. It used to be me. That was things I was doing. I thought, geez, I had to make my wife happy. I’m married, and she’s unhappy, and so let’s do all the things to make her happy. Until I learned that’s actually not what she wanted. She wanted a man. She wanted me to show up as the me that showed up when we first started dating, the me that owned multiple companies, the me that still play competitive sports. Not because she liked it, because she didn’t actually like watching me play, but I loved it. I did it for me, right?

Practice, Sundays, games, tournaments. They were non negotiables. I was going, that wasn’t a question. I was playing because I loved it. We got married. My wife would say, oh, jeez, you’re always gone at a tournament or a game. I said, okay, well, maybe I should just stop playing. That’s where I became the doormat. I started doing it to please her, to seek her validation.

Now it’s different, right? So for my wife, I find myself to be very grounded. And some people may disagree, and that’s fine, but I don’t think they would. I’m very grounded in who I am. I don’t really seek external validation. Occasionally I do. I think that’s a human nature thing. However, if my wife says, hey, could you get me a cup of coffee? If I want to get her a cup of coffee, absolutely. I get up off the couch and grab her a cup of coffee. I don’t mind doing that at all.

But I don’t do it to make her like, in other words, it’s not true. I don’t do it so that she thinks I’m a good guy. Oh, thanks so much, sweetie. Oh, you’re so nice. I married such a good guy. I don’t do it because that. I do it because I love my wife and I want to do it. See, that’s the difference.

So John or the previous Doug, but John, we’ll use him as our analogy here today. John used to do it because he was a good guy. I want to be a good husband. I want my wife to think I’m good. Get the data, boys. And your wife starts to look at you when you’re John in this case, and no offense to John’s out there, this is just got to come with a random name so I don’t pick on somebody specific.

So the Johns of the world here or the nice guys, we’ll just call it that. I guess what’s happening for them is they want to be the nice guy. Their wife starts to look at them like, oh, I’m his mother. Now I got another kid. I got another kid in the house. I do his laundry. I pick up after know. I tell him what to do. It’s a doormat. It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. And I hear this from so many women, guys, so many women. And then when John wakes up, the pendulum swings the other way. He says, I’m never going to be like that again. I’m never doing it. I’m not getting you coffee, your legs broken. And that’s okay to do it a little bit. And I’ve done that before, right? Transparently.

There are some people that have heard the story of me getting my wife asking me to get up and get chocolates for her and her girlfriends. And I just laughed and go, well, your legs broken, right? But I did it in a laughing, joking way because I really thought it was funny that what she was saying, she realized what she was doing. She got a little bit embarrassed. And when she went up and got the chocolates for herself and her girlfriends, and it was great. And we had a great day. We had a great day. But she respected me more, right? She respected me more because she was ordering me around like a servant, not really requesting me like a lover, like a partner to go get the chocolates. There’s a difference. Energetically, something like that.

So when you find yourself with that pendulum swung the other way too far, you find yourself being a little bit of jerk. You’re not getting. And how do you know you’re not getting the response right? That is a validation thing. That’s just feedback. That’s mirroring when you find that you’re not getting, mirroring the result that you want. And this is like business 101, guys. If I’m not getting the result that I want repeatedly, I need to change my approach, right? Just get to choose to do that.

But I want to do something that’s authentic to me. There’s this kind of. This new thing around, and I’ve been caught up in it and a lot of other people do, where it’s where I’m going to be authentic and I’m just going to speak my truth. But you be a d***, right? The things you say aren’t nice. They might be true, but there’s other ways of delivering them. So we talk about this sometimes as well. I want you to think of the best steakhouse you’ve ever been to. The best steakhouse.

And when you go to a really nice steakhouse, first of all, the ambiance is amazing. It’s got a nice music in the background. You sit at your table, you have a charger, a plate that’s sitting there. All the accoutrements are on the table. The waiter comes over, they take the napkin off of your plate, and they politely place it in your lap. And they say, sir, would you like to get something to eat? I’d love a ribeye. I love a ribeye. Oh, excellent, sir, how would you like that cooked? I like it medium rare. Yeah, the chef recommends that. Even rarer than that, because this is a fine steak. And starts to talk about the age of the meat and what’s going on. And you agree, and he gets you order sides and all that fun stuff and maybe some wine, whatever.

But when that steak comes out, the waiter comes in. That steak is sizzling on a nice hot plate sometimes, or a hot stone, depending on where you go. And the butter is on there instead of herbed garlic butter that’s just sizzling, or blue cheese on your steak. And he puts one hand behind his back and one hand with your steak and sets it down gently in front of you, turns the plate ever so slightly so the presentation is just right. And you look at that and he says, sir, enjoy your steak. Is there anything else I can get you? You say, no. And he walks away. It’s an amazing experience. You’re just dying to cut into that steak.

Now I want you to picture the crappiest roadside diner you can think of. Think of a movie if you haven’t been to one. But a lot of us have been to one of these types of diners sometime in our life. And imagine the waitress or waiter comes up to you and says, what are you having? You say, I like the steak. They say, okay, how’d you like that cook? Medium rare. And they walk away. They come back ten minutes later, 15 minutes later, and the waiter comes by and just drops the plate onto the counter. The steak slides off a little bit onto the plate, and then just turns around and walks away. So what’s the point of this? Right?

Well, let’s just say it’s the exact same steak. The delivery is different, the presentation is different. So when John swings that pendulum too far the other way, he becomes more like the waiter at the diner than he does at the restaurant, finding his true center. Right? Delivery and presentation are extremely important in these cases.

So what I want you to think about, guys, is you’re on your journey towards becoming a powerful man. A powerful man is a grounded man. They’re the lighthouse for their family. They’re the leader in their community. They are great men. Yes, they are nice people. Yes, they are great men. They’ll probably give you the shirt off their back. They’re amazing. But they stop putting themselves last. They’ve stopped looking for external validation, and they found that middle point of that pendulum, and they’ve become activated.

And this is why we call our flagship program The Activation Method. It’s a proven methodology to get you to the point from where John was, or quite frankly, where I was over ten years ago, to a place where you can be in your own center. A place where you can be centered, happy, sure of yourself. Not seeking external validation. Still considerate and caring and loving of the people around you. Still a good person, but not a doormat anymore. And not a jerk either.

And see, either sides of that pendulum are bad places to be. You’re going to end up unhappy, alone, and not wanting what you truly like. What you truly want in this life. You got one shot at this game. We call life. At least one. Like maybe you got two, maybe you got three, I don’t know, but we know we have one. If you’re listening to this and you’re over the age of 30, 35, it’s time to take some action, boys. It’s time to take some decisive action.

In this moment of clarity, take action. It doesn’t have to be through The Activation Method, but do something. Don’t just go from podcast to podcast, episode to episode, flipping around. Take action. Decide that you’re going to invest in yourself. Decide that you’re good enough to find your center, your purpose, and find the powerful man that’s inside of you. Gentlemen in the moment of insight we always say, take massive action. We’ll see you next time on the TPM show.