Most of you are familiar with the phrase "Nice guys finish last", just as you are probably familiar with every other romantic comedy that tries to modify this phrase to "Yes, nice guys finish last, but they also get the girl somehow". In fact, there's a good chance that you also think you are the 'nice guy'.
Sadly, no one spends much time on the fact that nice guys are jerks.
See, nice guys have been having it easy for ages, thanks in part to mainstream media and their victimisation of them. They're used to glowing recommendations, great testimonials and a sort of "rules are just guidelines" approach to pretty much everything. They're used to being liked, and they are used to getting their way, because no one likes to be mean to the nice guy. That would make you the bully, and nobody wants to be that person. No, no matter how 'badass' we pretend to be, we all tell ourselves that inside, we're really nice guys too, just like him. So we smile, and oblige, and we return his niceness with our own.
However, our 'humanity' has also given nice guys a sense of accidental entitlement and power. When you are constantly treated well and when favours are done for you without hesitation, it's only natural that these acts start to lose value in the eyes of the nice guys. Exceptions soon become the norm, and almost their right, and the nice guys are blissfully unaware of this because everyone is still being nice to them. A 'one-time' exception becomes an everyday rule, which leads to the nice guy getting preferential treatment, which naturally will lead to problems. For example, the nice guy asks you to do his coursework this 'one-time' because it's difficult, and then the next time too because he's not got it yet, and soon it's all the time because you never made a fuss about it.
Now don't get me wrong; the nice guys aren't using you. They don't have some agenda where they befriend people and trick them with their charm or innocence. No, nice guys are worse, because they do it unintentionally. In fact, every time you do this favour for him, he will thank you profusely for doing it. And he'll mean it too; after all, he's a nice guy. But by not challenging him, or trying to equal his 'niceness', we're in fact opening ourselves to being unintentionally exploited.
Another area nice guys aren't adept in is the handling of hostile situations. You see, over the years, they grow up without learning certain key aspects of life, especially when it comes to dealing with people. Nice guys aren't usually disliked, or even argued with, and that robs them of the ability to handle confrontation. Now, there are various ways in which these nice guys can react.
Some get hostile in return: "how dare these people act tough with me?? Can't they see I'm a nice guy??"
This reaction usually goes down poorly with his peers, to say the least, mainly because they aren't used to seeing this side of the nice guy. While most of us are used to dealing with bullies and unreasonable idiots in our place of work or study, the nice guys are just incapable of handling the situation. The thick skin, the ability to let things slide; none of these exist for the nice guy, leaving him a frustrated and indignant individual who will rant and complain to anyone who will lend an ear.
Others get trampled on: "Oh me. Oh my. He was unspeakably rude to me. I must have deserved it, so I'll just sit and take this."
This is rather sad to see, because while we all go through situations where we need to bite our tongue and ride out the storm, the nice guys break down and beat themselves up about it, acting like they're the ones to blame for this situation, and generally being all mopey about it. It's not pretty.
So, what is the solution to this? I have no idea; I've just been observing the trends in my own circles over the last few years, and I'm quite certain the theory stands. So while this is by no means an attempt to paint the nice, upstanding, honest individuals out there as duplicitous, selfish and devious, perhaps the next time a 'nice guy' asks you for something, tell yourself you're doing him a favour by saying "No".