The Nice Guy Syndrome

no-more-mr-nice-guy-bookIn the early 90s I had a crisis. I was about two years into my second marriage. I thought I had found the woman of my dreams. Yet I was frequently frustrated and resentful toward the woman I loved.

I did everything I could to make her happy. I tried to solve her problems. I tried to be a good father to her children. I tried to be a better man than the other men in her past. I tried to be the best lover she had ever had. I put her needs ahead of mine.

In spite of everything I did for her, it never seemed enough. I could never seem to make her happy. She was frequently moody and would lash out at me, seemingly without provocation. Our sex life sucked.

My resentment grew, but I kept it all inside. I just kept trying harder to do whatever it would take to make her happy and get her to give me the love, appreciation, and sex I so deeply desired.

I avoided conflict and withheld any information – including my feelings and wants – that I thought might rock the boat or start a fight. I lied, and I hid things. I sought external validation from other women. I was passive aggressive – expressing my pent up feelings and resentments in “humor,” put downs, sarcasm, and backhanded jabs.

When it became apparent that our relationship wasn’t working well for either of us, I decided (actually, she gave me an ultimatum, “Go to counseling or I’m leaving.”) to join a men’s group and get some counseling.

I slowly began to see how my “Nice Guy” behavior was not only not getting me what I wanted in my relationship, it was actually doing great damage. I began to learn about things like boundaries, self-care, self-soothing, and honesty.

I came to realize that the road map I had been using my entire life was extremely flawed and incapable of helping me get what I wanted. It was like I was trying to navigate my away around Seattle with a map of San Francisco. I was sure the map was accurate, but no matter how hard I tried, it never got me to my desired destination.

As my personal awareness increased, an interesting thing happened. I began to notice other men who seemed to be a lot like me.

Married men I worked with in my practice as a marriage therapist were making the same kind of statements about their partners that I had been making about mine:
  • “I'm one of the nicest guys I know.”
  • “How come I always seem to give so much more than I get?”
  • “All I want is to be appreciated. Is that asking too much?”
  • “I can never do it right.”
  • “She’s always mad.”
  • “When will it be my turn?”
  • “She never wants to have sex anymore.”

I could finish their sentences for them.

Then there were the single guys. The guys who either couldn’t get a date or who were deeply entrenched in the friend zone with the women they desired. These guys helped out and listened to women talk about their problems. They patiently waited, hoping the women they desired would quit lamenting over “jerks” and wake up to see what great men they were. Only to hear something like, “You’re such a great guy. You’ll make some lucky woman very happy some day.”

Over time I came to see, that like me, the road map of these passively pleasing men unconsciously influenced every area of their lives.

The Nice Guy Syndrome

A Nice Guy’s primary goal is to make other people happy.

Nice Guys are dependent on external validation and avoid conflict like the plague.

Nice Guys are guided by the following three “covert contracts:

  • If I am a good guy, then everyone will love me and like me (and people I desire will desire me).

  • If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask.

  • If I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life.

These covert contracts operate at an unconscious level. They don’t work for a number of reasons, but Nice Guys are convinced they should.

Because most Nice Guys believe they have kept their side of the contract, they often feel helpless and resentful when other people (and the world) don’t keep their side of the contract.

Are YOU A Nice Guy?

Who is a Nice Guy?
  • He is the relative who lets his wife run the show.

  • He is the friend who will do anything for anybody, but whose own life seems to be in shambles.

  • He is the guy who frustrates his wife because he is so afraid of conflict that nothing ever gets resolved.

  • He is the boss who tells one person what they want to hear, then reverses himself to please someone else.

  • He is the man who lets people walk all over him because he doesn't want to rock the boat.

  • He is the dependable guy at work who will never say “no,” but would never tell anyone if they were imposing on him.

  • He is the man whose life seems so under control, until BOOM, one day he does something to destroy it all.

Characteristics of Nice Guys
  • Nice guys seek the approval of others.

  • Nice guys try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes.

  • Nice guys put other people's needs and wants before their own.

  • Nice guys sacrifice their personal power and often play the role of a victim.

  • Nice guys tend to be disconnected from other men and from their own masculine energy.

  • Nice guys co-create relationships that are less than satisfying.

  • Nice guys create situations in which they do not have very much good sex.

  • Nice guys frequently fail to live up to their full potential.

Breaking Free

A Proven Plan

One of my favorite mantras is “What one man can do, another man can do.” I sincerely believe it. If one man can confront and overcome his Nice Guy issues and get what he wants in love, sex, and life, so can you.

I know the way. Through trial and error, I have found a more accurate road map. I’ve shared it with thousands of recovering Nice Guys, and I’ll share it with you.

Since beginning my own recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome, I have worked with thousands of Nice Guys. I have led up to five No More Mr. Nice Guy groups a week, lead seminars and workshops all over the world, taught online classes, and wrote the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy (Running Press, 2003).

I “get” Nice Guys. I understand what it takes to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome -- because I am a recovering Nice Guy.

Now, twenty-five plus years after first beginning my journey of exploration, I can attest that there is hope and recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome. I have a great life. I love my job. I live in Puerto Vallarta, MX. I have a great relationship. I have good friends. I am enjoying success as an entrepreneur. I am changing the world.

robert black shirt cut out 2I have had the privilege of being part of the recovery process with thousands of Nice Guys. I’ve received the thanks of countless wives. I’ve watched single guys find the love they desired. I’ve seen men live up to their potential in their work and careers.

Are you ready to put your intention into action and start getting what you want in love, sex, and life?

If so, let’s get started.

Dr. Robert Glover

No More Mr. Nice Guy, The Book

no more mr nice guy bookIn 2003, Barnes & Noble and Running Press published the hardcover edition of No More Mr. Nice Guy. The book was a groundbreaking work on the subject.

Seven years in the making, No More Mr. Nice Guy is based on my own recovery from the Nice Guy Syndrome as well as my work with countless recovering Nice Guys.

Since its publication, No More Mr. Nice Guy has helped thousands of men and women break free from the Nice Guy syndrome and start getting what they want in love, sex, and life.


Are You A Nice Guy?
woman yelling at manDo you give more than you get?
Do you avoid conflict and keep the peace?
Do you try and get people to like you?
Are you feeling sexually frustrated?
Are you living up to your potential?
Do people walk on you and take advantage of you?

Do you lack purpose and passion?



Connect With Other Recovering Nice Guys

guy on computer with headphonesLaunched in 2023, Integration Nation provides a recovery forum for hundreds of men.

Get the support you need to break free from the Nice Guy Syndrome. 

Integration Nation Circles Include: NMMNG Book Reading, Breaking Free Activities, Recovery from Porn, Mindfulness Practices, ADHD Support, Money Mastery and many more to come.


congilio c 1 1"After reading No More Mr. Nice Guy, I was convinced Dr. Glover had followed me around for 30 years documenting my life story. I've read the book several times and even bought the audio book! After going through a divorce, I purchased Dr. Glover's dating and relationship podcasts and they continue to change my life. I'll never be able to thank Robert enough for life saving material."

Corey Congilio, Pittsburgh, PA
“No More Mr. Nice Guy has taken the world by storm."

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“I just wanted to say that your book was great. My regret is not having read it 30 yrs. ago. This was truly one of the best books I have ever read. I see hope now.”

Miguel Reznicek

jonathan 1“I read your book on the plane on a business trip this week. I originally purchased the book out of curiosity more than anything else but, WOW! You could simply replace 'Mr. Nice Guy' every time you see it in the book with my name and you would be pretty accurate. I want to thank you in advance for the changes that are coming. I think it's going to be a lot of work but worth it.”

Jonathan V., Orange County, CA

“I was a web developer for 10 years and now I’m a manager for other web developers. Your book helped me jump into the manager position. I can’t say enough about how you have opened my eyes to how unconscious I have been.”

Steve, NJ
josh em and leo"Dr. Glover has been an incredible mentor and life coach since being introduced to him in my early college years. After I got the courage to pick up the book, No More Mr. Nice Guy truly opened my eyes. The book was practically a movie script that I was able to see my past and current life drama play out on. I have had several 1-on-1 sessions with Robert and attended a men's group for help in my dating life.

I developed my own music booking company and a career as a live performer in Seattle. Now I'm married to my soulmate and have created a beautiful baby boy and a life adventure with her.

Dr. Glover inspired me to intentionally transform my life with my actions and create the kick-ass life I live now. Thank you Robert for sharing your experiences and leading me and other men into the light of our own greatness. There's no better gift then being true to who you are and sharing yourself with the world. I promise. Read the book!"

Josh Rawlings, Seattle, WA

"Dr. Glover is an emerging figure in the Men's Movement as crystallized by Iron John a decade ago . . . minus the hokey rituals."

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werner 1“Thanks for your work. I am rereading your book at the moment. I spent quite a bit of time in CoDA meetings over the last decade and felt quite at home there. After reading your book though, I believe that it represents the most accurate, in-depth analysis of this syndrome I have ever encountered. I am deeply grateful.”

Werner, El Granada, CA

"Your writing and thinking on how important male friendships are is very wise. I see a group of men at a cafe here -- they meet every Saturday. They're all Buddhists and they're basically discussing how to be better people, but I hear their conversations (they don't mind that I crane an ear in their direction!) and a lot of it is about maleness and masculinity, and it reminds me of the passages in your book about men keeping company with men. I think it's something to be encouraged."

amy alkon

Amy Alkon, aka, "The Advice Goddess"

"The book No more Mr Nice Guy has confronted me with the fact that I am a Nice Guy. It has taught me to name my issues. It was as if the book was written about me. How can someone I don’t know write about my life? During the online classes I found others out there who I can share with. Because of my family situation and cultural and religious background, my old self believed was that I was dirty and bad for being a man. I’ve learned that my needs as a man are good and important.”

B., Switzerland
"A Psychology Guru"

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garth 1“I read No More Mr. Nice Guy in January 2010. At the time I weighed in at 170kg, I was on the verge of bankruptcy, and I had not been sexual with a female for 12 years. I was blown away by the hard hitting honest information and the reality check that I was faced with. My 20 years of frustration and not feeling authentic about who I was, had been answered. I started doing the Breaking Free exercises and started the first No More Mister Nice Guy men's group in Melbourne (Australia). I went from a depressed, frustrated and suicidal male to a man on a mission and ready to face the world. The content is solid, practical and so rich with down to earth information that I believe that the message of No More Mr. Nice Guy will bring clarity to many men's frustrated lives.”

Garth Lategan, Melbourne Australia

"I am a 20 year old college student. I stumbled across your website after a failed attempt at a relationship and bought your book. I just wanted to say that reading it was probably one of the most important things I have done in my life in light of the personal growth I have accumulated in the last few months. I know I have a long way to go but I know how to get there now."


martin 1“First of all, I have to say 1000 thank yous to you for your work. I just discovered it and it is a big revelation for me. Everything you say fits 100% for me and it is a big relief for me that there is a possible way out.”

Martin, Germany
"Glover . . . has a tone that veers between conventional psychological counsel and edgy outrageousness."

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roundtree 1Your book has been an amazing gift to me, and has provided a solid path of recovery for me. My marriage was almost completely dead, and it is now on a much more authentic path.”

Phil Rountree, Marin County, CA

jim1 1“I read your book, my God that's been my problem all along -- being a Mr. Nice Guy. While reading your book I had to say 'Wow!' several times. Its been a great book, I'm on my second reading of it now.”
Jim F., Scottsdale, Arizona

“Many thanks for your time and effort. The future is looking far better for me than it has in a long, long time.”

Dan Tadman, Leamington Spa, UK

Linton 1"I find it difficult to be able to sum up in two to three short sentences how much you have impacted my life. You have helped me transform my entire life. Reading No More Mr. Nice Guy has opened my eyes to the truth of who I am. I have lost over 100 pounds in weight, not to mention double that in emotional weight. I am so much more outgoing than I use to be. The book, podcasts, and class have helped awaken my subconscious so I can recognize these behaviors about myself and giving me the tools to work on them."

Josh Linton, Portland, OR
Your book and courses changed my dating and sex life. I didn't realize how much I didn't want to be called a “Man.” It feels good when a woman refers to me as a “Man” now. And I haven't had anyone say recently, "You're nice, and I see you like a brother." I'm not out seeking approval any more. I remind myself to blurt things out, and I've said some dumb stuff that no one has held against me. I'm a whole lot more comfortable in my own skin.”

Oz D., Chicago, IL