080: NICE GUY SYNDROME with Steve Edwards
If you’re like most dudes, no one taught you how to be a man. Instead, you’ve probably been taught pretty much the opposite. So many personal influences in our lives: our parents, our peers, and society has conditioned us to be obedient rather than strong. We’ve been taught to be a good boy, follow the rules, not be rude and these ideas have been forcibly injected in our heads since we were able to speak. The problem is it doesn’t work and is hardly ever in our best interests. These messages manipulate us into being manageable and compliant, the standards of systems that are about control. Sometimes giving is not right. Sometimes sacrificing is wrong. Sometimes being nice damages us. Today we’re going to discuss the book No more Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover.
- Be honest about your feelings, your interactions.
- Quit being afraid of new experiences or what’s around you.
- Learn to surrender what you can’t change.
- Do what you want to do.
- Learn how to get help.
- Recognize that people are human.
- Stop trying to be perfect.
- Stop seeking approval.
- Take care of your own needs with integrity.
- Stop building such huge walls and let people in.
- Don’t try to cover up or take attention away from your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings.
- Be aware or cognizant of your childhood events and some of the conditions or influences that led you to where you’re at today.
- Set boundaries.
- Be transparent about what you’re feeling about things.
- Spend more time with men.
- Recognize that women, they reject nice guys.
- Learn to be more passionate, more assertive, more responsible.
- Recognize that you don’t have to do everything right, or you’re allowed to be flawed.
- Don’t let the fear of failure or the fear of success.
- Go after the life you want, quit settling.
- Make your own rules.
Brad Singletary (00:00:00):
If you’re like most dudes, no one taught you how to be a man. Instead, you’ve probably been taught pretty much the opposite. So many personal influences in our lives. Our parents, our peers and society has conditioned us to be obedient rather than strong. We’ve been taught to be a good boy, follow the rules, not be rude. And these ideas have been forcibly injected in our heads. Since we were able to speak the problem is it doesn’t work and is hardly ever in our best interests. These messages manipulate us into being manageable and compliant. The standards of systems that are about control sometimes giving is not right. Sometimes sacrificing is wrong. Sometimes being nice damages us. Today we’re going to discuss the book No more Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover.
If you’re a man that controls his own destiny, a man that is always in the pursuit of being better. You are in the right place. You are responsible. You are strong, you are a leader. You are a force for good. Gentlemen, you are the Alpha, and this is the Alpha Quorum.
Brad Singletary (00:01:30):
Welcome back to the Alpha Quorum Show. Brad Singletary here. I’m really excited about this episode. This is episode number 80. I can’t believe that we’ve come this far. It’s been over three years now and it’s just exciting. The feedback that we get from all of you, thank you for what you’ve shared with us in the social media and the messages and emails and so forth that we’ve gotten. Our guest today has been an entrepreneur from his first business owning and operating a car stereo shop 20 years ago until today, right here in Las Vegas. Since then he’s owned a car dealership, a bar, a strip club, and currently owns a Jeep boat and jet ski rental company. A whole bunch of ATM machines as well as a marketing agency that works with tour and rental operators around the country. Steve Edwards is the dad of two boys, one in the air force and one who just recently enlisted in the Navy. Welcome, Steve. Appreciate you being here, brother.
Steve Edwards (00:02:24):
Hey, thank you so much for having me the episode 80. That’s pretty impressive. Yeah.
Brad Singletary (00:02:28):
Yeah. Well, I should mention here too, that you’re a podcaster yourself and you’ve done played with this a little bit and he’s teaching me how to get my mics and stuff dialed in a little bit better tonight. Appreciate that, man.
Steve Edwards (00:02:41):
This is fun. I love this stuff. This is great.
Brad Singletary (00:02:42):
Well, this topic seems to be something that you really are. How are you? How are you so familiar with this information? This is like your hobby horse of…
Steve Edwards (00:02:55):
This is my catalog. This is my book.
Brad Singletary (00:02:59):
So we want to talk about the book No More Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover as I’ve worked with men. And as I’ve figured some of my own out, I’ve realized that far too many of us are just too soft. I did a little survey recently on a private Facebook group, by the way, if you’re listening to us and you’re not a member of the Facebook group, check it out. It’s called the Alpha Quorum. It’s a private group on Facebook. No one can see that you’re there. What you post, unless they’re in the group.
Steve Edwards (00:03:28):
And you’ve got to be a man which helps.
Brad Singletary (00:03:31):
Yes, everyone there is male. We verify that. I guess we’re only looking at pictures and names, but we think we have a pretty good idea.
Steve Edwards (00:03:37):
I said, man, loosely, I guess you need to be a male. Probably a couple of not men, but there’s some definitely, everybody’s a male.
Brad Singletary (00:03:47):
You know, it’s funny. We have, I think 1% of our audience in there, it shows up is female. And I think it’s because you have, there’s a couple of guys who share their their Facebook accounts with their wives and maybe that’s where that comes from. But
Steve Edwards (00:03:59):
I mean, that could be its own podcast on its own. What does it mean when you start sharing your Facebook account with your significant other?
Brad Singletary (00:04:06):
That’s being a little bit too nice. Maybe. Definitely. So No More Mr. Nice guy. What, what led me to this entire thing that I’m doing as I speak to men as I’m working with men in my practice is just noticing that men are either too hard or too soft, too nice or too difficult. And I read this book probably three or four years ago. It was it was recommended to me by Derek Johnson. We kind of started this whole thing together, Derek and I, and he showed me this book and told me that he himself was a nice guy and recovering nice guy. So Robert Glover is a therapist and he recognizes some of the patterns that he talks about in the book, recognize that in himself. And he describes a little bit about how that has harmed his harmed his relationships. And he’s teaching this to other men so that we can get ahold of ourselves and get our balls back basically.
Brad Singletary (00:05:03):
So we want to review a little bit about this content. We’re going to talk about just nice guy syndrome, what it is, how we become this nice guy, learning to please the person who matters most making your own needs a priority, reclaiming your personal power, your masculinity, and more about getting the love and the sex and the life that you want. Those are basically the chapters of his book. Start us off on a high level here. Steve, what, what is this about and what do you recognize in general? We’ll hit some specific bullet points later, but sure. You know, plenty of guys who behave this way, they’ve surrendered their masculinity itself to the system, to their spouse, to their parents or whomever. They’ve given that up to what do you notice?
Steve Edwards (00:05:51):
I even think that this isn’t even something that I need to kick down the road. You know, this is something that I can take full ownership of as I was as nice of a guy as you could possibly meet the nicest guy. And you know, when you start seeing some of the traits that represent being a nice guy, you know, at surface level, they sound like really admirable traits. Like you’re a nice guy. You’re willing to, you know, do things for others. You want to fix problems. You are a giver. You you know, you are seek, you seek the approval of others. When you say these at surface level, these sound like great, wonderful things that you would want out of a guy. Yeah.
Brad Singletary (00:06:33):
This is the dream husband you’re talking about.
Steve Edwards (00:06:35):
Absolutely. But what ends up happening is you end up with a guy with no backbone. You end up with a guy that can’t deliver on his promises because he is incapable of it because he’s living a lie. He’s not happy. Most of this is all self-deprecating behavior because they’re not serving themselves first. They’re not taking care of their own wants and needs. And yeah, they end up in a really tough spot.
Brad Singletary (00:07:03):
Yeah. They, everything they’re doing is really calculated to try to gain approval or avoid disapproval. So we’re always trying to do the right thing so that, you know, nothing is ever hard for anyone. We want to protect everyone. Else’s feelings, repress our own. Of course. Yes. That’s so unhealthy.
Steve Edwards (00:07:23):
I’m healthy because you know, I was like to take this back as if any of you guys have ever did it. And every, every guide knows this, that women love a bad boy. Right. Right. and we see it in media. We see it in everyday life and you never really understood the why. Why do they go after the bad boy? Well, because there’s an edge because they, they appear to be a man. They have this backbone, this, this spark about them that feels alive. And when you start looking at a lot of nice guy behaviors, you know, the, this idea of not being able to stand up on your own feet, it’s almost like codependent in its own way. Totally. But they’re not, they’re not fulfilling their own wants, needs and desires because they’re so busy worrying about everybody. Else’s
Brad Singletary (00:08:14):
And the hope, why, why is that? What is the hope in trying to please everyone? What are they trying to gain from that?
Steve Edwards (00:08:20):
So the term, and I mean, we’re kind of like without jumping too far ahead, but the term is it is a covert contract. Most of everything done as a nice guy is done with the idea that you will receive something in return. The easiest way or the, you know, the dumbest way to explain this in a guide type of mentality is, you know, the time you did the dishes or you did the laundry in order to have sex,
Brad Singletary (00:08:47):
Hey babe, I changed the light bulbs. You think we could have some alone time now, a hundred percent, but this covert. So that means we’re not really, this is, that would be even better. That’s what the bad boy move is like, Hey, I changed the light bulbs. I did the dishes now let’s get naked.
Steve Edwards (00:09:03):
Yeah. But that doesn’t even express that it’s not even said what it, what it’s done is it’s almost like, I think every old person under the sun has always said it, you know, what does assuming mean? It makes an out of you and me. Right. And, and it’s that, it’s a game. It’s mental gymnastics. It’s I’m going to do all these things, right. I’m going to, I’m going to vacuum and I’m going to dump a dishwasher and I’m gonna, you know, I’m going to take care of the kids. Like, and they expect that the sex would be reciprocated. Now this has done in a million other things. This is just the easiest one. And probably the biggest miss for guys is because, you know, as you being a therapist and talking to a lot of men, what do men complain about? Hey, I’m, I’m married and my wife doesn’t put out.
Brad Singletary (00:09:53):
We have a great relationship except we never touch each other.
Steve Edwards (00:09:56):
Yeah. Because I’m, she’s absolutely disgusted by me. Sounds awesome.
Brad Singletary (00:10:00):
Well, she’s probably not disgusted by your beer gut. She’s probably not disgusted by your morning breath. She’s probably disgusted that you’ve emasculated yourself and you’ve given your handed your balls away to someone or to her maybe. And you’re, you’re not making your own needs a priority. I probably used to say this kind of thing about you’re the center of my world. You’re everything to me in that kind of stuff. When I hear that now, or I see that anywhere, I just cringe and I go, oh, please do don’t. Don’t don’t, don’t, don’t be like that because that’s not going to work out very well. And women are not very interested actually in being the center of your world. If you’re the, if they are the center of your world, that means your world isn’t very freaking exciting. I’m going to lose respect for you, man. They just, they’re not going to have much interest in you. And it doesn’t matter how you look or how much money you have. If you’re overly focused on making your partner happy, none of you are going to be happy.
Steve Edwards (00:11:00):
And I think the, as we dig into it here a little bit more, it’s not necessarily the idea of doing a nice thing with, you know, something expected in return. It’s all the other actions that lead up to it. It’s, it’s basically all the steps that have turned you into a nice guy that have made you a disgusting human to your, to your wife, to your significant, other to the female gender, you know, to females in general, you know, in order to be a nice guy in order to protect everybody from everything, you have to be dishonest, you’ve gotta lie. You’ve got to, you know, you can’t be fully transparent because there’s things in life that if you’re totally honest about them, they’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.
Brad Singletary (00:11:43):
You’re making me think of a, what was that movie? Old School Will Ferrell and they’re in, they go to therapy and they’re like, oh, we’re in the trust tree. We’re in the trust tree. You know, you can say anything, go ahead, open yourself up. And he’s like, oh, I’m imagining what kind of panties you’re wearing to the hot female therapist. And he gets in trouble. And he said, wait a minute. I thought this was, I thought we were in the trust tree. I thought this was safe.
Steve Edwards (00:12:04):
Nope. That’s a great example because guys, guys are so scared to be honest, but you know, because it sounds bad. Nobody wants to be labeled a predator, but guys are certainly more animalistic than women. They definitely think with their wrong head most of the time, and guys are very simple in the fact that like they would trade out a lot of things in order to have sex. I mean, if they could make those contracts, Hey, all dumped a dishwasher for sex. I will run 12 laps around the block for sex. And that’s where it all goes wrong because guys end up running with the wrong brain and they make decisions. And basically the rest of their life is basically decided by these horrible decisions.
Brad Singletary (00:12:54):
Yeah. They’ve got to hide the evidence of their weaknesses. They’ve got to hide their feelings. They’re, they’re loaded with secrets. They’re trying to like be, you’ve mentioned dishonesty. They’re like compartmentalizing, everything.
Steve Edwards (00:13:06):
Manipulation is a big one. You know, again, it’s like using a different term for the same type of thing. But if you’re lying, you’re probably manipulating situations. You’re telling half-truths I was a liar. That was my thing. I like to lie lying was my drug. It was like, you know, if I could just tell a little white lie to protect my own, to, you know, ease the situation. And you know, as everybody’s aware, your lie, catch up to you, your lies bite you in the. And that, that was my, that was my game.
Brad Singletary (00:13:38):
That never, ever, ever plays out well. And it actually causes the thing that we’re trying to avoid. So why do we lie? Why do we manipulate is because we don’t want to lose the other person. We’re just terrified of abandonment, which is a theme that runs throughout this book is we’re so afraid of being abandoned. We’re afraid that if we show any need or have any of our own wants, or we want to go fishing or go on a guys trip or do any of those things that we’re going to be seen as selfish and therefore abandoned. But then we lie in compartmentalize and we’re dishonest. And we have this like covert control, this covert contract stuff that we do. And we ended up losing respect anyway, they become disgusted by that anyway. And we would probably, you know what, man, I’ve heard women here in my office, let’s say, they’re dealing with an affair. The man’s had an affair. Yeah. In 100% of the time she doesn’t obsess about what the, you know, what the girl looked like or how good the sex was or what did he say to her? What she’s hurt by is the dishonesty. And he’s dishonest because he’s afraid of what would happen if she were to find out. So yeah, tons of manipulation and all this is really, there’s a lot passive aggression that goes along with this stuff.
Steve Edwards (00:14:53):
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, there’s a million different little pieces of this that I think every guy to some degree can look in the mirror and start unpacking some of these characteristics, some of these behaviors. I mean, I don’t know a single guy that I know that hasn’t made a covert contract about something or that, you know, is a hundred percent honest all the time. That’s totally transparent. Cause I mean, even now, even even saying that I’m, you know, a recovering nice guy, this idea of like complete transparency and total honesty is frightening as hell. Yeah. It is. I’m not saying that, you know, it isn’t the right direction and it it’s hard. But the, the other side of it is also very, very challenging. This idea of like lying your way out of situations, lying to, you know, controlling the situation.
Steve Edwards (00:15:48):
I’m, I’m, I’m a controlling guy. I’ve been the boss for a long time. Probably, you know, you take those Myers-Briggs tests. It comes back I’m, I’m a manager type. I am the boss type. So to remove controlling feelings and controlling situations and letting situation, you know, letting situations play out. I remember in a previous relationships, you know they, she would have had a disagreement at work or an argument at, with friends or something like that. All I wanted to do was fix it, or I wanted to take the edge off. I wanted to do anything to create less friction and just trying to remove all the friction from everything that, you know, I think every, what else have we always heard? Like, we don’t want you to solve the problem. We just want you to listen to us. Well, I think all the guys are fixers.
Brad Singletary (00:16:44):
It’s kind of in our nature a little bit.
Steve Edwards (00:16:45):
We’re built to fix it.
Brad Singletary (00:16:46):
One of the things he, one of the things he mentions in the book is that a lot of these nice guys are even attracted to people that they can try to fix protracted to the broken person. Codependency was a term that you used before. Maybe this is maybe this guy has made a multi-million dollar fortune right in this book. And he’s really just describing codependency. I don’t know, but it seems like a lot of those things are common things. Another negative about being a nice guys that we’re swinging back and forth for being nice and not nice. So these guys aren’t always necessarily, you know, nice. And the doormats, sometimes we, we, we let all that stuff build up and it turns into like explosive anger and those kinds of things you ever go to a domestic violence class and the room was full of nice guys.
Steve Edwards (00:17:32):
Yeah. I mean, that’s, you know, I had to had a Google it, but you know, it’s like a narcissistic style of behavior and, and it it’s because it’s so self-serving, and it’s really only built for the interest of the nice guy and not the party around it. It’s like this exchange of, of feeling like you’re going to continue to do these things in exchange. I want to feel a certain way. I want a certain reaction. I want a certain amount of touch or whatever it might be that you’re never left fulfilled. There’s never a fulfillment of like, wow, that worked out. I feel great about it. I should continue to do this. In fact, it’s the exact opposite where you’re constantly left disappointed and that disappointment builds up to resentment and resentment as you’re well aware, you know, in therapy is what ruins relationships guys are just begging for any amount of intimacy, any amount of affection from their significant other. And she’s pulling away even harder because all she’s seeing is the. She’s seeing the lying. She’s seeing the controlling manipulative guy that, yeah, maybe he dumped the dishwasher. Maybe he did this, but then he’s also yelling at me about, about not contributing about not helping about not being an equal member of the, of the family. And it’s like this weird tug of war with yourself, the only person you’re fighting with is yourself.
Brad Singletary (00:18:58):
Yeah. So there’s a lot of sexual problems with this guy. He’s usually extremely dissatisfied. There’s some often sexual dysfunction. So like erectile dysfunction, there’s like inability to orgasm. There’s all kinds of different things that go along with that. Maybe they’ve acted out sexually. Maybe they’re addicted. They have some sexual compulsion. There’s a lot of this is focused around sex. And he talks later in the book, he talks about one of the things that nice guys do is that they settle for bad sex. So they’re settling, always perpetually unhappy with that. Either not able to improve it, recognize their role in it, but you know, the bad boy, he’s not getting a lot of bad. He doesn’t have, he doesn’t have that. And it’s like, what is it about why is that?
Steve Edwards (00:19:49):
Well, because I think, again, not to dumb guys down to just three things, but you know, food, sleeping, sex, but you know, guys are hunters by nature and they definitely are seeking. They’re seeking that sexual relationship. Do they want more than that? Absolutely. A hundred percent. There’s certainly far more to guys than just food, sleeping, sex, but guys are certainly more driven to go get sex. And where I think the word falls apart is when you look at like porn of today, you know, porn on its own is like a next level thing where it’s not even like normal porn anymore. Like who even knew that everybody wanted to just have sex with her steps. I mean, who do that was like the hottest,
Brad Singletary (00:20:35):
Is that what they’re talking about now? I guess I don’t, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know
Steve Edwards (00:20:40):
No idea, never over what PornHub is like the top fifth or sixth visited the site on the internet. I had no idea. I don’t even know what goes on there. Yes. You know, so the perversion level of like what is even being presented, it’s not even normal consensual sex, like what you’re used to or what normal people, I guess, would be seeking. They’re being exposed to something that isn’t even realistic. So they’re going home or they’re bringing that vibe. If you want to call it to their significant other. And you know, they’re not living up to it. Like everything else in their life, they’re not living up to it. It’s basically a constant feeling of disappointment and the lacking, because you’re not having the sex you want, you don’t have the relationship you want, you know, you’re not getting sex enough or up to the standards that you would want. Your wife has constantly mad at you. It’s this constant letdown. And all it does is build up into a huge, huge fight. And that’s where most of these guys go wrong. And that’s where they end up with domestic violence. That’s where they end up in cheating. That’s where the whole thing starts by alert, spiraling out of control.
Brad Singletary (00:21:50):
Yeah. So like relationship problems, this stuff, you know, goes into careers and people are unfulfilled in their careers and not living up to their potential. But usually when a guy comes to see me here, they’re, they’re coming in talking about their relationship and yes, they may have depression or anxiety. They may have anger or whatever at their core of what I see an 80% of the men that I, that come here, they got nice guy syndrome going on. And by the way, you’ve kind of acknowledged that I got to say that to myself. If you go back to episode one of this show, I talk about that, that in my first marriage, I was a little bit controlling, a little bit pushy and a little bit demanding and so forth. And in my current marriage, I tried to correct that by being super accommodating and turned into the nice guy and that didn’t work either.
Brad Singletary (00:22:37):
So we’ve been going at this 10 or 11 years now, 11 years. And we finally figured some of this out, but it took me. And I guess if she’s listening to this show, maybe she’ll comment in the, in the social media, whether or not this is true, but I feel like I did. And I have a had to just take, get my balls back. Yeah. I want to skip the part about being integrated. I want to come back to that later, but the working paradigm of the nice guys is this, if I can hide my flaws and become what I think others want me to be, then I will be loved. Then I will get my needs met. Then I can have a problem free life. But even when, even though this is effective, they only see one option is to try harder. So we just keep trying. We just keep doing more and more nice things. I hear it all the time, man. I bought her a $12,000 ring for our 12th anniversary. I did all this stuff. I had all these things and made these special trips. And I did all this thing in my I’m just orbiting around her as the center of the universe. It never seems to pay off. I don’t understand it. Why is that?
Steve Edwards (00:23:47):
You know, you’ve got these guys coming into your office and at the point, a lot of the guys are coming into your office. I don’t want to be the cynical guy and say that it’s too late, but you’re definitely, you know, now you’re trying to really fix something that’s broken versus doing a lot of the maintenance work that is required to keep a relationship healthy. And they’re at this point because they’ve basically dropped the ball so far along the way. And you know, not that we, we can’t put any blame on, on women, but when a lot of like the problems that have, I’ve heard, I know you’ve heard that guys are dealing with the blame does come back to the guy because it is such nice guy behavior. So talking about like this idea of like exerting more, being more continuing to you’re going to keep pouring from an empty bucket, into her half full cup.
Steve Edwards (00:24:42):
Right? And you’re trying to fulfill the marriage in ways that are not what she’s asking. So it’s like you even brought up the example of like buy a new car, buy this pay. I can fully admit I’m the guy that always reverts to solve it with money. Well, that doesn’t solve most problems. I mean, it doesn’t solve most relationship problems. You know, your wife has an asking for you to buy her a new bag, to keep her happy. She is asking for you to participate in the relationship, participate in your kids’ lives. Be a good, be a good partner, be a good father, be present, show up. And unfortunately Louis Vuitton doesn’t sell any show up medicine. It’s always a very nice bag, but that doesn’t buy love.
Brad Singletary (00:25:31):
They need you to be a bad-ass that probably has nothing to do with them. You’re not going to wash dishes enough. You’re not going to do these household things enough. It’s not how many diapers you changed. You know, we still need to do those things, but we lose ourselves in the process. When I look at someone who’s divorcing, I ask and I’ve been there before. And so I know that feeling personally, I ask, well, how do you feel about yourself, your own individual kind of walk in life. How are you doing with your own journey? They always say, I’ve lost myself. I don’t even know who I am.
Steve Edwards (00:26:05):
So to touch on that because I got a little left of center of where I wanted to go on this. But you know, the biggest mistake I see is that guys have lost all touch with other guys. Guys don’t have hobbies. They don’t have real male friends. And they don’t. That’s the sort of stuff that keeps you at guy. I don’t want to, you’re not probably needing to go out grunting out in the woods and like burning pallets and stuff like that. And like just screaming from the mountain tops that I am man, but you need male testosterone around you. You need guy friends, you need to, you need have hobbies that are not including of her. You know, you need a life that does not fully encompass her in it. And that’s hard for a lot of guys to hear. You know, that’s hard for a lot of guys that have been in long marriages, 15, 20 years, they’ve lost connections with their wife or I’m sorry with their friends, their only friend is their wife. You know, they’re sitting around saying my best friend is my wife. My, you know, and that’s great. That sounds super sweet, but it’s also kind of scary because if your best friend is your wife, what happens when that don’t work?
Brad Singletary (00:27:18):
Yeah. It seems like the passion fades on, on those kinds of relationships. And that may be a great friendship. That’s good for you, bro. You got a good friend, but are you getting any bl*wjobs?
Steve Edwards (00:27:29):
It’s true. You know, I can already hear the pushback of like, well, don’t you want to be friends with your wife a hundred percent. You definitely want to be friends with your wife. And, but there was a different friendship. I don’t care how close to your wife you are. You have a different conversation with your guy, friends than you do with your wife. And I think that element of, you know, getting out and shooting guns or riding UTVs or going out, being out on the water, going hunting shooting pool, working on cars, any sort of thing that you can do where you get some male testosterone, you have like real male friends and quite honestly open up, start talking like guys are so terrified of like exposing themselves in any sort of weakness. And yet they’re at home just weak as hell, just soft as can be. But God forbid, they let another guy actually know that they’re hurting. That they’re struggling, that they’re going through anything because you know, the machismo is just pouring out of them except at home where it matters.
Brad Singletary (00:28:35):
I asked guys sometimes to draw like a pie chart, draw a circle and divide this pie into the things that you think about the things that you spend your time in time on your concerns in life. And when a guy shows me, you know, it’s, he’s got 70% of his pie chart is his woman. I can already tell. He’s not very happy. He’s not very fulfilled. And, and I just pulled this number out of thin air. But you know, one thing I say is like, what if she was 20% of your life? What if she was a 25% of your life? And maybe the biggest portion, maybe the biggest percentage of that pie of your time and your focus and your energy. But what if you throw some other things in there you need to have beyond the bowling team, you need to go on a golf league. You know, there’s gotta be some kind of connection to life outside of her and your home.
Steve Edwards (00:29:25):
Well, I also, you know, this is a metric that I’ve taken into account is that unless you actually have the five phone numbers to somebody you could call right now and ask them connect, come stay at your house. I need a friend. And maybe that’s even too big of an ask. Do you have five friends that you can call right now and go have a beer with, you know, or go talk to or go stand in their driveway and shoot the. Do you have five people you can do that with? And my guess is it’s like 97% say, no, it sits. They’re being real. It’s, it’s a no,
Brad Singletary (00:29:59):
It’s so wild. That we’re the biggest like consequence of being a nice guys, that you have terrible relationships with women, your romantic relationships are suffering, but the remedy, the cause and the remedy have nothing to do with that woman or that relationship or how you look. It has nothing to do with what’s within the relationship. So much of it has to do with what’s outside of it. There are some dynamics and some interactional things that cause problems. But let’s talk about the making of a nice guy for a minute. What, how do we, how did we become these weak dudes who are just so ultra nice and unhappy?
Steve Edwards (00:30:40):
Fifty, sixty years of being raised by women, your dad went to work. The, you know, the cleavers were the real thing. You know, dad went to work, mom stayed home. Mom raised you. Mom was your first girlfriend. Mom was your first love. Mom was everything. And you know, for a lot of guys is still everything I grew up. I was a mama’s boy. I’m not afraid to admit it. That’s the problem because there hasn’t been, you know, that idea of like being raised by men, going out with men, having that sort of like male testosterone around you, you’ve just, you’ve spent so much time around and being guided by women that you’ve lost a lot of that male edge. You’ve you’ve seen what your mom needs to be happy. You’ve seen like what the male energy looks like, or I’m sorry. The female energy looks like so strongly that it feels like you’re constantly like, man, I should fix this.
Steve Edwards (00:31:37):
I should be a nice guy. I should help out mom more. It’s like all these things that it becomes super unattractive to females. And some of this does go away when you’re dating. You know, when you’re dating, when you’re out hunting for the next girlfriend, there is that edge. You have to be witty. You’ve got to put, put yourself out there. You’ve got to, you know, you’ve got to lead with some testosterone and some masculinity because you’re a tiger and a group of other tigers. If you don’t, if you don’t attack somebody else’s gonna attack. If you don’t have some sort of push in you and that all goes out the window, the second that these guys become in a relationship that they, they find misses, right? They say, I love you immediately. They’re attached it’s codependent. And they’re just pouring themselves into this other person, which feels like the right thing to do, except they’re also pouring all the things that they need into this and not getting it in return.
Brad Singletary (00:32:36):
You mentioned being raised by women. Think about school teachers. So you’re home, mostly with mom, dad’s working late. He’s gone. Now another great example. One of the things that mentioned in the book is that most of these guys were, they either had absent fathers, avoidant, fathers, addicted, fathers, philandering fathers, angry fathers. And so part of it too, is that I want to be anything except like what my dad was. And then mom is trying to program us to like, don’t be that, be a nice boy. She needs you to be kind of her surrogate husband almost. That’s a whole another dynamic. That’s a whole another show. We’ll have to do at some point. But so we’re getting programmed by the schools. We’re getting programmed by in our own homes. Society just kind of wants to water down masculinity. I saw some stuff recently talking about the toxic masculinity idea and that the problem is not masculinity. The problem is the absence of masculinity. Jordan Peterson talks about, if you, if you think a strong man is dangerous, wait till you see what a weak man can do.
Brad Singletary (00:33:38):
If you can’t see that in our society right now, you know, the woke culture, the woke mob cancel culture. The second somebody doesn’t like something they’re, you know, they’re canceling everything and that’s, that’s its own separate topic. But if you don’t think that a correlates, not everybody’s a champion, not everybody can be a winner. Somebody is going to have to lose. Somebody’s going to have to learn a lesson. And I think it’s so prevalent today. I seen that pie chart, you know, where it goes around that circle of like weak man, strong man, you know, like I forget the four quadrants, but how it goes around. And yeah, I think, I feel like we’re in such a weird spot that like, it’s going to be very, very hard for somebody to break the culture of it. But I think at some you can recognize, recognize in your own house with your kids.
Steve Edwards (00:34:28):
I think it’s you, it’s something you can recognize as a man of like tendencies that you’re doing. And I I’ve recommended to everybody to read the book. The book is amazing. The book I feel like is a game changer. And the second, once you start reading it, you’re like, oh my God, I do that. I do that. Look at this. I do that. These are all like things that you can start seeing in yourself that you’re doing that have a huge difference in your overall happiness and wellbeing. And to the idea of like these teachers, these moms, all of this, you know, you can’t blame your mom for raising you the way she, you did. But at a certain point, the accountability of like why your relationships aren’t working. You do have to be able to look at a mirror and say, Hey, these are probably some of the negative traits that I’m presenting in this relationship. And if I can find out how to be a better version of myself, maybe I ended up with a better relationship.
Brad Singletary (00:35:24):
So I want to ask about something personal here. Tell me some of your worst, nice guy. Give me some stories.
Steve Edwards (00:35:33):
Oh man. I just, I was such a nice guy and I mean, I’m sure of my two ex-wives. They would love to chime in and pour into this bucket. But you know, I was, I was manipulative. That was definitely a good one. I was gaslighting king. I could Gaslight the out of a situation, you know, because, cause you don’t want to look in the mirror. You don’t want to take any ownership of it. So it was like, that’s why it’s on you. It’s not me. This is your feelings like this. And you know, I was, I, I think I wrote the chapter on the covert contract. I was the guy of like, oh, let me dump the dishwasher. Let me help with laundry. Oh, I’m going to vacuum. I’m going to do all this that you never asked me to do anyways. But I really expect some sex out of this at the end.
Steve Edwards (00:36:19):
And yes, I never got any sex. It was like, it was like, that was, it’s so dumb looking back on it because it all makes sense. It all makes sense. And now hindsight looking back, you know, this could have all been solved, you know, not happy to say it, but I have two divorces under my belt and the second one hit me pretty hard. The second one was rough. And when I’m looking at them now, I mean, I was as mad as I wanted to be at them. I, I have to take a lot of ownership. I was a pretty weak man. I was definitely not the best version of myself. I had every nice guy tendency that you could write and you know, and already led to resentment. It led to argument after argument about not having sex in our relationship, it led to fights about like, you know, doing stuff together or why isn’t this good enough? Why isn’t that good enough? And it makes for a miserable life
Brad Singletary (00:37:19):
For me, some of those things for sure, but to add to that, my own problems with this in relationships, I was kind of the simp, you know, I was like, I was writing poetry. I literally was just trying to be like, Mr, let me, let me do that for you. Let me do everything for you. Totally. The covert contract, like, man, let me just show you what a stud I am. And, and even, you know, I took pride in my, in my vulnerability. I could talk about my feelings. You know, I’m a sensitive guy and let me show you my sensitivity. Let me be this. Ah, it’s just disgust me now to think about it. And, and I, part of that was just it’s who I am. And I needed to kind of toughen up and get a backbone like you talked about, but also just not trying to show off. I mean, I remember one time I wrote this really long Facebook posts on my wife’s page just to like how wonderful and beautiful she is and all this stuff, bro. She deleted it. I’ve never done that again, man. I’ll I’ll, I’ll, I’ll be the guy who I would get her like I’ll buy a $7 card for Valentine’s day and put love you. He like, I can’t, I won’t even say, I love you. I’ll be saying love you, you know, not hard to draw the heart to heart and that’s it sign my name, you know, I’ll put B instead of Brad.
Steve Edwards (00:38:41):
So my biggest runaway with us, I didn’t actually discover this until I was going through the second divorce. So how mine actually sprung on me was like, it was, you know, we grew apart and I was really not playing the right cards. I was playing the game entirely wrong. And you know, when, when she was ready to call it and she wanted a separation and that’s where it started, all of a sudden I went into my F you know, fight or flight. And I did exactly that. I was like writing, like the longest, most heartfelt texts you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Like literally just total samp, total, oh my that’s disgusting. It’s like gross. I mean, I look back and I’m like, and that was some real pathetic behavior. And you know, all she wanted was space. She was like, Hey, I just need some time could not give her time.
Steve Edwards (00:39:36):
Time was like the most impossible thing. And if you anybody’s like Google, you start, they, they have a thing like 30 days of no contact. We’ll think about that for a second 30 days. Not talking to your significant other when she doesn’t like you and you’re trying to make up with her. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried in my life. But to that, I mean, there’s a lesson to be learned about that. I mean, the lesson is in the time it’s in this idea of like being so insecure in your own skin, that you’re not deserving of love, that you’re not deserving of happiness in your relationship. A lot of this book passes all the blame down to guys, and I’m a strong believer. Like I want to own my. I want to own it all the way through, you know, it’s way too hard to kick the can down the street to somebody else.
Steve Edwards (00:40:27):
But there is an element. It’s two people in a relationship. And if you were strong in your own background or in your own backbone, and you saw how this played out and you were being a man, you would have never dealt with any of the anyways. You know, if she isn’t providing, if she isn’t pulling her into the, you know, end of the deal, you’re being a man you’re helping, you’re contributing. You’re being this good dude without being a nice guy. You’re not going to be in a relationship that fulfills you like that. You know, not every relationship is meant to last forever. Maybe you’re with the wrong person, but if you’re good with you, that don’t matter. And that I think is the hardest thing for people to wrap their head around.
Brad Singletary (00:41:10):
Yeah. So our value, we see our value, our like human value, our value as a man is all wrapped up in how we’re being treated and like sex is that’s the ultimate evidence of being accepted. And when we don’t get that and we don’t get the time or attention or whatever we used to, we get into this like existential panic. You don’t want to talk to me. You don’t want to touch me. You don’t to spend time with me. I am nothing. Well, that is going to just escalate. That’s going to just devolve even more and more and more you’re spiraling down. And this going to end in total heartbreak. That’s what, that’s what happened to me for sure.
Steve Edwards (00:41:48):
No, and I mean, it’s easy to say it from standing, you know, sitting outside of it now and having gone through it. When I was going through it, I was a puddle of goo. I was, you know, I, I was soft as hell. I, there was nothing about me that was man. I felt like I was, you know, being a simp. And that was like the awakening that I needed to do some real self work. Cause I didn’t have, I didn’t have five people in my phone. I could have called to spend the night at their house or to go grab a beer with, I had me and my own depression and my own, my own negative beliefs about myself, not believing that I was good enough. And that’s where it starts and ends is like, you have to believe that you’re worthy of the love and affection that you need to be happy in a relationship. And the hard part, the talking out of both sides of my mouth on this is that you might be in this relationship with somebody that is not fulfilling your needs. And at a certain point, you have to be able to draw a line in the sand and say, I’m not getting what I need out of this relationship and be okay with the outcome because you know, you’re not happy. And that’s hard to say,
Brad Singletary (00:42:59):
I want to talk about this list of habits of highly ineffective men. Number one, looking for the approval of others, trying to conceal our apparent blemishes, you know, our mess up our mistakes, putting other’s needs in front of our own sacrificing our own power. I like this one too. This is what you’re talking about. This associating ourselves from different guys and our own manly energy. We’re totally disconnected. You’re let me say this loud and clear for you guys. Your most unhappy moments in your life have come or will come when you are the most disconnected from other men. Nope. That’s crazy. You’re most unfulfilled, unhappy times in your life will or have come when you are most disconnected from other men. So we make connections with women that aren’t fulfilling. We’re creating the circumstances. Co-Creating the circumstances for bad sex failing to live up to our own potential. So if we’re going to fix this stuff, we got to look at Glover talks about being integrated, being an integrated man. So what does it mean to be integrated?
Steve Edwards (00:44:16):
And integrated man, as somebody who is comfortable in their own skin? One of the biggest mistakes or one of the hugest problems with this nice guy is this belief that they’re not good enough. And this w this need for acceptance by everybody. You know, a lot of people say, I don’t care what other people think, but we all know that that’s a lie and that’s actually became even worse as time’s gone on where our entire culture and civilization is ran by, you know, fake Instagram and, you know, seeing everybody’s life. That seems amazing. Everybody’s beyond happy, but actually everybody’s really sad and depressed and going through a lot. And you know, they’re dealing with things and they have mental health issues. And at a certain point, you have to just believe that you’re okay, that you’re okay as you are. And your people will love you regardless. And that’s hard for people to say,
Brad Singletary (00:45:14):
Yeah, we’ve got to make our own needs important. We need to find people who can meet our needs when you’re integrated, you can live in some, with some confidence.
Steve Edwards (00:45:27):
And I think this all, I think this is the big takeaway for all of this is like, you have to just figure out how to be good with you. Like this idea of masculinity and like, you know, I don’t think you need to be this super machismo Dick. That’s what a lot of people hear is like No More Mr. Nice guy is that they have to turn this around and they’ve got to be this non-caring Dick we’re. In fact, actually, you know, somebody who is an integrated, truly good guy that gets what he’s doing. That’s a good man is caring. He’s probably way more caring, but he also recognize the difference between caring and care taking your job is not to solve everybody’s problems. But that doesn’t mean you don’t care. I have struggled with empathy for a very long portion of my life, of not being a very empathetic person.
Steve Edwards (00:46:23):
And I thought it just actually meant that I didn’t care, but where I got confused in this are where my mistake was made is that I felt empathy was also me having to solve the problem. I always had to have a solution to a problem versus just understanding that there was a problem. Sometimes you just gotta listen, you gotta just be able to hear that, okay, this is what’s wrong. This is what I don’t like. This is what makes me unhappy. Or this is what is making somebody unhappy and be okay in just, Hey, I hear what you’re saying. I hear what your problem is and leave it at that. You’re not in business to solve everybody’s problems.
Brad Singletary (00:47:05):
Yeah. We got to just deal with things in a straightforward way, learn to experience and express our feelings. We need to just find harmony with the, the delicate things of life. And another thing he talks about is that you build significant relationships with men. I always say the womanizer needs men, not women
Steve Edwards (00:47:27):
Or womanizer does need. And you know, the other thing is just being transparent about your wants and needs. He, covert contract will be the death of like, it will be the death of many marriages. And it has up to this point. And you know, because we’ve touched on the sex portion of it, this has to be a clear and present thing of what you’re in need of in this relationship. Maybe you’re not going to go and just say, Hey, I need more sex. I need more intimacy in my relationship and immediately get it. It’s not as if you’re going to go walk to her and be like, Hey, I definitely need more sex. And she’s like, you know what? You’re right. Let’s go, you know, you’re, this is a work in progress. And you’re going to have to work these steps to get to a spot of her trusting that your not going to be this passive aggressive guy, that your going to be the best version of yourself that you’re going to show up, that you’re going to listen. And in return, the end goal is that she will be able to be the best feminine version of herself, which is in return, is going to reflect on a better sex life, a better partner and a better relationship.
Brad Singletary (00:48:39):
Yeah. We got to face our fears. We need to become trustworthy and genuine. We’ve got to set limits. I think an integrated man is able to say, no, that’s something that I’ve struggled with. You talked about empathy, something I’ve struggled with is going along to get along, giving to get. He talks about that a lot in the book, you give something to get something back in return. So when you move come integrated, we’re not afraid. We’re not even afraid of losing the relationship. Think of the things that we do, the bonehead things that we do to try to save a relationship. We’re trying to force someone to let us stay at the party that no one wants us at. And I think if we can get to the point where like, it would be inconvenient, but I’m not, as I’m not scared to be alone,
Steve Edwards (00:49:31):
You know, it’s a, it is that fear of abandonment. It is that major fear of abandonment and whoa, what if nobody ever loves me again, somebody is going to love you again. You know, when you’re the best version of yourself when you’re showing up, when you’re caring, when you’re, when you’re that guy that was outdating, your you’re putting off, it’s a different energy. You care different. You know, you, you see that you’re, you’re in this. What happens when guys start going through breakups or in the gym, they’re working on themselves, they’re eating better. They’re doing basically everything that their spouse asked them to do in the relationship, just after the relationship
Brad Singletary (00:50:12):
That would’ve made everybody a lot happier. If they were just taking care of themselves, he talks a lot about that. And if we want to turn this around, he specifically talks about building muscle and like working out and becoming physical.
Steve Edwards (00:50:26):
Yeah. You know I, I saw it earlier and I, and I love this term as this I, and I’m going to read it. A lot of people say, I love hard instead of saying I’m codependent, lack boundaries, and become borderline obsessed with a person I’m interested in because of my anxious attachment style and fear of abandonment. But yeah, I love hard. Does sound better. I heard that. And I’m like, man, I, I feel that I get it because everybody gets in these relationships and you get in a relationship. And at first it’s like the greatest feeling ever you’re. So in love, you’re ugly. It’s oh my God, I can’t even imagine my life without them. And then like the real life sets in. And like, you have the same problems everybody else does. And relationships are hard when you’re not having sex with each other.
Steve Edwards (00:51:16):
You know, you with work with friends, with relationships, take a lot of work. And then when you add kids in the mix, you had a relationship, you had money. It’s a, it’s an uphill battle. The entire way we all have wants, needs, desires, that sort of thing. But we’re so afraid of just expressing our feelings, expressing how we feel, you know, what we need out of this relationship to be successful. You know, we’re terrified, terrified of the, what if it doesn’t work. And because what if, if it doesn’t work means you’re a failure. It means you’re not worthy of love. It means you’re not, you know, all these things you tell yourself, it means you’re never going to be with somebody else again. So instead you just pour the nice guy on like, it’s, you know, the thickest you’ve ever seen. It just thick country gravy.
Steve Edwards (00:52:07):
And you end up in a situation where you’ve got everything that you didn’t want. You’re not loved. You’re unhappy. You’re not getting, you know, you don’t have the sex. You want it. You don’t have the relationship you want and your partner checked out. And now you’re sitting in front of Brad and you’re wondering like, how does, how the hell did I get here? And how do I get out of this? And the unfortunate part is a lot of times, once you’ve gotten in front of Brad, it’s too late, too little, too late, myself included. Once you’re in front of Brad is too little too late. You can choose to solve it. Today is an overnight fix handle. No, there’s no overnight fix behind this. You’re not going to read this book and go home. And all of a sudden be this well adjusted mail. But if you don’t take some action, if you don’t find a reason to go out with the guys, if you don’t have any guy friends, you got to start somewhere. You’ve got to start. You gotta take that turtle step forward to take some action, to get to a better place, because otherwise it all unravels. And then, then you’re sitting on a podcast three years later talking about being a well adjusted male or so, whatever the hell that means some adjustments in the mail, the integrated mail. I’m sure if you have somebody there’s no well-integrated anything about this, but on, at work in progress,
Brad Singletary (00:53:27):
I think that’s important. We, he talks about you would need to please the person who matters the most. And that sounds a little selfish, but if we’re talking about coming out of nice guy syndrome, we gotta, we got to shift the balance a little bit more that way, because by trying to please everyone, nice guys end up pleasing, no one, including themselves. We see sex as the ultimate form of acceptance. And when our woman gets angry or upset, we think we, we start to panic like, oh, I got to do something quick, quick, quick, quick, how do I fix this? I need a lie. I need to manipulate. I’m going to offer some ideas. Here’s let me appease you in some way. And if we can just learn this, be okay with that little wave, that little emotional wave and just not feel like we’ve got to prevent her from feeling angry or upset. Because when we do that, when we’re rushing to some quick action, some urgency it’s based on, like you said, the fear of abandonment is based on, I am nothing without you. And that’s just. That’s going to lead you to pain.
Steve Edwards (00:54:30):
I always, every time, every single time that is going to lead you to pain. And it’s just not the case. I mean, are you the best version of yourself right now? No. Am I absolutely not. I’m sitting here and I’ve been losing the same 50 pounds for the last 15 years. It’s hard work. It’s hard work. And I think a lot of it all starts in the head. I think it’s the, you know, the embarrassment of mental health. I think it’s the guys being like, oh, well, how am I going to go talk to somebody about my feelings and of all the things you should do of all the places you should put money. Maybe you need to go see a therapist. Maybe you need to go talk to your friends. Maybe you actually have to have an open dialogue about what’s going on in your life. And this is where I think a lot of the mistake has made
Brad Singletary (00:55:19):
When we’re in the nice guy syndrome. We kind of feel like we’ve got to hide any of our shortcomings. Think about hair loss and stuff like that. And now we’re both sitting here now, both sitting here, bald guys who proud and true.
Steve Edwards (00:55:32):
You asked me if I was five foot taller and 50 pounds lighter me and me and the rock, same cap. Same.
Brad Singletary (00:55:41):
So yeah, any mistakes where we think about, you know, we don’t, we don’t wanna, we don’t want anyone to know that we farm. We don’t want to have any perfect imperfection of any kind. And so to be okay with that, stop lying, stop putting up walls. You know, people are not drawn to our perfection. Something that I’ve learned as a therapist is in the textbooks. You know, they say not to self-disclose, don’t tell your own stories to your clients. And I’ve really kind of always been a little patch Adams like with that stuff, I just do whatever works. And for me, what seems to work is in small little doses, I tell people about my into jail, but in a psych hospital, been suicidal, took psych meds, been divorced, got ex-communicated from Metro. I tell all those things. And everybody’s like, dude, I like that about you.
Brad Singletary (00:56:29):
I’m glad that you shared that. And I think the same is true of women. We think we’ve got to be perfect to win their acceptance. That’s probably not very good. I hear some women say sometimes he’s actually the perfect husband. Well, why did you cheat on him? Why are you leaving him? Why are you, why is this so perfect? He’s so perfect. And that’s a lot of pressure and it’s a lot to live up to. And I feel like there’s some inauthentic thing about that. So we don’t have to be perfect. What we have to do is get our needs met and do that with some integrity.
Steve Edwards (00:57:00):
This’ll be Billy put out, I’m sure, but it’s that putting the on the pedestal, it’s raising this belief that women are perfect, that women are without flaw and that your, just this piece of meat that she accepted into her life and you bring her no value. I mean, I think that’s where a lot of this self doubt and this disbelief in yourself that you’re deserving of love. I don’t know. Like I think that this is a lot of this has to start inside. This has to start in your own head. This is your own self-worth. And if you have something about you that you don’t like change it, make the change, do the work. If you’re like, oh my God, I’m such a fat obese sack, a shoes. Well, maybe you go to the gym maybe instead of sitting around. And like, if you don’t believe in yourself, maybe you take these changes. I have a mantra that I live by and I think it’s the greatest piece of advice. You either go after the life you want, or you settle for the life, you get hands down, full stop. The only thing you change everything about yourself. You want to be a billionaire, great. Do the work you want to be, you know, you want abs, you want to be ripped. You want the best life possible. Do the work. And if you don’t do the work, then you have to accept what you got.
Brad Singletary (00:58:20):
Yeah. Sometimes when we’re trying to be appear low maintenance. So like, if I, if I don’t have any needs, if I don’t have any way to grow, if I don’t have any imperfection, no one’s gonna abandon me. I want to dig into that covert contracts again, real quick. So basically that is to say, I will do blank so that you can do blank for me. I will do whatever. I’ll do this thing for you so that you can do this thing for me. But both of you act like no one is aware of the contract.
Steve Edwards (00:58:50):
You know, again, we can’t speak for women. We don’t have any women’s setting hair or anything like that, but it’s every guy does it. I mean, you know, they’re probably doing it and they don’t even know they’re doing it. But the, the most popular is always regarding around sex. You know, they on running joke for as long as everybody’s been alive is like the second you get in a marriage, you know, there goes a sax, right? Well, these guys that are in these relationships, he’s sexless, unhappy relationship. You know, that sex didn’t go away overnight and it didn’t go for a way, for any reason, something happened, something stopped, pushed her away where she stopped having sex with you. And maybe it was your lying. Maybe it was you not paying attention. You know, that phone that you’re sitting in there in your hand or the video game controller in front of you maybe you got to put it down, put a little pay, little attention and you know, I’ve had to drink my own.
Steve Edwards (00:59:41):
Kool-Aid on that. I’m the, I’m the worst. Like I worked all the time. I always was on my phone. I’d be sitting and watching TV and on my phone and just like not paying attention. So when she stopped having sex with you at a certain point, you have pull up in the mirror what happened? And it’s two to the covert contract side. It’s this artificial like made up. If you do this, I’m going to give you this. And for guys that’s sex, like I said, it’s the chores. It’s the date night. It’s the, any, any little gesture that should be commonplace in the relationship. Oh, I went and got your wheel changed in your car. Oh, I did this. And it’s like, you laugh at that. I was like, oh, I went and got your oil change. We should probably have sex without
Brad Singletary (01:00:25):
You mentioned, you mentioned the date night. I heard a guy in, one of my men’s groups recently was talking about how he took his wife out to this fancy dinner. They were all dressed up. They bought a bunch of expensive wine and all these things. And he, his whole thing was like, oh boy, when we get home, it’s going down. And it didn’t go down because she’s half buzzed. It’s midnight 30. You know, she’s been up with the kids since five in the morning and she’s tired. And she wanted to get down the next morning when they woke up. And he was all sorts of butt-hurt because I spent $600 on you on this date. And I didn’t even get any so needs are normal. We’ve got to accept that our needs are normal, but we need to talk about those indirect ways.
Steve Edwards (01:01:10):
I’m I’m done that. I’ve done. I’ve like, that could have been me. I I’m I’m that guy that you just told a story about there. I mean, I I’ve, I’ve done it when I planned a big night and we went out to a show and a fancy dinner and we were staying at the Cosmo and it was, I mean, rolled out the red carpet. And then when we got back to the hotel, she’s like, I’m tired. I’m not feeling this. And like a little bit, I’m just like, what are you going to have sex? You they’re going to have sex. I, you know, and those ruined, and then you’re having guilt sex, which is gotta be worse. It’s almost as bad as no.
Brad Singletary (01:01:45):
Oh, it’s worse. Cause it’s building resentment and they they’re just turned off, checked out. There’s nothing intimate at all about that. Earlier, we talked about the difference between caring and caretaking and there was a cool action step in the book. Here’s one of the things that he suggests, he says, stop giving completely for a week, stop doing any care-taking completely for a week. Don’t do anything that you normally do for a week and notice how you feel and how people react
Steve Edwards (01:02:12):
When you say that out loud. And like, guys are going to hear this. Like, you know how absurd that sounds right.
Brad Singletary (01:02:18):
It sounds absurd. He says, but there’s a followup to it. But he says, all right, notice how you feel and how people react when you give nothing. And then he said, after that, then caretake more than you normally do. So go all aboard, all overboard, caretaking, checking in, making sure they have everything, give them everything they ever wanted and then notice how you feel and how people react. And I think I want to try this. So
Steve Edwards (01:02:41):
Without imploding a relationship, do all of this without imploding your relationship.
Brad Singletary (01:02:47):
I think the idea is it’s really trying to get us out of the habit of the covert contract. And just to sometimes I’m sitting around like, okay, you had a shower. I had a shower I’m guess guests. This means maybe we can do this now. You know? And, and I noticed that most of those times disappointed, but when I got to do and it’s like, oh babe, no, I got, I got something going on. I got it. I gotta go. I gotta meet up with Steve over the office to record a podcast. Like that’s when it’s like, I’m being pulled back in to like, whoa, before you leave. And there’s some crazy goes down in two and a half minutes in the closet, you know what I’m saying?
Steve Edwards (01:03:26):
And how does it like, I mean, isn’t that the way you’ve dreamed about it being isn’t that the like fun that needs to be injected into it. I know a lot of guys, if they even had to go to the idea of like scheduling it, because now when you’re an adult and you got kids in the house, you got all this, let’s be real. That sex is going to go away. It’s not going to be like, when you’re freshly dating, no kids and no adult responsibilities or no, like, like, yeah, that’s amazing. And then it all goes away and guys are like, Hey, what happened? Do what happened when we were 22 and things were amazing. And we had unadulterated I don’t know if you want to call it like young kids, sex, college kids sex. I don’t think that that’s I think
Brad Singletary (01:04:09):
That that’s in the car, like that kind of stuff,
Steve Edwards (01:04:12):
Car sex. Now I just, now that practical dad, adult side of me is like, why would we do that? Like, why don’t we like, you know, we have a fully functioning bed, right? Like, God, what if I get a leg cramp? God, I, I even, we should delete that portion out. Cause we ain’t going to be terrible. Nobody wants to hear about like, why Steve doesn’t want to have car sex too old for this.
Brad Singletary (01:04:38):
My favorite lines in the, in the, in the, I was gonna say the movie, they should probably make a movie about this. But in the, in the book is helpless. Whiny, wimpy, and needy men are not attractive. Not at all. He says, put yourself first. It shows confidence. And that is what attractive you’ll feel anxious and guilty at first. But if you can just put yourself first, do what you want to do and do nothing that you don’t want to do. Now, some guys are going to hear this and go to say, oh, well, when I go to church, they tell me I need to serve and love and sacrifice. Well, yeah, if you’re an ego driven person, who’s only selfish and completely, some, sometimes people need to forget themselves and kind of, there’s two ideas. One guy says the king eats first and the other guy says the king eats last. And which one is it? And I think it’s both depending on which you’ve been typically in the past, if you’re a nice guy, I think the king eats first.
Steve Edwards (01:05:34):
Well, and this isn’t a game of absolutes, right? Like this is not something I think that you can just go full, stop on it tomorrow. And you’re going to just have a happy life. In fact, I think you’re going to end up with a more off life than you have. Now. I think that this is something you have to recognize inside of yourself. A big takeaway for me would be the recognizing of the covert contract. I think that that’s the most easy place for a guy to start recognizing the little things that you’re trading off with the expectation of something in return. Start there, stop doing it, stop expecting anything. And maybe then you’re going to stop volunteering to do some of these tasks that I’m not saying don’t help around the house. Cause I feel like that’s like an implosion waiting to happen too. But I think you’ve got to approach us with a different energy, a different mindset and quit trying to horse trade stuff with
Brad Singletary (01:06:31):
Horse trade. I like that. I like that idea.
Steve Edwards (01:06:33):
Yeah. I, you know, it’s like this, this just, it’s a trade. It’s a trade and guys are w and it would be one thing that even if you said it, like, Hey, I’m going to do all these chores. And in return, I would like to have sex. And she says, yes, sir, do you accept this deal? These terms? And she said, yes, that’d be great, but it’s always happening without being said. And then it’s just leading to disappointment. So I think you got to take baby steps, read the book, read the book again and probably read it two or three, four more times. Cause I’m, I’m a like 10 times deep because it’s a huge mindset thing. This is a mindset change.
Brad Singletary (01:07:11):
Yeah. I think you’ve made a good point about this. This can’t happen overnight. Generally. This is just a general idea about the timeframe for change. I think it takes a month for every year that you’ve been dysfunctional. So w our average listener is about a 40 year old man. And if he’s been doing this since he was a child, you know, since he was a boy, he has been, he’s been a nice, nice guy since he was a boy, because he was trained to be that way. So he’s been doing it for 30 years. Been a nice guy. It may take you 30 months of therapy. Men’s groups talking with dudes about this, really getting control of yourself, getting your balls back. It might take you a month for every, yeah. So think of you’re on a three-year plan to get your balls back and we can help you with that stuff if you reach out to us. But yeah, it’s not going to happen overnight, and don’t go do some sudden crazy things, but in reclaiming your personal power, he talks about considering and accepting your gifts. You got to find some things to be proud of. You got to look in the mirror and see something that you like and be able to acknowledge that with yourself and the people you’re around and project a reality that we,
Speaker 3 (01:08:24):
I, I love this. I love this point. Like this, I think is a, I lead with a lot of self-confidence where it comes from. I’m not totally sure. Maybe it’s all a lie, but I have it. Okay. A lot of the guys I talked to, there’s such this belief, this self belief that they’re not deserving of better. And if you don’t believe you deserve better than what you have, how do you ever get it? How do you, how do you demand that? How do you demand more from others? If you don’t even think you deserve it? And of all the things of all the topics that one hurts me the most, because there’s a lot of guys that are in unhappy relationships and you know, maybe it isn’t a woman may, you know, but they’re, but they’re not taking any action. And all they’re going to do is they’re going to keep going down the same path, because it is the path of least resistance, because it’s easier to be unhappy in a relationship with your wife and you know, your kids than it is to break up, get divorced, you know, have shared custody, lose half your money, or lose your money and, you know, start all over and still be this weak man, because you don’t deserve, you don’t think you deserve better.
Steve Edwards (01:09:40):
In fact, now your self-worth has even less guys really have to do this. Some of the self works, you know, look in the mirror. What do you deserve? Why do you deserve it? What are you doing to be the best possible version of yourself? The way at the exercise? The self appearance is a big portion of it. The idea of like, when you start dating somebody, all of a sudden you become attractive to other females. We’ve all heard that. And when you’re single, all of a sudden, you’re basically chopped liver and nobody wants you. Well, it’s because you pull off that like thirsty vibe when you’re single, you’re needy, you want, you know, you’re wanting of love of others and it comes off as weakness versus masculinity and confidence and self-belief, and when you’re in a relationship and you feel like you’re in a S you know, those first three, six months of a relationship, when you feel like man, I’m on top of the world, I’m in this great relationship. I’ve got this girl by my side, you know, that’s that kind of like, that’s that toxic max masculinity. That’s the stuff that pours out of you that feels like you’re conquering the world. And then you let life kick you in the nuts a little bit. And all of a sudden you become this weak version of yourself again.
Brad Singletary (01:10:52):
Wow. So interesting. So true. We kind of project a reality that we want to see happening on to things. And even if it’s not real. So one of the interesting concepts in the book that, that shocked me a little was it talked about, we are trying to be monogamous to our mothers. And the way I read that was we kind of maybe unconsciously sabotage things so that we can really stay true to our first girlfriend. And that’s a very fruity and in nature, but I think it’s true to some degree. So let me go ruin every relationship so that I can get back to my mom or to this in the archetypical sense. This is the ideal love or whatever. I let me ruin this so that I can be comforted and be, you know, go back to this idealistic thing, whether your mom is alive or not. I want to go back to this ideal of unconditional love. I have a client who complains that his wife, you know, says, oh, we need to have unconditional love. And he tells me, and I believe it. The only unconditional love that exists is from God and from your mom and dad and, and no spouse, you know, because we’ve seen it. We’ve been through these situations where we love you when this is going well, when you start doing that now, I don’t love you anymore. It’s not, can’t be on a conditional only for your children.
Steve Edwards (01:12:08):
Unconditional love is such a weird concept too, of like, I mean, would you expect your parents to still love you if you were Jeffrey Dahmer or, you know, if you’re some crazy serial killer. And I know I don’t feel like I’m deep enough to wrap my head around this whole idea of like being faithful to your mom. I think it comes to this idea that you’re you do, you know, your parents are vital to your mom was in the picture for so long. And a lot of guys are mama’s boys. I was a mama’s boy. I am a mama’s boy. I see my mom a lot. And it’s, you know, you always hear the female saying like, you know, the mom is just too up in our business. You know, they, you can’t stand up to your mom because it’s your mom. You can’t say no to your mom. There’s no ability to push back. And, and over time that that almost feels like it’s how guys end up in relationships too, where they just can’t, they can’t be truthful. They can’t follow through, but you know, this idea of being faithful to your mom, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a truth to it. I just it’s deeper than me, buddy.
Brad Singletary (01:13:15):
So he’s part of it is he saying that, you know, we are dependent on the approval of women. And so mom is just kind of the archetype of pure love and the, and the love that never goes away and that kind of thing. And so we’re, we become dependent on women. And if we’re talking about trying to take back our power and take back our masculinity, one of the things it talks about in there is we have this belief that we’re different from other men. I’m not the abusive, angry guy. I’m the sensitive, caring, caretaking person. And, and that actually disconnects us from other men, which is part of the problem. I love his definition of masculinity. He says, masculinity is basically what, whatever helps us in survival. So it’s our strength. It’s our ability to strategize. It’s our ability to fight. It’s our ability to protect and those types of things. But since say like the sixties, you know, we’ve kind of distanced ourselves from aggression. And so, but we still noticed that women are attracted to jerks.
Steve Edwards (01:14:16):
It’s like you better off. If everybody just needs to go buy themselves a Fonzie jacket and have a little bit of that. Yeah. I mean, but there is that element girls are attracted because that cause that jerk also spews confidence, whether it’s fake or not. Because I think that there’s a real level of fake confidence that goes with it. But that’s, I think where the attraction comes from is they’re looking for a leader. They’re looking for a guy who can take charge and have a strong backbone and it isn’t going to, or isn’t going to roll over. I think that’s where it comes from is that women are attracted to a bad boy or to this bad guy, because it’s everything they’ve been told that like, they shouldn’t find the nice guy, get the banker, go to go marry the guy. That’s going to raise the kids. Right. And go to work and come home and love you. And it’s like, but everybody’s so unfulfilled by that. Everybody’s so unfulfilled because nobody’s really talking about what they want. Even the woman in this, the woman isn’t saying, this is what I want, need to be happy. She’s just going with the flow too. Because if you don’t talk about it, it’s not really an issue.
Brad Singletary (01:15:27):
Yeah. Most women don’t want a man that who’s trying to please them. They want a man with balls.
Steve Edwards (01:15:32):
Oh yeah. A hundred percent. They want, each woman that could mean different things. That doesn’t mean you actually have to go out and like fight bowls or like jump, jump dirt bikes, or do any of these things, but you’ve gotta be comfortable in your own skin. And that’s hard. I think it’s hard for, you know, for guys to be like, this is who I am. This is the man. I want to be, I like golf. I like cars or dirt bikes or whatever it is. And just having a passion, like, what are you passionate about outside of your wife, outside of your kids? And that’s where I think a lot of guys lose all their happiness. You know, they give it away because it’s like, now I’m an adult. I don’t have any hobbies because I am a dad because I am married. It’s like, well, what were you interested in? You know, you used to maybe ride a skateboard or you used to like play baseball. Maybe you need to be on the softball team. Maybe you need to go play softball once a week. Or, you know, I’m not advocating for you to go on drinking with the boys, but you know that Saturdays are for the boys. Maybe you need a Saturday. Maybe you need, yeah. You’ve got to really find a way to like talk with the guy.
Brad Singletary (01:16:45):
Yeah. So true man. I was so I played college football and the idea of locker room talk and your mama jokes and all that kind of stuff. I was the guy who was offended by all that stuff. And I didn’t even, I never had any comebacks. Literally it took me into well into my adulthood to realize that that’s one of the ways that men bond with each other. And I used to get so offended. My grandfather would always call me like knucklehead, not head, you know, all these things. And I remember crying to my mom. He says, these mean things to me, you know, why does he say that to me? And it took me. I was probably in my twenties before I realized that’s just how guys do and I’ve yeah. That’s ball busting is real. So a Glover talks about, we need to do these four things to reclaim our masculinity, connect with other men, get strong, literally get in the gym, get strong workout, be physically active, have healthy male mentors and connections.
Brad Singletary (01:17:39):
And then look at, look at your relationship with your dad. And that’s something that you might consider doing with the professional, but we’re afraid to upset women because then it means she won’t have sex with us, but he makes a good point that that’s not true with our male friends. We’re not trying to get it on with our homeys. And so we can be real and we can not worry about upsetting them. We can not worry about drama with dudes. You’re less likely to have drama with male friends. And so that’s one of the reasons he says we need to have.
Steve Edwards (01:18:07):
So I know there’s going to be a lot of guys that are thinking like, well, how do I go get guy friends? Well now with the internet, you know, my best friend lives in Florida. Like I talked to him, I talked to him far too often for two males, but he lives in Florida and we talk every day about some, about anything, everything, and anything in between. But nowadays with the internet and Facebook and these different portals, you can find somebody who’s interested in what you’re into. Oh, you’re a weird European stamp collector. Great that guy’s on the internet somewhere. You’re not stuck with this idea that you have to find a friend in your backyard like you used to. But I do think that there is an element of like, you got to get out of the house. You need to find your tribe.
Steve Edwards (01:18:50):
Find those people that you can relate with that are going to check you on your and hold you accountable to your goals. A lot of guys just, they’re not transparent. Transparency being so key to all of this is they’re so afraid to be vulnerable to other men that it’s like when they’re around other men, it’s like a chest beating contest. Like we’re a bunch of gorillas. Have you ever played softball or have you ever hung? So you go to like softball and or whatever you go to hang out with the guys. None of those guys are ever having bad days. None of them are going through divorce. None of their wives are cheating on them or anything like that. Why? Because male, ego is way too high for anybody to ever be vulnerable. You need to find those three to five guys. And maybe it starts with one. Maybe it starts with two, but you need to find people that you can be real open and honest with.
Brad Singletary (01:19:43):
Yeah. Tell him when you’re messing up, tell on yourself, tell him about the problem you haven’t asked for some input. Listen to them.
Steve Edwards (01:19:50):
Find a men’s group. Men’s group is a huge thing. There’s men’s group you can go into and you can be yourself because these are not your friends. They are like-minded individuals, peers that are there to hear your problems and as well as address their problems. And I think that’s a huge step. I think that is such a miss where guys are missing out on is seek some therapy. So you can men’s group be real, like open up and be real about what’s going on in your life.
Brad Singletary (01:20:20):
We want to wrap this up guys. Thank you for being with us, but we’re just going to hit a few points from No More Mr. Nice guy by Robert Glover. Some things that he talks about, that what ways we can do to be integrated and to get our strength back, get our mojo back, get our balls back and have more respect in our relationships. Whether professionally or romantically, let’s just hit a few things here. First of all, I think is have some integrity. Be honest in what you’re saying. Be honest about your feelings, your interactions. Tell the truth.
Steve Edwards (01:20:53):
Yeah, that’s a, I think that’s a great one. Another one is quit being afraid of new experiences or what’s what’s around you. What the world has stopped.
Brad Singletary (01:21:02):
Yeah. Don’t be avoidant of new experiences. I love that. Learn to surrender what you can’t change. That’s one of the big things in alcoholics anonymous, the serenity prayer except the things that you cannot change.
Steve Edwards (01:21:18):
I mean, this next one is an interesting one, because again, it’ll, it’ll trigger some people, but do what you want to do quick, constantly trying to always please other people, make sure you’re taking care of yourself for
Brad Singletary (01:21:31):
Learn how to get help. Ask about help for your feelings. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or guilty about something. Talk about that stuff.
Steve Edwards (01:21:40):
Recognize that that people are human, that people are going to make mistakes, that people are flawed in nature.
Brad Singletary (01:21:46):
Stop trying to be perfect.
Steve Edwards (01:21:48):
Stop seeking approval. And like you don’t need the approval and the external validation from everybody.
Brad Singletary (01:21:54):
Yeah. You got to approve of yourself. Treat yourself to the things that you deserve. Take care of your own needs with integrity.
Steve Edwards (01:22:01):
Stop building such huge walls and let people in.
Brad Singletary (01:22:05):
Don’t try to cover up or take attention away from your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings.
Steve Edwards (01:22:13):
Be aware or cognizant of your childhood events and some of the conditions or influences that led you to where you’re at today.
Brad Singletary (01:22:21):
Set boundaries. No who to let in who to leave out. Don’t allow yourself to be disrespected or taking advantage of.
Steve Edwards (01:22:29):
There’s a big one on the list, but be clear or start expressing your feelings. Be transparent about what you’re feeling about things.
Brad Singletary (01:22:37):
Spend more time with men. And we’ve talked about that quite a bit. You’ve got to develop your masculine energy,
Steve Edwards (01:22:42):
Recognize that women, they reject nice guys. They see that as weak, recognize that
Brad Singletary (01:22:49):
Learn to be more passionate, more assertive, more responsible, take care of business.
Steve Edwards (01:22:55):
I recognize that you don’t have to do everything right, or you’re allowed to be flawed
Brad Singletary (01:23:01):
And don’t let the fear of failure or the fear of success. Some guys, I think fears success don’t let that keep you away from the things that you want and deserve.
Steve Edwards (01:23:11):
The last I think is don’t settle for mediocrity. Go after the life you want, quit settling. You’re not a Pilgrim.
Brad Singletary (01:23:18):
Make your own rules. There’s a lot of rules out there right now. If they make sense. And if you can jive with that, go for it. But also don’t be afraid to be independent. Don’t be afraid to be, non-compliant do your thing. Get your balls back, guys. We really appreciate you being with us tonight. This is such an important topic. Men must be stronger. And that may, I mean, take a look at your upbringing. That might mean take a look at how you interact covert contracts. We’ve got to turn these things around and what I’ve noticed with myself and with men that I’ve worked with over the last 23 years, when we stand up and allow ourselves to be counted and allow our voice to be heard and be real and genuine and authentic about where we’re at, what our needs are. And we do the things that keep us alive in our spirit. Things just turn out so much better for us. Appreciate you being with us. Steve-O thank you
Steve Edwards (01:24:11):
So much for having me. I hope I come back. I got a lot to talk about.
Brad Singletary (01:24:14):
Yeah, dude, this is good. I feel like we got a good vibe. We get a little slow here, man. I appreciate you being here and we’re definitely happy back, brother. Take care. Thank you. You guys know no excuses, alpha up.
Gentlemen, you are the Alpha and this is the Alpha Quorum.