No more Mr. Nice Guy

Once there was a Mr. Nice Guy who said "No more!". He'd had enough of his confidences being betrayed, his generosity being exploited and his life getting over-committed. He realized he needed to set some healthy boundaries. It was time to say "No" and be Mr. Tough Guy. He could no longer please other people without pleasing himself first. He needed to feel better about himself and what he was getting accomplished.

Being "Mr. Tough Guy" worked for awhile. With more structure in his life, he got more done. With fewer distractions, he stayed more focused. With greater determination, he moved faster toward his goals. With fewer entanglements that hurt his feelings, he spent less time processing painful setbacks and questioning his people-pleasing decisions.

It wasn't long before Mr. Tough Guy started getting hassled by people that loved him, cared for him deeply and enjoyed how well he related to them. They said he had turned into a cold machine. They claimed he was putting distance into their relationships. They were convinced he was turning into a "one track mind" that sacrificed everything to get a job done. They saw him trashing his creativity and playfulness in order to not get hurt, stepped on or betrayed again.

Mr. Tough Guy took all this feedback the wrong way. All he could hear was "go back to being Mr. Nice Guy". It appeared to him that his favorite people wanted a "people-pleaser" to take as their hostage. They only pressured him to sacrifice for them, not for the things he wanted to accomplish. He felt misunderstood and falsely accused by people that he thought had cared enough about him to get where he was coming from.

It made no sense why everyone was not thrilled with his new focus, progress and results. He could not figure out why all the drama in his life appeared so inescapable. He was bewildered by the persistent attempts of people to control his life instead of giving him the freedom, trust, respect and unconditional love he deserved.

He then saw a bumper sticker on a car as he drove home last week. It said: "Remember the 4 C's". Given how he was feeling, he figured the 4 C's were captivity, cruelty, corruption and crime. He called the phone number on the bumper sticker later that evening. He got a pre-recorded message that said:

"When you're on your own, the 4 C's are Creativity, Courage, Confidence and Compassion. When you're together, the 4 C's are Communication, Coordination, Cooperation, and Commitment. Forget heroics. Forget being a doormat. Be the best you can be while getting it done together".

He realized he had gone from doormat to heroics. He had a ways to go yet. He gave himself high marks for his creativity, courage and confidence. He realized he would be a better team player if he had stopped being "Mr. Nice Guy". He knew he was on the right track to become Mr. Tough Guy.

Today he realized his goals have changed. He's becoming a solid team player and collaborator. Everything he's doing to toughen up and tighten his self discipline is valuable. Everything he's going to do communicate, coordinate, cooperate and commit will seal the deal with anyone that plays his new game. People that want to take him hostage will fall by the wayside. People that get where he's coming from will be coming from the same place. His life suddenly got a lot easier.

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