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No More Mr. Nice Guy

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Vagiphobia is a syndrome where the penis tries to stay out of vaginas or gets out quickly once it gets in. To answer his unscientific anecdotes with my own, I benefited tremendously from being left alone and allowed to make my own decisions and solve my own problems when I was young, as long as I demonstrated I could and my parents were always there when I needed them—and in fact that is what I think actual current science says parents should do: teach kids to be independent, train them for adulthood; rather than obsessively avoid giving them some dubious Freudian “abandonment issues. Glover never explains what the difference would be between a legitimate, healthy, productive, and appropriate parental chastisement, punishment, or criticism, and whatever he imagines is causing “toxic shame” and thus “Nice Guy Syndrome.

There simply is no evidence women aren’t up to the task of teaching their sons to be good and competent men, nor even that any significant number of men have only women teaching them that.Before we evaluate any purported “psychology of men,” I have to set the foundation of where I am with respect to even just psychology. Because one of the trap-beliefs of toxic masculinity is that any challenge to it is an effort to emasculate, and is therefore rejected. This would lift some of the load, by actually giving citizens some of the actual skills to “suck it up” as society Couple that with his complete disinterest in even looking at much less citing any established psychological science convinces me that his causal theory is, well, bullshit.

It is largely a waste of time for anyone to then try to tease out what he says actually holds up as sound, and what doesn’t. By contrast, Covey recognizes everything he says is universal—not just a feature of or only of benefit to “men. Because of this reality, Nice Guys create adult relationships that mirror the dynamics of their dysfunctional childhood relationships. As long as enough of us live, it cares not what the casualty rate is to get there (to be clear, it cares about nothing, of course; it’s a mindless process, worse even than a sociopath). Even Covey, who started with a degree in business and whose doctorate was in religious education, studied the pertinent science of education, and his dissertation was literally on self-help literature, and his resulting book remains recommended by scientists across the spectrum of the subject.As men work on recovering from the Nice Guy Syndrome, they begin to accept themselves just as they are.

When we look at the science, by contrast, the problem seems more likely a defective male culture, not a Freudian crisis of fatherlessness. To help Nice Guys decide if they need to set a boundary with a particular behavior, I have them apply the second date rule: “If this behavior had occurred on the second date, would there have been a third? If I were to identify one common factor at the core of every problem experienced by Nice Guys, it would be fear.This sounds a lot like the “being controlling” and “being the savior” that Glover actually denounces as the dysfunctional behavior of Nice Guys. Seeking a woman's approval requires Nice Guys to constantly monitor the possibility of a woman's availability.

To truly understand the current phenomena of the Nice Guy Syndrome, we have to take into account a series of significant social changes that began around the turn of the century an accelerated phone World War II. In one of the best selling self-help books of all time, Peck addresses issues of discipline, love and spirituality. These men don’t know how to assess or interact with women, and don’t see women as people or as equals; and the causal direction is more likely going from the latter to the former.The only logical solution was to try to appear to be needless and wantless while trying to get their needs met in indirect and covert ways. Otherwise the risk remains that readers of this book will think they have just been told to be aggressively assertive, arrogant, and selfish; that there is nothing they have to improve in themself.

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