It’s True: Nice Guys Really Do Finish Last

Here’s why.

James Michael Sama
13 min readNov 11, 2023

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We’ve all heard it before: Nice guys finish last! And if we’re really being honest…they do. I know this, because I used to be one of them. I was stuck in the mindset that if I just did enough things for enough people, if I just molded myself into what they really wanted, I would be accepted, attractive, and popular.

Boy, was I wrong.

I’m glad I spent so much time being wrong, though, because it taught me valuable lessons about where I needed to improve, and how to actually succeed in life. Succeed in relationships, succeed in my social life, succeed in business.

Here’s something you might not expect me to say about nice guys, but it’s part of why they’re always losing: They’re selfish.

“James, if they’re selfish, why are they always doing things for other people?”

It’s not about what they’re doing, but why they’re doing it.

The things they do for others are intended to gain affection, praise, attraction, or popularity. They’re designed to get people to like them. Some might call it manipulative.

They mold themselves to what (they think) others want, yet it never works out in their favor. Hence, always finishing last.

In this article we’re going to discuss 10 ways that so-called “nice guys” are actually sabotaging themselves, and what they need to do to break the cycle and build a better life for themselves.

1: “Nice guys” don’t have the courage to make hard decisions.

Decision making is a skill. It’s a skill that takes confidence and clarity in who you are, what you want, and where you’re going.

This requires knowing what our goals are, and knowing who we are at our core. When those things are clear, the path forward crystallizes in front of us, and it’s much simpler to tell which choices will bring us along the path, and which will veer us off of it.

For the “nice guy,” they’ve spent so much time trying to do what makes other people happy that they’ve simply become a leaf floating down a stream, along for the ride.

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James Michael Sama

I help you evolve into the ultimate version of yourself. Life & Executive Coach. Multi #1 writer. Trusted by: CNN, CNBC, NY Post, CBS, more. Say hi! @JamesMSama