by Danny Brooks

Have you ever done something good for someone and face planted because of it? Have you ever walked away from a decision and wished you had picked easy instead of right?

I have! One time I walked into a room by myself and there were 4 “bad guy” types standing around. I tried talking to them and being nice, but that went south. Next thing I knew, I was unconscious on the ground.

Afterwards, I wished I had just gone in and taken them by surprise and gotten the jump on them. Straight to the fight so that I’d have the advantage.

Crazy story right? Well I don’t actually approve of solving problems with violence. This situation only happened to me in a board game called Dungeons and Dragons, not in real life. The story is fake, but I’ve felt that way a hundred times in my life. I try to do good and be the nice guy, but then someone takes advantage of me because of it. Then to top it all off, that old saying pops into my head; “Nice guys finish last”.

Then I start thinking if being a nice guy is worth it or if I should just start being selfish like everyone else. They seem to do better for themselves. Have you ever gone down this line of thinking after being let down by your good deed doing? Well let me tell you what I had to find out myself. Let me convince you that nice guys DON’T finish last.

I’m in the business of changing poor sayings, so let me do that now. First of all I’m going to make it gender neutral for all the nice girls out there. Nice people don’t finish last, passive ones do. You can be nice and assertive at the same time without being an aggressive jerk. That’s right, you can fight for your own wants and needs and still help people. You can look out for yourself and still do good for others at the same time. I would argue that unless you take care of yourself, you CAN’T do good for others because you won’t have the time, energy, or resources.

Passive people finish last because they accept anything from anyone. They accept being treated poorly without defending themselves. I know this because I’ve been passive in my life at times. I grew up taking crap from too many people and I had to learn how to step up and speak up.

Nice people don’t finish last, passive ones and mean ones do. That’s right. I’m adding to the saying I just made. I’ve seen people who were not nice guys and nice girls. They get ahead for a while. They take advantage of people and cheat and win. The nice people look at them and shake their heads and wonder why their bad behavior is rewarded. Then something always happens. They make the wrong person mad.

They fall on their face and need help. They may even ask for help, but no one offers any or very few people do. Why? Because when you go around your whole life cheating and using people, you make more enemies than friends. Having enemies who want you to be last will make you end up coming in last. The nice guy or girl is going to end up having friends who want to see them succeed and helping them when they need it the most.

Want to learn more about how nice people don’t finish last? Check out the podcast where I go into more depth on this topic!