MINERVA: Thanks, Bluto. I'm grateful for this opportunity to talk to all the nice guys out there in computer-land. Now, there's a lot of mythology--pardon the pun--going on around the culture about the Nice Guy Syndrome and what it means. I tell you, they even have phrases for it in other languages. For example, in French it's called Guy Syndrome de Nice. In Dutch, it's Nice Guy Syndroom. In German, it's a Syndrom. Ain't that a kick? Well, so now we know that it's a world-wide problem. There's nice guys in every continent, on every country in the global. I've looked over the logs of this particular website you're at right now, and I got to tell you, I can see there are guys from the whole planet--if not other planets like colonized Mars--who are suffering from this sickening syndrome. So now that we know it's like some kind of plague, what on earth can we do about it? I, Minerva, have decided that every week--more often if you tell Mr. Pippy that you like my reports--on a regular basis I will be sharing my special vantage-point into this disease. And in case you haven't noticed, unlike Bluto, I am a female woman. You've been using that ridiculous "female point of view" gambit for so long, you probably have forgotten that maybe you actually need that point of view, and not as some silly ploy. I guess you know by now that the ploys don't work. Everything's been publicized, it isn't clandestine any more. You need the real meat and potatoes of this "nice guy" bit, and I'm here to level with you. We're talking inside scoop here. Think a supermarket tabloid crossed with a message from a spaceman. Got it? OK, good, because you're about to take a wild adventure into the world of the cure for nice guy syndrome. And this is all going to happen in Seven Easy Master Lessons.
THE CURE IS FINALLY HERE!
You may be thinking to yourself, Minerva--surely there can't be some kind of universal panacea that is the sure-fire silver bullet for nice guy syndrome. Things just aren't that simple. Well, fortunately for you, things are that simple. Think about it. What's gotten you into this "nice guy" mess in the first place? Overcomplicating things. That's what. We're trying to get you on more of a caveman level, buddy. So start thinking simple. Forget overanalyzing things. You know what they call it--analysis paralysis. Well, if you've gotten the "nice guy" sickness, well, you probably overanalyze the heck out of everything in your life. Talking to you is probably like listening to some boring political discussion on public radio or something. Forget it! This is a primitive world, and you need to become a primitive guy. That's the first thing. So--simplicity is good. Like Henry Waldo Thoreau, Jr., says: "Keep it simple, stupid!" That's the word, and that's the sentence, and that's the paragraph. In fact, it's all the volumes! Ha ha. Sometimes I'm so clever I scare myself. OK. Back to the Nice Guy trap. And how we're going to get you out of it. I got the cure. For you.
THE MASTER EXIT TO THE NICE GUY CASTLE
You'll hear my friend Bluto Pippy (you bet your Pluto bippy!) often talk about the "nice guy castle." We'll, I'm here to tell you that there is a nice guy castle, and I know where the exit is! Once you've found the master exit from the castle, you will be well on your way to freedom, freedom from this mental disease that has been shackling you your entire miserable life. Don't give up hope! I, Minerva, am here to tell you that there is an answer--and I have it! Yes, I will point the way to you to escape from this castle you're trapped in. Just listen to Minerva. Listen to her owl. The owl is the bird of wisdom, and that's what you need to be right now. Wise? No...a wise acre!
THE MAGIC APPEAL OF THE WISE ACRE
I want you to think a moment. Not too much! That got you in this emotional fly trap in the first place. But think a little. Think about how you talk to women. I'm willing to bet that you are incredibly sappy. Earnest. Achingly earnest. I bet you talk to a woman like you're talking to some kind of mannequin or statue. Am I right? And you want to know why? Of course you do. It's because you haven't learned the Magic Appeal of the Wise Acre.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE?
Of course you have. Syndrome victims are usually obsessed with Hollywood films, particularly with old MGM musicals--I don't know why. But for all the netflixing you do, I bet you haven't really sat down and studied what's really going on in these movies. Because if you would only pay close, laser-like attention to these movies you spend your lonely, self-dating Saturday nights with, you would see that one of the Corridors to the Master Exit is contained in most simple, everyday, Hollywood motion pictures.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THE MASTERS
I want you to get the feeling of male-female relationships as depicted in Hollywood films. Now, let's look at the male lead. This male lead is everything you, the nice guy, are not. Because he's going to be an alpha male. I hate to put it in such crude terms, but this is the language you've been indoctrinated to think in, so it's what I've got to do to get your attention. OK. Now one of the first things you need to know about this guy is he's going to be a smart aleck. And I mean a big-time smart aleck. We might even call him a smart-a$$ or wise-a$$. That's how extreme you're going to have to get. Because this earnest, public radio-type persona you've been using to talk to women ain't going to cut the Poupon any more, bud. You've got to become the wise acre of your woman's dreams.
WHY THE WISE ACRE WINS
When you start studying the Hollywood movies of your choice, you will notice some interesting facts. Watch a movie with some true movie buffs, and if you're watching a movie in which a man and woman are constantly bickering, what will the movie buffs in attendance shout out? Yes, they will say: "Those two are going to end up with each other!" That's right--the two characters who seem to hate and dislike each other, the ones who are always bickering and mouthing off at each other, they're going to wind up in some room together. And why? Because you need sparks to have romance, and to have sparks you have to have what? Think about it. How do you start a fire with two rocks, Mr. Caveman Guy? Yes, you need Friction. And Nice Guys are so scared of conflict, confrontation, and friction, that they never give these little sparks a chance to emerge, a chance to change over into full-blown forest fires! Only you, Mr. Nice Guy, can prevent the wildfires of passion from raging in your personal lives. And you've been doing a pretty darn good job of containing these fires your entire life!
And so you can see that you need to start adding a little bickering to your life with women. I mean it! There's no tension without little verbal digs and jabs. That's what starts the tension that must find its release somehow. All the greats, like Cary Grant for example, knew this. Imagine a Hollywood motion picture without the great repartee! The great wit! The wise-acreness! You can't. You simple can't. Without the bickering, you'll never have the good stuff. So you need to pave the way to paradise with a little friction, fella. Now you're so scared of friction that this might seem an impossible task to you, but you've got to bear with me a minute and think of how you can incorporate this new insight into your dating life.
TRY IT! THEY'LL LIKE IT!
So please, take it from Minerva, and start going on some movie binges. And pay careful attention to how the men and women have such great repartee, back-and-forth, and fun, comic, friction! Because it is fun, and don't you forget it. This whole "nice guy cure" isn't supposed to be some grim, humorless endeavor.
IT'S ALL IN THE BONES
Heck, it isn't just Hollywood movies. It's TV too. Yes, television has ample examples of the kind of thing you need to learn to overcome the nice guy malady. Have you ever seen a little show called Bones? I figured you did. Great show, right? Great special effects. Clever plotting and storylines. But what's the heart (the backbone as it were) of the series? The relationship between Temperance Brennan and Agent Booth. It's the tension in their relationship, tension brought forth by the friction of constant bickering and disagreements. They disagree about religion. They disagree about values. They disagree about the importance of emotions versus reason. And guess what. This continual arguing creates tension--tension that must eventually find its release. And these are kinds of truths you can apply to your own life. Think of other characters in the series, some of the interns say, and compare how they talk to Temperance versus how Booth does. See a difference there? Stop being an intern and start being a Booth! Got it? I thought so. Watch a few episodes. Talk off the cuff like Booth does, shoot from the lip. It won't hurt you. And for heaven's sake, start reacting instinctually to things the way Booth does, without overconsidering and analyzing everything to death. If you want to laugh, shout, cry, whatever, just do what comes naturally. Because you are Mr. Caveman. I have dubbed thee Mr. Caveman, buddy. And that's your destiny now.
TILL WE MEET AGAIN
OK, I've given you a short and sweet lesson that you can begin applying today. Look to Hollywood leading men to see how they create friction and sparks in their relationships. Pretend you're Booth in the TV series Bones. Pretend the object of your fancy is Temperance Brennan. How would Booth talk to her? What would he say? Stop using your brain and start acting more like an impulsive, instinctual caveman. That will put you on the fast track to the exit from the Nice Guy Castle. Remember--it's possible! Many guys have made the escape from the castle, and you too, can do it. And just think. They didn't have pals like Bluto Pippy and me, Minerva "Sizzler" Plankton, leading the way for them. Think of the benefits you have--all our insights and knowledge wrapped up in a pretty little package, just for you.
KEEP IT COMING
To continue to reap the benefits of my wisdom, I need you to do one simple thing (there's that word again). I need you to send the desired amount to:
Minerva "Sizzler" Plankton
Once you make this decision, this existential choice, as it were, these life-changing lessons, gleaned from years of work in the field and the laboratory, will be beamed to the subcutaneous e-reader of you, the Nice Guy. And what could be better than that? Picture a life in which you no longer suffer from this dread ailment. And that's a world we could all live with, right?
Till next time, I remain your pal,
Minerva "Sizzler" Plankton