Lessons for Men: Too Nice Makes you Weak

By | January 24, 2023

[January 24, 2023]  Life is difficult, but you can always do something to make it even worse.  And it would help if you had a solution, otherwise it can embitter you.  “Lessons for Men” is a new mini-series in my daily blog.  Today, the first lesson for men is being too nice makes you weak.

If you ask a disagreeable man what they want, they will tell you right away what they want and how they will get it.  If you ask an agreeable man what they want, they often don’t know because they are accustomed to living for other people, finding out what other people want, and trying to make them comfortable.  It is harder for agreeable people to find a sense of their own desires.

If you are going to try to forge a career, being agreeable does not work at all.  One of the things you have to be careful about if you’re an agreeable man is not to be exploited because you will unknowingly set yourself up to be exploited.  Being naïve is not good at all.  You will suffer unnecessarily.

Here’s some good advice for agreeable men.  “Say what you think.”  “Tell the truth about what you think, even if that message is difficult and harsh.”  Do this every day.  There are things you have to discuss, and some issues are not going away.  And this is difficult since doing so will generate conflict, and agreeable people do not like conflict.

Agreeable men are too nice, and this is not a good medium to long-term strategy.  It’s not good because these men often fail to resolve the more numerous smaller problems before becoming something big and unmanageable.

It is better to be a disagreeable man.  The advantage of disagreeable men is that they don’t let much get in their way.  These men are very forward-moving and very difficult to stop.

Yet, it is necessary to get these disagreeable men correctly socialized at a young age, or their peers will reject them.  And that is a problem.  Being rejected by others, especially by women, pushes those less-socialized disagreeable men into unacceptable behavior, violence, risky and anti-social behavior, and into a lonely existence.

Better to be a socialized, disagreeable man than being too nice of an agreeable man.  Being too nice makes you weak.


Note:  The thumbnail for this series on lessons for men comes from a painting by Victor Bauer.  I like his work, which is found on his website for purchase.  He works mainly in oil.  Go there and purchase one of his works at this link (click here).


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

20 thoughts on “Lessons for Men: Too Nice Makes you Weak

  1. Rides Alone

    Great series. I’m looking forward to reading the entire mini series.

  2. Mother Picasso

    Learn how to validate and respect yourself, and stop doing so much for others. Stand for yourself and your goals that are meaningful to you. Set your boundaries and practice saying “no” when necessary. Don’t worry about “being mean.” You are being firm. Speak up when you are calm and centered. If you feel strong emotions, pause to name them (such as anger or resentment) and then notice the needs you aren’t on track to meet (such as respect and consideration). After you’ve thought through and prepared what you want to say, then speak up.

  3. Nick Lighthouse

    Another quote from Gen. Satterfield, “It is better to be a disagreeable man.” But he follows up to say that this disagreeable man must also be socialized. Like Gen. S’s article on the meaning of “meek” in the Bible. Better to be a man that has the ability to be strong and create violence, yet also have it under his control. Reminds me of the tough Roman Soldier who patrols with his sword in its sheath. Now, that is a real man.

    1. Rowen Tabernackle

      Well said, Nick. Oh, I’m sitting here as I do every day and reading this on my iPad and enjoying the comments from so many of some important thinkers.

  4. mainer

    “Better to be a socialized, disagreeable man than being too nice of an agreeable man. Being too nice makes you weak.” – Gen. Doug Satterfield, da man! Ha Ha Ha Ha…. I really appreciate these kind of articles. Well done.

  5. Yusaf from Texas

    Great start. Being nice is a weakness when you set yourself up to be taken advantage of, you do the lion’s share of the work, and you come in early or stay late to compensate for the slackers at the detriment of your own needs.

    1. Pumpkin Spice

      Most of us understand it but we can easily forget it, esp. those of us who are agreeable by nature. And that is not an easy personality trait to overcome. You have to practice being strong every day or we will slip into weakness and ultimately failure.

      1. Mikka Solarno

        Of course, that is the issue but I found that if you practice enough, you can make some changes for the good. As Gen. Satterfield has written before, create some micro habits that work and stick to them. 😉

        1. Dennis Mathes

          Yes, but also remember that the whole point of being human (and succeeding) is to be working on refining and improving ourselves.

  6. Julia

    I just love this website and expect the new series on men to be enlightening.

  7. Maureen S. Sullivan

    Demonstrating grace is the essential element in a successful interpersonal style. Many people think that “being nice” is the way to go, but this often comes from a place of insecurity and needing the approval and validation of others. People who are too nice are usually people pleasers. People-pleasing always backfires and is a weakness that can hurt one personally and professionally.

  8. Aussie

    Great new series. Looking forward to reading them. Cheers ….. 👀👀👀👀👀

    1. Doug Smith

      And cheers back to you Aussie. I too am anxious (in a good way) to read this new series.

    2. Ice Man

      Hi Aussie, spot on comment. Let’s all give the appropriate feedback.

      1. Jeff Blackwater

        Yeah, and let’s not forget that Gen. Satterfield has a book out that deals directly with these events and gives some plain, old-fashioned (but workable) advice on how to be a good person. I read it for being a good man. Let’s just admit that upfront and that our schools are destroying our boys. Now, we have Gen. Satterfield stepping in to help save them.

        1. Fred Weber

          … and be sure to get a copy of his new book “55 rules for a good life” and you will be glad you did.


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