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Why do the nice people always finish last?

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Hello all,


I have just been pondering lately... why do nice people always finish last?


To cut a long story short:


I worked in a job for over 5 years in which i was in a 'perceived' superior position to everyone else. This was largely due to my being there for so long. Anyhow, i tried never to hold anyone else back, and whilst i wasn't the 'friendliest' to everyone (i was pleasant, saying hello, but did not go out of my way to make friends with anyone i worked with), my main aim was to do my job well and that's what i focused on doing. Afterall, i was being paid to work, not to make friends.


Anyhow, eventually it got back to me that other staff members said i didn't smile enough and i was advised, jokingly, to "smile more" by the manager. As a result, i made the effort to be more 'courteous' to these people, even though i knew they had back-stabbed me. The reason i was a bit distant and cold with them (but i always said hello), rather than over-friendly, was because i knew they were all after my job, and i didn't see any reason to hurry the process up.


What transpired from me being 'reasonable' is that eventually i lost my job. Actually, i ended up resigning.


Once i had let my guard down and tried to be 'nice' to these people, they just started eating away at me. They ended up forming a peer group that drew their power from intimidating other less fortunate souls and i just couldn't join in (i think they tried to drag me in). It was against my principles. They took this as an insult and kind of shunned me and were rude to my friends. The irony is that the girl that complained about me the most was the worst - cold, moody and i didn't see her smile much, but she had everyone wrapped around her little finger (she was dating an ex of mine, which made it worse).


So, what i am wondering is... why do nice people always finish last? Should i have stood my ground and continued to be tough, dispite these insecure idiots whinging about me behind my back? Do you think they were insecure and that's why they said all those things? I used to protect myself, but as soon as i let my guard down and became 'nice' as they requested, it was the beginning of the end for me. Now i feel like a fool.


Is there any justice? What is the point in being a decent human being? Maybe i should just go out there and get what i want without any regard for anybody elses feelings.


Looking back on it, i should have called a staff meeting and confronted these people head on about their behaviour. I tried confronting the suspected backstabber, but she slipped her way out of it scoffing, "the things that get around...", kind of laughing it off, like she was oh so innocent!


The thing is, i once had power in that industry and didn't abuse it. No, instead i was nice. I just tried to stand my ground and hold my own. Now they have robbed me of a job and a career. It's a pity i didn't get the same respect back.


How do you protect your position, without these sort of people eating away at you?


I knew deep down underneath that letting my guard down would lead to my demise (call them instincts), but i just got so tired of always keeping my back up. It was exhausting.

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People suck. It's a fact of life.


You are not better than them nor are you better than them. But yes, you should've stood your ground. You always should. That's part of being assertive. Most of all, that's how one respects themselves. By standing up for themselves. I used to deal with those kind of people all the time in middle and high school. Looking back, I wish I wasn't being curteous and nice person to so many of these people. In fact, I don't think there's really much of a reason in today's world to be nice to everyone unless it's done out of character and not expecting anything in return. But the apparant paradox of this is that you will be perceived as a * * * * * by everyone. So yeah, sometimes you just gotta be a complete * * * * * * * to people.

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i don't think nice people neccessarily finish last, but i'm sure many feel resentment which leads to anger and feeling of neglect and such. i think though what happened at your job is quite regrettful and i think you did the right thing by not joining along in their group, i think you must also realise theirs always a positive side to things. perhaps this will lead to an oppurtunity to find a job position that may better fit your overall needs.


either way, i think it's perceived by the person that because their ncie, they finish last. but i don't believe thats ever really the case

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I dunno. Its hard. You might think that this isn't being true to yourself and who you are, but what I always do in jobs (and it works really well) is act really super nice to everyone I work with. I smile big whenever I see them, make small talk, compliment them once in a while, laugh at their jokes. There have been lots of women (I havn't worked with many guys since I graduated high school) that I havn't liked or who annoyed me or I thought were mean. I just try to have as little contact as possible. When I do have contact with them, I keep it light and am always really really friendly. But I try to always be doing something when they are around.


In high school, I worked at a place where there was tons of back stabbing and talking behind people's back. People did it to me all the time cause I hated working there and wasn't always in a happy mood. Plus, I was a virgin and teh girls loved to talk about their sex lives. But, still, I was friendly to everyone. Even to people who I didn't like, I acted like they were my friend, cause it was just work; I didn't have to socialize with them outside of work and I limited contact with these people as much as I could. I figured I was getting paid to be there, so I might as well kill everyone with kindness-- this way no one could really say too much bad stuff about me, and when people like you at work, things are a lot simpler.


You don't really have to be friends with these people. But making small talk and acting friendly go a long way... cause no one wants to be there in the first place and it makes the time pass faster. When situations make you feel uncomfortable, just smile and leave and get back to work. How do you hold your own? When appropriate, you can say how you feel, but do it very friendly and not defensive. Just be easygoing about it. Be firm, but friendly. It's not easy, but you can do it!

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People suck. It's a fact of life.

In fact, I don't think there's really much of a reason in today's world to be nice to everyone unless it's done out of character and not expecting anything in return. But the apparant paradox of this is that you will be perceived as a * * * * * by everyone. So yeah, sometimes you just gotta be a complete * * * * * * * to people.


i highly disagree with that statement. i think you should be kind to everyone for the sake of being kind. how others act in return in on their conscious, but yours knows you did a kind thing. you don't do kind things because you expect something in return, because yes, then you will be highly disappointed. you do them because it's the " right" thing to do

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I'v seen it happen myself, if just one person decides your not fitting in and they have 'clout' they will start up the conversation with others and try to demean you as a person and as an employee. Before you know it. you're the outcast and everyone thinks yeah.... she IS like that.


Its a matter of fitting in and if you don't.. YOU'RE OUT!! Be careful from now on who you trust and who you smile at. There is always someone ready to cut your throat. It's not fair and it's not right but it happens.

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mgirl, your post speaks right to me. I know exactly how you feel. All that you want is to do your job the best you can, and you are polite and courteous to others. You don't take advantage of your position of authority, if anything you downplay it so as to be more equal with everyone else and make them feel more appreciated. But you still end up with those who will backstab you or turn against you for no real reason, choosing to ignore all the good you do and have their own personal bias influence their decisions.


The important thing is to not give up and lose hope. There will always be those people who choose to put themselves first instead of being reasonable. There will be those who take cheap shots at others and do anythng they can to bring you down. But you can't give them that satisfaction. Being a nice person makes you special, it is who you are. Some people will try to take advantage of it, or be jealous of it. They feel bad themselves, so they want to bring you down and make you feel bad as well. Misery loves company, right? But you are better then that.


Keep being who you are and doing the right thing. You resigned because you didn't like the environment that you were in. There are better environments out there for you, ones that will fit you better. There are plenty of good people who will treat you better. You can't let a few bad appples spoil the bunch. The important thing is that you do what is right for you, stick to who you are, and are happy. Nice people finish first, it just can often seem different because the not so nice people are always trying to make power plays and bring us down.

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I agree with Caldus in that people can't be trusted and i have learned that the hard way. The funny thing (well, it's not really funny) is that i knew, but let it happen anyway. I am not sure why i did that, i think i just got tired of keeping my guard up . It really is tiring.


However, when i enter the real workforce, i am going to be nice to everybody and keep it light. The problem with the job i just left is that it was in the entertainment industry and most people have to fight for the limited amount of jobs, so it can get nasty. There were also a lot of egos as stake, and while i did it for the money, some people just don't know how to turn it off and be professional.


Also, I think they were jealous of me because i was good at what i did. Not to blow my horn! And the customers really liked me at the start. But when i became bitter and twisted i think that changed a little, but overall, they still thought i was okay. I am also the type of person who gets overlooked for the louder and more pretentious people.


The nature of the industry i was (and am still to a certain extent) in is that you have to be ruthless to survive. You either have to be nasty, get out, or you get eaten-up by the sharks. I made a conscious decision not to let the industry change me, because it wasn't making me happy. I really wasn't happy with myself and i do feel a little better, having made the decision that the highest priority in my life is to be happy, because life is too short.


Now i've just got to find a way to stop the one and only 'friend' i have there to stop telling me about everything that is happening.

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"Nice" guys who finish last put the other person's feelings first, instead of their own. You can still be a nice guy without losing that sense of leadership when it comes to women. Girls/women dig guys with confidence, and like it when guys "lead" them, rather than act like she has to make the decisions for him. "Nice" guys who finish last suck up to women, rather than hold his own ground while still keeping her happy. The marriages that last the longest are typically the most balanced, and healthiest of relationships. It takes two to tango, but if one isn't dancing right, it falls apart.


When it comes down to it, just be yourself. But remember that you don't have to always be a "yes" man. It's healthy to argue when it needs to be done or if it arises. It clears the air. If it is always avoided, it makes it a bit difficult to resolve any problems that you might have in the relationship. My parents have been married for almost 30 years now, and I remember as a child they used to get into these big arguments over who knows what. Yet they are still together.

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