Dr. Gabor Maté – Nice Guy Syndrome Is Making You Sick

Why is being nice often associated with being taken advantage of or being unable to live authentically? Why should you master the art of saying NO!? Dr Gabor explains why it is essential for humans to be their authentic selves and why saying NO is good for you.

Dr. Gabor Maté is a renowned speaker and bestselling author highly sought after for his expertise on various topics, including addiction, stress and childhood development. He weaves scientific research, case histories, and his insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their healing and those around them.


While being nice and pleasing the people around you can be positive traits, they can cause you more harm than good, both mentally and physically.

Years of research show the same results – prioritizing the needs of others while ignoring your personal needs or pushing your anger down are all leading causes of illness.

“To prevent illness, or if you have an illness, to deal with it more effectively, you need to learn to assert who you are and to say “No”.”

As humans, it is impossible to separate our physiology from social existence. When you ignore or suppress your feelings and emotions or fail to assert your needs, you eventually build up stress, pushing the body towards inflammation and compromising the immune system.

Dr. Maté reviewed research on chronic illness cases he treated over the years and discovered a pattern associated with the personalities of the patients with chronic illness. Some of the typical traits included:

  • Compulsive concern for the needs of others while ignoring personal needs
  • Living the conviction that the only way to justify existing is by giving or doing
  • Rigid identifying with one’s duty, responsibility or social role
  • Compulsive acting on the belief that they are responsible for how others around them feel and the constant need to not disappoint anyone.
  • Repression of healthy self-protecting anger

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These are common features in the personality of people living with chronic illnesses. They are often overlooked because they are seen as the standard behavior expected from people in this culture. They are often regarded as admirable strengths instead of liabilities.

But it will create some conflict which will trigger all your fears about attachment.”

Learning to put your needs first and saying no can trigger some fears human beings have about attachment. Most people fear saying no even when they want to for fear of losing their connection with those they say no to.

You’re going to have to learn that you are more important than your attachments.

The good thing is that you can find healing for most mental illness symptoms when you learn to put your needs first, assert yourself and end people pleasing by learning to say NO.

Once you reconnect with your authentic self, a lot of medical conditions can abate and even remit completely. I’m not promising that, I’m just saying I’ve seen it too often. And there’s too many examples also written up in the literature. So yeah, healing is always possible as long as there’s consciousness.”

If you are a man interested in shedding the nice guy syndrome and live a better life, Mensgroup is an online men-only support group that can equip you with the tools and lessons you need to become a better person.

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