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Rule Number Nine for Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome

30 rules for overcoming the nice guy syndrome Feb 03, 2020

It was the spring of my fourth-grade year, and my school was hosting our annual spring fair. The school cafeteria became a boardwalk of homemade carnival games.

I had just tossed a ping-pong ball into a cup and won something I had never seen before in my life. "What is it?" I asked my Dad.

"That," My Dad said, "is a Chinese finger trap!"

"How's it work?" I asked.

"Stick your index fingers in it, one on each side," my Dad replied. I placed my fingers inside the cylinder of woven bamboo. "Now try to get out of it," he smiled.

I pulled... I pulled again, and again. My fingers were, indeed, trapped. The harder I pulled, the tighter the checkered device became. My Dad looked more than amused as I struggled for a good couple of minutes.

Just when I felt like my little digits were about to pop out of their joints, my Dad said: "Don't pull. Just relax. Now push in." He smiled as if he had just disclosed an ancient secret, one passed down from father to son.

As I pushed in instead of pulling, the trap loosened. Holy crap! I was able to free myself.

Life is often like a Chinese finger trap. What we think will work doesn't. That's because often think we know the way. As a result, we're hell-bent on proving we know what's best, and the result is we stay stuck.

The next time something isn't working, try doing something else. If you're not sure what else to do, do the opposite, and see if that works.

Don't miss a beat!

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