With the nonstop parade of ousted men our news feeds have been inundated with for several months, it seems we’re facing a renewed plight of the Nice Guy™. Often normalized or even celebrated for the willingness to treat the women in their lives with decency, they’re being hit with a blinding spotlight and have a lot of men more closely examining their own behavior. For instance, maybe you’ve been telling yourself “nice guys finish last” as a coping mechanism to why you’re not being chosen by the person you desire?

I’m going let you in on a little secret—nice guys don’t finish last. But Nice Guys™ do, as they should. And that just might be you.

It’s taken a lot of delicate sifting to sort through the seemingly sincere exterior of those who brand themselves as “the nice guys,” but now the radar is crystal clear, and unfortunately, these Nice Guys™ are everywhere. They can easily hide under the more acceptable labels of Woke Guy or Feminist Guy or Nerdy Guy, but their entire prerogative is they often expect sex or intimacy in exchange for their “niceness.”

Being nice is the bare minimum of being a decent human being. It’s not something you use as a weapon to get what you want.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some of our favorite pop culture characters for reference…

Big Bang Theory’s Leonard tries to play the innocent, nerdy scientist, but makes everything all about him whenever Penny comes in the picture. In the early episodes, Ross from Friends always belittles Rachel’s choice in men because she doesn’t love him back (this revelation hurt me, too). Or, the most recent (and unnerving) example—season four Black Mirror’s Robert Daley, a seemingly harmless genius who traps the object of his affection in a demented virtual reality game after realizing she wasn’t romantically interested in him.

Sure, these examples come from fiction, but the root of what inspires these types of actions is alive and thriving.

Dr. Robert Glover, who’s studied the issue, told The Independent that these men are often trying to form “covert contracts” with the target of their affections. He continued, “Others typically do not realize these contracts exist and are often surprised when the Nice Guy lashes out at their failure to keep their end of the deal.“

Psychologist Dr. Jesse Marczyk added, “The men who tend to get stuck in the friendzone might not be attractive enough on their own (physically, socially or otherwise), and so try to compensate for their shortcomings by investing in women more than their peers. In other words, they might use kindness to try and make up for what they lack elsewhere.”

But let me give “Nice Guys” the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you’re a man reading this and don’t even realize you’re the fake nice guy. Maybe you really think you’re just the friend with boyfriend potential who gets overlooked because he’s just so nice . Okay then, let’s go through the symptoms:

-A fake nice guy is the guy that tries to present himself on a pedestal of being one of the few sincere men to roam the earth. However, his intentions are never genuine, whether he realizes it or not.

-His intentions are actually rooted in self-serving behavior. He’s trying to put on this ruse of kindness and understanding, because he thinks it’s the key to getting what he wants (your love and affection), and if it doesn’t—all hell breaks loose and it’s all your fault!

-He’ll always pout about “nice guys” never getting picked, and if you choose to focus your attention on another man, he’ll criticize your standards for this reason.

-He’ll make sure to highlight every nice thing he’s ever done, because there’s apparently some invisible tally sheet that will inevitably be thrown back in your face if you don’t hold up your end of the “deal.”

-He gets annoyed that his “nice” gestures are only returned with an “Aw, thanks,” instead of the affection he craves from you.

-When you talk, he half-listens with the intent to respond, and once he starts talking it’s all about him.

-And should you choose to give him the goodies, he (along with all of his surely-authentic-never-to-be-questioned “nice” behavior) disappears.

To sum it all up with a shady bow on top—the fake nice guy takes on this completely false persona just to fulfill his own agenda without any care for anyone else’s feelings but his own. And it shouldn’t take much convincing for you to realize that this type of behavior is not nice. It’s actually quite horrible.

Being nice is the bare minimum of being a decent human being. It’s not something you use as a weapon to get what you want.

Be honest with who you are and your intentions, because people can see through the fakery. And frankly, don’t you get exhausted trying to be someone you’re not?

If you’re going to be nice, be nice because it’s nice to be nice, not because you’re hoping to get something out of it. And if you really do feel that you’re genuine in your actions and you’re taken for granted, then stop over-exerting yourself for people who refuse to acknowledge your effort.

It’s that simple.