One reason so-called Nice Guys ™ seem so creepy to so many people is that it’s easy to see the rage and the bitterness and the weird sort of self-hating entitlement that is so often lurking underneath – and sometimes not that far underneath – the “nice guy” exterior.
Consider the gutwrenching case of Jill Meagher, an Irish woman who was raped and murdered in a suburb of Melbourne Australia last September by a man who accosted her on the street as she was walking home from a bar. A man who later told police that he had only approached her in the first place because he was “trying to be nice.”
In a lengthy interview with police, in which he confessed to raping and strangling Meagher, Adrian Ernest Bayley explained that he had only approached Meagher because she “looked distraught” and he thought he could “help.” And he only became angry at her when she rebuffed his kind offers.
“It wasn’t really my intention to hurt her, you know that?” he told police.
I spoke to her, you know and said, look, I’ll just – I’ll – I’ll help you, you know. … She flipped me off and that made me angry, because I was trying to do a nice thing. You know that? …
I was just – I was trying to be nice and – she kept going from being nice to nasty, to nice, to – you know what I mean?
Earlier in the evening, Bayley had reportedly argued with his girlfriend about his “jealousy and possessiveness issues.” The girlfriend returned home, where she reportedly told her landlady that she was “hiding from Adrian.”
The newspaper The Australian paints a picture of a man with rage issues and very little self-awareness.
Mr Bayley was working for a drainage company until his arrest six days after Meagher went missing. The workmate he had been drinking with that night told police Mr Bayley would become “angry and aggressive” after fighting with his girlfriend.
“He had a very short fuse and didn’t like to be told he was in the wrong,” he said. “In the times that I worked with Adrian, he was often talking about women. He would say he couldn’t understand how men could hurt women or be abusive towards women.”
None of this is to say that all Nice Guys ™ are harboring killers inside of them, or anything even remotely like that. But those who most loudly proclaim their “niceness” often turn out to be pretty awful, in part because they think that women owe them something for being so insistently “nice.”