If someone uses these 15 phrases, they’re definitely being fake nice

Some people just can’t help themselves. They have to be snarky or sarcastic and, in many ways, fake nice.

They also formulate the things they say in thinly veiled insults that leave us wondering whether what they say is genuine. 

That’s why I’ve gathered a list of phrases that some people use that expose them as fake nice. 

Let’s see what they are. 

1) “Oh, how interesting”

People use this phrase to feign interest in someone’s conversation or topic. It means they find the topic boring and uninteresting and have no genuine curiosity about what you’re saying.

I won’t lie to you. I’ve used it more than once. Typically when peopled showed me photos of their kids or pets. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love and have both, but most of the time, I’m not interested in other peoples’. 

2) “I can’t believe you’re so passionate about that”

When someone tells you this, you should immediately slap them. Okay, I’m joking, of course (barely). Still, it’s just so condescending to say to someone that just showed you something they probably feel incredibly proud of. 

For example, they show you how they meticulously restored antique teacups or shared their love of spotting and cataloging different types of trains and locomotives.

This statement appears to acknowledge their enthusiasm but in a way that implies surprise or disbelief in a patronizing or insincere way.

3) “You’re so brave to wear something like that”

By calling someone “brave” for their fashion choice, they indirectly imply that the outfit is unusual or daring.  

Although that’s definitely a positive thing, some people say it to undermine the person’s fashion sense.

They don’t think the outfit is nice. On the contrary, they think it’s outrageous or too much out there. 

Even if they don’t change the tone of their voice, you should get what they mean by that. There are simply no ifs, buts, or maybes about it. 

They might also use the following sentence.

4) “I love how you just don’t care what others think”

This demeaning phrase may sound like admiration, but, in fact, it carries a sense of criticism, indicating that the person is disregarding social norms or acting inappropriately.

In most cases, we shouldn’t care what people say, yet here we are. 

We live in a society where most of us care what others say and think about us, and their comments can easily hurt us. 

That’s why there are so many trolls around us. They love seeing people’s reactions and live for the power trip they get from demeaning others. 

5) “I wish I could be as carefree as you”

Similar to the phrase above, this one could be received as a compliment by less-experienced listeners. 

But veterans will recognize it for what it is – the person telling you this doesn’t wish to be easygoing like you. They think you’re reckless and careless and aren’t responsible enough.

They wish you could be more carefree in a different, more responsible way. 

6) “I envy your confidence”

While this might seem like a compliment, it can also carry an undertone of resentment or sarcasm, implying that your confidence is misplaced or even unwarranted.

It often happens when people see me dance. I take it as a compliment, even though I know they think my dancing sucks and is incredibly embarrassing for any sane person. 

C’est la vie. 

7) “You’re so unique”

People say this in a way that implies someone is different from the norm, but vaguely suggesting that their uniqueness is strange or odd rather than positively distinctive.

For example, someone shows you their collection of rubber ducks or tells you that they ride around on a unicycle. 

I might say, “You’re so unique,” in that case. Would that be fake nice? Yes. Would they recognize it? Definitely. 

Would I care? Hell no!

8) “Your perspective is certainly… something”

By trailing off after “something,” the person saying this fake nice phrase implies that your perspective is unusual, unconventional, or perhaps even nonsensical.

I often catch myself saying this after holiday dinners when I see and hear my aunts and uncles. 

They just have the wildest takes on many things that aren’t even worth debating or disputing. 

People think it’s all that food that lands people in hospitals after holiday dinner. It’s actually the stress of being around your extended family!

9) “I could never pull off that hairstyle, but it works for you”

Some people have wild haircuts and hairstyles. Some suit them, others not so much. That’s why some people use this fake nice phrase. 

The truth is, of course, that they hate the hairstyle more than a vampire hates sunscreen. 

But I’m above this. I’d never say something so insulting. In this case, I’m a proponent of the old if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

I simply smile and nod when they ask me what I think (looking like a madman). 

10) “You must have a lot of time on your hands to be able to do that”

Time. The most precious resource of them all. What we do with it is deeply personal, yet we spend most of it working and sleeping. 

Isn’t that fascinating? 

So when you use whatever’s left of it to indulge in hobbies, activities, and interests you actually enjoy, there’s always going to be a smartass that wants to “put you in your place,” right? 

This phrase is so incredibly belittling, implying that what you do with your time isn’t worthwhile and that you have too much free time.

11) “You always have such… creative ideas”

By hesitating before “creative ideas,” the person saying this suggests that the ideas are strange or far-fetched rather than genuinely innovative.

I’m sure the person saying this is very original, while wearing the same clothes millions of others wear, listening to music shared by billions, watching the same TV shows everyone else is, etc.

You get the picture. 

Whatever you do, there are many people in the world already doing it. We all think we’re creative and unique, but the truth is, we really aren’t. 

I guess, both people are right in this case. Huh. 

12) “You’re not afraid to express yourself, huh?”

On the surface, the statement seems like a compliment, acknowledging the person’s willingness to be open and expressive. 

However, the tone and context in which they say it suggests that they don’t fully appreciate or approve of the person’s expression.

They probably also insinuate that the person’s motivation for self-expression is rooted in a desire for others to notice them. Which might as well be true. 

But we all sometimes wear or act to impress or get attention. 

13) “I don’t know how you manage to say what you think without any filter”

While this might seem like praise for being outspoken and direct, it’s more likely the person saying it’s thinking that unfiltered honesty is socially inappropriate or tactless.

Let’s face it, most people aren’t really that honest when sharing compliments. They think one thing but say something completely different not to hurt someone’s feelings.

So when someone says something honestly, they react in a sarcastic way that is fake nice

14) “You’re really good at being different”

When someone says this to you, they’re yet again implying you’re intentionally trying to stand out or be unconventional. Therefore seeking attention.

There’s nothing worse for some people than when others stand out. They want everyone to blend in because that way, they don’t have to feel sorry about themselves and their abilities. 

For example, if you’ve chosen an alternative lifestyle, such as living off the grid or practicing a non-mainstream philosophy, you might hear this phrase from your family that thinks you’re nuts.

15) “I wish I had the confidence to do and say whatever I want, like you”

While seemingly a compliment, this statement carries an undertone of judgment, insinuating that your unrestrained behavior is inappropriate or you lack consideration for others.

For example, when someone tends to ask direct and intrusive questions, the person saying, “I wish I had the confidence to do and say whatever I want, like you,” subtly suggests they see their curiosity as invasive or impolite.

Final thoughts

Being fake nice toward others is passive-aggressive behavior. It doesn’t serve any purpose apart from putting someone down. 

They might not realize it at first, but they will eventually. 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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