Men who pretend to be nice but actually aren’t usually display these 10 subtle behaviors

Navigating the maze of human behavior can be tricky. Sometimes, people aren’t always as they seem.

Take men who appear to be nice, for example. They might smile, offer compliments, and act like the perfect gentleman. But beneath that charming exterior, something else might be brewing.

These men are masters of deception, using their ‘nice guy’ act to mask their true intentions. And it’s not always easy to see through the facade.

But don’t worry, there are subtle signs that can tip you off. In this article, we’ll explore 10 subtle behaviors displayed by men who pretend to be nice but actually aren’t.

Ready? Let’s dive in. 

1) Over-complimenting

Have you ever met someone who seems to dish out compliments like they’re going out of style?

Sure, it’s nice to be appreciated. But when the compliments start to feel excessive or unwarranted, it might be a sign that something else is at play.

Men who are nice in appearance only often use flattery as a tool to win people over. It’s a clever tactic, as compliments can make us feel good and more likely to view the person in a positive light.

But here’s the thing: genuine compliments are typically specific and occasional. They’re not thrown around loosely or given out like candy.

2) They manipulate conversations

Allow me to share a personal anecdote. I once knew a guy who seemed incredibly friendly. He’d always greet people with a warm smile and was quick to engage in conversation.

But over time, I began to notice a pattern in our chats. The conversations always seemed to revolve around him. If we were ever discussing something he wasn’t interested in, he’d subtly steer the conversation back towards his interests or experiences.

At first, I brushed it off. After all, he was a charming guy. But as time went on, it became clear that this was more than just a harmless character quirk.

Men who pretend to be nice can often manipulate conversations to keep the focus on them or their interests. It’s all part of maintaining that ‘nice guy’ image while subtly controlling the interaction.

While it might not seem like a big deal at first, over time this behavior can be draining and even damaging to relationships. Genuine people value balanced conversations where everyone’s voice is heard and respected.

3) Lack of empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and it’s crucial for any healthy relationship. However, men who feign kindness often struggle with this.

According to Verywell Health, manipulative behavior involves actions aimed at gaining influence or control over another person—a sign of reduced capacity for empathy.  

Despite their outward charm, these individuals may find it difficult to genuinely connect with others on an emotional level. They might dismiss your feelings or fail to show understanding when you’re going through a tough time.

For manipulative folks, their focus is more on maintaining their image than on genuinely connecting with others.

4) They don’t respect boundaries

Respecting personal boundaries is crucial in any healthy relationship. Unfortunately, guys who pretend to be nice often disregard these limits.

They might make unsolicited comments about your personal life, make you feel uncomfortable with their actions, or pressure you into doing things you’re not comfortable with—all while pretending to be nice.

This disregard for boundaries often comes from a sense of entitlement. They believe they have the right to cross these lines because they think their intentions are good.

However, true kindness means respecting personal space and individual comfort.

5) They are rarely available when you need them

Make no mistake: a genuinely nice person will be there for you in your times of need. However, men who act nice but aren’t often fall short in this area.

They might be all smiles and friendly chatter when it suits them, but when you need a shoulder to lean on or some help, they’re suddenly unavailable.

This inconsistency between their words and actions is a telltale sign of their true nature. It shows that their niceness is conditional and primarily serves their own interests.

6) They rarely apologize

We all make mistakes. It’s a fundamental part of being human. But it’s how we handle those mistakes that truly defines our character.

Men who put on a nice front often struggle with this. They might make excuses, deflect blame, or even ignore the issue entirely rather than admitting they were wrong.

This reluctance to apologize can be heartbreaking. It can make you feel unheard, unvalued, and even question your own judgement.

Genuine kindness is about humility and the ability to admit when we’re wrong. It’s about valuing the other person’s feelings over our own pride.

7) They use guilt as a weapon

I remember a time when I had a friend who always seemed to be the nicest guy.

He was charming, friendly, and always full of compliments. But there was one thing that always bothered me – he had a way of making me feel guilty if I ever disagreed with him or said no to his requests.

At first, I thought it was just me being overly sensitive. But as time went on, I realized it was a tactic he used to maintain control and get his way.

My point being—men who are only friendly on the surface often use guilt as a weapon. They make you feel bad for standing up for yourself or having your own opinion.

It’s a subtle form of manipulation that can leave you feeling confused and doubting your own judgement.

8) They’re always the victim

At first glance, you might think that someone who frequently casts themselves as the victim is a sensitive, empathetic individual. They appear deeply attuned to their emotions and unafraid to share their vulnerabilities.

However, men who aren’t genuine often wield this as a cunning strategy. They habitually play the victim card in various situations to garner sympathy and manipulate others’ perceptions.

By doing so, they deftly deflect blame, shirk responsibility, and bask in the comfort and attention they receive from others.

While it’s true that everyone faces hardships and can fall victim to circumstances, perpetual victimhood can be a telltale sign of subtle manipulation.

9) They’re overly defensive

Good communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. It’s how we share our thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other.

But when guys are faking kindness, they often have trouble with open and honest communication. They tend to get defensive when you confront them or ask questions. Any criticism or disagreement messes with their whole nice-guy act.

Instead of actually listening and having a real conversation, they might snap back, dodge the topic, or just shut down entirely. And that makes it really tough to work through any problems or concerns you might have in the relationship.

10) They’re not genuinely happy for others

Genuine kindness involves the ability to celebrate others’ successes and happiness. But when guys are only playing the nice guy roles, they often struggle with this.

Instead of genuinely cheering you on, they might offer fake congratulations or subtly downplay your achievements. Why? Because someone else’s success makes them feel insecure about themselves.

Their inability to genuinely share in your joy shows they lack real empathy and understanding—crucial parts of being truly kind.   

Endnote: Unmasking the masquerade

If you suspect someone is only pretending to be nice to you, trust your instincts and take measures to protect yourself.

While not physically dangerous, these types can mess with your emotions. They make you doubt yourself, leaving you confused and upset without knowing why. They dodge responsibility, guilt-trip you whenever convenient, and avoid real talks, which make it tough to resolve issues. 

My advice? Always prioritize your emotional well-being and set boundaries. Watch for signs like defensiveness or subtle put-downs. Confront gently but firmly. Stay calm and expect resistance.  

If they won’t engage or keep dodging, it’s time to rethink things. Surround yourself with folks who value you and treat you right. Remember: Genuine kindness means empathy and honesty. 

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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