We all like to say that sincerity is a virtue. But there are people who disagree and see “fake niceness” as a strategy to win in life.
It’s in your best interest to avoid these so-called “fake nice people”, even if it might seem like they’re not that bad to you.
But they’re not so easy to spot, especially the ones who are
Well, in this article, I will show you 21 concerning signs that betray fake nice people and tell you why you should be wary.
First things first—what are fake nice people?
Fake nice people are exactly what they sound like—they’re people who pretend to be nice.
But you might wonder what makes them stand out. After all, all of us must have lied at some point in our lives. And sometimes, lying or faking things is even the better moral option.
The thing is that there’s a difference between lying to protect ourselves or others and pretending to be a nice person to gain something.
Someone who has to pretend to be nice does so because, deep inside, they aren’t actually a nice person.
And you should learn to see through their BS and protect yourself from their manipulation.
Find out if they have the traits in the list below.
21 concerning signs of fake nice people
1) They get too close too soon.
Fake nice people want to win you over with their charm.
They do this by making you feel like you’re the most important person they’ve met since 2006. These fake nice people know the tricks because they’ve been studying it.
They would learn your nickname or make one up for you, for example. That’s because they believe that this has a psychological effect on you—that it’ll make it seem like you’re closer than you actually are.
Terms such as “dear” and “sweetie” are also part of their repertoire.
This doesn’t always have the desired effect, of course. Sometimes they end up making people feel violated, uncomfortable or insulted instead.
But of course, there are some genuinely nice people who are just so eager to welcome new people into their lives that they end up doing this too. You can tell the difference by observing how they treat other people, and whether or not they want something from you.
If you see them acting like a salesperson or putting themselves out there like a presidential candidate running for the elections, step back and ask if they’re actually nice or if it’s all just a facade.
2) They’re judgmental deep inside.
Fake nice people are one of the most judgmental people in the world.
Most of them see people as something that they can use. They scan a room and find the ones they find useful and the ones they find useless. It’s so easy for them to categorize people in their boxes.
They look at their profile and decide quickly. They waste no time interacting with those who won’t add anything to their lives.
3) They overpraise you.
Another trick fake nice people like to pull because it always works is showering you with praise.
They’ll say “You look good in your dress. Where did you get it?” even if you only wore a plain dress from H & M. In fact, you’re quite sure they saw you wear it before.
They’ll say “You’re one of the sweetest people I’ve met in my life.” even when the most you’ve done for them is to give their kid a donut.
Praises might seem like they’re harmless at first, but they aren’t. Especially not when they come from a fake nice person. Even if you are convinced that you’re not desperate for attention or love, they can still get you.
It’s just not a good idea to be with someone who’s not genuine. You might start believing what they say, resulting in you developing a distorted self-image.
4) They give you VIP treatment.
They’ll give you everything you need to feel like a king or queen—they’ll offer you their seat, they’ll make coffee for you and put it on the best-looking mug, and they’ll open the door for you even if you’re already holding the doorknob.
Be wary. Most of the time, people who do this want something from you.
Here’s the thing: they can’t do it to everyone they meet. So ask yourself why they’re doing this to you.
5) They make you feel that you’re their favorite.
They say they’ll give you a big discount because you’re special…and not to tell anyone else or else the others will feel bad. But of course, they already said this to at least ten people.
They say they have a secret and that they’ll share it with you and only you. But of course, you’re the 50th person they said this to.
Fake nice people are great manipulators. They know that if they make you feel like the two of you have a special bond, you’ll be nice to them in return.
After all, it feels (to you) like you’re besties, and besties are there for each other.
Stay away from these people before you’ll do something out of character just to please them.
6) They have a hidden agenda.
There are polite people, and then there are fake nice people. The difference is that fake nice people have a hidden agenda.
It’s easy to spot this from salespeople, but it’s not so easy to see this when it comes to new friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers.
How can you smell this from afar?
If they’re someone who you don’t know too well—this includes people who you’ve known for years but haven’t really known on a deeper level—and they become too close to you all of a sudden, ask yourself what they can get from you.
If they single you out—meaning, they’re awful to other people—then be wary. More likely than not, they’re simply there to take advantage of you. And the moment you stop being useful, you’ll be cast aside.
If you only want to have genuine relationships, keep your distance.
7) They’ll take advantage of your insecurity.
Fake nice people prey on insecure folks.
They want to know what your insecurities are so that they can take advantage of them. Most of the time they aren’t going to be as straightforward as to ask “what are you insecure about?”, but instead they’ll pay attention to the things you say to find out what upsets you.
They might notice, for example, that you’re insecure about your looks, and begin targeting exactly that. They might give you compliments to win your favor, for example, or tell you subtle insults to keep you “in line.”
To say “don’t tell people your insecurities” is easier said than done.
8) They get upset when you don’t side with them.
Fake nice people easily get upset when you don’t side with them, or when you disagree with them.
The reason for that is that they don’t hang out with people because they like the company. They hang out with people because they see the time and energy they spend on others as an investment.
And that investment is put into question if it doesn’t show results. After all, why did they hang out with you and tell you nice things if you’re not going to take their side?
Some can hide their disappointment quite well, while others will straight up bash you in the head with it.
For example, let’s say that you disagreed with something they had said, and tried to call them out on it privately. In response, they might tell you something like “I helped you out when you didn’t have a job, and this is how you repay me?”
9) They randomly stop being “nice” every now and then.
Fake nice people are good at pretending but it doesn’t mean they don’t get exhausted from their show.
Smiling when they’re annoyed deep inside.
Praising when they have nothing to praise about…these things add up and can be unhealthy to anyone’s spirit—even to the fake nice bunch.
Because of this, they have a lot of repressed emotions.
These pent-up feelings usually come to the surface during random situations, and they usually dump them on people who they think are inferior to them.
You’d be laughing your heart out while watching a Tiktok video during lunch break and they’d snap at you for it.
If you have a boss or family member who’s consistently fake nice, you have to learn how to cope with their irritable behavior. Distance yourself from them before you become their official punching bag.
10) They make promises that they don’t go through with.
A fake nice person is your instant “bestie” and they will make sure you’ll feel like there’s something special between the two of you. Before you go, they’ll plan something with you.
But of course, they won’t follow through.
They’ll say something like “Let’s have lunch next week.” or “I’ll send you some cookies I baked.”, but none of those things will happen.
Most of the time, they don’t do this on purpose. It’s pointless trying to be nice if you just ruin their trust.
They’re just “nice” to everyone and they can’t keep up. It could also be that they’re so used to not giving any weight to words because they’re not genuine people.
For them, everything’s a show. They forget that some people make plans and promises seriously.
11) They’re not the most reliable people.
In the same way, they can’t keep up with their promises, they can’t be relied upon when it comes to other things like work deadlines and chores.
What’s frustrating is that fake nice people always try to wiggle out of their mess by their “niceness.” They’ll just use their charm and your “friendship” so you’ll not be pissed at them.
They’ve probably become fake nice because they know it can get them out of trouble.
Be careful when you spot someone like this. They shouldn’t use their niceness as a get-out-of-jail card for not doing what they’re supposed to do.
This is difficult if they’ve already won your heart but try your best to detach from the fake nice person. You have to teach them to be more responsible and accountable for their actions by calling them out.
12) They don’t voice their opinions strongly.
Fake nice people want to be loved, and because of this, they don’t want to offend anyone.
Of course, they have a lot of strong opinions (as judgmental as they are) but they will never say them out loud so they remain liked by everyone.
This is concerning because sometimes, we have to stand up for what is right, and we have to argue and discuss to improve.
These fake nice people want to remain neutral and it can definitely be frustrating to those of us who are outspoken and honest.
13) They like to gossip.
Fake nice people enjoy gossip because they want to feel good about themselves. They also enjoy the misfortunes of others very much.
More than this, they know that gossip creates instant closeness.
They will share a “secret” with you so you’ll have the time of your life analyzing people.
It feels great to feel like you’re in the same team—that you’re doing something “dangerous” and “bad” together. You have your own world!
Be careful. If they can do it with you, they can do it to you. Most likely, they’re “nice” to the people you’re gossiping about. And most likely, the fake nice person will gossip to them about you.
14) They discreetly put down others.
Fake nice people don’t like it when others outshine them. When that happens, they’ll find a way to put them down but they’re so sneaky that you won’t even notice it unless you pay close attention.
They will try to sandwich something bad in their compliments. They’ll say something like “I think our new colleague is really talented. I just wish they’d do something more original…but yes, he has a strong potential.”
They won’t go all-out with their negative comments because, well…they’re “nice.”
And then there’s the possibility that they’re not aware of it—that they can’t help themselves but put down others because fake nice people are usually insecure.
15) They’d rather be liked than tell the truth.
This is one of the main characteristics of fake nice people, and it should be enough reason for you to stay away from them.
Because they’re scared of looking bad, because they’re not genuine, because they don’t see the value of truth, you really can’t expect honesty from them.
But more than that, you can EXPECT them to be dishonest.
You see, most fake nice people think that they’re just playing a game with people. They study human psychology and read books like “How to be everyone’s favorite.”
When the time comes that they have to decide whether to achieve their goals or to be honest with you, they’d choose the former.
Fake nice people don’t care so much about real connections, and therefore it’s easy for them to be a little dishonest from time to time.
16) They’re not really your ally.
Don’t expect fake nice people to pull you aside and tell you that there’s something off with the data in your presentation. They won’t tell you that your make-up sucks before a date, either.
They’d actually prefer that you discover it by yourself.
It’s maybe because they really don’t want to be the bearer of bad news because they’re “nice.” It can also be because they secretly enjoy seeing you miserable.
After all, when you’re miserable, you’d go to them for comfort, which is what fake nice people want—to feel like a good person even if they’re anything but.
17) They’re incredibly secretive about their personal lives.
Fake nice people think that everyone thinks like them, to some degree. And that makes them paranoid about what they share with people, in case others will do unto them what they do unto others.
Because of that, they are often very secretive with their personal lives. They will hesitate to share their biggest fears, or put themselves in your debt.
They worry that one day, you’ll blackmail or threaten them with the things you know.
Fake nice people will ask a million questions about your life but they rarely share theirs. What info they share about themselves is often small, inconsequential, and clean.
If they’re incredibly chatty and curious about your life but heavily guarded about theirs, be careful. You might be dealing with a fake nice person.
18) They want to control you.
Fake nice people often have a tendency to be controlling. And oftentimes they’ve had enough practice with making people do their bidding.
They might try to make it seem like it’s in your best interests, or even a moral obligation to go along with them.
For example, they might try to convince you that you should help them sell some handbags they’ve got because, well, they’re your friend and friends help each other out.
And they often succeed because too many people think inside the box. Most people are trained not to question authority and societal expectations.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. And you should make some changes to avoid being tricked by fake nice people.
You see, so much of what you believe to be real or normal are just constructions. Imaginary. You can actually reshape these things to live lives that are more in line with what matters to you.
19) They’re obsessively hateful towards people they don’t like.
Fake nice people often fixate on the people that they don’t like in their lives—and depending on how many people have called them out, that can be quite a lot.
As mentioned earlier, fake nice people often think that other people think like them. And that goes right down to the way they think and act.
They think about their ‘enemies’ and throw them under the bus to make them look better. They think their ‘enemies’ do the same and hate them for that. So they would twist the story and make that person look worse and worse.
Even if that other person’s only “sin” was to disagree with them and had long since forgotten about them, it’s not unusual for fake nice people to make it seem like that other person had been secretly trying to ruin their lives.
20) They like to brag about how good they are.
It should be no surprise that fake nice people like to lie about how good they are. They might twist the past to make it seem like they were “in the right”, and blow up even small “acts of charity” they did to make it a bigger deal than it actually is.
They might have donated a few dollars to a local charity drive, for example, and act like they gave away their entire life savings in the service of others.
And they have no qualms weaponizing this too. Should you begin to doubt whether they’re actually as good as they were, they might try to tell you something like “but don’t you remember back when we just met? I was a good friend!”
It’d be hard for you to dispute them then because chances are that they have been working hard to seem like the perfect friend at that point.
21) They are obsessed with attention and praise.
Fake nice people thrive on attention and praise, and they aren’t afraid to play dirty just to get it.
If they ever do something “good”, they would go out of their way to make sure others know—because why even bother to be nice if nobody gives them credit for it?
And when people say that they’re nice, they like to carry it around because not only does it validate their cultivated image of being a “nice” person, but they can also use it as a shield when someone questions their niceness.
For example, they might say “I don’t know. Your girlfriend told me that I’m a good person just yesterday. You don’t distrust her judgment don’t you?”
Of course, when people stop giving them attention and praise, they become upset and think people are simply being ungrateful.
Sometimes people fake their niceness without knowing it, and sometimes they are fully aware of it.
Thankfully enough, they often give themselves away if you were to simply pay attention.
When you do notice them, the best course of action is to distance yourself from them.
Fake nice people simply aren’t healthy to have around you.
You might think “I can still fix them”—but no, chances are that you can’t, and trying will only bring you grief. Besides, it’s not like they’re paying you to be their therapist.
If you want healthy relationships, stay away from fake nice people.