Faking niceness has its cost – most people can tell when someone isn’t being genuine.
However, it’s one thing when your gut instinct tells you the vibe “just feels off” and another when your brain agrees. Most of the time, we like to give others the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe they just really like me. Maybe I’m the problem. Your thoughts are constantly fighting your intuition, and you simply don’t know what to make of it.
It’s time to decide once and for all. Are you dealing with a fake nice person? Here are the 11 definite signs.
1) They laugh at the most boring jokes you could ever tell
People who fake niceness usually want something from you.
Be it a sense of control, a leg up at work, or a secret they can exploit, they know that the best way to make someone feel good is to pretend you’re really funny.
Hence, they do. Too much and too often.
“What are your plans after work?” they might ask. “Maybe a fun date?” A mischievous raise of the eyebrow.
“Nope. The same as yesterday. Just Netflix and chill.”
“Oh my god, you’re hilarious!”
2) They are way too excited to see you
Speaking of overexaggerated reactions, fake nice people will go to extreme lengths to make you feel welcome – to the point where a simple arrival at work can elicit an excited jump and a hug.
“Finally, you’re here. It was so boring here without you.”
Never mind that the workday started fifteen minutes ago.
Overall, their behavior toward you just seems too nice. As if they think you’re incredibly special, and your presence in their life is the best thing they could ever wish for.
Which eventually leads to…
3) They act like you’re besties after one week
How strong can your friendship be when you’ve only just met?
Even if you’ve had some amazing discussions, your connection is probably still very surface-level because you haven’t known each other for very long.
There are simply not that many memories to build the friendship’s foundation on.
However, their behavior is at complete odds with that. They act as if you were an inseparable team, they talk about how great you are together, and they might even confide in you about some very personal things.
They try their best to create a sense of trust within the relationship. And this is because…
4) They love to know your secrets
A secret is something fake nice people can hold against you.
Even if their intentions aren’t that malicious, they might ask deeply personal questions because knowing more about you gives them a sense of control.
Of course, asking personal questions isn’t bad in and of itself.
Many people can be curious and respectful at the same time, for example when they end their sentence with “if you don’t mind me asking” and show understanding when you don’t want to open up.
What sets fake nice people apart is that they don’t let things go. They find other ways to breach the topic and subtly stir the conversation in the direction they want.
Generally, they’re just way too nosy.
5) They are the ultimate Gossip Girl
Their nosiness doesn’t only pertain to you. No, they want to know it all – every disagreement, every strange glance, every whisper.
Their mind’s like a trove of gossip, and they don’t mind sharing all that hard-gained information with you.
They say it’s because they trust you, but really, how can you be sure they don’t go around spreading rumors about you as well?
People who are genuinely nice don’t go out of their way to stick their noses into other people’s business. When you chat, you mostly talk about each other – not those who aren’t even there.
6) They are experts at throwing shade
It’s not just the gossip. It’s the fact that they can act extremely nice to someone, only to roll their eyes the moment that person is out of sight.
If you want to know if someone is faking niceness, watch their interactions with others. It might be that everyone’s a bestie – until they turn their back.
This is where you really get to see that person’s darker side. A mistake many fake nice people make is that they don’t mind saying unkind things about others in front of you because “you two have a special bond”, after all.
But if they constantly throw shade at other people, chances are you’re the next target as soon as you leave the room.
7) They mother you
The closer you grow, the more comfortable fake nice people become. Over time, they might learn how to navigate your personality and get what they want.
One such strategy is to be overly concerned for your well-being.
Are you sure you’re not sick? Would you like more tea, medicine, attention? Have you eaten today? Those shoes will make your feet hurt, how about we go shopping together and pick a better pair?
I once had a boss who bought an expensive sweater for my co-worker and brought it all the way to her house just because the co-worker once said she was a bit cold during our shift.
The boss was also kind only when it suited her, asked very personal questions, gossiped, and got furious when things didn’t go her way.
That’s a textbook fake nice person if I’ve ever seen one.
8) They prey on your insecurities
While mothering is about placing you in an inferior position through what looks like overwhelming love, using your insecurities to put you down is more subtle.
It’s veiled behind the same idea, though.
Be it through jokes or advice, their insults are always wrapped up in excuses like “love” and “honesty”.
“Are you sure that skirt suits your body shape?” they might ask, trying to sound helpful as they’re bringing your attention to your thighs, something they know you’re insecure about.
Making you feel worse makes them feel better.
And as you’re complaining about your thighs the next day, they lend you a friendly shoulder to cry on.
9) They don’t actually listen
If you’re not opening up about something they can use in the future, it’s rare that they truly listen to you.
Sure, they might nod in agreement. Sure, they might offer some advice. Ultimately, though, fake nice people like to talk about the one thing they like most – themselves.
When you’re around someone like that, you often don’t feel heard.
The conversation gets always stirred in their direction, they spend ages delivering a monologue without the need to ask you any questions, and when you do speak, it’s like they’re so buried in their own thoughts that they barely take notice.
The interaction is so empty that when you take a step back, you realize that anyone could replace you, and the other person probably wouldn’t care.
As long as there’s someone to hear them talking, they’re satisfied.
10) They test how much they can get from you
Their relationship with you is transactional. Demand and supply. They test how much you can give them, and if there’s not enough supply, the demand plummets.
The testing starts off slow. A couple of favors here and there. But as the saying goes, “Give them a finger, and they’ll take the whole arm.”
How much of yourself can you give away? If you’ve covered their shift once or twice, will you do it every time they ask?
Fake nice people like to push your boundaries. Your job is to keep them in place.
11) They grow hot or cold when you don’t meet their expectations
The last thing to remember about fake nice people is that they’re only nice when it serves them. They don’t care about you as an independent entity. You’re a means to an end.
When you don’t fulfill their wants, they either withdraw or explode.
Withdrawal can be a technique to lure you back, but it can also mean they’ve simply given up on you and have moved on to someone else. In other words, they’ve lost interest.
Explosions are more emotional and unconscious, but that doesn’t make them any less horrible.
If someone’s treating you disrespectfully the moment you don’t follow their rules, it’s time to walk away.
And if these 11 signs confirm that you are, in fact, dealing with a fake nice person, my advice is to keep your distance.
You deserve to surround yourself with people who value you as a person. Not a business transaction.