If someone uses these 13 phrases, they’re only pretending to be nice

I should first mention that just because someone says these words, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re fake.

Context is everything and a person’s intentions speak louder than their words. Meaning that their words will have matching behavior to go with it.

Usually an undercurrent of manipulation, passive aggression, or deception to mask their narrowmindedness.

Which is a reflection of their deep insecurities that make them feel like they won’t be accepted unless they’re nice – or a tainted version of it. 

Without further ado, here are 13 phrases that indicate someone’s only pretending to be nice.

1) “Are you sure that’s what happened”

Picture a person with furrowed brows that mimic sympathy, bordering on pity. A slight tilt of the head suggests that they are concerned.

A person will usually do this to make you rethink your feelings under the guise of trying to be “the voice of reason.” 

But really they just think you’re blowing things out of proportion. Which in my opinion, is a strange reaction to someone that just opened up to you.

Sounds like projection to me.

2) “No one is out to get you”

Quite an assumption, don’t you think?

Now I’ll be honest, sometimes people really aren’t out to get you and it’s important to not take everything personally.

But again, who just comes out of left field saying this after you express your emotions?

Similar to the first phrase, this is something people say to try and calm you down. But it only makes you feel more ashamed and alone.

It insinuates that a person has to have explicit ill will to harm someone else, which is simply not true.

And with that being said, doesn’t that say a lot more about people who say this? 

That they don’t believe in their own emotions unless others do?

3) “While I support you I just don’t want you to get hurt”

They really think they’re slick hiding their judgments of you, but they’re not.

This is basically saying that while they acknowledge that you’re a grown adult, they don’t think you’re all that capable of making decisions for yourself.

If you grew up with an overbearing parent, or with fake people most of your life, this might not sound like that big of a deal.

But the truth is, there are people out there that will support you without making you feel like you’ll regret everything.

People that are emotionally intelligent know that they don’t need to agree with something to see value in it.

4) “I worry because I care”

After they question your ability to perceive your own reality, they’ll usually iterate how nice they are.

This is where subtle manipulation tactics seep in.

It targets your emotions because your intuition is going off saying “I don’t feel supported.” But here’s someone that’s saying, “you’re misunderstanding me and the way that I care.”

Which makes you feel guilty for not accepting this kind of support.

But ask yourself: when you feel worried for someone even though they’re happy, is it coming from a place of sincerity? Or a place of control?

Fake people might truly think that this is a valid form of support, but it’s usually because they haven’t confronted their complicated relationship with control.


5) “I love you but”

If your partner displays these 11 behaviors theyre becoming too dependent on you 1 If someone uses these 13 phrases, they’re only pretending to be nice

Have you ever had someone start their sentence with those 4 words and then say the most soul crushing thing?

Usually from people that don’t even know you very well?

A lot of people that are pretending to be nice will use forced or superficial affection to make themselves appear personable. 

But you know what makes you actually personable? 

Minding your business and not judging people you barely know.

6) “If I were you”

This one can be either or. 

Sometimes, if a person asks for my advice, I like to be clear that they don’t need to do what I would do.

But it’s a little different if the advice is unsolicited and shutting you down.

Because let’s be clear, you will never be me. And vice versa!

And depending on what they would rather do if they were me, it can really show a person’s arrogance and lack of empathy.

It’s a mystery as to why they thought their two cents would be of value…

7) “But that’s just me”

Another classic.

The level of silent judgment depends on the tone that they use and how wide their eyes get.

Don’t be fooled by their attempt to act like they were just voicing their opinion and nothing else. The subtle disapproval should be enough to tell you that they’ve thought about this for a while.

This is just their way of expressing it without ruining their facade of being a good person.

Now, the 7 phrases above are all examples of things people say when they don’t like you, but they don’t know how to leave you alone.

If you find yourself being surrounded by people like this, it’s time for you to ask yourself why you’re spending time with people who aren’t compatible with you.

Set some healthy boundaries and seek people that don’t confuse your authenticity for madness.

8) “You’re good – for a _________”

Oh, back-handed compliments.

The blank is usually a placeholder for something that involves race, gender or other prejudices.

It’s also a huge eye-opener because it makes you question what being nice even is.

Is it being cordial and positive on a superficial level? A pleasure to have in class?

Or perhaps niceness should be defined as something that reflects your ability to view people as people. And be nice without conditions.

Instead of weird labels that you use to categorize them so you can live your life in blissful ignorance.

9) “I’m not trying to be racist but”

Here’s another one that makes me hear an internal ticking time bomb.

Because 1, if you’re wondering if something might be racist, it probably is. 

And 2, minorities have been through enough, they don’t want to deal with this.

And 3, it’s so inconsiderate to think that every single thought you have deserves to be announced when you know there’s a chance that it might be offensive.

If you want to be nice, try being more self-aware. And deal with your less than kind thoughts on your own.

10) “You’re so brave to do that”

7 signs a man is insecure about his intelligence 1 If someone uses these 13 phrases, they’re only pretending to be nice

Honestly, I’ve caught myself saying this a few times and I don’t mean to be fake.

In fact, I’m being genuine – when I see people being their authentic selves, it inspires me to continue being myself too.

That weird energy trickles in when it comes from a person that cares way too much about what other people think of them. 

Because yes, I am brave. But you could be too if you just stopped valuing external validation and had more integrity.

Beware of people that are insecure and are people pleasers because who they are nice to will depend on who they’re around.

To your face, they think you’re brave, but elsewhere? That’s a different story.

11) “You’d look better if you did this”

Listen, I love sharing beauty secrets just as much as the next person.

But again, observe this person and how they go about their relationships. Superficial conversations are a cheap way to befriend others.

Also, if they feel that comfortable commenting on your appearance, it’s indicative of a person that doesn’t fully understand social boundaries.

Kindly let them know that you aren’t comfortable, and take their comment with a grain of salt.

It’s more about how they feel about their appearance than it is about yours.

12) “I wish I were more like you”

Flattering? Yes.

Concerning? Also yes, if not more.

Some fake people hide their jealousy but some don’t. But just because they can be honest about it doesn’t mean there’s any less resentment.

In fact, their candid jealousy is actually their way of staying close to you so they can find more ways to be like you. 

But at the same time, silently tear you down because that’s what they do to everyone in order to feel better about themselves.

It doesn’t make sense to me either. But just know that people who feel truly inspired by you, feel inspired to be more like themselves. 

Not more like you.

13) Sometimes the fakest people don’t say anything at all

Genuine people are able to recognize other genuine people.

Conversations usually flow and you’re able to let your guard down without having to worry about being misconstrued or unnecessarily judged.

So if you’re wondering if someone’s fake, just be yourself around them.

How do they react to your attempts to be kind? Your emotions? Your ideas?

It’s people that struggle to feel in control that will put way too much effort into appearing nice, then judge others for being genuine.

Life would be so much easier if we could categorize everyone as either fake or real

But unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.

We live on a planet with billions of other people that have their own biases and perceptions. We all hide our disapproval or true feelings once in a while.

Is that enough to call someone fake? Not really.

If you want to look out for someone that is genuine, look for consistency rather than brutal honesty. And someone that is secure enough to question their insecurities and biases.

Anyone that will argue on behalf of their “niceness” isn’t actually nice.

They’re just obsessed with being perceived that way.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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