Beware of Nice People

Those who have to tell you they're nice, that is...

Warning: The following statements are based on my experiences and observations. This is not written to put anyone down, but if you see yourself in the following, specifically the top two examples, please seek medical assistance immediately. Also, while this is not a serious piece, it isn't all in jest either. Enjoy!

...and, those who seem so overly nice, that they seem like a dream come true.


Webster's Definition of Nice

  2. a: showing fastidious or finicky tastes: PARTICULAR (too ~ a palate to enjoy junk food) b: exacting in requirements or standards: PUNCTILIOUS (a ~ code of honor)
  3. possessing, marked by, or demanding great or excessive precision and delicacy (~ measurements)
  5. a: PLEASING, AGREEABLE (a ~ time) (a ~ person)
  6. a: socially acceptable: WELL-BREAD (from a ~ family) b: VIRTOUOS, RESPECTABLE, (was taught that ~ girls don't do that)
  7. POLITE, KIND (that's ~ of you to say)


He Seemed Nice

I was in elementary school when I first became aware that 'nice' people are not always nice. I'd seen some things on the playground that made me wonder, but it was the news coverage of Ted Bundy that showed me how dangerous 'nice' people could be.

He had recently murdered yet another young woman. The news showed pictures from surveillance cams of him limping along with crutches, talking to a dark haired girl. Her friends said, "He seemed so nice."

Lots of people thought he was nice -- but he wasn't.

Just because someone seems nice, doesn't mean they are trustworthy. Get to know them a while. Meet their friends and family. Make sure they are sane.

Arsenic and Old Lace

In one of Brooklyn's most charming neighborhoods live two of the dearest, sweetest, kindest old ladies that ever walked the earth. They give to charity and take good care of their insane nephew, who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt. They have extra rooms in their old house, so take in boarders.

If you happen to be a lonely old man, with no friends or family, they have another service they offer. This service begins with a glass of Elderberry wine, and ends in the basement...

Now before some of you lonely, elderly gents go getting all excited, I'd have you know that it would be more favorable to be a spamming fan of Frogdropping's, and be stuffed in the bathroom, than take a trip to the basement with these dear, sweet old ladies.

Don't believe me?

Take a peak at the videos, of the goings-on in their old home...

  • To watch the whole movie, begin here.

Other Nice People

  • On gal tried to get me to shut down my business and go into business with her. Her spiel was that she was such a sweet person, everyone loved her, and we could do so well in business together.

Yep, she was a real sweetie. Trying to become business partners with every like business in town.

  • Another gal, who told me how nice she was, tried repeatedly to guilt-trip me into taking her places, because she didn't want to spend her money on gas. When I made it clear that I would not hire someone to watch my business to run her around, she became angry and spread rumors at her place of work that drug paraphernalia had been found in my home. This behavior got her fired.

Her boss is truly a nice guy. No, I mean it. He really is nice and he won't tell you so!


A Little about one Nice Lady...

Last spring my husband hired a handyman to stain our house. This guy arrived with his girlfriend in tow. She welcomed herself into my house, and began making small talk.

No, she didn't kill anyone, at least not that I know of...

After a few minutes, it became obvious that she was not too happy with her life. It seemed everyone was picking on her.

I sat down, because, evidently, she really needed someone to talk to. She told me about work and how her man had been unemployed all winter. How no one would hire him, and those who had helped them out over the winter were now being mean. Knowing about half the people she was talking about, I had a hard time thinking she was telling the whole story.

I probed for information, and was met with tales of what a nice, helpful person she was, who wouldn't take advantage of anyone. How they hadn't paid their rent or electricity all winter, and couldn't understand why their power was being cut off. How those who had loaned them money wanted to be repaid, and when they had hired her man, so he could work off his debt, they wouldn't pay him cash.

When I asked her, "How have you been so nice, and what does it have to do with any of this?" She told me, "When people want us to pay them back, it makes me sad and hurts my heart. I am really one of the nicest person you will ever meet. I don't say anything mean to anyone."

Being greatly confused, I asked, "So what in the world does that have to do with paying your debts? If you owe money, you owe money! If he can work it off, why are you complaining?"

I know, jab, twist, but I wasn't intending to be spiteful, I just wanted to know...

She looked at me with a dazed expression on her face, "It hurts my feelings when they ask, and he feels better about his work when he gets paid."

I was going to have to mull that one over.

"So why didn't he work all winter? There have been plenty of jobs in the paper for his skills." I pried.

"He doesn't like the cold." She stated, matter-a-factly.

"Painters work inside in the winter." I prodded.

"Can't you see, these people are being so mean to us? They want us to pay them back, and they have more money than we do, and I have been so nice to them. I haven't told them how much it hurts my feelings when they us to pay them back!" She insisted.

And so the saga continued...

Chant: "Same song, next verse,

A little bit louder and a little bit worse."

... until the house was done.

It ended later that summer, when he passed on and she, in her grief, had thrown multiple temper tantrums in public -- always telling people how nice she was and how they should bend over backwards to get her what she wanted.


Those Who are Truly Nice

Now obviously, some people in this world are genuinely nice, #5 and #6, but I have never heard them say so. No, nice people don't need to tell anyone they're nice. They just are.

By the way, I'm not nice. Just ask my brother!

If you would like to see someone, who I find to be genuinely nice, click here.


Ivorwen, 2009.

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Disagree with me, if you like, but you won't change my mind! 65 comments

Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

I guess I don't run into "nice" people that often. I should be glad of it! And I am. ;-)

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

You know what? I completely agree with you.I have found, in my over 70 years, dealing with people, that 1. (like you pointed out) genuinely nice people don't go around telling you they're nice all the time. 2. If someone appears to be overly nice, they are usually hiding something (like anger, distain, greed, whatever).

I run a bed and breakfast, so I have hundreds of people in and out of my Inn. You can imagine what an education that is! I enjoyed the hub and, BTW, it is very well written and entertaining.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Alekhouse. I'm glad to know that I am not alone in my observations, and yours is judgement I trust.

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Cape Town

So Frieda is genuinely nice? Do you think I can tap her for a loan then? lol

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

LOL -- I didn't say that nice people were bankers... If money acts as like water in a sieve when you carry it, I would look for the ignorant, not the nice. :)

\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

Hi saw that arsinic and old lace at the theatre locally, it was so funny, had to watch the film also. My mum used to work for Harold Shipman remember the doctor who killed so many. He was the best loved man in town, and even his receptionists and patients, stood by him,,,,,,, but he was guilty, so just goes to show ya..... I am not nice either honest...

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Cape Town

Ah Brenda, you are so nice!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Oh, wow, Brenda!  That is scarry.

Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

One of my favourite sayings :

Expecting the world to treat you well because you're a nice person is like expecting a bull not to charge you because you're a vegetarian.

(Author Unknown)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

ROTFL!!! That is great Eric.

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

I've met a few 'nice' people in my time, who have turned out to be not so nice. It's frustrating when you can see straight through them, but they're successfully conning and defrauding all around you!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Yep! But, for some reason, that seems to be the way it goes, and if you say anything to others, then you are being mean, because they are such a 'nice' person. :)

Useful Knowledge 7 years ago

You are correct on this hub. I have met alot of "nice" people that were putting on a front. This is a very well written hub. Great job!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Useful Knowledge.

LiftedUp profile image

LiftedUp 7 years ago from Plains of Colorado


The first such person I ran into came into my home weekend after weekend for a period of time, and since then I have had experience with several.  Unfortunately, such people seem to think that what they say outweighs everything they do, and that the speech is a greater reality than their actions. 

Good hub, and a good job of responding to this gal.  Someone needs to help them take their blinders off!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks LiftedUp.  You are so right about the 'speech outweighing the actions' concept.  I just don't get that.

The other thing that baffles me is the talking behind peoples back, and the reassurance that they would never say these mean things to the person's face, because they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings... I'd rather have it said to my face, and don't hesitate to say so, and let them know that their backstabbing is not nice.  :)

Jarn profile image

Jarn 7 years ago from Sebastian, Fl

You see, that's why I act a right bas---d in person. People are more likely to trust me over someone preoccupied with acting nice.

And on that same note, used to do volunteer work in the county courthose where Ted Bundy was tried. It has since been turned into the orange County Regional History Society, but the courtoom's still intact. The table where Bundy sat is still there, he even carved his name on it with a pen, though one can't help but wonder who would've given him implement of any kind.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I can see that the disguise works well for you. I have not trouble thinking that you mean what you say. =)

That is truly interesting about Bundy. I know prisoners are allowed to have pens, but pen caps.

badcompany99 7 years ago

Happy days, I won't turn out like Ted Bundy cause I deff am not nice ; )

metaphysician profile image

metaphysician 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this and especially your advices!

Madame X 7 years ago

Sometimes people use "niceness" as a cover. They don't tell you they're nice, and they do act nice. But after a time you come to realize that they "act nice" so you won't look at their other, sometimes really rotten, behavior. I've run into a few women like this and their deception leaves a very lasting mark. Now I instinctually distrust "nice" people until they've proven themselves over time.

Besides, regular good people aren't nice all the time, being just human. So when someone is, it's a red flag.

Great hub Ivorwen :)

thefount profile image

thefount 7 years ago from North Central Louisiana

I appreciate your advice about not taking 'nice' people at face value. I used to do this and paid a heavy price at times. We need to take our time to learn a person's heart and motives - FOR SURE! It takes a while for the wolf in sheep's clothing to reveal itself, but due to it's nature it eventually must growl sometime! This is a real good hub! Thank you.

goodfriendiam profile image

goodfriendiam 7 years ago

I enjoyed reading this and it is the truth for that matter. doesn't it just make you have goose bumps all over when someone, starts to talk like that. It's like it is time for you to go. Bye bye. A and by the way my friend I will be out of the country for about

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

It definitely brings the knee-jerk reaction of "never want to see you again!"

fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

I find it hard to trust anyone, it takes awile to build up trusts. Sometimes a lifetime,


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I agree Dori, and yet there are those that win my trust in a very short time, because, regardless of their faults, they are real.

Answer Man profile image

Answer Man 7 years ago from Midgewater

Love it! Trust no one. Not even your barber...or rather...especially your barber. After all, Sweeney Todd was no sweet-heart. ;)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I loved the line in the movie, "The Godfather": "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer." What does this translate to? Your enemies will be more honest with you than your friends. This may sound like a paradox, but its true. Just try and get an honest opinion out of your loved ones. Ask them something random like, "Does this make me look fat?" Makes sense, right?

I really enjoyed this hub. Thank you for bringing this up. What it really boils down to is that there are a lot of "fake" people out there. Just be on the lookout! Lots of times too, people aren't always what they seem...You'll be surprised.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

LOL! Answer Man

Your right Dohn. When I was in college, we took some personality tests. One of the instructions was to ask three of our friends what they thought of the results and three people we didn't get along with what they thought our weakness were. It was very insightful, and the most interesting part was that those we didn't get along with often had a clear view of our strengths also.

partluck profile image

partluck 7 years ago from Edison, NJ

Such truth here. I have never liked people that are so nice and fake, I just don't get it when other people say they are so wonderful. I mean why can't people see through the nice charade.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks for stopping by, Partluck.

Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

If you have to tell people that you are "nice", you are either pretty low on self-esteem or maybe you were an assassin at some point in your life and feel bad about it now. I would be suspect about anyone telling me that they are nice ... like "I don't bite, you can talk to me ..." ... weird to say the least.

worldgrandeur profile image

worldgrandeur 7 years ago from The Moon

This is just correct... Appearances are deceptive. Thanks

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

Horrible stories, specially this loco Ted!!! That will surely change my concepts a lot... Thanks Ivorwen.

\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

it is impossible to always be nice in this world..... if you put up an image of always being nice, chances are everything gets bottled up then ya snap...... read this again liked the comment about the bull and the vegetarian.

LEWJ 7 years ago

I enjoyed this hub. Very well done.

jenblacksheep profile image

jenblacksheep 7 years ago from England

I like this hub!

I definitely think that if someone seems to good to be true then they probably are. Noone is ever nice the whole time, even if on the whole they are a nice person. So if they try and convince you that they are then they are definitely trying to mislead you!

Nice is a horrible word anyway. I wouldn't want to be described as nice!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Jen Black Sheep -- wonder why you wouldn't choose nice as a word to describe yourself.?! :)

I've been told I'm too good to be true, but never too nice.

jenblacksheep profile image

jenblacksheep 7 years ago from England

I've always thought that describing someone as 'nice' is like describing them as 'ok'. Kinda like someone saying you're not bad, but nothing special. I'd like to leave more of an impact than just being 'nice.' Perhaps it's just me that thinks that then.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I know what you are saying. I suppose it is all in how it is said. Had a friend in high school who described hot girls as being, "Nice. Fine like a new set of snow tires!"

ginosblog profile image

ginosblog 7 years ago from Florida

How true. Love the movies clips. That was one of my favorites. By the way, that nice thing ranks right up there with "honest" and "trust me". Great blog.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Any one who has to say 'trust me,' on a regular basis is up to no good.

lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 7 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

No truer words were written. When my husband died, I was really vulnerable and you wouldn't believe how many "NICE" people ripped me off and ruined my life. Nice is another word for con. Great hub.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I am so sorry to hear of the way you were taken advantage of. I have seen too many "nice" people working others to their own advantage.

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Ivorwen, thanks. I've been quite behind on my reading everywhere so I've missed out on quite a few hubs these last few months, I'm sorry to say. But I WILL catch up!

I really can't take fake and overly nice people. Granted, some of them really are nice, but I find you then end up getting suffocated or wronged. It's a shame it takes so many years and so many situations to figure out people. I find it gets easier to stand ones ground the older you get. I also think that there's never a reason to give any sort of excuse for yourself as to why you don't want to associate or socialize with people you find off-putting. Wonderful topic.

Happy New Year. PS I may need to borrow your umbrella again for a couple of hours this week =].

lol. I just saw your list below the comments. "warning: this list is prone to growth." Good one.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

It is good to see you, Frieda. You can barrow the umbrella anytime. :)

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I had to laugh reading this hub Ivorwen since I recently published a hub about being "nice" and openly called myself a "nice person"! I do agree; however, with just about everything you've written here since I've known several people who (sadly) turned out to be not very nice after all. The proof is in what you do rather than what you say, no? By the way, I'm from Brooklyn :)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

LOL. Like I said to begin with, it is not meant to put anyone down, after all, like you said, the proof is in the pudding. :) It is too funny that you are from Brooklyn!

Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Great hub. I am so glad to be following you. I like how you kept asking questions. One thing I have learned at 47 is to be forthright which is not in my composition, but it has saved me before.

I have my masters in counseling psych. I really enjoyed the psychology of this person.

Healing touch

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Healing Touch. Being direct is not always easy, but is often the only way to get to the bottom of something that seems fishy.

wjames profile image

wjames 6 years ago

I always keep my eyes open when I meet new people. I judge people very well, so I am not that concerned. I don't give them the opportunity to take advantage of me.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

WJames, You are lucky to be a good judge of character. Many are not blessed with that ability, or are too trusting to use it.

Paul 6 years ago

I was looking for an article on this subject and you hit the nail right on the head. Thanks!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Paul, I am glad you found what you were looking for in my article.

HelloKitty170 profile image

HelloKitty170 6 years ago

Interesting hub, i'm always weary of nice people you never know if they have a secret agenda.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Hello HelloKitty, the agendas people pursue, under the guise of niceness, always amaze me. I find myself especially wary of people who are not known for being nice who are suddenly overly friendly or helpful.

Take care. Glad to have met you.

shynsly profile image

shynsly 6 years ago from Sierra Vista, AZ

Well said, glad I didn't try to claim "being nice" as one of my faults! Which, it's not, lol... just ask my in-laws ;)

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I never know whether or not to believe those in-laws... but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. ;)

shynsly profile image

shynsly 6 years ago from Sierra Vista, AZ

oh, you can believe them, cuz they'll be the first to tell you... I'm not nice, lmao.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

Let me be perfectly honest with you. I'm a completely nice person. I would never lie. Oh, and the check's in the mail.

I loved this hub! My husband used to do construction, and when he worked off his debts, no one paid him money..... oh, wait, no, that wasn't it. Actually, he'd loan money to his guys because my husband is one of those truly nice people, and the girlfriends would be almost EXACTLY like how you describe, and they would find ways not to pay him back.

It was comical. Except for when we went to buy groceries and they wouldn't take I.O.U.'s. Can you imagine??

I'm finding so many excellent writers on here, I love it! I'm so glad I found your hubs!

I'm pressing a bunch of buttons and going to check out some more of your stuff!

Have a great day!!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Sueroy! You are hilarious. :)

I do not understand those that think the world owes them a handout. Hopefully your husband has better people working for him now.

Autumn88Jr 5 years ago

"nice people don't need to tell anyone they're nice. They just are".

Totally agree with you!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Autumn! Someone telling me they are nice is a huge red flag to look for trouble.

shannond 4 years ago

There is a "horrible" stigma here. This attitude against really "nice" people is simply just irrational. This is what is wrong with society. Being Suspicious of Nice people is Your problem and you take it out on them. I try to be extremely nice to everyone I meet. Why, I have been hurt so much that it is my way of just asking for mercy without actually having to ask for it. I am saying, "please be nice to me, I want as many friends as possible. I never ask anything of anyone. I am 100 percent self sufficient. I am always taken advantage of. I just merely treat people the way I want and need to be treated. I'm not 'up' to anything. I love just being kind but I am always punished for it.

SandCastles 3 years ago

Good hub; one does have to be careful, especially when strangers act really nice to you. I had a man approach me at the grocery store with a big smile on his face, asking if I'd trade my quarter for his cart when I was just about to get a cart. Also, you'll hear people using this line, "I thought you were nice", when you say no to them. Some people expect you to be passive and agreeable if you're quiet and when you're not they look stunned and say, "I thought you were nice!"

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