Superficial niceness, like superficial charm, is the social act of saying or doing things because they are well received by others, rather than what one actually believes or wants to do.
It is a situation which involves “telling people what they want to hear” rather than “sincerely expressing yourself”.
But being nice and pretending to be nice are two different things. Being nice means you are agreeable and pleasant, while being superficial means you are trying to be true or real yet shallow on the surface.
There are several ways you can notice superficial niceness in people.
First, they have approval-seeking behaviors. That is, they may pretend to like something to gain approval from others or agree to something they dislike. While it may be difficult to spot, always check if their words match their actions.
Secondly, they patronize you. Hoovering is the term used to describe a person who is patronizing you in a narcissistic relationship. More like manipulation, people who are superficially nice tend to create a false persona of being the ‘nice guy or girl’ just to get you to return to the relationship.
Thirdly, they are selfish and self-centered. Superficial people tend to care only about what they can get in a relationship. They are nice with a motive. It’s always about what they can take away in the relationship. They lack empathy and a genuine compassion for others.
Fourthly, they gossip and back stab you. Gossip is second-nature to a shallow person. Backstabbing comes naturally to a superficial person. These people don’t mind denting the image of others just to advance their own position. They gossip all the time and are overly critical of others.
Moreover, a superficial person demands the spotlight all the time! If they are not the center of attention then they are sabotaging your success! They are not okay celebrating people, and when they are with people who are noticing others, they always try to bring the spotlight back to them.
These 5 signs of superficial niceness will help you to sift the wheat from the chaff and appreciate people for who they are, or determine who they aren’t.