These days I occasionally encounter people that seem just too nice. They go out of their way to talk to just about everyone; they often laugh that phony sounding laugh and often smile that disingenuous smile.
Sometimes those same people that seem so incredibly affable and nice aren't very nice at all. They sometimes trash people they know behind their backs, including their own families and friends surprisingly.
Apparently, these pretenders believe that there is a soundproof force field around them as they say horrible things. No surprise when their hurtful remarks get back to their victims by design. After all, nice people don't say mean things directly to their victims that would not be very nice.
I believe that the advent of emailing and texting has made being mean and hurtful much easier. It is easy to be a cowardly assassin behind a keyboard. While most adults can often discern the "wolf in sheep's clothing," young people are much more vulnerable to these specious individuals. After all, it is counterintuitive to mistrust a person that seems nice.
Unfortunately, I have no advice to offer in detecting these destructive people among us other than to trust your own instincts. Often when something or someone is just "too good to be true" your instincts may be telling you to beware. I have known individuals over long periods of time that are genuinely nice people who rarely say anything bad about anyone. I can count these people on one hand.
One thing that I am sure of is that just about everyone gets mad, everyone has bad days and everyone does things that they wish they could get back. That is normal and that is real. A person who becomes angry or upset sometimes might be more like most of us, human.
I am not advocating for angry people or for people that yell sometimes. In fact they may be real jerks. Rather, I am suggesting that being superficially pleasant all the time doesn't make you a nice person; especially when that artificial niceness is coupled to speaking baseless gossip or malicious stories about others.
Remember all kids count.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org