Being “Fake” and Being Nice

Nowadays, it’s easy to feel as if we are always living under a microscope. Social media especially can amplify this feeling, to the point where many people may feel that they cannot share their true self to others without being thoroughly analyzed and scrutinized. Many behaviors, which were once considered a part of life, are deemed “problematic” and are widely abhorred by the internet community. Very often, this is a good thing, such as calling out oppressive, offensive, or toxic behavior.

Sometimes, however, it can be somewhat of a dangerous practice, especially when said behaviors may not actually be as terrible as they first appear to be. It is important to note the difference between truly toxic behavior and common courtesy. One example of this is the idea of being “fake”, also known as being “two-faced”. I constantly hear people say things like this about others all the time, things like “so-and-so is so fake”. When asked to go into detail on what makes this other person “fake”, the accusers often say things like “well, they’re nice to people that they don’t even like. That’s what’s fake about them.”

To me though, that just seems like being a decent human being. Obviously, not everybody you’re going to encounter in life is going to be someone you want to be best friends with. You may run across a few people (or maybe many people) who you just can’t stand. That still doesn’t give you the right to be rude or nasty to them when they’ve done nothing wrong. Maybe don’t go out of your way to hang out with them or be their friend, that might be pushing it into the “fake” zone.

All in all, treating people with basic human respect and decency is the kinder thing to do. I understand how it hurts to find out that someone maybe wasn’t as genuine with their feelings or intentions as you once thought, believe me. It’s just a good thing to recognize that this person may not have been malicious with their intentions, and only wanted to spare your feelings. Not everyone is going to like you, and it’s important to accept that fact and move forward. All you can do is remember how you would like to be treated by others, and reciprocate that energy out towards those around you. The world isn’t a very kind place, but it’s easy to make it a bit more bearable.