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The Burning Question: Why Are People Mean to Nice People?

This world is savage and raises many questions. One of those is why are people mean? And, why are people mean to nice people?

Why Are People Mean to Nice People

The world we live in has its good sides and its bad sides. On the whole, people are pretty nice and most go out of their way to be decent and treat others with respect. However, that’s not true of all people. How many times have you met someone who often makes you wonder why are people mean? Specifically, it’s the good people who end up with the worst treatment too. So, why are people mean to nice people and what exactly drives that nastiness and disrespect in the first place?

If you turn on the news on the TV, you see constant heartache, pain, upset, and political drama. If you look at your social media feeds, you see comparisons and more drama. It’s not a pleasant place to be! For that reason, most of us try to inject a little positivity into proceedings and simply be a nice person.

It’s not a crime, right?

Most of us were raised to treat others how we would want to be treated. Personally, I hate rudeness, I’m all about manners, and if I see someone being treated unfairly, it riles me up. I’m a nice person, and I’m quite proud of it. What I can’t stand is seeing someone being mean just for the sheer hell of it. [Read: How to be nice to people – 9 simple rules that can change your world]

Why are people mean to nice people in particular?

Good question. For the most part, it comes down to jealousy. People who are deliberately mean are so lacking in their own self-worth that they’re jealous of anyone who can simply smile and be happy. They hate that they’re happy because they can’t be themselves. So, rather than figuring out the reason why they feel that way, they try to drag down the happy and good people instead.

Sad, isn’t it?

There’s no other explanation when you really break it down – what fun does anyone get out of being nasty to another human being for no specific reason? Surely none?

The other possibility is that nice people are generally liked. So when you start to look at why are people mean to nice people, it comes down to jealousy once more. They’re popular because they’re happy and spend their days trying to do good and be positive. A negative and wholly nasty person can’t stand that. They want to be liked, but they don’t know how to go about it in the right way. Instead, they allow their negativity to take hold. [Read: 15 signs of an unhappy person that are hidden behind a happy smile]

Why are people mean simply for the hell of it?

We’ve mentioned jealousy, so let’s examine some of the other possibilities.

– Jealousy

– A total lack of self-worth and low self-confidence, which means they need to drag others down to their level

– They have narcissistic traits which force them to be quite unpleasant to anyone who defies their self-importance

– Being nice means doing good things for others; if they don’t do these things regularly, they might feel guilty and therefore try and pull you down to make themselves feel better

– They’re just unpleasant in general

It’s quite common for people you might consider to be generally pleasant to be mean on occasion. In many ways, meanness is part and parcel of being human from time to time. Most of us consider ourselves nice, but that doesn’t mean we’re not mean on occasion. We’re human, after all. [Read: Why is everyone so easily offended nowadays? The harsh truth revealed]

Which do you think sums it up? Many people go with the idea that nice people do good things and that by recognizing that they don’t do that many good deeds, they attempt to pull you down to feel better about themselves. It’s a form of reverse psychology and most of the time it doesn’t work, but they continue to do it anyway.

In some ways, perhaps we’ll never know why people are mean to nice people, because it’s a very personal deal. One person’s reason might be totally different to someone else’s; it quite likely that most people have no reason at all! [Read: The psychology of being rude and ignoring someone – Why we do it and how to fix it]

What makes you a nice person?

So, what exactly makes you a nice person? None of us are perfect, and we shouldn’t attempt to be either. Wouldn’t the world be a very boring place if everything was perfect? Despite that, it’s important to try and be as nice as you can be, especially to others.

Most of us are dealing with personal issues and problems a lot of the time, and you have no idea what someone else is going through just by looking at them. Being nice to someone, perhaps with a smile or offering them a coffee, could literally change the course of their day and help them feel uplifted, even if just for half an hour or so. [Read: 15 Tips to be nice and loved by all instantly!]

To measure a nice person, I tend to think about:

– Treating others as you would like to be treated yourself

– Being positive whenever possible, even though it’s impossible to be positive all the time

– Thinking about others, rather than being totally selfish all the time

– Helping out whenever you can, even if it’s just a little

– Putting those you care about before yourself whenever necessary

– Trying to cheer up those around you who look sad or down

– Being mindful of those around you and doing your best not to unintentionally hurt their feelings

[Read: 13 little changes that can help you grow into a better, kinder person]

To me, those are the traits of a nice person. As you can see, there is nothing earth shattering in there, and no requirement to change the world on a daily basis. Some days I do a good deed for others, but most of the time I don’t. I’ll admit it, but that doesn’t make me bad, right? I do what I can, when I can, but I’m mindful of others all the time. I think that’s what makes the difference between someone who is nice and someone who is selfish and quite literally unpleasant.

Let’s talk about narcissists for a moment

Of course, there is the subject of narcissism. We can’t ignore this.

If you want to know why people are mean, you only have to look at a narcissist. This is someone who likes to hurt other people just for the sake of it. Now, we can all do that occasionally, perhaps without realizing it, but this is someone who really gets a kick out of it. [Read: 16 Subtle signs a narcissist is abusing you]

A true narcissist suffers from NPD, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but that cannot justify their actions. Sure, they may not understand why they act the way they do, but tell that to someone they’ve hurt. When you try to break down why are people mean to nice people, it’s those types of people that narcissists tend to focus upon. Again, they see something in them that they don’t have and they’re crazy jealous of it. They can’t stand that a nice person gets attention simply for being a good person. A narcissist wants to be admired above all else, so they’re going to target the people who seem to threaten that.

It’s also down to the fact that getting a kick out of hurting others is a narcissistic trait. If you know a narcissist, or perhaps you suspect you’re in a relationship with one, my advice is to get out of that situation as quickly as you can. It will not change. Trust me, I’ve been there. [Read: Relationship with a narcissist: What it really means to love one]

How to deal with general meanness

We’ll never completely know why are people mean to nice people, because everybody is different. In that case, it’s important to simply focus on yourself and to carry on just being as nice as you can be. So, how do you handle meanness when it comes your way? [Read: How many of these 15 qualities of a good person do you have?]

The best advice is to not take it personally. Remember, the issue is with them, not you. You’ve done nothing wrong; simply being nice isn’t an affront or insult to them, it’s something to do with their personality and their mood on that particular day and nothing which you can unintentionally done to hurt them. [Read: How to find yourself after a seriously low point in life]

The best advice is to be even nicer! That’s what I try and do. Whenever someone is mean to me for no reason whatsoever, I just smile and say “thanks”, sarcastically of course. It annoys them even more and I find that quite amusing. As you can see, being nice doesn’t mean that you can’t get a kick out of a little light-hearted revenge from time to time!

If you find yourself being affected by the meanness of others, try and practice positive affirmations. These will help to build a shield around you when it comes to negative remarks, and push out any toxicity that comes your way. Being more confident and positive in yourself allows you to brush off needless meanness, and reflects it back onto them.

[Read: How to stop being selfish, and hurting and using others]

So, why are people mean to nice people? The only person who knows that is the person who is mean to you! If you’re someone who is regularly mean to others for no specific reason, ask yourself why. Is it something you need to work on within yourself? If you’re a nice person who is regularly experiencing meanness, take it as a compliment. Carry on being a nice person and watch how much it riles them!

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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