What If Someone Is Only Nice To You?


Remove yourself from my sight, peasant! You are not my One True Friend!

In my last post, Who Do You Trust?, Lakshmi made a comment that really got me thinking. In talking about faults she finds in potential friends, she mentions, Example: a woman who seems friendly and interesting starts badmouthing another “friend” behind her back. I could overlook it or make allowances but my conclusion is, if she does that to her, she’ll do it to me.

This is an excellent observation, and one I should have mentioned in my list! Because this is an incredibly common issue. People who are untrustworthy to others will probably be untrustworthy to us. But then I started wondering about those rare cases where it works differently. What do we do when someone is only kind to us?

I don’t mean that someone is an introvert and prefers the company of only a few people, or that they don’t make an effort to reach out to others. I mean the people who are rude to cashiers and servers, who see competition everywhere and despise anyone who might be a threat, or people who talk shit about everyone they meet.

I think most of us would assume they’ll do the exact same thing to us, but what if they don’t? What if they truly treat us well even when our backs are turned? How would you feel about trusting that person?

I have known a few people like this. One of my best friends in high school was a true terror to nearly everyone she met, swinging from sullen to standoffish to openly insulting. But I was her special person, and she treated me with so much love and respect. Being a mega-Scorpio, she was very selective about who she’d let in. And me being a young Leo who liked to feel special, I let this go on for quite a while. About a decade, in fact.

But as I grew, it became harder and harder to deal with. She alienated each new friend in my life. She embarrassed me in restaurants. My parents refused to be around her. I couldn’t invite her anywhere that other people might be. Eventually, the cost was just too much. I couldn’t watch the hurt in other people’s eyes when she lashed out. I couldn’t tolerate the anxiety and the impulse to rush in behind her and smooth things over. I couldn’t stand to see the destruction and suffering she left in her wake.

And so I had to end things. What surprised me was that she still treated me with kindness, even after the end. And who knows? Maybe she would have treated me well for the rest of our lives. But it still wouldn’t have been worth it. I could trust her to care for me, but I couldn’t trust her to be the sort of person I was proud to know.

There are a million iterations of this: the bad boy who treats his girlfriend like a princess, the parent with an obvious favorite child, the boss who abuses everyone except their star employee. Maybe that dynamic is stable enough that the golden person would never become the back sheep, though I doubt it. But even if so, the bigger questions remain. Is this a person I believe in? Is this a person who makes the world a better place? In short: Is this a person I am proud to know?

If not, why are you there?

Have you ever encountered this? Do you think someone can be horrible to everyone else and still be worth having in your life? Do you think they could really sustain their kindness? Tell us your stories!

Consult with Midara.




What If Someone Is Only Nice To You? — 16 Comments

  1. Hmmm, interesting. I don’t blame you for not wanting that person in your life. I’d be waiting for the ax to fall.
    Honestly, as far as I know I have only known one person who as far as I know, never bad mouthed anyone (unless warranted). She has never stabbed me in the back nor anyone else I know. She is also kind to everyone in stores, restaurants etc. And I have never met anyone else who never bad mouthed anyone ever, to their face or behind their back. In combination, I have never met anyone exclusively kind to only me, but treated others with contempt. Sounds like a very rare thing but I am the first here to reply so we shall see! I wonder if their is a psychological profile on this type of behavior?

  2. No i dont like this type of behavior. Its not kind and i know that people will let you down but if they cannot afford to give kindness to others it will be too stressful and i will be disappointed in them for not giving kindness to others.

    • Plus its not asking alot. They are not going home with them or buddy buddy with anyone but extending kindness and goodness does make the world better but i also expect friends to treat me with goodness and kindness and consideration. My husband and me get along really great and its unspoken and we are always kind to everyone we meet.

  3. If this person is really good to only one person, are they really a good person with a heart of gold that is scapegoated by everyone else? I kinda doubt it. Of course they won’t treat everyone the same as their best friend but kindness, courtesy and understanding should be extended to others. In my mind I inverted this situation to a potential romantic or love relationship as you mentioned the bad boy’you don’t get him, he treats me so nice even if he’s terrible to everybody else, he’s so misunderstood’. Run. Huge red flag. Same with this friend. I don’t feel good to write this but it sounds like those situations where one uses abuse and fear to isolate someone and have them to themselves but this friend used targeted kindness to you and abuse to everybody else.

  4. Midara, I think your experience with the Scorpio probably was based upon your having passed his vetting process. Once you are in with a Scorpio their intense loyalty will keep you in their inner circle – unless and until – you violate their trust in some way.
    And who doesn’t want to feel “special” in a love relationship? The feeling of being specially chosen is very seductive and appealing.
    But a person’s real character gets revealed in small ways, I think. And I like to feel that the object of my affections is even a better person than I am, and that I will be forced to improve just to retain their respect. You never want to be on the slippery slope of going in the opposite direction.
    I could never stay in a relationship with someone who acted arrogant and entitled around people. Or someone who left a lousy tip.

  5. Yes I have experienced this this very sweet, charming,fun loving girl.
    Would viscously bitch behind our backs,to everyone,and even to each other in the group.
    It ruined so many friendships.
    Even though,we knew the other person so well,the doubt kept creeping in ,did so and so really say this about me??!
    This went on for a while,until everyone vomited on her, and the cat was out of the bag.
    Yes she was alcoholic,and a real life Jekyl and Hyde.
    We all came to know,and almost everyone except one girl really talks to her anymore.
    She tried to cry and play the victim card ,of her misery and tried to pass it off on alcohol.
    She vociferously tried to deny it when confronted.
    But I had recorded the chat on the phone.
    And played it on the group.
    The cat after many many hurtful years was outed.

    I dont fraternize with her anymore
    And she doesn’t call me,but we do meet up when the group gets together once in a blue moon.
    But when she met you,she was sweet as a candy ,you would NEVER believe what she said behind your back!!
    Unfortunately its true,there are indeed people like this.

  6. I have never met anyone who didn’t bitch about someone or other behind their backs, and often for very good reason. Let’s not be saintly here, we have all done it, If they bitch about everyone, that is. a red flag. I would be just as wary of someone who kept telling me everyone was marvellous, when I could clearly see they weren’t. Basically if anyone tells you that you are special and different, run the other way.

  7. This is actually my workplace dynamic. Our management team has favorites and they openly allow these employees to get away breaking regulations, dictating what they will and will not do, etc.

    I had a coworker like the person Laksmi mentioned. She did a lot of damage before she left.

    I think I’ve been that person and still am in certain dynamics. I don’t really talk to anyone at work unless I respect their work ethic. I’m not extremely rude, but I can be somewhat abrupt. I don’t extend conversations or ask others anything unless they initiate.

    I prefer to stay on task at work, completing projects and staying busy instead of chatting. I also know that if I was every lazy or lounging around, management would say something since Im not one of the favorites.

    It’s been one of the things I’ve been thinking about in the shadow of this Venus Retrograde. Do I really feel valued where I am??

  8. Yes but it’s odd since the person in cause wouldn’t be treating her friend badly like an abuser would later do- after the isolating period. And we can see she didn’t get to isolate anyone anyway, except her own self from everybody else. (This reminded me of another term related to abusive relationship tactics ‘love bombing’ but that didn’t happen here since the other shoe never dropped) Maybe people with singular affection and devotion exist? The fact that the person was still kind in the end, it shows the affection was real. Still, it’s very hard to be around someone who treats others badly especially people one cares about like parents and other friends. So the outcome was understandable.

  9. What a story Midara. You did the best to cut her off. In my (sadly extensive) experience with such people, they *will* badmouth you too, even if you can’t directly see it. The golden person can very easily become the black sheep. The stroppy person can make you the black sheep in an instant. They’re mentally unstable people, who simply cannot love.

  10. What i have observed in the world,- there are many many people like this. The scenarios are nummerous, the conclusion is – their behaviour is strongly based on sympathies and antipathies. We all have right for sympathies and antipathies, – like it’s quite normal, one should think, but the persons which are contemplative in their psychic abilities are paying more attention what evokes reaction of sympathy and antipathy in them and are trying to really understand what people are actually saying and doing to be able to act accordingly and organize their affairs gracefully. Some people want to grow awareness about their environment and some do not. Those who don’t are prone to narcissm or self absorbtion and react inadequate to the world around them and eventually find themselves in Cuckoo Land. It’s sad to watch…I think that relationships between people will become a big theme in coming decades and will take some form of spiritual education.

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