Ever wondered why this category of people gives you bad vibes? In most cases, overly nice people have good intentions, but their behavior can still be very annoying for some of us. In this brief article we’ll have a look at five possible reasons this happens so you can better deal with them (whether it’s friends or strangers).

Here we go…

1. Overly nice people can come off as fake

If you’re not used to interacting with people who genuinely care about others, those who are overly nice may look like a potential danger. It may seem like they have ulterior motives, kind of like a salesperson who smiles 24/7.

While the world is full of people like that, assuming all overly nice people are fake is a bit too cynical. But some of us may have learned to be skeptical in order to be less vulnerable emotionally, so when we see someone who doesn’t match our idea of how people behave, we may become defensive, or at least find them really annoying.

2. Overly nice people are different 

Subconsciously, human beings are terrified of things they don’t know or can’t understand. It comes from our survival instinct — we tend to avoid people and things we don’t know because there’s a possibility they may be dangerous.

Overly nice people can be annoying because they behave differently; their behavior is not average. If you interact with someone who is overly nice, your brain may start asking questions like “what is this person trying to hide?” or “why doesn’t this person act just like everyone else?”, and get a bit scared. This is especially true if the other person is a stranger.

3. It may be just a cultural issue

Did you grow up in the kind of culture where you should never ever trust anyone no matter what? Did you somehow learn that other people are a constant threat, and it’s always best to be as reserved as possible? Sadly, in some cultures people have become so convinced that human beings are intrinsically selfish, or even evil, that they can no longer imagine someone who’s genuinely nice.

But if you have ever had the opportunity to live in a different country (or at least you have traveled for a while), you may have noticed that in some cultures you can’t be “overly nice” because being nice is expected — that’s just how people behave. However, in other cultures, perhaps in the one you grew up in, being nice is interpreted as a red flag and that may influence the way you look at others.

4. Overly nice people may make you jealous

Nice people can be sad, tired, stressed out, or angry just like anybody else. However, they have learned to maintain a positive attitude — they may smile even though they’re upset, and may not talk about any of their issues spontaneously, perhaps in order to avoid awkwardness.

For this reason, overly nice people may look like they have perfect lives; it may seem that they live in a bubble of happiness and never experience any kind of negative emotions, and this can be very annoying for some. The truth is that the vast majority of them simply choose to have a positive attitude, which may or may not reflect their true feelings; it doesn’t mean they are fake, that’s just how they function.

5. Overly nice people can come off as too friendly

The fifth possible reason overly nice people can be annoying is if they come off as too friendly. We all like to talk to our close friends or people we already know in general, but strangers who feel the need to randomly initiate conversations with everyone can definitely be intimidating… or annoying.

It’s great knowing someone cares about us or is willing to help, but there is such a thing as being too friendly, and it usually translates to being invasive (think of the shop assistant who won’t leave you alone, or the colleague who keeps asking questions during your lunch break). Overly nice people may tend to do that more than others.

Is it bad to be overly nice?

Being a nice person in general can only be a good thing, however the word “overly” itself indicates some kind of issue. This could be insecurity, or lack of awareness of social dynamics; or even worse, as we’ve seen earlier, being fake or having ulterior motives.

If you ever have to deal with someone who seems overly nice, ask yourself what their intention is, and try to find a more accurate definition of their behavior. Are they too nice, or too invasive? Too polite, or not assertive enough? It’s important to be clear on who the other person is and why they behave in a way that bothers you.

The majority of people who seem overly nice are just… nice, and although their behavior may be a bit irritating for some, that’s not really an issue. You simply have to recognize those cases in which people are being nice for the wrong reason, so you can detach from them.

If you think you may come off as overly nice, again, this isn’t something you need to fix. Just make sure you don’t suppress your emotions too often, and pay attention to how people respond to your behavior. If others tend to take advantage of your good nature, learn to say no and become more assertive — the more you practice, the easier it’ll be.