19 Behaviors That Seem Nice but Are Actually Rude

Forming mutually respectful and enjoyable relationships with others can be tricky to navigate. To help you build better relationships with friends, partners, colleagues, and family members, we’ve compiled a list of 19 things you’re doing that might be undermining your attempts to be kind to others.

Offering Unsolicited Advice

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

It may seem helpful, but offering advice where it is not wanted can undermine the person’s sense of autonomy or the complexity of their circumstances. According to Psych Central, “unsolicited advice can even communicate an air of superiority; it assumes the advice-giver knows what’s right or best.”

Insisting on Paying the Bill

Photo Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

What might be a kind gesture to you can create a power imbalance or a feeling of obligation in a relationship. It might embarrass or undermine others’ independence and leave them feeling that you have disregarded their intent to contribute.


Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Genuine praise and compliments are a great way to show someone you care, but when they’re a bit too frequent or over the top, they can come across as insincere or manipulative. Psychology Today says, “It can constitute a kind of verbal bribery, offered primarily to serve the interest of the person offering it.”

Pressuring Someone to Eat or Drink More

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Everyone has different norms when it comes to eating and drinking, and pressuring them to consume more can create discomfort. It ignores the other person’s autonomy over their body and disregards their personal boundaries, leading to resentment within the relationship.

Excessive Gift-Giving

Photo Credit: Sebastian Gauert/Shutterstock.

Giving a heartfelt gift is a lovely act, but if this is excessive or over the top, it can create a feeling of obligation or indebtedness on the other person’s behalf. It also might be perceived as an attempt to buy affection or overshadow genuine intention and thoughtfulness.

Publicly Correcting Someone

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

If someone has gotten confused or said something wrong, it is best to kindly let them know when they are out of earshot of others. Publicly correcting them for their mistakes can make someone feel embarrassed or come across as a mark of superiority rather than kindness.

Making Assumptions About Preferences or Needs

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In any new or existing relationship, it is essential to listen to others about their preferences and needs rather than simply assuming a one-size-fits-all approach will suit them. Doing this can lead to misunderstandings or leave the other person feeling you’ve disregarded their personal choices.

Constantly Saying “Yes” to Avoid Conflict

Photo Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.

Saying ‘yes’ when you really want to say ‘no’ can lead to overcommitment, personal stress, and a lack of healthy boundaries in your relationships with others. In a study mentioned by Happiful Magazine, researchers found that “many of us often agree to something for fear of annoying the person who invited us, no matter what the relationship is between them.”

Invading Personal Space

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Giving someone a hug, patting them on the shoulder, or simply getting a little too close can feel disrespectful to their comfort zones and personal boundaries. Ignoring someone’s cues to suggest you’re too close can also make people feel threatened or uncomfortable.

Forcing Your Help on Them

Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

While it may feel kind, forcing your help or advice on someone can leave the other person feeling like you think they are incapable of solving their own problems. Sometimes it can be a sign of control or a need to feel useful, and it can make others feel undervalued or helpless.

Assuming Familiarity Too Soon

Photo Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.

In a new friendship, it’s great to work to build a comfortable space, but being too familiar with someone you don’t know that well can make them feel uncomfortable or violated. Business Insider says that over-familiarity can be a narcissistic tendency, and instead, you should look for comfort, excitement, and stability in friendships.

Bringing Up Sensitive Topics to Show Empathy

Photo Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

When someone is facing grief, heartbreak, mental health issues, or any other personal problems, bringing these sensitive topics up can cause discomfort or risk reopening past wounds. It assumes someone is ready to discuss these topics and can make them feel pressured to share more information than they’re comfortable with.

Stepping in to Solve Others’ Problems Unasked

Photo Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.

You may be trying to be helpful, but stepping in when you’ve not been called upon can undermine the person’s ability to handle their own issues and be perceived as belittling or dismissive of their capabilities. Instead, remind others that you are there if they need you.

Giving Unsolicited Praise About Personal Choices

Photo Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock.

Whatever their life choices or decisions, excessively praising them can come across as judgmental or patronizing. It also might feel like you are invading their privacy or bringing unwanted attention to personal matters that they don’t want to discuss.

Apologizing Excessively

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

It might seem polite, but excessive apologies can dilute the significance of genuine apologies and shift the focus from addressing an issue to managing emotions. The Zoe Report says “over-apologizing can lead to resentment towards others, shame around one’s identity, and a constant struggle to stand up for oneself.”

Tagging People in Social Media Without Consent

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Social media is a great space for sharing memories and connecting with others, but tagging people in posts or photos without their consent can lead to discomfort or embarrassment. It disregards their personal privacy and may not be something they want to share with the world.

Sharing Personal Stories for Relatability

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

When someone is struggling with personal issues or problems in relationships, it can be tempting to share your own stories to help them relate, but this can risk turning a supportive moment into a self-centered one. It might feel like you’ve overshadowed the other’s experience or feelings or assumed your experience was similar to theirs.

Automatically Taking Charge in Group Situations

Photo Credit: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock.

Leadership and organization may be your strongest skills, but taking over in every group situation can undermine the dynamics of the group and others’ contributions. It can be perceived by others as domineering or dismissive of their abilities; instead, try to focus on collaboration and teamwork.

Sending “Helpful” Articles or Information

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

When you read something that you feel is helpful to someone else, try to think about whether it might make them feel that you’ve overlooked their existing knowledge or research on the topic. Sharing information can be really useful, but it can also be perceived as intrusive or presumptuous.

Read More: The Boomers Called It: 19 Stupid Trends That Backfired

Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.

Sometimes, we get carried away with trends that we think are cool at the time, only to realize later how utterly ridiculous they were. Join us as we take a cringe-worthy trip down memory lane and explore 19 stupid trends that backfired. Prepare for some facepalms!

The Boomers Called It: 19 Stupid Trends That Backfired

18 Reasons Why No One Is Interested in Working Anymore

Photo Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.

The concept of traditional employment has taken a back seat in recent times with changes in economic and social factors, as well as individual preferences. Traditional jobs have also evolved, and many people don’t feel the need to take this route anymore. These are 18 reasons why no one is interested in working anymore.

18 Reasons Why No One Is Interested in Working Anymore

17 States Americans No Longer Want to Live In

Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.

America is constantly changing, and within it, so are its states. Some have new laws that residents don’t agree with, while others have increasing rates of unemployment or areas of extreme poverty. These aspects make it difficult for a person to stay in their home state. Here are 17 states that Americans are deciding to reconsider.

17 States Americans No Longer Want to Live In

18 Hard Truths to Accept in Life, According to Boomers

Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

The older we become, the more we learn about life, and with that come the truths that we need to accept. Boomers have had their fair share of truths as they’ve grown through the years. Here are 18 hard truths that every boomer wants us to know.

18 Hard Truths to Accept in Life, According to Boomers

18 Misunderstood Acts The Bible Says Aren’t Actually Sins

Photo Credit: Viorel Sima/Shutterstock.

People tend to assume that the Bible condemns a wide array of behaviors, but the reality might surprise you. Here, we zoom in on 18 so-called “sins” that may not be as bad as we thought.

18 Misunderstood Acts The Bible Says Aren’t Actually Sins