Why we like ‘good people’

Simply, because we have power over them.

The good person has internalised society’s laws and customs to a neurotic degree. They are highly susceptible to social pressure and overly-concerned with what others think of them. They are weak and vulnerable. They use niceness as a defence mechanism. They are not skilled in the use of assertiveness to maintain their dignity, so seek pride in being ‘a nice person’. We feel safe around the good person because they have terrorised and repressed themself.

But within the good person we suspect ressentiment; repressed anger and resentment lie below the surface. They are harsh on themselves, but they are also judgemental of others. They only express their judgemental attitude when they feel safe, because they are too weak to express themselves in open aggression – that would make them feel ashamed, like they are committing an odious sin. However, we sense their judgemental view of the world in our attempts at casual conversation. The good person is nervous and it takes some time to get them to lower their guard (alcohol is a big help!). We sense the good person judging us, sometimes over the most light-hearted, trivial remarks. We are disappointed that the good person can’t simply be unself-conscious for a moment and let others of the hook of judgement also.

I know many good people and I wouldn’t want to be one for a second; what a terrible waste of life.

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