Why Do Nice People Attract Jerks?

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I think this is actually helpful for any kind of relationship, but it seemed that this was the best place to put this article. It seems that a biblical principle here is honesty. Honesty with oneself and with others.


The question that many people wonder is “If I’m nice, then why do I keep attracting such jerks?” They think that something is inherently wrong with them, and sometimes they can begin to get quite hopeless over their chances of finding good friends, someone good to date, or building a great marriage.

The key to remember is that the reason why nice people attract jerks is that they are too adaptive in the beginning. If that person had had boundaries, the problem never would have happened. Or if it did, the problem would have been fixed first.

People who are selfish and controlling can only be that way if they are in relationship with someone who is adaptive. If someone stands up to them and is honest about his or her wants and desires, then the controlling person has to learn to share or gets frustrated and goes away. Take these steps to avoid ending up in relationships that attract unhealthy people:

  • Be honest about your preferences and desires.
  • Don’t act like you like things other people like just so that you will be accepted.
  • Being liked for who you are requires that you be that person.
  • Tell the truth about where you want to go and not go, or what you want to do or not do.
  • Don’t be afraid to share your desires and wants for fear of conflict. Find out early if you are with someone who can share equally.
  • Get feedback from honest friends to tell you if you are really being yourself and seeing the relationship realistically.
  • Remember with each decision that you make you are giving the other person an impression of what you like in life and in a relationship. Be careful—he or she might believe you.
  • When you give or serve, let it be honest and purposeful.
You are a person, and you cannot go throughout life without pursuing your own wishes, needs, and desires, nor should you. Your needs and desires are going to come out, and you had better find out early in a relationship where the person really stands with the idea of sometimes having to adapt to them. You don’t want to be telling some counselor the following things ten years from now:

  • She seems to have to have her way.
  • I am afraid to let my real feelings and desires be known.
  • We have so much conflict over such little things.
  • We always spend our money on what he wants.
  • She doesn’t care about me and what I want.
  • Why can’t he ever go to the places that I want to go to?
Issues like these are usually discovered later in a relationship where one person has adapted for a long time, and then tries to make a change. The lesson is to be yourself from the beginning, and then you can find someone who is authentic as well. A relationship like that has mutuality and partnership. It has give and take. It has equality. It has sharing and mutual self-sacrifice for the sake of the other and the relationship.

If you are a real person from the start, a relationship of mutuality has a chance of developing. If you are not, then you might be headed for trouble.

The little things in life are where you can spot the big things. If you are with a self-centered person who cannot give to your desires, you will find out soon enough by being honest and straightforward about simple things, for that is where day-to-day life is lived. You will quickly find out if you are with someone who is able to share, or someone who has to have his or her way all the time. This knowledge will be helpful now and essential for the future.

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
This also applies to the work environment/relationship. Abusive bosses take advantage of those, who adapt instead of sticking up for themselves. Unfortunately, if the job market is bad, or the boss can blacklist the employee, and especially if the organization backs the boss, the person gets trapped, and ultimately becomes physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually sick.


Well-Known Member
My experience is limited, but often it is the opposite in terms of romance. Nice girls being attracted to jerks. The "bad boy" syndrome. With that said, it's a two way street I guess. The jerks take what they get and they know their schtick works. They also play the field.


As a guy, I was aggressively pursued by a girl who lived a few doors down I wasn't really interested in who, while being bi-polar, displayed an enormous capacity to manipulate not so much me but the people around me to make me seem like a jerk when she didn't get her way, or, when she was out of line (physically trying to grope me), and I politely handled the situation (asking her to leave before warning her I would call the cops if she did not) she then told the entire neighborhood I "snapped!" impugning my reputation. So, in that case, She was the jerk, and I can only think it was because she saw my kind/gentle/fuzzy nature as a weakness to be exploited. She wasn't half-wrong, strictly speaking. I learned a lot from that experience.

Anyways, that's all I got.


Well-Known Member
I think that some people mistake kindness or being nice for being weak. Actually it's quite the opposite. Anybody can be a jerk. That's easy. To be kind, To overlook other's flaws and forgive shows strength. Sadly, there are a lot of monsters out there looking to take advantage of people who show kindness. I'm sick of it.

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Sadly, there are a lot of monsters out there looking to take advantage of people who show kindness. I'm sick of it.
Yes, this true. :sad

I have found that learning about boundaries, when to trust (listen to your gut), and knowing that kindness can be simply leaving a person in God's hands and praying for them has been very helpful.

Also, praying for God's protection and guidance. I've often asked if there was something He knew that wasn't right that He would block certain interactions. God had been very faithful in this.

Even in the midst of very difficult situations, I've seen that God was actually right there working all along.

Nonetheless our souls do indeed become weary of the evil of this world. I sure have felt that at times. Praise God we have a better home with Christ. :hug


Well-Known Member
Attracting a jerk and getting stuck with one are totally different problems. :stinkerbell

We can't help attracting certain people towards us but we don't have to date or merry them. To often both men and women lower there standards or convictions and settle with whatever comes along and then end up seeing "the jerk" after its to late. Men might be fooled for a pretty face:paintnails while women might get fooled by a fat bank roll. :hat


Active Member
By opposites attracting -- I wasn't referring to jerks and nice people-- I Was referring to personalities -- likes' and dislikes. The out-going person and a very quiet person. A hoarder and a clean freak. That's an extreme, also. People who attracted too a person who is simply very different. We Can learn from each other. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Put those together and two become a Strong One. My husband and I are very different. That's not a Bad thing -- sometimes it Does get Frustrating. My husband came from a very poor / divorced family of 9 kids. His mother was Wonderful the way she raised those kids. A somewhat remodeled one-room school house. they started out with an out-house and wood furnace downstairs. Lots of bunk beds with no real privacy except for their mom. When the two girls got old enough to get a job, they got apartments in town. But I came from a two-income , two-story home. Big differences. But God Did put us together.

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Some things to look for is how does one speak of others, their parents, etc. How does one treat others, especially their parents.... even in the midst of a difficult situation. It's there as much of an attempt to be as respectful as possible? How parents are treated will eventually be how you are treated (note, setting respectful boundaries is a good thing like with controlling behavior).

Are you finding yourself rationalizing away bad behavior and speech? This is a red flag. Do you squelch thoughts of "I dont like that" often? That's a red flag.

How do they treat their pets? This can give an indication of how children might be treated, and you.

What kind of friends does this person regularly associate with..... would you? Are you kept from seeing your own friends, or from meeting their family (if a romantic interest) in a way that's controlling your life? That's a red flag.

What are the bible study/church habits? If they are good, you'll see Godly behavior reflected, permeated throughout all areas of a life.

Don't close your eyes to to things that continually bother you.

With that being said, there is no perfect person. But a person one feels at home with, at peace and warmth of heart after most interactions, not anxious or feeling confused and upset, is a person to keep around.

sara ann

Well-Known Member
nice people are just that....they are nice to people and give jerks time...jerks are jerks and take advantage....some people don't know the difference in nice and like...you don't have like the person to be nice to them..but jerks don't know where the line is drawn....so be nice and move on....say "no thank you" you may have to repeat it ....jerks are very self centered...and eventually will move on...


Well-Known Member
Hope you don't mind if I jump in at random.... I'm a single Christian girl, not perfect by any means; but many people, both Christian and non-Christian, say I'm sweet, nice, gentle, etc.... I'm definitely not attracted to jerks or "bad-boys", but I have had questionable guys try to flirt with me. I don't encourage it since I'm wise enough to know exactly what they're after, but I'm way too shy and timid to tell them off. I just quietly slip away.
I'm waiting for God to bless me with a solid Christian man if He so chooses. I even pray over him (if he exists)... And I can honestly say I will be very vigilant and careful of whom I spend my time with.

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
I'm waiting for God to bless me with a solid Christian man if He so chooses. I even pray over him (if he exists)...
Good for you! This is how my wonderful husband came to me. There's really good guys out there, be patient and trust God, He is faithful. Don't be surprised at sudden "problem" that comes up, that just might be God working. ;-)