The suburban neighbourhood I grew up in was a very typical one for that area and time period. Think well off but not upper middle class and lower middle class.
On the surface a quiet, nice area perfect for families with children. The school was close enough for all the students to walk there, and we had several shopping malls at a short driving distance.
And the concensus was that this area was just so nice. If someone dared to mention how there had been several instances of creepy guys trying to lure kids into their car under the pretext of driving them home (happened to one of my classmates), that teenagers would stop second- and third graders on their way to school and not let them get there on time (happened to my sibling), or that kids would try to push one of their peers into the road in front of a fast moving car (happened to me), people would just shrug and brush it off with “That’s awful, but that happens everywhere.”
I realise these examples are pretty tame compared to what happens in other areal in other parts of the world. I will not play the game of “Who’s worst off?”.
But it was just so nice, you know? Everything was just picture perfect. Everyone knew, if not each other than at least of each other, and everybody got along just great. In school all the children got along just great and my school scoret brilliantly on the wellness check they did every year, so there.
We all got along just great. It was great. It was fine. Just smile.
I think it was this environment that made me allergic to hypocrisy and false niceness. I simply can’t stand it. If I get as much as a whiff of someone turning a blind eye to a problem or brush off real issues because they find it unpleasant, I immediately despise that person.
Some may call it harsh. I call it realism. So far this immediate distase has never been wrong. Any person who display such behaviour has turned out to be as fake as their niceness later on.
This is the only positive effect I have found from my years of relentlessly being bullied. I learned not to give such people my time.
It has saved me a lot of trouble.