Watching a chick flick with my friends the other night—The Duff, highly recommend—I came to the realization that every chick flick, every Rom Com and many other genres in between are plagued by a similar character: the fake bitch. This character comes in no specific form (a snotty teenage girl, a flamboyantly stylish yuppie, the jock, you name it) yet they all portray this persona dubbed in capital letters: FAKE.

Cue the ridiculously large, toothy smile. The too-enthusiastic-to-be-real “O.M.Geeeeeee I missed you so much!!!” The oh-so-tender hug. The post interaction eye-roll. You get the picture. And if you don’t, watch Mean Girls and you will.

As the realization of this glamorizing of the “fake bitch” floated through my conscious, along came the question: “What’s the point?”

Don’t pull a Regina George and act like you’re innocent. We’ve all been found guilty of being that fake bitch, and I’m not saying you’re a bad person for it. My point is: it’s a waste of your fucking time.

The fact of the matter is you don’t have to be fake to be nice, period, end of story. I do not care how much you absolutely abhor a person, kindness is always possible. Yet this is where people get confused: kindness and fakeness are mutually exclusive.

Newsflash: if you’re faking being nice you’re not being nice, without question. Anyone with the most minute grasp of social cues can read fakeness like the bold headlines on a Cosmopolitan magazine. It’s obviously not genuine, thus neither party wins.

Then again, some will say: “Well I don’t like so-and-so, but I didn’t want to seem cold.” Then don’t! People seem utterly baffled by the fact there is a happy medium between being a cold bitch and being a fake bitch. That happy medium is being a nice bitch–SHOCKING, I know.

Truth: It’s rude to be dismissive or act openly displeased with someone’s presence. Also a truth: It’s rude to appear fake as “fakeness” is literally just passive aggressively saying “I don’t like you, and I don’t care.” Both extremes are equally rude, so why fall fate to either?

The fix: just be kind, genuinely, not fakely. It’s totally acceptable to not act like you're besties with that guy you barely know or that girl who used to make fun of you in high school. You never have to throw out an insincere compliment. It's never necessary to tell anyone how much you missed them if you actually loved every second spent not seeing their face. Yet, this is not to say you have to be mean in order to not be fake, don’t stoop to a lesser level. Even cordiality goes a long way, and voila! You are no longer deemed a bitch, fake or otherwise.