10 Words For Someone Who Pretends To Care (Fake Kindness)

People who pretend to care or perpetuate false kindness can often be perceived as self-centred or not to be trusted. We are often feeling compelled to warn others about this person, however, we may not know an appropriate term. Therefore, this helpful article will be highlighting applicable alternative terms.

What Do You Call Someone Who Pretends To Care?

There are plenty of appropriate terms one can choose to use to accurately describe someone who exemplifies fake kindness or a lack of care. For the purposes of this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at the following terms in particular:

  • Perfunctory
  • Insincere
  • Disingenuous
  • Contrived
  • Feigning
  • Deceitful
  • Hollow
  • Artificial
  • Phony
  • Underhanded
Words For Someone Who Pretends To Care

The preferred version that we will highlight is “perfunctory”. This is because the “term” perfunctory is both formal and professional, while also being an appropriate term to use to describe someone who showcases fake kindness or a severe lack of care, consistently.


When we express that someone is “perfunctory” we are meaning to say that their actions, gestures or words are carried out with the bare minimum level of effort or reflection. Cambridge Dictionary defines “perfunctory” as something done quickly, without taking proper care or interest.

Because of this, we often view someone as “perfunctory” when we view their actions and words as slightly mechanic or superficially.

Here are a few examples that appropriately highlight the use of this term:

  • He merely gave me a perfunctory nod, as if my presence did not matter in the slightest to him.
  • She acts in a very perfunctory manner as if she is somewhat of a robot. I swear, she’s not capable of showing emotion or caring for others.
  • My dad’s smile is often very perfunctory and feels incredibly forced.


Often, when we describe someone as being “insincere”, we are meaning to express that we do not believe they express their genuine feelings or thoughts. Cambridge Dictionary defines “insincere” as pretending to feel something that you do not feel, or not meaning what you say.

Therefore, we often consider the things said or done by someone who is “insincere” to be meaningless or slightly forced. At the same time, someone who is “insincere” can commonly be assumed to be a liar or untrustworthy.

We will now go over the following examples that include the term “insincere”:

  • His actions are entirely insincere and he is only apologizing because his mother made him.
  • My girlfriend gave me the most insincere apology this morning and I don’t know what I should do now.
  • My neighbour merely flashed me an insincere smile after I had spent hours attempting to help him fix up his roof. I won’t be assisting him again any time soon.


We typically classify “disingenuous” people as being not being candid or lacking a level of sincerity. Cambridge Dictionary defines “disingenuous” as a person (or their behaviour) being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth. Because of this, we often think of a “disingenuous” person as being dishonest.

As someone lacking the necessary candour to have an honest conversation, we are often conflicted by something a “disingenuous” person says or does – often feeling they are being fake.

Some examples that accurately use this term are:

  • It was disingenuous of her to claim that she would attend the party when she never had the intention of doing so.
  • He is known for being cynical and disingenuous, which makes it hard to believe anything that he says.
  • My ex-girlfriend was a very disingenuous person and would complete a favour or task if there was something in it for her.


Generally, we will say that someone is “contrived” when we believe that they have an unnatural or false appearance or qualities about them. Cambridge Dictionary defines “contrived” as artificial or difficult to believe. Essentially, we associate the term “contrived” to something that we think has been made up.

We can use the word “contrived” to refer to a person, their actions, or anything else that we believe is far too fabricated. For example, we could consider the ending of a film to be too “contrived” and therefore, we don’t believe it to be real.

Here are a few examples that show the different ways in which we can utilize this term:

  • I enjoyed the movie, but the ending did feel a tad contrived. Because of that, I had a hard time believing it was entirely based on a true story.
  • My girlfriend’s excuse as to where she was on Saturday night sounded very contrived.
  • He acts in a very contrived manner, which makes it difficult to predict if he is being genuine or not.


We can use the term “feigning” similarly to our other alternatives. When we say someone is “feigning” we mean to express that they are falsely claiming to be affected by something. Cambridge Dictionary defines “feign” as to pretend to have a particular feeling, problem, etc.

Because of this, we often think of someone who is “feigning” to be a faker or an attention-seeker. They often pretend to be upset or have an injury when someone else is getting more attention than they are.

We will now look over the following examples that use this term:

  • My little brother was feigning for attention, claiming to have broken his ankle while he was still able to walk perfectly.
  • She feigned nervousness so that the instructor would go easier on her.
  • She listened to his remarks while feigning to be upset and understanding of how her actions had hurt him.


Another excellent alternative that we can use to describe someone who shows fake kindness is “deceitful”. Cambridge Dictionary defines “deceitful” as dishonest or hiding the truth. Because of this, we often associate a “deceitful” person with being a liar or someone whose words shouldn’t be taken as legitimate.

Folks who are “deceitful” are often guilty of lying or manipulating a situation to work for their benefit.

To further clarify the use of this term, here are a few examples:

  • She never struck me as a deceitful person, but I guess that just exemplifies how manipulative she truly is.
  • The teacher scolded the two children for being deceitful and dishonest with her.
  • You have been acting in a very deceitful manner and because of this, your father and I have a difficult time trusting you.


When we describe a person, their actions or opinions as “hollow” we are meaning to express that they hold no value, legitimacy or effectiveness. At the same time, Cambridge Dictionary defines “hollow” (in terms of situations, feelings, or words) as being without value, or not true or sincere.

When we depict someone as being a “hollow” or having a “hollow personality”, we are meaning to say that they cannot be trusted, or that what they say isn’t always justified or factual.

Here are a few examples that showcase the use of this term:

  • She has a hollow personality which often makes it hard for people to believe anything that she says.
  • It felt like a hollow victory, as she hadn’t contributed much to the team throughout the season.
  • Do you plan on fulfilling your intentions, or were they merely hollow promises?


We’ll often refer to someone as “artificial” when we feel that they are fake. Cambridge Dictionary defines “artificial” as not sincere. Because of this, we generally think someone is “artificial” when we have no trust in the fact that what they say or do comes from a place of sincerity.

We generally do not feel a level of openness or honesty from an “artificial” person, therefore, cultivating a relationship with them can be near impossible.

We will now go over some examples that utilize this term appropriately:

  • The team’s cheerfulness seemed rather artificial and strained.
  • I felt as though she was a very artificial friend and only spending time with me out of convenience.
  • Her actions were artificial and insincere, making it so I didn’t feel comfortable continuing our date.


We often consider a “phony” individual to lack genuineness and often be quite fraudulent with how they present themselves. Cambridge Dictionary defines “phony” as not sincere or not real. Therefore, we often consider a “phony” to be an untrustworthy and skeptical person.

We often become hesitant around a “phony” person, as we’re not sure we can trust them with sensitive or personal information.

For additional information on how we can use this term, we’ll go over the following examples:

  • She is a phony friend and I can’t stand to spend my time with someone that is undeniably fake.
  • He gave the police a fake address and a phony apology and headed on his way.
  • I feel like that salesperson has a very phony personality and smile.


The last alternative term that we’ll be going over is “underhanded”. When we say that someone is acting in an “underhanded” manner, we mean to say they’re acting in a dishonest way of doing things secretly. We view someone who is “underhanded” as being conniving or having an ulterior motive.

Cambridge Dictionary defines “underhanded” as done secretly, and sometimes dishonestly, in order to achieve an advantage.

Lastly, we will go over our last examples for this particular term:

  • What made me truly upset, was the dirty and underhanded way I was tricked into working for her.
  • That is considered an underhanded method of snatching up clients from rival companies.
  • She’s been acting in a very underhanded manner, being quite secretive with what she has been doing.