Most people who live in small places tend to either commute to larger cities so get the best of both worlds or they are happy to stay in their little bubbles and know no different.
but his Gliwice is nearby Katowice which is not such a hole. He also have realtively short drive to Kraków.
My experience as a tourist (3 visits to Poland) was very positive, nice clean place and in general the people were polite..Most of all, as a female I felt safer there than I do in England (I mean in city centres in the UK, where I live I have no issues about walking home from a friends late at night)...
Yes its funny quite that in Poland women are safer than men.