How to Identify a Fake Person

Insaf Ali

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Fake PersonTD Bank

We all have some degree of self-interest. No one’s perfect, and it’s natural. However, fake people, in addition to being self-interested, are inauthentic. What’s on the inside doesn’t match the outside.

These individuals are often so busy trying to make themselves look better to others, that they don’t even realize they’ve developed behaviors or attitudes that are not congruent with who they really are. Like with everything else, the truth eventually comes out.

Getting involved with fake people can end up in disappointment, so keep an eye out for these nine signs of a fake person.

Number 1 — They Are Attention Seekers and People Pleasers

Fake people are often people pleasers. They’re full of insincere compliments, and they have no problem faking interest in you, simply to ingratiate themselves. That desire to be liked fuels most of their actions, so they pretend to like all the same things you like, just so that they can be included.

Number 2 — They Are Big Braggarts

Phonies love to brag about themselves. So once they think they’ve got you hooked, they won’t stop talking themselves up. This is likely because they want to impress you.

Phony people are usually phonies because they’re insecure. To hide that, they boast, show off, name drop, and go on and on about their talents and everything else they’re good at. They’re never at a loss for stories that show you just how awesome they are.

People like this are really self-absorbed, and it’ll soon become evident that they aren’t concerned about you at all. In fact, they’re too wrapped up in their own narrative to care about anyone else.

Number 3 — Their Body Language and Words Don’t Match

A fake person may fake wanting to know or learn about something or someone. For example, they may say, “How fascinating,” as you describe your vinyl record collection, but they’ve got their nose buried in their phone and their feet facing an exit.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether to believe what they say versus what you see their body doing, always remember that the hips don’t lie. And, phonies typically don’t think about faking this part of their behavior.

Number 4 — They Exaggerate and Lie

Do you know those people who always have to one-up others?

If you got a promotion, they also just got a promotion and they are expecting to get another one by the end of the year. If you earn $20 an hour, then they earn $25. They always have to be better than you.

In their efforts to make themselves look important, they often come off as pompous and self-centered. If you’re attentive enough, you will probably catch a fake person in a lie within the first few minutes of meeting them.

Number 5 — They Leave Your Side as Soon as They Recognize Someone Else

Fake people often use others to comfort themselves. For example, if you’re in a social setting, and a fake person doesn’t know anyone, they might leech onto you just so they appear to have friends or to seem popular.

But once someone more important arrives, they’re off to leech onto them instead. People like this are common in the workplace, too. These brown-nosers only care about things when the boss is around, or if someone is watching.

If you’re mid-conversation with them and the boss walks by, they’re sure to leave you high and dry so they can take the opportunity to go and brag about their most recent accomplishments.

Number 6 — They’re Poor Listeners

One-sided conversations are no fun, but when you’re with a fake person, that’s exactly how most discussions tend to be. They dominate the conversation, and when you try to get a word in, they usually cut you off.

They need to be the center of attention, so they don’t have time to really listen to you. Authentic people engage in two-way communication. They ask questions because they genuinely want to know the answer.

Fake people, on the other hand, often just ask for the sake of asking. They’re generally uninterested in whatever your response is, so they rarely recall things you’ve said. They may even respond inappropriately because they aren’t paying attention, or they just move onto another question or topic altogether.

Number 7 — They Talk About Other People

Fake people love to tear others down almost as much as they like to build themselves up. Even worse, they often attack people when those people aren’t around to defend themselves. Phonies are quick to point out others’ flaws, and they love to spread gossip.

They also like to play the victim in their versions of stories, and there’s usually someone who gets portrayed as the evil villain.

Number 8 — They’re Emotionally Distant

Phony people can’t stand to be emotionally vulnerable. To protect themselves, they usually don’t share their feelings and they avoid sharing revealing personal things about themselves.

They may make generalizations about certain things like saying that they don’t get mad, but unless they’re a robot, that simply cannot be true.

We all experience emotions, even those negative ones, so to say otherwise is definitely fake. If you’re observant, you might notice that even their smile is fake.

Number 9 — It’s All About Convenience

Fake people think the world revolves around them, and that they count on you to fall in line with the rest of the world. They get to dictate when you’ll meet, where you’ll meet, and what you’ll do, and it will all be what’s most convenient for them.

Unfortunately, they regard you as nothing more than a tool to help them get what they want. They have no desire to be your genuine friend since all they care about is what you can do for them.

They may agree to something or offer assistance, but they won’t actually be there unless they’re going to benefit from the situation. Based on this list, you might think fake people aren’t really the types of people you want to associate with.

And you would be right. Watch out though, because they’re everywhere. Their behavior is usually the result of some childhood or other trauma which has caused them to develop these defense mechanisms to protect themselves.

They might have been neglected in the past and think that no one will look out for them, so they have to do it themselves in these less than desirable ways. Deep down, they could also fear that they won’t have real relationships, so they use people to get what they want before they get hurt.

Sometimes you can spot a fake person from a mile away. Other times, it’s not so easy. But be careful when you start to see these signs. You don’t want to let just anyone into your inner circle, and fake people are ones you definitely want to keep out.

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