Fakes are everywhere, and now that CV19 is part of life, and the internet has become even more of the work and social ground, the fakes are becoming more apparent. They come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages. They call themselves gurus, coaches, mentors, even friend, but if you can’t spot the fakes and phonies in everyday life, you are in for a heap of stress and aggravation!
The below hit this right on the head for me, especially the needing for power and control bit. Have you met anyone like this in your life?
How to Spot a Fake Person
If you notice any of these signs below, you may be dealing with someone who isn’t whom they make themselves out to be at first blush.
- They Seek Attention and Are Quick to Show Off: Being proud of your hard-earned accomplishments is one thing, but showing off all of the time may be a sign of a fake person who places more value on external validation than self-validation. “The most common reason that people pretend to be someone they’re not is to get something from people. This is usually admiration or connection or power or control or inclusion or something in that world,” says Leigh Louey-Gung, fulfillment coach and founder of LifeOS.
- They’re Only Nice if There’s Something in It for Them: Another sign of a fake person is one who only shows kindness when it benefits them, for similar reasons Louey-Gung mentions in the first point.
- Their Words and Actions Don’t Match: A genuine person will do their best to live up to promises and commitments. Conversely, a fake person may talk the talk without walking the walk—they’re inconsistent. “With fake people, it’s like you need to carry a clipboard around with you and keep track of what they say so that you can make sense of the constant contradictions,” writes Dr. Seth Meyers, licensed clinical psychologist, for an eHarmony blog post.
Psychology of a Fake Person
Experts agree the main reason people present themselves, or act in a way that is incongruent with, their true selves is because they likely didn’t feel safe to do so in the past. For example, if someone learned that being emotionally expressive was unacceptable in their household, and was punished in some way for it, this person may armor themselves with stoicism or avoid articulating their true feelings in order to protect themselves. “If the world [or people] can’t be trusted then you believe that you have to design your interactions in a manner that keeps you safe,” explains Shannon Battle, LCMHS, LCAS, a licensed mental health counselor.
They also agree that people tend to act in a way that conforms to society and other external expectations (rather than our internal compass) to meet the most basic human needs: the need to be accepted, loved, and wanted—which become even more fulfilling when we align thoughts and actions.
Authentic People Have These Traits In Common
On the other hand, authentic people know who they are and what they believe in, and more often than not, answer to themselves rather than to pressures and expectations around them. These people:
- Share Their Truth: Genuine people have a point of view, and aren’t afraid to share it. “Genuine people are comfortable presenting their ideas without expecting or needing to convince others they are right,” writes Winch.
- View Failure as a Tool: Furthermore, writes Winch, “They view failure as an integral part of their journey, a source of learning, and an enriching experience from which they can grow.” In other words, they are willing to be vulnerable. “To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect—and vulnerable. We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are,” writes Brené Brown, a vulnerability and shame researcher, in an article for O, The Oprah Magazine.
- Set Boundaries for Themselves and Others: Authentic people aren’t people-pleasers for the sake of wanting (or needing) to be liked. “Being authentic means saying no when you really don’t want to do something. But it also means saying yes and trying new things that appeal to you, even when your never-ending to-do list is calling or you’re worried about failure,” writes Brown.