13 unmistakable signs you’re dealing with a fake person

by Brendan Brown | April 21, 2024, 2:04 pm

We all wear different hats in various social situations, adapting our behavior to fit the moment. 

But there’s a line between being multifaceted and being downright fake. How do you tell the difference? Honestly, even I get confused at times!

For those who are unsure whether someone in their life is genuinely complex or just putting on a show, here are 13 signs to look out for. 

These insights might just help you discern the authentic from the artificial.

1) Inconsistent stories that don’t add up

We all forget details now and then, but a fake person’s stories often have glaring inconsistencies that can’t be chalked up to a simple memory lapse. 

If you notice that someone’s tales change dramatically from one telling to the next, it might be a sign that they’re crafting narratives rather than sharing genuine experiences.

2) They agree with everyone

Ever met someone who seems to agree with everyone they talk to, no matter what the topic?

I know it’s nice to be agreeable, but a fake person often takes it to the next level, always conforming to the opinions of others. 

This behavior is usually a tactic to gain approval rather than a reflection of their true beliefs.

3) Over-the-top flattery

A compliment is always nice to hear, but when someone is constantly showering you with over-the-top flattery, it can feel insincere

From my experience, I can say that fake people often use excessive praise as a way to win others over. 

The praise might feel good at the moment, but it often lacks substance and can leave you questioning the person’s real intentions.

4) Lack of genuine interest in others

A fake person often shows little to no genuine interest in getting to know others on a deeper level

They may engage in small talk or superficial conversation but avoid topics that lead to real connection. 

If you find that someone never asks about your feelings, thoughts, or experiences, it might indicate a lack of authenticity in their interactions.

5) They’re always in drama

I remember an experience with an old friend. Wherever they go, drama follows. That’s my first brush with a fake person.

Fake people often find themselves at the center of conflicts and misunderstandings, usually caused by them. 

They might play the victim or portray themselves as the hero, but the constant chaos in their relationships might indicate a deeper issue. 

Authentic people usually strive for harmony and understanding, while fake people often thrive on tension and discord.

6) They drop friends quickly

Friendship with a fake person can be fleeting. One minute you’re their best friend, and the next, they’ve moved on to someone else. 

They might drop friends quickly for trivial reasons or no reason at all. 

This pattern of behavior shows a lack of commitment to relationships and a tendency to view people as disposable. 

It’s a sign of a lack of genuine connection and a focus on what others can do for them rather than true friendship.

7) They rarely show vulnerability

Real connections are often built on vulnerability and shared experiences. A fake person, however, rarely lets their guard down. 

They present a perfect facade, never admitting to mistakes or showing any signs of weakness. 

While it’s normal to be cautious about opening up, a complete lack of vulnerability may suggest that they’re hiding their true self. 

Genuine people aren’t afraid to be imperfect and to share those imperfections with others.

8) Materialistic and image-focused

Fake people often place an undue emphasis on material possessions and outward appearance. 

They may constantly talk about the latest brands, show off their belongings, or seem overly concerned with how they’re perceived by others. 

While there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s appearance or enjoying nice things, a fixation on image over substance can indicate a lack of depth and authenticity.

9) They manipulate others for personal gain

Manipulation is a strong sign of a fake person. They may use emotional tactics, misleading statements, or outright lies to get what they want from others. 

This behavior goes beyond simple self-interest; it’s a calculated attempt to control people and situations for personal advantage. 

Real people seek honest and open relationships, while fake people see others as tools to be used.

10) They badmouth others behind their backs

If someone is always gossiping or speaking ill of others when they’re not around, it’s a red flag. 

Fake people often engage in backbiting as a way to elevate themselves and form alliances. 

However, this behavior often backfires, leading to a lack of trust among friends or colleagues. 

Authentic people, on the other hand, address issues directly and seek to build others up rather than tearing them down. 

If they’re willing to talk about someone else behind their back, who’s to say they won’t do the same to you?

11) They’re never truly present

Ever been in a conversation with someone who seems to be miles away, even though they’re right in front of you? 

Fake people often exhibit a lack of presence in their interactions. They might be constantly checking their phone, looking over your shoulder, or simply seeming disengaged. 

While we all have distractions, a consistent lack of presence may indicate that they’re not truly interested in connecting with others.

12) They make promises they don’t keep

A hallmark of authenticity is keeping one’s word. Fake people, on the other hand, often make grand promises without any intention of following through. 

Whether it’s committing to plans, offering help, or making a business deal, they might say anything to please you at the moment, only to disappoint later. 

This pattern of behavior reveals a lack of integrity and can be a clear sign that you’re dealing with a fake person.

13) They always play the victim

While authentic people take responsibility for their actions and their lives, fake people often play the victim

They might blame others for their failures, find excuses for their behavior, or portray themselves as constantly being taken advantage of. 

Playing the victim allows them to evade responsibility and solicit sympathy, but it’s often just another manipulation tactic. 

Real people face their challenges head-on, while fake people look for others to blame.

Why some people act so fake

Understanding why someone might act fake can provide insight into their behavior and help you navigate your relationship with them. 

It can also guide your response, whether that involves confronting the person, offering support, or evaluating the role they play in your life. 

Here are some common reasons:

Fear of rejection

People may act fake to fit in or be liked, especially if they fear rejection. By mirroring what they think others want to see, they feel safer and more accepted.

Insecurity and low self-esteem

A lack of confidence in oneself may lead a person to create a facade. They might pretend to be someone they’re not to cover up perceived inadequacies.

Desire for control

Some fake behavior stems from a need to control how others perceive them. By presenting a carefully crafted image, they feel they can manipulate others’ opinions and reactions.

Climbing the social or professional ladder

In certain social or professional environments, people may feel that acting a certain way is essential for success. 

Being fake, in this case, is a strategic move to achieve specific goals.

Past traumas or experiences

Sometimes, being fake is a defense mechanism that stems from past traumas or negative experiences. 

People might hide their true selves to protect against further hurt or judgment.

The influence of social media and pop culture

With the rise of social media and celebrity culture, there’s increased pressure to present a perfect image to the world. 

This can lead to fake behavior as individuals strive to live up to unrealistic standards.

Lack of emotional intelligence

Some individuals might not have the emotional tools or understanding to authentically express themselves. 

Being fake, then, isn’t necessarily intentional but a result of not knowing how to be genuine.

Peer pressure and social norms

Societal pressures and the desire to conform to group norms can lead individuals to suppress their true selves. 

The fear of standing out or being different might drive them to act in inauthentic ways.

Dealing with inauthenticity

The sad reality of inauthenticity

The decision to be inauthentic often comes from a place of pain or fear, but it ends up creating a barrier to true connection. 

Remember the old friend I mentioned earlier? I learned from him that when someone is consistently fake, they may seem to be surrounded by people, but deep down, they often feel isolated and alone.

At least, that’s what he told me years later.

That’s because the facade they create keeps others at arm’s length, preventing genuine relationships from forming. 

The irony is that the very thing they’re doing to fit in and be liked often leads to the opposite result: disconnection and loneliness.

Retaining or removing the relationship

When dealing with a fake person in your life, it’s important to weigh the impact of the relationship on your well-being. 

If the inauthenticity is mild and comes from a place of insecurity or fear, offering support and understanding may help the person open up and become more genuine. 

However, if the fakeness is manipulative or toxic, it may be healthier to distance yourself or remove the relationship altogether.

Trust me: as harsh at it sounds, it’s the best way to preserve yourself and your faith in human connection.

Final words

In the end, authenticity is key to fulfilling relationships and personal contentment. 

Recognizing signs of inauthenticity allows us to make informed decisions about the people we surround ourselves with. 

By striving for real connections and understanding why some people may act fake, we can cultivate relationships that are truly meaningful and enriching. 

Whether retaining or removing the relationship, the focus should be on what aligns with our values and contributes positively to our lives.

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