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Fake vs genuine people: 10 ways to spot the difference

Not sure who you’re dealing with? Fake vs genuine people may look the same, but with a little bit of knowledge, you can spot the difference. Though they may do similar things, like help someone else or offer praise, fake people have a hidden agenda. When someone does something nice for others and expects compliments or notoriety for it, they’re not a genuine person.

Fake people are ingenuine and often hypocritical. They do things for their own gain but hide behind altruism.

Genuine people are true to themselves. They do things because they want to, not because they have to. Plus, they enjoy helping people.

Fake people aren’t just frustrating—they can even be damaging to your health. To live a happier and healthier life, I’m going to give you the ten tips you need to spot fake vs genuine people.

Fake vs genuine people

We usually start recognizing that someone is being fake in our pre-teen to teenage years when “status” becomes a thing. Everyone enjoys feeling good about themselves, and fake people especially like it. But they like it so much that they’re willing to put their real selves aside to make someone like them.

This is bad because when we form friendships and relationships with people, we want them to be themselves. We need to trust them and feel secure, and with a fake person, trust is nonexistent.

Plus, being genuine is a good thing. We think that those who are genuine are deserving of our attention and time. And actually, being genuine is hard work. To be true to ourselves, we have to like who we are and be comfortable in our own skin. For many of us, this takes time. So, what do fake people do?

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5 things fake people often do

1) Lead people on

Fake people often lead people on because they are trying to please everyone. They spend so much time trying to please everyone else, that a lot of people get let down in the process.

2) Cancel plans

Whether they never invite you out to do things in the first place or they cancel at the last minute, they’re fake. They’re probably so busy trying to please the other people that they made plans with that they have to cancel yours.

3) Talk about you behind your back

This is what’s really annoying about fake people. To your face, you’re their best friend. But as soon as you’re away, you’re nothing. They sit and gossip about you to make themselves look better to whoever it is they’re trying to impress.

4) Never get mad

You know who gets mad? Real people! Those who claim that they hardly ever get mad or frustrated about things are fake. Everyone is passionate about something, and everyone gets mad.

5) Disappear when you need them

Need help moving? Going through a difficult breakup? Fake people disappear right when you need them. As soon as you ask them for help, they are gone.

How to tell if someone is genuine

It can be hard to tell if someone is a genuinely nice person or if they are only being nice to you because they need something from you.

Unfortunately, many people are only out to help themselves, but there are still lots of genuine people walking around on the planet.

Here’s how you can spot a genuine person from a fake person.

1) Have a few close friends

Those who are authentic to their selves know that they can’t do everything. They can’t commit to dozens of people, so they have a few close friends that they really commit to.

2) Show up

When a true, genuine person makes plans with you, they’re going to show up. They don’t cancel on you last minute, and they aren’t going to make you wait for a “date” that’s never going to happen. They enjoy your company.

3) Admire people

Genuine people don’t gossip. Instead, they admire the positive qualities that they find in people around them. They talk about the positive, not the negative, and like to share good things.

4) Get angry and feel hurt

Real people feel things. They aren’t going to sugarcoat and act as though nothing bothers them. When genuine people are passionate about something, they’re here to show it. They invest their time and energy into their passions, and they’ll make it known.

5) There for you

When you’re hurting, genuine people hurt with you. They aren’t going to make you feel like you have no one. You can rely on them, and when something happens or you need a helping hand, they’ll be there.

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Are fake people bad for you?

Fake people are annoying, but are they actually bad for your health? Well, yes, they can be.

It takes time and energy to invest in a relationship, and when that investment is in something fake, it’s hurtful. But it goes beyond that.

Plenty of studies have found that there is a link between our relationships and our well-being. When our social relationships are complicated or one-sided, we feel worse. The strength of our connection to people is what really matters.

So, what does this mean?

Basically, if you have 20 friends, but none of them would come and pick you up after you’ve blown a tire, then your relationships aren’t that great.

But if you had just one or two friends that you could count on, that would show up when needed, the strength of that connection is great. This helps you to feel whole and connected to others, which is beneficial to your health.

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Why are there so many fake people?

In today’s world, it seems like there are a lot more fake people than ever before. And it may be true. Thanks to social media and the notoriety that a person can gain from it, it seems like everyone wants to be famous.

To be famous, at least some people have to like you. So, a lot of people will act fake in hopes of getting a following and more people to like them. There are a lot of people who use the internet as a means to stop their loneliness, but it can just make it worse for them.

Why do people act fake?

People act fake because:

  • They aren’t happy with who they truly are
  • They want to feel better about themselves
  • They want people to follow them
  • They want to control others
  • They don’t like their life

Everyone is fake sometimes

The truth is when it comes to fake vs genuine people, everyone is fake sometimes. Whether you’re fake to your coworkers or your so-called friends is up to you. But being fake isn’t something that is good for us.

The opposite, being authentic, is what makes us better people. And while I’m going to talk a bit more about authenticity in a moment, I just want to say that anyone who is fake and putting on a show, isn’t worth your time. You make strong connections with others, and those are the friendships to keep.

How do you really know you’re dealing with a fake person? Well, I’m glad you asked. There are 10 easy ways to test whether the person you’re dealing with is fake or genuine.

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10 ways to know you’re dealing with a fake person

Every fake person has 10 tell-tale signs that they’re fake. No matter how hard they try to hide how unauthentic they are, these signs say otherwise:

1) Full of themselves

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but fake people are full of themselves. They think that they’re better than everyone around them, and they love to brag. If you find that you have that one friend who is always trying to brag about their own accomplishments, they’re not being genuine.

2) Are manipulative

Fake people have a sort of “mob mentality.” They manipulate others and want everyone to believe what they believe. To do this, they will appeal to others’ emotions. Sometimes, they’ll bandwagon behind a “hot issue” or something that will give them the most notoriety.

3) Jaded with emotions

Like I mentioned before, fake people don’t do emotions well. Most of the time, they think that they’re a waste of time. Since it doesn’t get them ahead, they don’t do them.

Sure, they can fake emotions here and there to get a rise out of people and hope for more people to follow them. But, that’s about as far as they get. Their emotions are jaded, and when you come to them for help, they’re going to be emotionally there for you.

4) Judge you

Do you have a friend that is always judging you? A lot of times, fake people are insecure about what they have. They think that if you don’t believe the same things they do, then you’re wrong. To counteract their own insecurity, they judge you.

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It doesn’t feel good. They even use this judgment as a way to try and get back control. Since they want to build their own egos up, they think that by putting you down, it makes them look better. This is where all of their energy is focused.

5) Have hostile humor

Though they may plaster on a kind smile and say nice things, when their humor comes out, it’s clear to see that they’re fake. Many people use hostile humor to try and hide the shame that they feel with their own selves.

Since fake people aren’t happy with their true, authentic selves, they use hostile humor to make them feel better. By putting you down, it builds them up. Then when you get mad about their hostile humor, they blow you off or act like it isn’t a big deal. Remember, they don’t “do” emotions.

6) Aren’t consistent

It’s that friend who always has a new idea. One moment they’re investing in stocks, the next moment their opening up an online store, and finally, they’ve found their dream of being a realtor.

Sound familiar?

Those friends who lack consistency and can’t stay still aren’t true to themselves. They’re as fake as they come, and they don’t care if they leave a big mess behind them.

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7) Don’t learn lessons

Fake people don’t get a free pass when it comes to their mistakes, but they think that they do. When they do make a mistake, they aren’t going to admit to it. Or even if they do admit to it, they aren’t going to learn from it.

Genuine people recognize their mistakes and learn from them. Fake people would rather act like it never happened in the first place.

8) Unrealistic expectations

Not only do they put you down and try to control you, but fake people also have unrealistic expectations. They expect people to drop everything for them last-minute, but they wouldn’t do the same for you.

On top of that, they expect to have the best of everything. Often times, fake people are constantly buying new things, especially expensive ones. They want to showcase the success that they have, and they believe that their belongings are how they can do that.

9) Always need the attention

Having your engagement party? Well, your fake friend is about to announce a huge promotion. If they have the chance to steal the spotlight, they will. These people want to be the star of the show, and they don’t care what show it is.

Attention always has to be focused on this person because they demand it. They want to be noticed, and they need that praise from others to feel good about themselves. Unfortunately, it leads to a lot of hurt people when they do something toxic like this.

10) Don’t respect your boundaries

Maybe the biggest sign of fake people? They don’t respect your boundaries.

Once you talk to them, they blow you off. This can be if you bring up hurt feelings or some time where they made a mistake. Boundaries are nonexistent to them unless they were the ones that set them.

Because of this, these friendships can be hard to sever, and they can lead to a lot of pain. But anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries is not worth keeping around in your life.

Be authentic and attract authenticity

When it comes to fake vs genuine people, it can be hard to know which is which. However, the 10 ways I’ve outlined is a great start. Because fake people usually look for people who will follow them or people who are easily controlled, the best way to get rid of fake people is by being authentic yourself.

As Rudá Iandê says, “Our world is full of fake perfection and happiness, but craving for authenticity.” It is by being your authentic self that you will find deep, lasting connections that will help you to lead a happy and healthy life.

Our lives are too short to spend investing in fake people. Choose to be yourself and be authentic, and you’ll find genuine people to share your life with.

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Written by Jess Carpenter

I studied at The University of Utah where I earned both my B.S. and M.S. and am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES certified). My favorite spot to write is wherever I can see my toddlers to ensure they aren’t jumping from the second story or coloring on the walls.

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