Know the signs.
One of the most confusing and frustrating traits in another person is fakeness.
Part of what makes dealing with fake people so difficult is that it sometimes takes a little while to discover who someone really is. Because fake people excel at pretending, it makes sizing him or her up even more confusing. You can look for the signs of fakeness, but it often takes knowing someone for several months at least to see them in action and see just how fake they really are.
If you’re like most people, you are fairly straightforward and don’t have a secret agenda. Fake people, however, usually have one clear agenda: to be liked by everyone and to be seen as the favorite, whether among a group of friends or at work.
Someone who is very fake will say negative things about one person but then act like their friend the next minute; agree to hang out socially but later come up with excuses about why they can’t; and cast themselves in the best possible light in every situation.
Fake men and women are extremely image conscious, and their goal is to look like they are all things to all people at all times!
Fake people are usually anxious, insecure, competitive, and jealous. Fake men and women are extremely aware of social hierarchies, so they are always ranking who is more attractive, smarter, or better liked. Very few people know who they are deep down, and the few who do are usually a spouse or immediate family members.
Fake men and women get threatened very easily, and they are usually total control freaks. After all, think how hard they have to work to keep up that fake front.
Fake people try to appear as if they’re always happy.
The main sign of a fake person is someone who never shows that they feel upset or angry. Fake people hate real emotions because real emotions get in the way of the one dimensional facade they work so hard to project. Deep down, these people are more insecure than you would ever believe, and they learned somewhere along the way that they will be most liked and appreciated if they act compliant and happy.
I’ve heard it said that fake people have zero emotions, but this is not actually true. Fake people have emotions like anyone else, but they are control freaks and fear that showing their real feelings would make them vulnerable. They fear that things could spiral out of control if they were to start acknowledging how they really think and what they really feel.
Fake people constantly contradict themselves without even knowing it.
I find fake people so confusing. In one moment, Mr. Fake will say how much he loves to volunteer, and then a few weeks later you could hear him say that he hasn’t volunteered in years. They may say they love sports to one person, even though you know perfectly well that he or she hasn’t hit the gym or played a sport in ages.
The point is that these individuals say something because they want to project that image even though they make no attempt to match their words with their behavior. 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.
Dating or being friends with someone fake is a t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e idea.
In short, fake people are immature to the point that you can’t have a deep and consistent friendship or romantic relationship with them. Someone fake is most interested in being liked and adored by everyone, so they will never be too committed to you.
Someone fake needs to be loved and paid attention to by everyone, not just one person. Fake men and women frequently lead others to believe that they are romantically interested, and it usually takes weeks or months of broken plans or false promises before you get the hint.
The key to avoiding fake individuals is to look for someone with a proverbial backbone, meaning a person who will take a stand for what he or she truly believes in. You don’t want someone who acts adoring to everyone because some people are not so nice and don’t deserve it. The goal is to find someone who has moral principles they live by, and real principles are solid and constant.
With fake people, the only real law they live by is to be liked by as many people as possible and to fool others for as long as they can. Taking your time in getting to know someone and not rushing things is the best strategy to avoid falling in love with someone who is fake and disingenuous.
Proceed with caution, ladies and gentlemen!
This article was originally published at eHarmony. Reprinted with permission from the author.