Fake vs genuine people: 10 ways to spot the difference


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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.

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.

In this article, I’ll break down the key difference between fake and genuine people, explain how to tell if someone is a genuine person, and share some tips on standing up for yourself.

Let’s begin.

Fake vs genuine people

The key difference between fake and genuine people is honesty.

Fake people aren’t honest with themselves and the people around them. They do things based on lies and deceit.

Genuine people are honest with themselves and others. Their actions are aligned with what they believe.

The problem is that fake people often don’t know they’re being fake. They may be acting based on lies without knowing how hypocritical they are being.

Fake people don’t know they’re fake because of self-deception.

How can you recognize someone is being fake?

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.

Standing up to fake people

If you have fake people in your life, it’s essential to build the courage to stand up for yourself.

It’s not just about not being pushed around by this particular fake person, though this is important.

It’s also important because it teaches you to set boundaries.

This will make a big difference the next time someone fake enters your life.

I learned the importance of boundary-setting in Rudá Iandê’s free masterclass on embracing your inner beast. It’s a brilliant masterclass and completely changed how I see myself.

I used to think it was a bad idea standing up for myself. I would worry so much about what other people think.

By the time I finished watching Rudá Iandê’s masterclass, my perspective had completely shifted.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.





Britain’s Bold Move Toward Healthcare


Just days after a landslide election victory for the Conservative Party, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson just made a massive and bold announcement: He’ll get laws passed to guarantee plenty of cash for the state-run healthcare system.

The official announcement will likely come Thursday when the Queen, who is the official head of state, will reopen Parliament and outline the coming legislative agenda. Tucked within her speech will be a call for £34 billion ($45 billion) in annual taxpayer money for the National Health Service (NHS).

While other countries embrace their private health systems, the British love their publicly funded NHS, an employer of 1.5 million people, which services the population of 66 million. In general, the people are concerned about the quality of care provided by the NHS and look to the government for solutions, says Mary Macleod, a senior client partner for Korn Ferry’s Board and CEO Services practice and a former Conservative Party MP. “The NHS does become a bit of a political football,” she says. “And to a large extent, everyone in the UK feels that they are stakeholders in it.”

The pledge to secure NHS money will likely bolster Johnson’s political leadership versus the opposition Labour Party. And the move also neutralizes critics that have barraged the Conservative Party with allegations that it would sell parts of the NHS to foreign investors. In other words, pushing a new funding law through Parliament could partially neutralize political opponents.

But the politics of the matter is only part of the announcement’s strength, Macleod says. Promising the NHS years of generous financing will allow the organization to develop a strategy for how it will care for the country’s population for years into the future. In short, Macleod says, it sends a message to the NHS leadership: You can get busy now. “If you now know you are getting the funding, you can plan ahead,” she says.

Johnson’s lack of specifics about how the NHS should spend the money could be a strength. In a sense, he has empowered the organization’s leadership to make the decisions that they deem suitable. “What the prime minister is not doing is defining the solutions,” Macleod says. But she also notes that he will want results in the form of improved service from the organization. “He will hold them accountable,” she says.

While there are benefits when leaders take bold steps, there are also risks, says Christina Harrington, Korn Ferry’s head of advisory services in Stockholm, Sweden. She says it is good for leaders to act quickly and with conviction, as the public expects that of its leaders. But that alone isn’t enough. She says the problem comes when there’s too much ego involved. “You need an egoless conviction to drive a decision making the greater good,” she says.

Ideally, the driver of proposed changes needs to have a long-term vision of something better than the current situation. If that vision is lacking, then the leader may lack the required stamina to get the job done. Indeed, if headline-grabbing is all that the boss wants, then he or she might wind up doing a U-turn. “If there isn’t a long-term vision, then another fast decision may come in the other direction,” Harrington says. “And that’s what we see a lot of.”




Ego Is the Enemy of Good Leadership


On his first day as CEO of the Carlsberg Group, a global brewery and beverage company, Cees ‘t Hart was given a key card by his assistant. The card locked out all the other floors for the elevator so that he could go directly to his corner office on the 20th floor. And with its picture windows, his office offered a stunning view of Copenhagen. These were the perks of his new position, ones that spoke to his power and importance within the company.

Cees spent the next two months acclimating to his new responsibilities. But during those two months, he noticed that he saw very few people throughout the day. Since the elevator didn’t stop at other floors and only a select group of executives worked on the 20th floor, he rarely interacted with other Carlsberg employees. Cees decided to switch from his corner office on the 20th floor to an empty desk in an open-floor plan on a lower floor.

When asked about the changes, Cees explained, “If I don’t meet people, I won’t get to know what they think. And if I don’t have a finger on the pulse of the organization, I can’t lead effectively.”

This story is a good example of how one leader actively worked to avoid the risk of insularity that comes with holding senior positions. And this risk is a real problem for senior leaders. In short, the higher leaders rise in the ranks, the more they are at risk of getting an inflated ego. And the bigger their ego grows, the more they are at risk of ending up in an insulated bubble, losing touch with their colleagues, the culture, and ultimately their clients. Let’s analyze this dynamic step by step.

As we rise in the ranks, we acquire more power. And with that, people are more likely to want to please us by listening more attentively, agreeing more, and laughing at our jokes. All of these tickle the ego. And when the ego is tickled, it grows. David Owen, the former British Foreign Secretary and a neurologist, and Jonathan Davidson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, call this the “hubris syndrome,” which they define as a “disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years.”

An unchecked ego can warp our perspective or twist our values. In the words of Jennifer Woo, CEO and chair of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Asia’s largest luxury retailer, “Managing our ego’s craving for fortune, fame, and influence is the prime responsibility of any leader.” When we’re caught in the grip of the ego’s craving for more power, we lose control. Ego makes us susceptible to manipulation; it narrows our field of vision; and it corrupts our behavior, often causing us to act against our values.

Our ego is like a target we carry with us. And like any target, the bigger it is, the more vulnerable it is to being hit. In this way, an inflated ego makes it easier for others to take advantage of us. Because our ego craves positive attention, it can make us susceptible to manipulation. It makes us predictable. When people know this, they can play to our ego. When we’re a victim of our own need to be seen as great, we end up being led into making decisions that may be detrimental to ourselves, our people, and our organization.

An inflated ego also corrupts our behavior. When we believe we’re the sole architects of our success, we tend to be ruder, more selfish, and more likely to interrupt others. This is especially true in the face of setbacks and criticism. In this way, an inflated ego prevents us from learning from our mistakes and creates a defensive wall that makes it difficult to appreciate the rich lessons we glean from failure.

Finally, an inflated ego narrows our vision. The ego always looks for information that confirms what it wants to believe. Basically, a big ego makes us have a strong confirmation bias. Because of this, we lose perspective and end up in a leadership bubble where we only see and hear what we want to. As a result, we lose touch with the people we lead, the culture we are a part of, and ultimately our clients and stakeholders.

Breaking free of an overly protective or inflated ego and avoiding the leadership bubble is an important and challenging job. It requires selflessness, reflection, and courage. Here are a few tips that will help you:

  • Consider the perks and privileges you are being offered in your role. Some of them enable you to do your job effectively. That’s great. But some of them are simply perks to promote your status and power and ultimately ego. Consider which of your privileges you can let go of. It could be the reserved parking spot or, like in Cees ‘t Hart’s case, a special pass for the elevator.
  • Support, develop, and work with people who won’t feed your ego. Hire smart people with the confidence to speak up. Humility and gratitude are cornerstones of selflessness. Make a habit of taking a moment at the end of each day to reflect on all the people that were part of making you successful on that day. This helps you develop a natural sense of humility, by seeing how you are not the only cause of your success. And end the reflection by actively sending a message of gratitude to those people.
  • The inflated ego that comes with success — the bigger salary, the nicer office, the easy laughs — often makes us feel as if we’ve found the eternal answer to being a leader. But the reality is, we haven’t. Leadership is about people, and people change every day. If we believe we’ve found the universal key to leading people, we’ve just lost it. If we let our ego determine what we see, what we hear, and what we believe, we’ve let our past success damage our future success.