“Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be an old stand-by in the advice category, but the full scope of its meaning seems to be lost on many. Finding ourselves in contact with many people who seem very friendly and likeable at first, more often than not we find ourselves burnt out at the end of a relationship with them. How does this happen without our recognizing it?
Often, we’re just not aware of the signs. Many people are rather adept at hiding their true personalities, sometimes filled with all manner of negative intentions. Differentiate between the genuine and the fake with the wisdom from these pieces of advice:
1. Looking out for you, or looking down on you?
A true, genuine friend will help take care of their friends and family in hard times. Even when you make a mistake, the true friend will not see fit to show you in a negative light.
Conversely, a person pretending to be your friend may have nothing but nice things to say to your face — but bad-mouth you behind your back. They focus on the flaws, mistakes, and inconsistencies. Why? All to make themselves look (or feel) better than you.
2. Listening to themselves, or pleasing everyone?
The genuine person is comfortable within their own skin. They don’t need the world’s approval of their actions, choosing instead to do what their own intuition tells them is best.
On the other hand, a fake person will be vain and shallow. Going to whatever lengths necessary to please other people, they seek out confirmation of their own inconsistent beliefs at every turn. Why? All to feel better within their own tumultuous lives.
3. Face-to-face, or behind your back?
Good or bad, hard or easy to hear, a genuine person will say it all to your face. They simply have no reason to gossip. They are honest, even if the truth hurts.
Whereas a fake person may appear pleasant on the outside, this is a warning sign: Often, what they say behind your back is where their venom shows. If they’re willing to gossip with you about other people, it’s guaranteed that they’re gossiping about you with other people!
4. Humble, or boastful?
Genuine people don’t brag about their achievements. Why? Because other peoples’ approval isn’t what’s important to them. They value what they’ve learned, not what other people find “cool”.
Fake people brag constantly. Why? To buoy their failing sense of self-esteem. It’s easier for other people to find you “cool” than to actually do what is necessary to help yourself.
5. Ambivalent towards the spotlight, or seeking it?
People with a genuine interest in their lives aren’t seeking fame. They enjoy life, and what they’re doing in it, without needing others’ constant approval.
Those with a fake personality will have fake interests. Fame and name mean everything to them, and they live for being in the spotlight. Oftentimes, it’s the only way they really feel alive.
6. Action, or words?
Genuine people are people of action. They know when it’s time to do things, and when to take a rest. Short on talk and long on action is their way of life.
Fake people are people of talk. If they can convince someone with their words, their job is done. It’s not about backing all that talk up.
7. Honest, or deceitful?
Genuine people thrive on honesty; it keeps their lives simple and meaningful. Whether “good” or “bad”, they stay true to their feelings through their words and actions.
Fake people are willing to do anything to get what they want. This includes lying, cheating, and deceiving — most often in the form of lavishing praise on your ego, so they can influence your decisions.
8. Supportive, or ready to abandon?
Genuine people will stick with you, through hard times and good. Why? Because they understand that a person is not defined by the situations they find themselves in, but by their adherence to an inner compass.
Fake people will help you — but only as long as it is good for them. At the first sign of a loss on their part, they’ll abandon you without a second thought.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it’s a fine insight into the differences between genuine and fake people.