Fake people can be hard to spot.
They usually make a great first impression because they excel at presenting a carefully crafted image designed to be appealing.
However, once you go beyond the surface, you’re disappointed to discover that… there’s not much there.
Let me save you the trouble.
If someone uses these 13 phrases in a conversation, they’re a really fake person.
Keep a safe distance.
1) Oh, I know [insert important name here] personally.
Fake people name-drop to impress their audience and elevate their social standing.
By highlighting their connection to significant figures, they become influential by proxy.
It doesn’t even have to be a celebrity. It all depends on context.
Maybe you have a co-worker who boasts about hanging out with the big boss at the weekend or an acquaintance who likes to bring up their political connections whenever they run into you.
Whatever the case, fake people are all about appearances.
They believe that associating themselves with notable figures will enhance their status or credibility.
2) Money isn’t really an issue for me.
Similarly, inauthentic people frequently brag about their wealth or material possessions.
They can try to be subtle about it but rarely succeed.
In fact, they can be pretty oblivious:
- I just bought a luxurious mansion in Italy last week.
- I only wear designer labels.
- My kids go to a prestigious private school.
- I attended that fancy club opening last month.
- I have a standing reservation at the best restaurant in town.
Alternatively, they might go for the humble brag:
- I can’t believe how much money I’m making from my side hustle. I don’t even prioritize it!
- I feel so overwhelmed by all these invitations to exclusive events. Who has the time?
- My family constantly teases me for donating too much money to charity. They’re the worst!
You get the idea.
3) I’m the best at everything I do. No one can match my skills.
I am exaggerating for emphasis, but I’m not even that far off.
In my 20s, I used to know this girl who was working in a related industry.
She was always talking about how she’s the only one in that industry who knows what she’s doing, at least as far as our city is concerned.
She was dead wrong.
Fake people constantly talk themselves up and inflate their accomplishments, hoping to dazzle.
Don’t fall for their shtick.
4) Did you hear about X?
Fake people thrive on validation from others and often resort to gossip and rumor-spreading to get it.
They are the first to expose a new couple, they don’t shy away from bringing up someone else’s misfortune, and they reveal personal details about close friends.
They see gossip as a surefire way to divert attention from their own shortcomings.
Or, they use it as a weapon to forge alliances with like-minded individuals and exclude other people from the group.
But just like they gossip about everyone else, they’ll talk about you behind your back without breaking a sweat.
They don’t deserve your time or energy.
5) Can we get back to me?
On the same note, inauthentic folks love to be the center of attention.
Whenever the spotlight is on you for too long, they try to move the conversation back to what they’re going through.
In short, they’re more interested in getting their point across than in anything you have to say on the subject.
Not only that, but they might try to redirect the attention by saying how much more critical their problems or successes are:
- Oh, you got a raise? I got a promotion just last week!
- Are you seeing someone new? My partner and I just got engaged!
- It sucks that you’ve been let go, but at least you don’t have to field job offers left and right like I do.
6) That’s great for you, but I could never do it.
Another thing fake people excel at is passing judgment, often disguised as a disingenuous compliment.
If you tell them you bought your shirt at a second-hand store, they’ll say it looks good on you, but they could never wear pre-owned clothes.
They’ll praise you for being a working parent, then say they could never put their kids in daycare to focus on their job.
The worse thing is that sometimes you don’t even realize that they made a dig at you until days later.
They’re that devious.
7) I can’t be bothered with people who are beneath me.
Inauthentic people generally only associate with people who can help them in some way or another.
They’re nice to you as long as they want something. You won’t hear from them once you have fulfilled your role.
Moreover, they tend to be rude to those they perceive as beneath them.
They roll their eyes, make snide comments, or insult the person outright.
8) You shouldn’t try that; you’ll never do it well.
Ever had a toxic friend who seemed to revel in your misfortune?
The kind that keeps you around solely to feel better about themselves.
Whenever you express a desire to improve yourself, they discourage you. They want you to be less successful than them so that you can feed their ego.
Fake people function the same way.
They only want others to make it as long as it benefits them, and they can spew harsh comments without giving them a second thought.
9) What were you saying?
Since fake people are mainly interested in keeping up appearances, they don’t care about connecting with you on a deeper level.
They zone out during conversations, check their phone while you’re trying to make a point, and ditch you whenever a potentially more interesting conversation partner appears.
Don’t give them the satisfaction.
Ditch them first.
10) Oh, I completely agree.
People who lack authenticity can mold themselves to fit a particular group.
If a new acquaintance agrees with everything you say, they probably just tell you what you want to hear.
Fake people are desperate to please others and get their approval, so they adjust their opinions rather than sticking to their beliefs.
Having a real conversation with them? That might be outside the realm of possibility.
On the opposite side, genuine people stick to their values and convictions regardless of who they’re talking to.
They’re the ones you should gravitate toward.
11) I’m sorry, but you’re overreacting.
If a fake person does you wrong, they don’t take responsibility for their words or actions.
Instead of delivering a heartfelt apology, they minimize their role in hurting you, insist that they were joking, and suggest that you shouldn’t take things so personally.
They might even offer a sarcastic or dismissive comment that does more harm than good.
12) I guess I’m a burden to everyone.
Another thing fake people like to do? Manipulate.
When they want to win you over, they employ manipulative tactics to illicit your sympathy, create a sense of obligation, or play on your emotions.
Other examples can include:
- You wouldn’t want to let me down, would you?
- If you are interested in getting to know me, you will attend this event next week.
- You’re the only one here I enjoy talking to. Why do you want to leave so early?
- Do you want to come with me to this function? My friends are suddenly too busy to make time for me.
13) You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Finally, fake people don’t take criticism well.
If you point out a mistake they make or call them out about a rude comment, they barely acknowledge you.
They either downplay the error or insist you’re the one who misunderstood their words/actions in the first place.
It gets exhausting, fast.
Fake people are more trouble than they’re worth.
In the long run, they only cause drama and drain your energy.
Pay attention to how they express themselves and keep an eye out for signs of inauthenticity.
With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to recognize them from a mile away.
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