Staying true to yourself is easier said than done.
Inauthenticity can creep into our daily lives without us even noticing.
Having said that, the people who truly lack authenticity tend to consistently hide the real them.
Sometimes it’s for personal gain, sometimes it’s through misguided arrogance and other times it’s because of deep-rooted insecurity.
Here are the behaviors that smack of insincerity…
1) Agreeing with everything others say
You know what they say…
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
But that’s not going to stop some inauthentic people from trying.
It’s quite sad really. We all want to be liked. It’s important to feel like we belong.
But some people are so scared of not fitting in, they do everything they can to get along with those around them.
Rather than having their own personality, they try too hard to assimilate. So they end up just agreeing with everything everyone else says.
2) Saying yes when they want to say no
This is another behavior that falls under the people-pleasing category.
I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it at some point.
We can feel selfish for turning others down, or worry about being judged for it.
But it’s time to flip the script.
Despite any good intentions, there is no getting away from the fact that it’s self betrayal to go along with things that you don’t want to do.
Without intending to, we abandon our authenticity for the sake of what other people may think of us.
3) Telling far-fetched stories
They can’t seem to recall an event without some embellishments.
They feel the need to exaggerate in order to paint themselves and their life in a better light.
Sometimes, it may stem from arrogance and an over-inflated image. But more often than not, the opposite is true.
They don’t feel good enough exactly as they are. So they feel the need to big themselves up in an attempt to seem more interesting.
This sort of tactic is another form of the next thing on our list….
4) Showing off
Some inauthentic people are driven by a strong desire to have attention.
They need to be in the limelight to feel good about themselves.
But that craving to have all eyes on them leads to some desperate and cringeworthy behavior that includes things like:
- Bragging and boasting
- Acting the fool
- Trying too hard to impress
- Making a scene
5) Going overboard with flattery and charm
I’ve always been grateful that I’ve never had a thing for those smooth-talking men.
Because let’s face it, they’re usually the ones that are full of themselves.
Hey, I’m not singling you out guys, the same goes for women too.
When someone lays on the charm it’s a huge turn-off for me because it smacks of insincerity.
Compliments always need to be specific, unique, and well thought out.
When they are generic and laid on too thick, it makes you wonder what the other person is after.
6) Never expressing how they really feel and think
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s wise to bite our tongue.
It can take maturity and strength to know when to keep your mouth shut and when to speak up.
But you can hold your cards too close to your chest.
When you never volunteer any of your honest opinions, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs you don’t give people a chance to get to know the real you.
Whilst it may spring from insecurities, social anxiety, or shyness, it’s still ultimately an inauthentic way to live.
There’s no doubt it takes vulnerability to be ourselves. That’s why we need to build up our confidence in order to do so.
7) Saying one thing but doing another
When your words and actions don’t match up it’s safe to assume something significant:
You are full of shit.
Inconsistency on a large scale screams a lack of authenticity.
It means you cannot be trusted to live up to your word. You break promises.
Something isn’t aligned. Either what you say, or what you do is a dishonest reflection of the truth.
8) Gossiping behind people’s back
First off, let’s admit the fact that gossiping and bitching is really common.
I’m willing to take a guess that most of us have indulged at some point or another in our lives. Even if we later felt bad about it.
We usually do it to make ourselves feel better or vent our frustrations in an unhealthy way.
But bad-mouthing someone behind their backs is always an inauthentic way of dealing with a problem.
Rather than be honest about how we feel, we handle those emotions in an underhand way.
Those who perpetually do this are fake. They say one thing to your face, and another behind your back.
8) Abandoning their values at the drop of a hat
It may be to get ahead. It could be to gain popularity. It might just be for an easier life.
Maybe they do it by taking a job that goes against what they stand for. Or maybe they follow the crowd rather than staying true to themselves.
Our core values are our guiding compass. These deeper beliefs define what matters most to us.
If you’re prepared to ditch your own principles so easily, it shows a lack of authenticity.
10) Never owning their mistakes or flaws
Every single one of us has flaws.
That’s not an insult, it’s a fact of life.
Nobody is perfect. But this can be a very uncomfortable truth to deal with.
Particularly for those who suffer from a low sense of self and perfectionist tendencies.
So rather than acknowledge and try to better understand their own weaknesses, some people would rather deny them.
They find it too much of a knock to their ego to hold their hands up and admit fault.
It’s too threatening to their self-esteem to face up to their imperfections, and even embrace them.
But you cannot be authentic if you want to ignore certain aspects of yourself. Neither can you really learn and grow as a person.
Sadly, inauthentic people often lack the self-awareness that is crucial for personal development.
11) A snobby attitude that gives off an air of superiority
Anyone who thinks they are better than someone else has an overinflated estimation of themselves.
Let’s face it, we can all fall into judgment, even when we know we shouldn’t. We make snap decisions and can find ourselves making unkind assumptions.
But if you notice this and intentionally correct yourself, you’re already doing far better than most.
Because snooty people don’t even feel unkind for their approach.
They feel bolstered by the story they tell themselves — one where they are superior to others.
12) Obsessing over their image and the things they own
It’s a dangerous trapping that we all must navigate in life.
After all, consumerism does try to convince us that it’s what you have that counts.
So it’s tempting to get fixated on money and outward markers of success.
But highly materialist people are inauthentic because they live in a fake world.
A world where stuff matters more than experiences or people and the objects you own define you.
How they present themselves to the outside world becomes more important to them than who they are inside.
13) Lying to your face
Authentic people are in essence, truthful people. Meanwhile, inauthentic people in one way or another lack honesty.
I hold my hands up and admit to telling white lies.
They are deemed fairly harmless untruths, like telling a friend you like his shirt because you don’t want to hurt his feelings.
Research suggests that we all tell these sorts of fibs.
But when it comes to the bigger more significant stuff I have a simple rule:
If you have to lie, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Lying covers up our behavior that we either feel ashamed of or know we will get into trouble for.
It means that you’re not owning your actions. You cannot be upfront with others. And that is a clear form of insincerity.
14) Sucking up just to get something out of someone
This is manipulation, plain and simple.
Maybe they only seem to give you the time of day when they want something.
They may ignore you, only to creep into your DM’s months later with a “Hey, how have you been?”
But rest assured it won’t be long before their fake interest in you fades and is replaced by the real reason that they got in touch.
Usually, they need a favor and are hoping you can help them out with something.
15) Making plenty of shallow connections, but no deep ones
Being a social butterfly might be seen as a desirable trait, but not if those connections lack any real substance.
The true measure of our relationships is quality, not quantity.
I’m always more skeptical of those people who will call you babe or hun within 2 minutes of meeting you.
Sure, it’s meant to create a sense of familiarity, but it hasn’t been earned.
They may have 1001 people who they can laugh, joke, and party with — but nobody who sees the real them.