9 subtle signs of a fake person (and how to deal with them)

Ever feel like someone’s just not being real with you?

Sometimes, it’s not about the big warnings but the little clues that hint someone might be putting on a show.

In this article, we’ll explore those quiet signs of a fake person and share some tips on dealing with them.

Let’s get started!

1. Over-the-Top Compliments

We all appreciate a genuine compliment every now and then.

But when someone constantly showers you with praise, especially on things that don’t particularly stand out, it can be a sign they’re not being entirely genuine.

Fake individuals often use excessive flattery as a tool to get closer to people or to get something in return.

It’s like they’re trying too hard to be liked.

How to Handle It:

While it’s important not to jump to conclusions (because some people are naturally effusive), trust your gut feeling.

If the compliments feel insincere, try not to get too emotionally invested in them.

Politely say thank you, but maintain a mental note and observe if this behavior continues or if there’s a pattern.

2. Inconsistent Stories

Remember that time you chatted with a friend about a vacation they supposedly took last summer?

And then, months later, the story changed – like, completely?

Well, fake people often have a habit of tweaking or changing their stories because, well, it’s hard to keep track of a facade.

A personal anecdote: I once knew a colleague who claimed she’d lived in Italy for a year. The tales of gelato and gondolas were endless.

But a few months later, she mentioned she’d never been out of the country! It was a puzzling moment, to say the least.

How to Handle It:

It’s essential to be observant but not confrontational. Everyone can forget details or mix up stories now and then.

But if it’s a consistent behavior, take their words with a pinch of salt. It’s not about calling them out but being aware and not getting swept up in their web of tales.

3. Ghosting… But Only Sometimes

People get busy. Life happens, and sometimes texts get ignored or calls go unanswered.

But if someone in your life consistently disappears during the tough times and magically reappears when they need something or when it’s convenient for them, it’s not just a coincidence—it’s a pattern.

I’ve been there. A ‘friend’ who was all ears when they needed advice but went radio silent whenever I was in a rough patch.

It’s not only hurtful, but it speaks volumes about their authenticity.

How to Handle It:

It’s tempting to give them a taste of their own medicine or confront them with anger.

But the honest approach? Communicate. Ask them if something’s up. If it continues, it’s okay to reevaluate the energy you invest in the relationship.

You deserve reciprocity, not a one-sided effort.

4. They’re Always Agreeable

At first glance, someone always being in agreement with you might seem like a dream come true.

Who wouldn’t want a person around who thinks your every idea is golden?

However, this can actually be a sneaky sign of inauthenticity.

The truth is, genuine relationships thrive on occasional disagreements.

It shows that the person feels comfortable enough to share their true thoughts and feelings with you.

A person who never disagrees, who nods along with everything, might be hiding their true self or opinions to maintain a certain image or keep the peace artificially.

I once dated someone who never disagreed with anything I said. Initially, it was flattering.

But over time, it became evident that I wasn’t really getting to know the real them, just a mirror image of what they thought I wanted.

How to Handle It:

Initiate deeper conversations. Challenge them lightly with topics you suspect they might have a different viewpoint on.

Encourage open dialogue, reassuring them that disagreements can be healthy and that you value their authentic opinions.

5. They’re Eager to Share Secrets… That Aren’t Theirs

You’ve met this type: the person who always has the juiciest gossip and doesn’t hesitate to spill the beans, especially if it’s about someone else.

It might be entertaining at first, or even make you feel like you’re in their “inner circle,” but it’s a telling sign.

If they’re so quick to share someone else’s private matters with you, who’s to say they won’t share yours with someone else?

Trust and confidentiality are cornerstones of genuine relationships.

A person willing to breach that, especially to gain favor or attention, is treading on thin ice when it comes to authenticity.

How to Handle It:

Be cautious about what you share with them.

If they start dishing out someone else’s dirt, gently steer the conversation elsewhere or express your discomfort.

It’s essential to set boundaries, ensuring your secrets and feelings are safeguarded.

6. They Struggle to Celebrate Others

You land a new job, or maybe you’ve achieved something personal like finishing a marathon.

Amidst the congratulatory messages, there’s that one person who’s eerily silent or, even worse, subtly belittles your achievements.

It’s hard to see someone like this, especially if they’re close to you.

I remember a close friend who would always find a way to downplay my achievements, remarking things like, “Oh, anyone could do that” or “That’s not a big deal.”

It took me a while to realize it wasn’t about me but their own insecurities manifesting.

Real friends uplift each other; they don’t let envy create a wedge.

How to Handle It:

First, understand it’s rarely about you and more about their internal battles.

However, it’s crucial to surround yourself with positive energy.

If someone consistently can’t celebrate you, communicate your feelings. If nothing changes, it might be time to reevaluate the closeness of the relationship.

7. Their Actions Rarely Match Their Words

Promises, promises, promises. We all know someone who’s full of them but rarely delivers.

They might commit to plans, only to cancel at the last minute, or assure you they’ll do something and then let it slide.

I had a buddy in college who’d always hype up our weekend plans, only to flake out consistently. While the excuses seemed valid at first—family emergencies, work commitments—over time, it was clear that it was a pattern.

It’s a gut punch to realize that maybe you’re not as high a priority as you thought, or perhaps they just can’t be bothered to follow through.

How to Handle It:

Consistency is key in trust. While everyone can occasionally slip up, a continuous pattern is concerning.

Address it gently, share how you feel, and see if they take steps to change. If not, manage your expectations around them and protect your emotional energy.

8. They’re Quick to Jump on Bandwagons

Ever notice how some folks seem to constantly shift their opinions, hobbies, or even personalities based on the latest trend or popular opinion?

One day they’re all about veganism, the next they’re on the keto train.

Last week they were raving about a book they’ve “always loved,” which you’re pretty sure they only discovered recently.

People who are inauthentic often have a hard time sticking to their own beliefs and values, so they ride the waves of whatever’s trending.

It’s not about exploration but rather an external validation chase.

How to Handle It:

It’s essential to discern between someone genuinely exploring new interests and someone constantly hopping between bandwagons.

Encourage them to delve deeper into their choices and understand the ‘why’ behind them.

But also remember, it’s not your job to change or judge them.

Being aware allows you to take their opinions with a grain of salt and focus on building genuine connections elsewhere.

9. They Seem Perfect… Almost Too Perfect

In a world of carefully curated Instagram feeds and rehearsed TikTok videos, encountering someone who seems flawless can feel refreshing.

But here’s the counterintuitive bit: true authenticity often lies in imperfection.

Think about it: no one, and I mean no one, has it all together all the time.

We all have bad hair days, make embarrassing mistakes, or get spinach stuck between our teeth right before a big meeting. Life’s messy.

If someone is constantly presenting a blemish-free image and their life seems devoid of any struggles or missteps, chances are they’re hiding the real parts of their life.

Authenticity is about being real, and being real includes owning up to the not-so-glamorous bits.

How to Handle It:

Appreciate the beauty in the raw, real moments. Encourage open conversations, and perhaps share some of your own “imperfect” experiences to pave the way for genuine connections.

Remember, it’s often our vulnerabilities and quirks that make us truly relatable and human.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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