10 signs of a phony person (the only list you’ll need)

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Have you ever felt as if you had someone fake around you?

It can be difficult to detect them, and even more if you’ve been “friends” for years.

So, here we’ll give you 10 tips that will let you know when someone is fake.

Read through them and examine your inner circle to see if anyone exhibits these traits in their personality.

10 sure-fire signs of a fake friend in your life

A lot of people are used to manipulating others in order to gain status, love, or whatever else they need. It can be hard to realize what’s happening when you don’t behave like that.

Maybe you’ve got a friend that’s super nice to you… but are they nice? Is their heart good?

Here are the main red flags of fake people… because looks can be deceiving.

1) They’re very arrogant

A lot of phony people like to show off themselves. It’s like they love their reflection in the mirror. They are taking videos and pictures all day every day, of everything they do.

They think they’re the best at whatever they’re doing that day.

In real life, however, they might not be that put together. They sure act like they are, and they’re very focused on being better than others.

That wouldn’t be a problem, except that you can start feeling like you’re never good enough or on the same level as them since they need to have all the attention to themselves.

2) They judge and manipulate others

Fake people need to be in control. That’s why they harshly judge others. They need validation and they need to feel like they’re the best at all times, so they manipulate and lie.

Even then, they hate confrontation. They won’t face the problem directly, but they will try and find a way to make themselves look better than the other person.

As Gen-Z would put it, their vibes are completely off.

They feel superior by tearing others down, so they will have no problem being passive-aggressive.

They will also give people the kind of compliments that seem “good” but are just insulting.

They can’t stand being ignored or threatened by anyone else, so they’ll be even more of a showoff if that happens.

3) They people-please all the time

One word: love-bombing. It’s a massive red flag in and of itself, especially at the beginning of any relationship. Look out for these signs:

  • They will say and do anything it takes to be liked by you;
  • They will ask lots of questions. It will look like they’re interested in everything you say;
  • They won’t talk a lot about themselves, since they don’t want to disagree with you;
  • They will be too eager to get to know you.

Maybe you didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s because everyone loves to feel like they’re interesting.

Yeah, that includes you.

So, if you’ve noticed this now, ask them more questions and see what happens.

4) No self-reflection in sight

Growth comes from a lot of things, and that includes constructive criticism from others. We have to know our light and our dark sides.

Furthermore, there’s always room for improvement, since we’re all unique.

Self-reflection is a must if we want to learn from our mistakes. It requires thought, forgiveness, and complicated conversations.

To get to that, we first have to be true to ourselves… phony people don’t usually do that.

Even more, if they apologize they will immediately follow with a “but”, and throw your mistakes back at you.

5) They spread gossip

Gossip makes fake people come alive. They love talking badly behind other people’s backs because their target can’t speak against them.

They are great at detecting sensitive spots in others, spreading gossip, and keeping the drama cycle running.

They will always make themselves seen as the victim, and the other person will always be the villain. How can you tell if someone is a gossip?

They will negatively talk to you about others. Rest assured, they’re also talking about you behind your back.

6) Their view of the world is super narrow

The main reason why phony people are super toxic is that they’re materialistic. The stuff they have makes up for the emptiness inside, and they need to fill that void with things.

That’s how they measure success.

Many times they collect shiny things they can brag about, instead of moments or friends, or meaningful connections.

Remember, to build a deep friendship you have to be able to connect emotionally on a deep level. Fake people can’t do that.

This shallowness also affects their view of the world. Instead of building their personality, they are completely focused on wealth.

On what others can bring to their table in terms of status. Unfortunately, they make decisions based on this prejudice.

7) They make hostile jokes

Phony people are usually resentful of others, even if they’re great at hiding their true intentions. They can’t even trust themselves, so they view the world through a hostile lens.

Sarcasm, irony, and a hostile sense of humor are their weapons. This is how they boost their self-esteem.

To some people, this might make them seem clever or funny, but all they’re doing is hiding their insecurities and the anxiety they have.

When someone jokes too much about others, it’s a sign that they don’t want people looking at them too much.

8) They hide their emotions

More often than not, fake people are unable to manage their own emotions. This is why they’re aggressive towards others: they can’t cope with themselves.

Since they can’t be honest with themselves, they escape from their mistakes and their shortcomings because they’re terrified.

Their inability to see their depth is what makes them toxic to you.

Or, maybe, they just believe that the end justifies the means. They’re willing to manipulate and bend the rules to get whatever they want.

This is also why they seem completely different people according to who they’re with.

Their main goal is to be liked, so they will play whatever part they have to to get that validation from others.

9) They are inconsistent

Fake people don’t have core values.

Read that again.

In fact, fake people change their values according to whoever is around them. That’s the main red flag, the fact that they can’t commit to one thing.

They want to be everywhere and they want to try everything at the same time.

All their inconsistency only makes them more hostile towards others. When they fail at one thing they blame other people, and it only adds to the mess they already leave behind them.

Even more, they always try to micromanage others and control everything, and since their worldview is so narrow, it doesn’t serve anyone.

10) They aren’t good friends

Your feelings, your life, your beliefs, they don’t care about that. Phony people aren’t good friends.

You should pay attention when something’s going great in your life and you don’t want to tell them because you don’t want to see their reaction.

Even worse if you can’t find them when you really need them, or if they constantly cancel at the last minute before you meet.

That adds to their habit of talking behind people’s backs. Remember, if they’re judging others, they’re judging you as well and they’re talking about you to others.

If you don’t feel comfortable around your friend or you fear their words, they’re not someone you want around.

The better you get at catching these people, the sooner you can make better friends, worthy of your time and trust.

What to do if you are a phony person?

Now that you know the 10 ultimate signs of a phony person you may find yourself being the one.

I know, it’s not the best discovery.

But what if you could change this, and as a result change your life?

You see, so much of what we believe to be reality is just a construction. We can reshape that to create fulfilling lives that are in line with what matters most to us.

Coping with fake friends

There are several different ways to act around fake people and prevent them from hurting you. Let’s review some of them.

Don’t let their aggression affect you

Don’t take it personally. They’ve behaved like this for a long time, and they will continue even if you don’t speak to them anymore.

You’re not the problem here.

It’s about them, and the void they need to fill that you have nothing to do with. And unless you’re a professional psychologist, you won’t be able to help them.

Be honest about your feelings

Let your fake friend know that they’ve hurt you or triggered you in some way. Set the boundary with no hesitation.

If they respect it, that’s incredible. If they don’t, at least you knew you did everything you could to keep them around.

The important thing is that you tried and went for honesty.

Self-care is key

In most cases, distancing yourself from fake people is the best solution.

Sometimes though, it takes a while to be able to let go. So while you work on that, remember to be kind to yourself and practice a lot of self-care. Balance all the negative with a lot of positive interactions with yourself and others.

Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start meditating or practice setting boundaries instead of accepting invitations from them.

To sum up

It’s not that hard to spot fake friends. As we said before, the vibes are off: they’re a wanna-be and people can feel that.

In contrast, truthful people know themselves. They take accountability and they accept themselves as they are, good and bad.

Additionally, they know how to open up and be vulnerable to others. They aren’t afraid to show the depth of their character.

Fake people can’t do that.

They’re not authentic, not even to themselves.

People can start being fake because they’ve been pressured to be in certain ways, or they might think that behaving in certain ways will help them become successful.

Now that you know how to spot phony people and get to watch out for their red flags, you can start surrounding yourself with people that uplift you and make you feel good.

The Secret to a Better Life?

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Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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