You don’t want to be that person who fakes your way through life.
No matter how much you think you’re doing the right thing by putting on a smile, everyone around you sees right through it.
It’s fake. Simple as that.
And when it’s fake, people know.
It means they can’t trust you with anything. Not their problems. Not with information.
Someone who is constantly pretending and being fake nice alienates people pretty quickly. This leaves you more alone than ever before, despite being surrounded by people.
It’s a huge emotional burden to take on, and you lose yourself in the process.
Life’s far too short for it.
If you know this is you, then it’s time to make some changes.
Here are 10 ways to stop being fake nice.
1) Stop worrying about being liked
It’s true that some people are naturally charismatic and shine in a group situation. You are likely one of these people. It’s something you have learned through your years.
You simply know how to put it on when you need to.
You’ve probably found that people are drawn to you like a magnet. Everyone who meets you loves you from the get-go.
And you love that.
After all, who doesn’t want to be liked?
But, do you actually like these people?
Do you like being around them?
Do you like spending time with them?
Can you be yourself when they are around?
You’ll likely find that you enjoy being liked a lot more than you actually enjoy being around people. It’s a habit you’ve picked up that you can’t shake.
And it’s turning you into a fake.
Someone who pretends they enjoy the company of others, just to win at the popularity contest. But in the end, you’re not really winning.
It’s time to shake it.
Stop worrying about whether or not everyone likes you and only concentrate on those you actually like.
People you actually share something in common with and want to spend your time around.
This will allow you to find true friendships that actually mean something, rather than amass a large number of fake friendships while pushing those that matter away.
Being fake is getting you nowhere.
2) Find your authentic self
Instead of focusing so much on those around you and what they want and need, it’s time to turn the attention on yourself.
Over the years, you’ve spent your time sacrificing your own thoughts, feelings and opinions in order to win people over. You’ve been fake.
Now’s the time to discover exactly who you are.
- What do you like?
- How do you feel about certain topics?
- Do you have an opinion on things your friends talk about?
Finding your authentic self takes time and commitment. Especially after you’ve spent so long pushing it back and out of the picture.
So, how can you put this into practice?
It starts by pausing and thinking when you’re having a conversation with someone.
Your gut reaction will be to say something (you might not agree with) just to make them happy. Instead, you need to be honest.
For example, if one of your friends says to you, “I loved that movie, what did you think of it?” Your response needs to be honest.
Instead of just agreeing with them for the sake of it. Consider whether you really did love it?
Perhaps you could respond, “I thought it was fine, but I much prefer X”
You’re still being nice, while also being honest and sharing a bit of your personality and your own likes and interests. This is the way to finding and sharing your authentic self. And people will love you for it.
In finding your authentic self, you want to be able to apply these to your life:
- I know who I am
- I take good care of myself
- I own my gifts
- I live in my values
- I love myself completely
Once you can do this, you have truly found your authentic self. Remember, it takes work to get there, so don’t rush it.
3) Go for quality over quantity
Take a pause and think about how many close friends you have.
Friends you can go to when you’re upset.
Friends you can share anything and everything with.
Friends who will drop everything for you when you need it.
Friends you actually confide in.
This is a problem that comes with being fake.
While you might have lots of friends. You’re left with very few, if any, true friends, because everyone sees right through you and doesn’t trust you. And it also likely means you aren’t a true friend to anyone either.
Don’t worry, this can be changed.
It starts by changing your mindset.
Instead of being concerned about how big your social circle is, it’s time to put some effort into who’s in your tight-knit circle.
Think about the friends you have the best connection with.
Those you genuinely like and feel like you are rarely fake around.
These are your true friends. They are probably just feeling a little neglected at the moment because you’re more concerned with being liked than being their friend.
It’s time to repair some bridges and concentrate on these relationships.
Start by trying to spend more time with them and open up to them about things in your life.
When they see that you’re sharing your authentic self around them, they’re more likely to reciprocate and do the same.
Remember, it’s about being you and not simply pleasing them and saying what they want to hear. And that’s a big key difference.
4) It’s OK to disagree
Part of learning to be less fake is to let go of always agreeing with others.
As easy as it may come to you.
This is what inauthentic people do, and you will be caught out for being fake before too long.
Whether you want to be liked, or you think you’re doing the right thing by not hurting someone’s feelings, or simply just want to avoid conflict, being agreeable does end up backfiring.
Here’s what Nisha Balaram says over at Tiny Buddha:
“For me, being agreeable had transformed into something ugly and submissive, where at times I did not recognize myself. During arguments, I would attempt to be accommodating; however, when alone, I was caught up in self-pity and resentment…
If you don’t think about how you really feel, being agreeable is simply another mask you’ve put on to hide yourself from the world. If you don’t give yourself a chance to express yourself, you can experience fatigue and resentment.”
This couldn’t be closer to the truth.
The more agreeable you are, the fewer people actually know who you are.
It actually pushes people away, rather than bringing you closer to them.
Not only that, but the resentment will build and build over time. It’s not healthy for you.
If someone says something you don’t agree with, and you find yourself simply agreeing just to avoid any conflict, this will end up eating away at you.
You’ll leave the conversation, yet still, find that frustration building up inside you as you chose not to speak your mind.
It wears you down over time.
It pushes people away.
It makes you a doormat.
It’s time to find that voice of yours and to speak up.
This doesn’t mean you need to turn negative and start hurting people in the process. You can speak up without hurting others.
It’s a matter of pushing back on what they’ve said, rather than attacking the person. There’s a clear, distinguishable difference between the two that’s important to understand.
And remember, you’re not in conflict with the person. You’re simply in conflict with their particular opinion on a particular matter. Don’t let it get to you.
Before long, you’ll be able to approach conversations much more diplomatically and authentically, letting your true self shine through.
It’s not always about agreeing or disagreeing, you can simply ask the questions that dig a little deeper and open up the conversation.
5) Listen to your inner voice
We all have an inner voice.
That person inside us, telling us what we really think, how we should really act and what we want out of a situation.
Your inner voice has no doubt being silenced over the years in favour of keeping the peace and being liked.
Well, now’s the time to reconnect with it.
Listen to it.
So, how do you start?
Next time you find yourself in a situation you’re unsure about, trust and listen to your gut.
What is it telling you?
No matter what you’re doing, take a pause to listen to that inner voice of yours and consider why you might be feeling that way.
For example, your friend might have said something you really disagree with, and your inner voice is telling you to speak up.
Normally, you would push that voice aside and say something to keep the peace.
Now you want to listen to the inner voice and react – while still being nice and respectful to those around you.
6) Take a break from social media
When it comes to being fake, social media is the Queen.
We only show off the side we want other people to see.
And when we see others we aspire to be like, it makes us push further and further away from our authentic selves to push this image we want others to see of us.
A fake image.
When you’re trying to stop being fake, stepping away from social media is a must. Even just for a little bit.
You can come back to it when you have discovered your authentic self and are ready to show it off in all forms.
Until then, it’s time to step away.
Let’s face it, when people post on social media, they rarely show behind-the-scenes photos.
Instead, they post the best versions of themselves for the world to see, which then turns into a popularity contest of likes and comments.
It’s so easy to be fake in such a fake world.
Building up followers, having people like your photos, and getting people to comment can all have an emotional toll on you.
When you are feeling the need to compete with other people for attention, you’ve drifted further and further away from your true self.
Instead, you’ve been the version of yourself that you think others want to see.
7) Stop pretending
No one is happy all the time.
And by showing people that you are, you’re simply pushing them away.
We all have good days and bad days and true friends are the people we can go to and talk it out when we need on those bad days.
This doesn’t mean you can’t tell people you’re fine even when you’re not. Sometimes, we simply don’t want to talk about it.
But don’t feel the need to constantly be happy and put on a brave face.
People see through it.
They can see you’re hurting.
And they will feel pushed away when you pretend otherwise.
After all, we only confide in those close to us.
By constantly pretending to be happy, even when we’re not, we’re telling those around us that they’re not close enough to confide in.
Lose the fake smile and simply tell people when you’re having an off day.
It doesn’t mean you have to open up and talk about it.
It just means trusting those around you to be there for you when you need it.
Plus, it will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Pretending is exhausting.
8) Find what you love!
If you’ve been pretending for years now, then there’s a good chance you’ve ignored all your likes and interests in favour of what everyone around you likes and is interested in.
Well, now it’s your turn.
Do you love playing the piano?
Do you love painting?
Do you love sport?
Do you love crafting?
Lose any preconceived notions about what you think others might think of you for enjoying these activities and just dive in and have some fun.
It’s the fear of what others think that is holding you back.
You’ve been pretending to share the same interests as others for so long, it’s time to discover your own.
You might find this actually takes time and a little trial and error.
Try out a few different hobbies and see if anything sticks. Remember, there’s only one main criterion: you have to love it.
Let it all go and do what you enjoy.
You’ll soon learn just how freeing this really is.
9) Learn the difference between fake and nice
Just because you want to drop being fake nice, doesn’t mean you can’t still be nice!
No, you don’t have to agree with people for the sake of it.
No, you don’t have to worry about pleasing everyone.
Yes, you can be your true self.
But, you can achieve all this without being rude, and that’s the important part.
You can still be nice while disagreeing with someone.
You can still say no without being horrible about it.
You can still share your opinion without completely shutting down someone else’s.
As you go about discovering your true self and standing up for yourself in social situations, make sure you remember this.
Not being fake nice, doesn’t mean being rude.
You simply need to find a way to express yourself that doesn’t come at the expense of someone else’s feelings.
10) Learn to cope with other fake people
Just because you’ve seen the light and decided to make some changes in your life, doesn’t mean other people are doing the same.
This means you’re going to come across fake people.
You’ll probably be able to spot them a mile away and recognise many of your old traits in them.It can be quite an eye-opening experience.
Remember not to stoop to their level, you’re in a better place now.
They’re still in that place of insecurity, no matter how confident they appear in the moment, try and understand what place they’re still in.
It helps to be empathetic at the moment.
Moving on with your authentic self
By taking these steps you’ll be well on your way to finding your authentic self and leaving your fake self behind.
It takes time and a lot of soul digging to reach this point, but it feels great to come out the other side a happier, healthier version of yourself who actually enjoys life and the people in it.
As you go through these steps, surround yourself with the people who matter most in your life. These are your true friends, even if you have been pushing them aside up until now.
It’s time to rebuild those connections and embrace what really matters in life: being you.
Real friends and family will forgive and forget and in no time you’ll be a better version of yourself.