In a world where everyone is climbing the corporate ladder, it has become increasingly difficult to spot the right people from the fake. Some of us find it difficult to let our guard down especially when co-worker try to get close to us, as we are unsure if they want to pull us down for their own motives. There are some who are always nice to us but are they really good at heart? And then there are many who don’t come across as even approachable but perhaps are just morally guarded.
There’s a big, bold line between being genuine and being fake. We all advocate for authenticity, where we feel everyone should be comfortable enough to be their true self no matter what the context is. Sadly, the world doesn’t work that way. In our personal or professional life, we will encounter people and situations that will make us uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a co-worker or a manager that we just don’t get along with, or a party that we have been coerced into attending. This discomfort will most likely prompt us to act in a certain way. Probably a fake laugh or a forced smile, which is par for the course if we’re just trying to survive an unwanted social interaction. However, does this construe as being fake? No it merely identifies us as being adult and etiquette dictates that we act in such a pre-defined manner.
The word “fake” is defined as being untrue, not genuine, or not real. But being “fake” is a different story. Being fake is usually associated with pretentiousness. Appearances can be deceiving, so how do we spot genuine people from fake?
Looking down on all
The Fake. They are very selective about whom they talk to, about who deserves their attention, and who they may gain something out of. They usually avoid talking to people who are below them. So, if you spot people who are always flattering the ones in power, be wary.
The Genuine. They do not care if you are big or small, expecting a promotion or have been recently fired, they will talk to you with a smile, no matter what your position is.
The Fake. They always want to please everyone and will go to great lengths to gain appreciation.
The Genuine. They are comfortable with who they are and will not go beyond a limit to please you. This is not because they are not seeking your friendship through any materialistic means.
The Fake. You may have come across many people who need others to notice them all the time. This is because they have a misplaced sense of self-importance.
The Genuine. These people do not bother about being noticed by others. They do everything for the love of it and respect your personal space.
The Fake. They will keep talking about things they did or are doing. They will inflate the most insignificant things and their role in that. They may even exaggerate to the extent of lying if that serves them a purpose.
The Genuine. They are very humble. You may not be able to tell even if they were given a an important position the day before. This is because for them self-satisfaction comes before appreciation from others. They don’t like boasting about themselves to anyone.
The Fake. They are mostly two-faced. They will say one thing to your face and loads of hateful things behind your back. They love to gossip.
The Genuine. You will know if a person is genuine when they give feedback that proves to be honest. They are straight forward and will say whatever there is to be said.
Words & Actions
The Fake. They are people of words and no action. Their promises are shallow and they rarely stick to what they say, only when it serves them in any way.
The Genuine. They are hardworking and do whatever they say they will. There is no reason you should not believe them. They are promise-keepers.
The Fake. They will never show you their vulnerable side. They do not want people to know their weaknesses.
The Genuine. They will never hide away their vulnerabilities. They are okay if their imperfections are exposed.
Having read this you probably already have someone in mind. We all have that one co-worker, friend or even relative who loves coming up and complimenting us on our work or something else. But what they say when we are not around is a different story. We need to take the high ground. Go on and make small talk with that co-worker or friend, but keep it to a minimum and don’t invest too much of your time and effort. Stay respectful, mature, and as much as possible, authentic to yourself.
Going through things that you don’t enjoy does in fact make you stronger. Social skills are a muscle you have to exercise, and these interactions will make your instincts and general approach sharper.