- Gender and Relationships
How to tell if someone is fake
This is a very good question. As a female, I am semi-proud to say that I am equipped with a bullshit detector, and I can sniff out most bs from a mile away. Insincerity, unfortunately, is an important survival technique for most organisms. Butterflies have disguising mechanisms to fend off birds. Microscopic organisms have pseudopods that engulf prospective foods. Thus, it is very natural for human beings to employ mental and physical (see Plastic Surgery ) methods of deception to further advance themselves. However, you can cope with all the insincerity by developing and fine tuning your very own bullshit detector using the following rules and generalizations:
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is
Do you recognize the sound of the telemarketer or an infomercial? They usually sound very sweet, relaxed, and well-practiced, as if they have been saying this stuff for ages. If you can get a mop that can clean wooden tiles, your rug, the ceiling, the holes in your little statues for $9.95, and a bonus set when you call the next 30 minutes, you're probably questioning the validity of their claim, or what's in it for them. Interpersonal relationships function in a parallel manner. If you have a friend who always says that he "got your back" or a girlfriend who seems to love you unconditionally, you have to see whether their actions catch up with their words. Does your girlfriend say that she "loves you" all the time but avoids your calls? Was your friend supportive of you when you needed help? You have to realize that people can say anything, but it is the doing that says more. In addition, be wary of people who go above and beyond with their words. If your romantic partner constantly says that she "loves" you, you should question what "love" means to her since it's so overused in her vocabulary.
2. Thank you, have a nice day
The most important piece of evidence to evaluate the honesty of a person is your past relationship with them. I will bring a personal example into this. Throughout my academic career, I had friends, and "friends". My friends are similar to your friends in that we laugh, giggle and share a variety of experiences. My "friends" are people who are exceptionally nice to me when they needed to copy homework, and indifferent to me the rest of the time. Of course, there are people who honestly needed the help. However, there are others who are just lazy and need you when the assignment is due. That is where I drew the line. It is great to be of some assistance to people who need it, but when you know that they are capable of helping themselves and are only using your kindness to their ugly advantage, that is when insincerity hits. These people butter you up to ask for a favor or money and say "Thank you, have a nice day" when they get what they want. You barely see them around when you need help.
People talk about people. Rumors are usually perceived as a female possession, but I know you males talk about people as well. I am not exactly the biggest fan of rumors, for rumors tend to have the telephone-game-side-effect where a "fact", if it even is one to begin with, gets distorted down the line of mouths because people remember it in different words, or intentionally changes a detail. Rumors are also unworthy of your ears because you are basically on the receiving end of somebody who is usually ranting about somebody else he is
a. jealous of
b. mad at for a personal business that has nothing to do with you
c. bored with their lame lives and decided to stir up some drama on the object.
Rumors usually create unnecessary tension between people/s and it is very inefficient to waste mental energy in correcting a problem that spawned verbally. I believe rumors caused deadweight loss to this society and economy.
Even though you should not participate vehemently in the rumor game, you should assess the things people say about other people. If you hear that Little Johnny is a playboy and a sweet talker from a number of sources, you should be attentive when Little Johnny starts flirting with you.
(Disclaimer: This last advice has the least degree of validity. There are a number of good, morally-upright people who had run-ins with losers who had their moral compass spun backwards, and thus are subjected to being the subject of a variety of rumors. Thus, it is imperative to make sure that your source has the same degree of integrity as you do to trust their judgment. Even so, it is possible for people to make wrong evaluations of other people, but since you can't possibly meet everyone in the world, you have to at least consider the evaluations people make of other people.)
4. Use your Metaphysical resources, and think outside the box
Listen to your gut, aka metaphysical resource. If you have a bad feeling about this person, remain friends with him, but do not count on him holding your hands through trouble. In addition, think outside the box. I can best explain this with yet another one of my personal experiences. I joined a club not too long ago. There were a bunch of internal problems between members, and little groups formed within the club. Since I was a newbie, I was fed stories about people from one of the groups. We were told that if we annoyed members from the other group, they would form a coalition against us and spread rumors about us, and finally, the "don't worry, we would look after you" sucker line, bait and hook. The other newbies and I, naturally, bought into the stories, and we thought unfavorably about the rumored group. However, I stepped out of the circle and looked at things in an outsider's perspective. I realized that the group feeding us stories was doing what they hated most about the other group; they were spreading rumors. Interestingly enough, the other group in question never made our lives hard while the group spreading rumors did. Moral of the story: the biggest mouth initially wins. I'm just kidding. Real moral: If you take an objective look at the bigger picture you would realize the inherent problems in your scenario, and you can pinpoint who are the "fakes" and who are genuine.
In summary, you should keep the following 4 things in your bullshit detector:
1. If they don't stop talking and if they don't start doing, they're full of it.
2. If you're there when they need you, but disappears otherwise, they're full of it the next time the both of you converse.
3. If your friends think they're full of it, there's a 70% chance they're full of it.
4. If your gut says they're full of it, they might be.
4*. If you step into God's shoes, and they're full of it, they're full of it.
I hope this answers your question.