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How to tell if someone is fake

Updated on July 29, 2008

Hello :)

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.

3. Rumors

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.

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I always say don't feed me bullshit because I am allergic to it and will have a nasty reaction. Good example of bullshit: I knew this guy, not very well (I mean we had a class together and i chatted with him but we weren't good friends) but a lot of people didn't like him because he's the kind of guy that shows off and sucks up to people. I somewhat believed it but I was willing to give this dude a chance.

      So he was in the same group for this dance I was in and I was like "hey we should dance" While we were dancing, He kisses me and tells me he's had a crush on me for two months. I was flattered but I don't really know him that well so I tell him hey we should just be friends like take things slow. So I asked if he wanted to hang out. He stands me up multiple times. Then he has the nerve to ask me why I hate him and why I unfriended him on faccebook

      Multiple things are not okay with this situation...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      when i need advice, im asking you!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks! you've encouraged me to stop people from using me! And now i really know whose full of it... and shes not worth my time anymore

    • profile image

      torres oey 

      6 years ago

      cialat lee

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You are awesome and inspire me. Thank for your input because I thought maybe detecting those same qualities in a person was my own paranoia. It isn't because you hit it right on the spot. Something like "metaphysical," are quite correct especially when the person is showing the other signs. Learning this and manipulative behavior helps me decide who is on my mess with list and don't mess with list. Thank you very much and God Bless You and your journey.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this article, very true(:

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Truth be told, I admit to doing things listed in this article. Not so much to other people but to myself. Like when I tell myself "I'm going to study" and the reality is I don't. I believe everyone has at any given point in there life acted "fake" for whatever reason. You think you may have gotten out of an awkward situation by acting "fake", but honestly, you just cheated/tricked your self into believing in something aside form reality.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Haha I love manlikemaroe's comment. its so true.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      "Bullshit or Bullcrap! Is a fact of life! If anyone living on earth says they don't do that! Then he/she is the Number one on it!"

      well your obviously a big fat fake don't compare me to you or include me when you say everybody, but your right people tend not to like me cos I speak the truth, but I don't really care about fake peoples opinions

    • profile image

      Margo Schlossberg 

      8 years ago

      I have a small business and I guess I should not be surprised but I can't believe how many people have literally never spoken to me again after I helped them with an introduction or gave them something they wanted. I guess I thought it was "good karma" now I say who cares about karma- off you go! This was a good article. Unfortunately, it sees there are truly a lot of ppl who are out to use others and it is a shame as we would work better if we worked together.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      olol, step inside God's shoes? Elaborate plox.

    • dreamer32 profile image


      9 years ago from Mississippi

      I agree in what you said about listen to your gut feeling because it wouldn't fait you. I can relate when it comes in the areas of friends. Some people are like that in society today. Well-written article.

    • profile image

      Adnan Habib 

      9 years ago

      But... Is it really true that women are equipped with, whatever you said.. that bullshit detector?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I believe we reap what we sow, but to say that the world is our mirror is ludicrous. This post is great and we should all try to be people of integrity. I find that the more i try to keep my word, do what I say and say what i mean, the more obvious it becomes to me how many people really are fake.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree completely. You're very wise, on the real.

    • ALB21467 profile image


      9 years ago from United Arab Emirates

      Bullshit or Bullcrap! Is a fact of life!

      If anyone living on earth says they don't do that! Then he/she is the Number one on it!

      There are times that you need to do it, when the people you're deling with is doing it! Company does it everytime on their employees!

    • Andromeda10 profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      Hi, I love your writing style, Keep up the good work!

    • Uriel profile image


      9 years ago from Lebanon

      Hey Quensday! thank you for this remarkable hub. And i assure you that it was really helpful. WEll, i can tell you that as a teenagers i passed through the same experience. My " Friends" (or as Mom calls them SO-called friends) , became my friends on the year when we had official exams. They'd ask me for extra help and would really decieve me with their so sweet words. For a long year, i was decieved by their extra-abnormal performances. Yet, i finally figured it all out. i was being used .

      i am glad that this façade did not last for along time. And i've learned to sniff Fake from a mile away. thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Always glad to stop by and read you writings


    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Quensday, I love your chosen name. Very creative.

      I am glad some advice is being offered here.

      I believe the world like a mirror reflects who we are to ourselves.

      So the things we hate in others are often things we have not confronted about ourselves.

      The late Carl Gustaf Jung said that people would rather walk on broken glass than look at themselves, so carefully think about that when considering breaking friendships would be good advice too.There may be more to learn about yourself.

    • quensday profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from New York

      Thanks for visiting, fishskinfreak2008 and for putting the request up. It's a good thing I'm not naturally smittened by cute people :D

    • fishskinfreak2008 profile image


      10 years ago from Fremont CA

      This is very good. Thumbs up. I was thinking more along the lines of sucking up to people, saying "yes" to everything that people say without thinking twice, acting excessively "cute", etc.


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