Emerson is absolutely right. Society is obsessed with certain things – money, possessions, job title, status, education, etc. – that too often change a person. The sad thing, too, is that these problems are not authentic. Instead, they are merely a byproduct of human activity.
Can you image how different the world looked 3,000 years ago? 2,000 years? Heck, how about 200 years ago?
The Industrial Revolution – to date the largest expansion of commerce in history – reached its peak just over 240 years ago (around the same time Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.)
Fast-forward to now Debt levels are at record highs around the world. Countries are defaulting on themselves; world leaders are denying science; countries that share the same peninsula are prepping for nuclear war; people are still starving and disease-ridden.
What is the underlying connection of all of the above? Human ignorance, greed, corruption, and irresponsibility. It all starts at the individual level. People are the problem, with certain individuals more responsible for the lack of authenticity that plagues us as a species.
Gandhi once said, “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”
This article focuses on signs of an inauthentic person, yet the context is much greater in scope. Let us all evaluate our inner being, become more genuine, and hold each other to higher standards of trustworthiness – and be “the change we want to see in the world.”
10 Signs Someone is Not An Authentic Person
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Inauthentic people are people-pleasers
Inauthentic people may be people-pleasers for a variety of reasons. They may feel a strong need to be liked or accepted by others, and may go to great lengths to avoid conflict or discomfort. Inauthentic people may also be more focused on external validation and on meeting the expectations of others, rather than on their own needs or desires. As a result, they may be more inclined to put the needs and desires of others before their own, even if it means compromising their own authenticity or values. Inauthentic people-pleasers may also struggle to say no or to set boundaries, which can lead to feelings of resentment or frustration.
2. Inauthentic people have their own agenda
They may be motivated by personal gain, such as financial gain or personal advancement. They may also be motivated by a desire to manipulate or control others, or to further their own beliefs or ideologies. Inauthentic people may use manipulation and deception in order to achieve their goals, and they may be willing to bend or distort the truth in order to do so. It is important to be aware of these agendas and to be cautious of people who may be motivated by their own interests rather than the interests of others.
3. Inauthentic people manipulate the truth
Inauthentic people can manipulate the truth in a variety of ways, including omitting key information, lying by omission, spin, gaslighting, and presenting false or misleading information. They may also use tactics such as false equivalences to present two things as if they are equivalent or equally valid, when in fact they are not. Inauthentic people may use these tactics in order to deceive or mislead others, or to further their own agendas.
4. Inauthentic people are misinformed
Inauthentic people can be misinformed in a variety of ways. They may rely on unreliable sources of information, such as rumors or conspiracy theories, rather than seeking out reliable and well-verified sources. They may also be susceptible to confirmation bias, where they only seek out information that supports their preexisting beliefs or biases. Inauthentic people may also be more likely to fall victim to propaganda or manipulation by others who seek to deceive them. Additionally, inauthentic people may be more prone to cognitive biases and logical fallacies, which can lead them to draw incorrect conclusions from the information that they have.
5. Inauthentic people are irresponsible
Inauthentic people may be irresponsible for a variety of reasons. They may be more focused on their own desires and goals, and may be less considerate of the impact of their actions on others. Inauthentic people may also struggle to follow through on their commitments or to take responsibility for their mistakes, as they may be more focused on avoiding discomfort or conflict. Additionally, inauthentic people may be more prone to making impulsive or irresponsible decisions, as they may be less inclined to think things through or to consider the consequences of their actions.
6. Inauthentic people are envious
Authentic people are encouragers – they motivate and support others to do their best, and to “keep going.” One big failing of our society is the lack of individual accountability. Responsibility for oneself and the encouragement of others is absolutely critical if we are to evolve as a race and society.
7. Inauthentic people are materialistic
Materialism refers to the belief that material possessions or wealth are the most important values in life. Some inauthentic people may be materialistic because they place a high value on accumulating wealth or acquiring material possessions. They may be motivated by the status or power that comes with these things, and may be willing to manipulate or deceive others in order to acquire them. Inauthentic people who are materialistic may also be more concerned with appearance and surface-level appearances, rather than genuine connections or authentic relationships. However, it is important to note that not all inauthentic people are materialistic, and that there are many other motivations that can drive inauthentic behavior.
8. Inauthentic people lack empathy
Inauthentic people may lack empathy due to self-absorption, a lack of genuine connection with others, a limited understanding of other people’s feelings and experiences, and insincerity in their interactions. These factors can make it difficult for inauthentic people to genuinely understand and connect with the emotions of others, leading to a lack of empathy. However, it is important to note that not all inauthentic people lack empathy, and that there are many other factors that can influence a person’s level of empathy.
9. Inauthentic people are closed minded
Inauthentic people may be closed-minded for a variety of reasons. They may be resistant to new ideas or ways of thinking and may be unwilling to consider alternative viewpoints or perspectives. This closed-mindedness may be due to a lack of curiosity or a desire to hold onto preexisting beliefs and biases. Inauthentic people may also be more prone to confirmation bias, where they only seek out information that supports their preexisting beliefs and ignore or dismiss information that challenges them. This closed-mindedness may also be due to a fear of change or uncertainty, as inauthentic people may be more comfortable with the familiar and known.
10. Inauthentic people forgo self-improvement
There are many possible reasons why inauthentic people may forgo self-improvement, including a lack of awareness, motivation, or introspection, as well as a fear of change or a lack of genuine connection with others. It is important to note that not all inauthentic people forgo self-improvement and that there are many other factors that can influence a person’s willingness to work on self-improvement. Some people may not see the value in self-improvement, or may not believe that it is possible to change. Others may be resistant to change or uncertain about what steps to take to improve themselves. Some people may also be afraid of failure or of being vulnerable, which can make it difficult to work on self-improvement. Additionally, some people may not have the necessary support or resources to work on self-improvement, or may not have the motivation or discipline to take action.
Final Thoughts on In- Authentic People
There are many factors that can contribute to a person being inauthentic. Some people may be inauthentic as a coping mechanism, in order to avoid difficult emotions or situations. Others may be inauthentic in order to fit in or to be accepted by a certain group or society. Some people may also be inauthentic in order to protect themselves or to avoid vulnerability.
Inauthenticity can also be a result of past experiences or traumas that have left a person feeling disconnected from their true self. Additionally, some people may be inauthentic due to societal or cultural expectations that encourage them to present a certain image or persona to the world.