If you consider yourself highly sensitive or empathic, you can sniff out a fake person from a mile away. Fake people may not try to act phony or disingenuous; they might have insecurities or low self-esteem. Certain mannerisms or manipulative behaviors can make them seem insincere, but they probably don’t mean anything by it.
However, some fake people have bad intentions and prey on others’ weaknesses. They seek out highly sensitive, compassionate people and try to take advantage of their kindness. Empaths wear their hearts on their sleeves and would never hesitate to help someone else. A fake person knows this, so they purposely make friends with kind souls for their benefit.
Unfortunately, some empaths get burned when someone they view as a friend has ulterior motives. To avoid this scenario, we’ll offer some tips on spotting manipulative people.
7 Warning Signs of a Fake Person to Watch Out For
1. A manipulative person will embellish stories and lie frequently.
A hallmark behavior of a fake person involves saying one thing while meaning another. An insincere person feels unconfident, so they exaggerate or lie to reassure themselves. They also care deeply about people’s perception of them and want to make a good impression. For instance, they might embellish their salary if they recently got promoted at work and someone asks what they make.
Watch their mannerisms when they reveal information about their life. They’re likely lying if they fidget, touch their face incessantly, blink frequently, or change their speech patterns. These behaviors indicate a heightened stress or fear response, which happens when we want to escape uncomfortable situations.
2. A fake person uses others for their benefit.
Fake people tend to have one-sided relationships and take much more than they give. They’re never satisfied and will suck a person dry before moving on to their next victim. A fake person manipulates others into giving them what they want, never thinking about the consequences of their actions. They have no respect for anyone else and only look out for themselves.
Manipulators have narcissistic tendencies and use their charm to influence others. Once you’re under their spell, it’s challenging to return to your senses and realize you’ve been duped.
3. A fake person is a people pleaser.
You might not think of a self-centered person as a people pleaser. However, those with narcissistic qualities have low self-esteem and depend on others for validation. Therefore, they will do anything to get on someone’s good side, but not because they genuinely care about people. They want to please people, so it’s easier to manipulate them into doing their dirty work.
If you meet someone who seems overly charming or friendly, the alarm bells should go off in your mind. Being nice is one thing, but overdoing it can point to an underlying motive.
4. They constantly gossip about others.
A fake person talks about people behind their backs without remorse about their behavior. Since they have low self-esteem, they can only feel positive about themselves by dragging other people’s names through the dirt. Plus, it helps them feel accepted by the group who started the rumors about the person.
Think about high school cliques, and you’ll understand the importance of belonging to a group. In adulthood, you’d think this immature behavior wouldn’t exist, but it’s common in workplaces. People naturally want to identify with a group; unfortunately, gossip and rumors give them a fast track to acceptance.
If you notice someone gossiping about people frequently, keep guard, and don’t divulge too much about yourself. They won’t hesitate to use this information against you later if you get on their bad side.
5. A fake person judges people and rarely dishes out compliments.
Fake people thrive on compliments from others because it boosts their self-esteem. However, they hardly ever reciprocate since they don’t want the attention taken off of them. They’re deeply insecure and need validation from others to feel worthy.
They spend plenty of time judging others for their mistakes or work performance because it makes them feel less threatened. They also offer backhanded compliments that seem nice on the surface but leave you confused. For instance, they might congratulate you on a promotion but follow it up by saying they didn’t expect you to get it.
6. They hardly ever listen when you talk.
They might pretend to listen to you while scrolling on their phone or multitask in some other way. However, when you converse with them, your words go in one ear and out the other. A good friend practices active listening by asking you to clarify what you said and giving you their full attention. They listen to understand rather than reply, but a fake person only pretends to listen. Their mind always seems elsewhere when you talk to them, and they may act bored or uninterested during conversations.
7. A fake person is a fair-weather friend.
Have you ever had a friend who only sticks around during the good times but disappears during the challenging moments? A fake person can’t tolerate deep emotions or difficult situations, so they hide until the skies clear again. When things seem calmer, they will seem interested in your friendship and not even mention or ask about the hard times. Users think the world revolves around them, so they only consult you when they need something.
Final Thoughts on How to Spot a Manipulative, Fake Person
Most of us have probably encountered a fake person at some point. Whether they’re a fair-weather friend, a gossiper, or a manipulative narcissist, it’s not always easy to spot a dishonest person. You have to know the warning signs to look out for so you don’t get caught in their trap of lies and deceit.
For instance, someone who constantly embellishes or seems to overcompensate probably has something to hide. Also, a person who never listens and only comes around when they need something doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Try to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who genuinely care about your well-being. You deserve it!