12 Ways to Spot a Phony Person in Five Minutes or Less

12 Ways to Spot a Phony Person in Five Minutes or Less

phony personBetter Life

Have you ever encountered a phony person? These are the folks that don’t always let their true intentions be known, and they are experts at fooling others. Thankfully, you can protect yourself when you can identify the common traits of this type of person.

No matter who you are or how humble you try to be, everyone has some degree of self-interest. However, a person who is fake or phony doesn’t have the same authenticity. They may show one thing on the outside, but their inside is different.

Did your parents ever use the saying, “Beauty is only skin deep?” The reason for this adage is that they may look like an attractive person on the outside, but on the inside, they’re as dark and dangerous as a viper. They may use behaviors or develop attitudes that are nothing like their true spirit.


Signs of a Phony Person

The goal of a fake person is to make themselves appear better so that they can impress others. Thankfully, it’s just a matter of time before their true colors come shining through. If you want to spare yourself the heartbreak, then here are 12 signs of a phony person that you should observe.


phony1. They Exaggerate and Lie

There’s nothing worse than someone that loves to exaggerate their accomplishments. If you make $20 an hour on your job, then they make $25. They try to one-up you at every chance they get. Their goal is to make themselves look high and mighty, but what happens is it usually comes across as arrogant and self-centered.

Make sure you listen to their statements carefully because the chances of catching this person in a lie in the first few minutes of meeting them is a high probability.


2. They’re A User

While you might not be able to spot a user in the first five minutes, you should have some indications early on. They want relationships that benefit them, and they don’t have the time or energy to help you. It’s a one-sided relationship that is not healthy.

Toxic people like this look out for number one, and they have little concern about your thoughts or feelings.

3. They Come on Strong

Have you ever met someone that comes across with a strong personality? They may be loud, overbearing, or try to force you to do things that make you uncomfortable. This is the kind of rude person to waitstaff, and they have no problem taking their emotional theatrics over the top.

4. Their Body Language and Words Don’t Match

Have you ever observed someone giving you a “compliment” while sighing or rolling their eyes? This person has no intention of being nice to you, but rather, they are only trying to suck up. The problem is that their body language doesn’t match their words.

You can see how they move their eyes, body, or wave their hands when they speak. Never underestimate the power of body language.

5. They Gossip

If you’re honest, you would admit that sometimes it’s nice to gossip with friends or relatives. However, when meeting someone for the first time, it’s a big red flag if they are talking about others. You can rest assured that if they spread others’ dirty laundry to you, they will spread your dirty laundry to others.


6. They Won’t Be Around When You Need Something

A phony person is the king or queen of one-sided relationships. They want you to bend over backward and help them out, but if you need anything, they will suddenly disappear. They expect you to drop everything you’re doing when they have a need, but they won’t do the same.

To test someone upon meeting them, ask them if they want to hang out and give them your number. Observe their body language and see if they seem genuinely interested or are just playing along.

pop meme7. They Want to Please Others

Underneath the fake person’s surface is probably low self-esteem, and they don’t know how to make friends. They’ve learned narcissistic patterns in life that at least get them an audience. They’ve never had someone stay around for the long haul, so their goal is to beat them to the punch.



You can often see this type of person by their eagerness to please others. It becomes very evident in just a few minutes if a person is a people pleaser. They may offer to watch your kids, clean your house, or take you out and pay for dinner.

They are eager for an audience, so they will do whatever it takes to have you listen to them. However, please don’t count on their promises ever coming true.

8. They Don’t Hang Around Long

While you can’t tell everything in five minutes, you can ask them about previous friendships. If this person hasn’t had long and meaningful relationships, then it’s a major red flag. To be a friend, you must be friendly.

Unless they’ve been living in isolation for years, they should have some rapport with others. Listen to how they talk about their parents and family life. It could be a significant indication of whether they will hang around. Those who have family dynamic issues often suffer from underlying mental health concerns.

9. They Are Big Braggarts

According to them, their life is a complete dream. They have the best job, car, house, and family. They may paddle on about all the beautiful things that the universe has blessed them with. Sadly, these are probably made-up situations in the hopes of impressing you.

Remember, people who have money and prestige don’t have to brag about it because it doesn’t matter to them if anyone else knows. Have you ever heard of a millionaire dressing like a commoner just to fit in and be normal?


Those who have nothing are usually the ones who brag the most. If you meet this person and they start bantering about all their accomplishments, you need to run.

10. They’re Poor Listeners

There is nothing more annoying than someone who won’t listen to you. Have you ever had a conversation where they were doing all the talking, but when you try to interject, they cut you off? They don’t want to listen to you because the phony person wants someone to listen to them.

They long for your pity and help, but they don’t have the time to listen to what’s going on in your life. If someone cuts you off and turns the subject back to them shortly after meeting you, then you don’t want a relationship with this toxic individual.

11. It’s All About Convenience

Since this person thinks the world revolves around them, they expect you to start the rotation in their universe. Sadly, they see you as nothing more than another person they can use to get what they want. They have no desire to be a true friend to you as they only care about what you can do for them.


It would help if you had a real friend that can be there for the good times and bad. No one wants a toxic person who is self-centered and ensures their needs are met before anyone else.

12. They’re Emotional Distant

An emotionally detached person has no interest or ability to connect with you emotionally. This person will often go the other way when anything that has an emotional basis comes up. For instance, if you’ve just met someone and you had a death in the family, they would be extremely uncomfortable with you sharing this information.

At the mention of something that is emotionally heavy, they may ignore you or leave the room. They cannot deal with their emotions or think that someone might see an ounce of humanity in them. This person can have severe mental health issues when they cannot emotionally connect with anyone else.


phonyFinal Thoughts on The Phony Person

The world is full of fake people. The real challenge is finding the true gems that are willing to stand with you when the whole world is falling apart. A real friend listens, offers you a shoulder to cry on, and runs to your side when you need them.

A self-centered person has deep-seated issues that may stem from their childhood or another life trauma. They look out for themselves because they feel that no one will, which is indicative that they were possibly neglected in the past. They may also think that they will never have any good relationships, so they would rather use people to get what they want from them first.

While it’s not possible to tell everything about a phony person in the first five minutes of meeting them, there are undoubtedly many indicators that can tip you off that something isn’t right. Be careful who you let into your inner circle as it could be detrimental.


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