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7 Signs You Are Lying To Yourself And You Don’t Know It

7 Signs You Are Lying To Yourself And You Don’t Know It

We all despise being lied to. If asked what characteristic we least like in a person most of us would say dishonesty. Yet, sometimes the person telling us the biggest lies is the person looking back at us in the mirror. Yes, we lie to ourselves all the time. We lie because we are afraid, we feel inadequate, or we feel ashamed. We believe that if we were different somehow or if we were right for doing the wrong things we did our lives would be better. The truth is, the best life is the life we live when we’re completely honest with ourselves about ourselves. Here are seven signs you are lying to yourself and don’t know it so that you can finally learn to tell yourself the truth:

1. Your emotions don’t match your words

Have you ever tried to convince yourself that you were not hurt or angry, but your emotions told a different story? You have tears running down your face or steam coming out your ears even though you say everything is fine. Your emotions may even catch you off guard. You wonder where did these tears come from or why you are so mad. When your emotions do not match how you say or think you feel there’s a good chance that you are lying to yourself. Facing the truth about how you feel allows you to address what is or is not working in that moment. Acknowledge how you really feel and express those feelings constructively. If you’re hurt don’t be afraid to say you’re hurt. Honesty is where true healing or resolution comes from.

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2. Your behavior doesn’t align with your proclamations

“This year is going to finally be my year. I’m going to lose weight, start a business, and fall in love.” Many people make wishful proclamations such as these every January, but few people actually put forth any significant effort. If you’re not putting action behind what you say you want you’re probably lying to yourself about what you want or how bad you want it. Ultimately, you feel like a failure because you didn’t accomplish your goal. In reality, the goal might not be what you really wanted. It may be what you think you need in order to have something else. For example, you may tell yourself you need to wear a certain clothing size to attract a mate. Because you’re not being honest with yourself about what you really want your behavior is out of alignment. If your behavior does not align with your proclamations ask yourself why not. Be open to reconsidering your goals.

3. You make extreme statements

You are either paranoid or extreme or both.  If you think everyone is out to get you or that you never get any good opportunities you’re lying to yourself.  Or you make extreme statements such as, “There are no good men around.” You are committed to one vantage point without healthy consideration of other possibilities. You avoid rational ideas. You may be hiding behind an insecurity that you have. Could it be that you’re afraid of success or falling in love? As long as you believe extreme, irrational thoughts you don’t have to make an effort or put yourself out there. You may feel safe, but you won’t achieve what you really want. Consider all possibilities available to you. Consider new thoughts.

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4. You feel inauthentic

People who are lying to themselves sometimes wonder, “Who am I?” You’ve been inauthentic for so long you no longer know who you really are or feel comfortable in your own skin. You don’t know what you want. You don’t know what makes you happy anymore. You laugh even if the joke wasn’t funny. You go places you don’t enjoy. You buy things you cannot afford. You’ve lost touch with yourself so you try to fit in with everyone else. Take note of how you feel throughout the day. What things make you feel alive? What things make you feel inauthentic or uncomfortable with yourself? Follow the things that make you come alive.

5. You are not open to input from others

Often there are times you don’t even want to know or accept that you are lying to yourself. You believe that what you believe is the only thing that matters. Therefore, you shut out any commentary from outsiders. You don’t want their input, differing perspective or opinion. This would only shine light on the fact that you are lying to yourself and force you to own up to it. Learn to accept feedback from people you trust so that you can know your truth.

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6. You are never wrong

No matter what happened it wasn’t your fault. Even if it was your fault you convince yourself that it was not. Your last breakup was her fault. So was the breakup before that one and the previous one too. The problem with this is that you will never right your wrongs or learn from your mistakes. You tend to repeat the same scenario over and over again with different people or places. You lie to yourself because you cannot accept that maybe it’s you. Let me assure you, it is you. And that’s okay. Learn from it, grow, and do better in the future.

7. You find yourself in over your head

You go after things you’re not equipped to handle because you’ve over-exaggerated your abilities. You find yourself in situations where you can’t deliver what you said you would deliver. You tell yourself you can do anything. You’re not being honest about your skill set, personality or knowledge. Be honest about what you can and cannot do. What you can’t do today may be achievable in the future if you educate yourself. The key is to first acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know.

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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