10 Differences between Genuine and Fake People

Generally, it is best to avoid viewing and categorizing people into dichotomies. People are more complex, and sometimes show both negative and positive traits in their personalities. However, in rare cases, you may come across people who are exactly what you think they are.  

I view fakeness as a byproduct of a society concerned with appearance, but usually, it is viewed as a personality trait. Unfortunately, a personality trait that many people find unappealing. We avoid fake people because we immediately think they are dishonest and selfish.

While a fake person does not pose a threat to your physical safety, they can make you feel bad about yourself or, in extreme cases, ruin some of your relationships.

Hence, here is how to tell the difference. 

Now, word of wisdom. Regardless of the statements or hints made in this article, try to avoid categorizing people. The purpose of this article is to inform and entertain. Not to be held as a standard for how your relationships should go moving forward. 

  • Fake people dole out insincere sympathy.

Genuine people are can easily relate to others. They are often both sympathetic and empathetic– capable of rejoicing in your successes and comforting you in your failures. While fake people are capable of appearing sympathetic, they sometimes are not. They may relish your failures and feel envy towards your success. 

I would like to point out that being fake is a character flaw that affects how you relate to others. It is not a condition inherent to how a person is. It’s a learned trait. At least, that is what I perceive. Hence, I think fake people are capable of feeling sympathy for others. However, they may tend to choose their ego most of the time. 

  • Fake people avoid accountability.

Genuine people hold themselves accountable for their actions. They apologize when they have hurt you and will avoid lies. However, fake people eschew accountability. They tend to pass the blame to others.  

  • Fake people do not make good friends.

Genuine people are honest true friends. For them, a friendship is not a business transaction or based on what you can offer them. Hence, they are likely to stick around through thick and thin. 

On the other hand, fake people usually disappear during difficult times because you no longer bring anything of value to the relationship. If a fake person sticks around, it is because they find some pleasure in knowing that someone else has it worse. 

  • Fake people are usually self-interested.

Genuine people usually act and do because they want to. They will help someone out because they want to help. They are cheerful givers. However, fake people have an ulterior motive for doing things. They may help someone because they expect the other person to do something for them–quid pro quo. 

The same rule applies in the reverse case. A fake person may avoid doing something because they find no self-benefit in that activity. 

  • Fake people seek to take credit from others. 

Genuine people act guided by their beliefs. They do not care if their good actions receive any recognition. 

Fake people do not act based on their beliefs but rather in the pursuit of recognition. They do good things to be recognized and applauded. 

  • Fake people tend to not value honesty.

Honesty is a core value for genuine people. But, sadly, it is not a core value for a fake person. A fake person can abandon the beliefs they defended yesterday if offered something compelling. 

  • Hence, they usually lead people on. 

Fake people aim to please everyone. So, they try very hard to make others like them. But, in trying to please everyone, they end up disappointing a lot of people. 

  • Fake people are attracted to power.

Most of us like power. We see it as a means to elevate our circumstances, but we do not use it as a means to be disrespectful or abusive of others. At least, I hope not. 

Genuine people, even when they are in positions of power, respect everyone. However, fake people seem to be only interested in themselves. They calculate which relationships will be more beneficial for them and thus respect those who can benefit them. Usually, these tend to be people with power.  

  • Fake people seldom commit. 

A genuine person’s respect towards you extends beyond respecting your idea. They also respect your time. They always do their best to live up to their promises. 

However, fake people tend to break their promises. In their efforts to please everyone, they end up seldom keeping their promises. 

  •  Fake people frequently engage in gossip. 

Fake people are notorious gossipers. They will say something nice to your face and immediately turn around to gossip about you. 

This is a way to make themselves look good towards others and hopefully make more friends. 

Fake people do not have many great qualities. This article may have proven that. However, it does give you the license to be cruel towards a fake person. The best thing to do is to steer clear of them. It is not your job to change that person either. Eventually, they will come to realize that they may need to change their behavior. 

If you happen to be in a relationship with a fake person, establish boundaries, be honest, and don’t take their behavior personally. Seek help from a therapist if necessary. 


Abrugar, V. (2021, August 19). Fake people vs. genuine people: 20 differences you should know. Inspiring Tips. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://inspiringtips.com/fake-people-vs-genuine-people-differences-you-should-know/.

Azri, S. (2021, April 30). How to spot fake people (and ways to deal with them). Lifehack. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.lifehack.org/900275/fake-people.  

Carpenter, J. (2021, September 29). Fake vs genuine people: 10 ways to spot the difference. Ideapod. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://ideapod.com/fake-vs-genuine-people-8-ways-identify/. 

Di, K. (2019, November 5). 10 ways to tell the difference between fake and genuine people. theweirdpeople.com. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://theweirdpeople.com/difference-between-fake-and-genuine-people/. 

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