Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

How to Deal With Fake People

Contending with those who aren't as they seem can be annoyance. Here's how to power through.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Dealing with fake people is not an easy task. If they're at your job, you must find a way to coexist with them in order to preserve your work value and performance. If they're in your personal life, you may never find a way to weed them out. Here are a few recommendations on how you can handle these fakers and still persevere. 

Related: The Rise of Impostor Entrepreneurs

Keep a healthy distance

It’s best to avoid them at all costs, but if you have no choice — such as at work — stay unattached from their antics when they're seeking to be in the spotlight.

Don't play into their follies

Let them have the floor. They are toxic and can be dangerous for your personal sanity.

Remember that it's never about you

Their actions have nothing to do with you. It is always about them and their desire to be noticed. But if they don’t ruffle any feathers, they will probably just walk away (especially if you ignore them).

Stay above all the ruckus

Never stoop to their level — you may drown. Trust your own perception of the game they're playing and don’t be an avatar. It's not your duty to fix them. When you give them attention, you provide validation.

Be honest

If nothing else works, be honest with them about how you think they're being fake and that you're not impressed. If their shenanigans are affecting you, tell them you will not stand by and let them continue to drag you into their machinations. Be prepared for them to try to turn it back on you; that's what they do. Stand your ground and refuse to be a part of the charade.

Be a friend

Or, you can take the above advice a step farther. If you think you might be able to reach them, ask them why they act the way they do, or if there is anything you can do to help them through their issues. If they deny that they need help or don’t make any efforts to change their behavior, you're better off just moving on without them. Since you called them out on it, they will probably avoid you anyway.

Seek out help

If this person plays an important role in your life, you might want to get some professional advice on how to handle your own feelings about their behavior. Remember that no one can make you feel anything that you don’t allow them to. You are responsible for your own feelings and actions. 

Related: Here's Why You Should Not 'Fake It Till You Make It'

There are many ways to sort out fake people, and there are also many methods of dealing with them. The most successful way is never allowing this sort of person into your life. Trust your instincts when you meet someone who displays this sort of behavior — intuition is usually right.

 

 

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks