Fake People

Mannequins in a department store window.

Image available from pixabay, accessed on 27/09/19.

Generally, I like to take people at their word. Who knows what their intentions are better than them? It can leave us in unfortunate positions to be trusting when someone doesn’t mean anything they say. I don’t mean sarcasm and satire, which are obviously hilarious. I’ve come to have an intense distaste for blatant lies and empty posturing.

I’ve touched on this previously, the difficulty of trying to be yourself when it feels like that’s only going to disadvantage you. Someone relayed an experience of being surrounded by very ‘fake people’ (their words) and their experience seemed all too familiar. Perfectly manicured appearances. The unfortunate propensity of saying lots of things without really saying anything at all. Hostile judgement for the most mundane of things: the colour of the belt you’re wearing, the ability to fit in, having certain things. Do these things really matter that much?

‘Should we be schmoozing?’ asked a friend. I considered what they said for a moment. It might be better for us. We might be able to play this “game” better than all the other people. I like to think my friend and I are quite sharp. We might be the best at appearance, and social hierarchy, and making people in positions of power feel nice having us around. That might be wrong, but I assumed we’d be good schmoozers when I answered, ‘No.’

There’s a certain entrepreneur who keeps saying things I really like. To paraphrase, ‘How often has someone been trying to sell you something you need, but you don’t buy it because you feel like they’re just after your money. The inverse, how often do you not need something, but you buy it because the person selling it genuinely believes in it and wants to help you?’ He focuses on people being hyper-aware of “fake” and manipulation in the modern world, and I think he’s right.

Like I’ve said before, being genuine would be the right thing to do even if it wasn’t an effective strategy, but it also happens to be a good strategy for success. These are things I’m keeping at the front of my mind to avoid being sucked into a black hole of trying to fake my way to success.

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