How to Spot the Genuine Person and not Fall for the Fake One

Fake VS Genuine
Are they Genuine?

I cannot tell you how many times I have asked myself this question over the years in both my personal life and in business. It is an important question, and over time, (especially in my line of business – Communications) I have learned some very valuable lessons about people and how they present themselves versus who they REALLY are.

Usually the comparison is made between REAL vs FAKE people. I’m not going to do that, since I think most fake people are simply wounded people who have not yet found their own awareness, or they suffer from a personality disorder. Nobody is truly ‘fake’ – they have simply come up with their own coping mechanisms and ego barriers that they are not aware of yet ( or may not ever be) FAKE to me translates to wounded and unaware – that person can choose to become aware at any time, but for now they are not – so their behavior does not come across as GENUINE. Especially if you are an EMPATH – you’ll feel inconsistencies immediately in the unaware folks. Coming from a place of compassion is always important – however, it does not mean we have to tolerate the behaviour of an ‘unaware’ person or accept them into our lives unconditionally. Unaware people tend to be toxic people since they lack compassion, self awareness and an ability to separate themselves, detach and see the bigger picture. The world is only ‘according to them’ and the filtered perception that their emotional wounds have created. So, for the purposes of this article, rather than FAKE,  I will call them ‘unaware’.

Distinguishing between an ‘aware’ or genuine person and an ‘unaware’ person is an important skill to have as it can save you much heartache, disappointment and even worse things when it comes to bad business deals, betrayal or the like. Having an ability to spot ‘red flags’ or other types of abusive and toxic behavior is lifesaving as it keeps you away from the drama and intensity of being in any kind of a relationship with an ‘unaware’ person.

ACTIONS are the best way to spot a person’s level of awareness. Actions give you insight into the character of this person, no matter how cleverly disguised their outward persona is.Through years of my own heartache and trusting the wrong people, I have developed my own set of tools for identifying the genuine people who come into my life as opposed to the unaware people. The more I become clear on this, the less I subconsciously attract the unaware people into my life to begin with. So, the sooner you can locate and utilize your own tools for identifying, the better off you will be!

There is a wonderful quote by Maya Angelou

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”

This is an incredibly simple way of keeping yourself focused on the actions, rather than the words. Unaware people have an arsenal of manipulative tactics, and behaviors that always keep you guessing, while simultaneously having their own ‘hidden agenda’ – the way to spot these is to WATCH actions and ignore the words, platitudes, promises etc. This is way easier said than done – once you are entangled in a relationship with someone it becomes increasingly difficult to see it objectively. This is due to the fact you are operating from your genuine place and automatically assume everyone else is too. Empaths, again, have it particularly hard since they are often targets of the unreals since they are so easy to manipulate, guilt and otherwise control due to their extremely sensitive natures.

Keep your focus and attention on ACTIONS – they will tell you all you need to know.

Here are some examples of actions and the difference between a Genuine person vs an Unaware person:


GENUINE people will never try too hard to get people to like them. They understand that not everyone will, and that is ok. It doesn’t change who they are and their value.

UNAWARE people will try VERY hard to get people to like them. They will act out of normal character, like things they don’t like, join groups and pretend to be specialists or have skillsets in certain areas to gain the attention and admiration of people.


GENUINE people do not seek out attention and find ways to be ‘centre stage’ – they are happy to be behind the scenes if necessary or be in the spotlight when needed, but they will not alway be looking to generate attention towards them.

UNAWARE people work very hard to get attention all of time. Sometimes this may even be negative attention by causing drama or issues in groups. They will do anything to have the focus on them all of the time – it is desperation. If focus is not on them, they feel they don’t exist. It is life or death for them.


GENUINE people respect everyone. Respect is a very important action to the genuine person. They respect those in high positions on equal standing as the janitor who cleans their building. They respect humanity as a rule, there is no agenda attached.

UNAWARE people only respect those in positions of power or who they can leverage to get more power themselves. Their respect is governed by an agenda that is about elevating themselves and getting as much attention as possible. If someone has power and then loses it, their respect will go as well.


GENUINE people don’t brag and talk about themselves endlessly. They know their actions will speak for themselves and they are confident enough in themselves that it doesn’t matter who knows or doesn’t know what they can do.

UNAWARE people brag and talk about their achievements as much as possible. They will even make your achievement their own if they can and brag about how they helped you achieve it. Look for social media posts that consistently share images of the unaware with celebrities or people of power, things they’ve done that make them special, lots of posts about how many times they’ve been honoured, in the paper or magazines, or if an influencer on social media has shared their post. Every single achievement must be shared with everyone. They cannot help themselves and need to be validated through other people.


GENUINE people express their opinions openly and without judgment. They know that not everyone will agree with them, but that it is important to express their thoughts and feelings – from there the other person can decide how they deal with it. Genuine people are easy to talk to, can agree to disagree and will respect your opinion or stance on something even if it is opposite to theirs. If you have upset them, they will tell you to your face so that you can discuss and work it out.

UNAWARE people cannot stand it when someone doesn’t have the same opinions as they do and they will talk about people behind their backs a lot. They cannot handle conflict ( unless it brings them attention) and will choose to gossip rather than face a person directly to share their feelings and opinions. When they see that person, they will be all smiles and hugs – when the person who has offended them in some way is gone, they will spout negativity about them to whomever will listen.


GENUINE people do their best to live up to their promises. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, but they will take responsibility for it. Their word is golden to them. If they say they will, they will unless something unavoidable stops them. You can count on them to deliver, be on time, show up when they say they will etc.

UNREAL people will make many promises so that they can make many friends and get lots of attention that they can then brag about. But, when it comes down to delivering, they fail to – this is because in their mind the goal has been met. The actual delivering of the promise is inconsequential to them. Doing something for someone else to be of ‘service’ and to honour and build the trust in the relationship is not part of their agenda. They will often be late, or not even show up for scheduled appointments.


GENUINE people are often helpful and can also be in danger of being ‘over givers’ –  especially true for empaths. They enjoy giving to others and like to see others succeed, so whatever they can do to support that happening, they will do it. Their own learning does come from how MUCH they give – it needs to be balanced. But you can count on a genuine person giving unconditionally.

UNAWARE people give only if they can get something from it. Their giving is ruled by their hidden agenda and most of the time will come with strings attached. They do not feel they are validated unless they get the attention, so giving for giving sake is not part of their daily operation.


GENUINE people offer words of affirmation and admire others regularly. They encourage and empower others as much as possible. They are incredible cheer leaders and champions for others and do so simply to see you do well. It makes them feel good when you feel good. Empaths again are particularly good at this as they enjoy feeling your good feelings. They are not threatened by the success of others – competition does not exist to them since there is enough to go around for everyone.

UNAWARE people prefer to criticize others so that they can feel better about themselves. They have learned that to pull others down makes them feel elevated. Of course, this is not true and the good feelings they get do not last long – they continue this process like an addiction to get the high off the drama, the attention and the feeling of being ‘better than’ someone else. But, they will criticize behind your back – you likely won’t even know about it unless they choose to target you and shame you in public.


GENUINE people refuse to use negative emotions to manipulate people. They believe that we all have a right to be here and we all have our own set of special skills that makes us unique and wonderful. They will not be threatened by anyone, and if bad feelings do arise, they will do their best to talk about it with the person directly to resolve it. Two genuine people will often resolve issues and keep promises made to each other.

UNAWARE people regularly use shame, guilt, fear to manipulate people to do what they want. Unaware people are threatened by many people since their self identity is very weak and wounded. If they don’t have admirers, they have haters in their minds and the haters must be punished. Getting on the wrong side of an Unaware can get very dirty as they won’t confront you personally and will choose to talk about you behind your back or accuse you of things in public to diminish your power and influence and increase theirs.


GENUINE people both receive AND give. They understand that relationships are a two way street and one must invest time and energy into it. Again, the danger can be in overgiving, especially as an empath, so balance must be maintained so there are equal amounts of giving and receiving.

UNAWARE people only know how to take, or receive – the giving part to them is not possible since they don’t have much in them to give. They are locked into self doubt, insecurities, no self esteem and they usually aren’t even aware of it. Their social masks will promise to give, but they will always fall short. They often see themselves as victims, so they need help and support all of the time.


GENUINE people know what is their responsibility emotionally and what is theirs to own. They are self aware, so if they find they are triggered by someone for any reason, they’ll usually ‘check in’ to ascertain why they are being triggered and then deal with their own wounds appropriately. They will never make YOU responsible for how THEY feel. If talking is necessary, then they’ll make that happen and calmly and objectively discuss their feelings with you.

UNAWARE people are not aware that they are even being triggered and they will place blame on anyone but themselves when something goes awry. Unawares are so deeply wounded that they are unable to separate their realities from other people’s – AND they are unable to process their own feelings – so, they will project them onto you. Projection is a psychological term when someone fails to own their own issues and projects them onto someone else and then gets angry at them for it. Unawares will do this a lot – especially if you call them on it – then you will become the enemy. What they feel is always someone else’s fault.


I could go on, but these are some of the most available actions that you can observe day to day to distinguish who is who and maybe also have some answers as to what might have gone wrong if you are already in a toxic relationship with an unaware. It can FEEL unreal – because it is – this is where the FAKE label came in. Logic, respect, compassion, and basic friendship do not exist for the unaware person. You are simply a tool for them to get what they need – the things they think they need they are desperate for, so they will do anything. Your gut instincts will usually advise you to stay away – if you are listening. If you’ve missed it, for whatever reason and find yourself in daily drama and conflict – check in to see if you are indeed dealing with an unaware person.

Remember, they are wounded and can use your compassion, this isn’t about bashing them – BUT, once you identify them, stay away. You will not get a fulfilling and balanced relationship with them. They are unable to give, as much as they are unable to fully receive. They may look for, manipulate and generate situations where others are complimenting them on their achievements, admiring them etc., but it will never be enough for them. The more they get, the more they will need as they are driven by deep wounds and insecurity.

Genuine folks are not perfect, no-one is, and they can fall into any or all of these behaviours if they are not consistently being self aware and assessing where they are at. The key is the awareness. Stay aware yourself and look for ways your own behavior may fall into any of these areas and take responsibility for yourself. We are all working through issues, what sets us apart is our willingness to own those issues and be aware of our own behavior instead of making others suffer for it.


Thoughts? Have you been in a relationship with an unaware? What was it like for you?


Kaare Long

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