Seems Fake

Have you ever seen a person when you are out and about and they just have it all going on? Their hair is slicked back, their style is on point, and they just have that swagger? Do you know that person I’m talking about?

Well, do you want to know a secret? That person is faking it. All of it.

And I don’t mean that his or her suit is fake or that his or her hair is fake. As in inauthentic. I’m saying that his or her persona is fake. As in an impersonation.

No, really. Here’s something you should always keep in mind: The entire world is engaged in one big, long poker tournament. The people who are really successful believe that they have great cards and (make others believe it too), even when they don’t. As for the rest of us? We think our cards are okay. And in both cases, we’re right.

And when you’re faking it, the only person you have to “fool” is yourself. I mean, think about it. The people on the street don’t know you. They people in the grocery store have never seen you (but they are making judgments about you when they see your grocery cart.) Even your co-workers don’t really know the real “you,” living day to day in close cubicle quarters like you are. To them, you’re just you, whatever that means. And do you know what that actually means? You can believe that you are anyone at all, and people will have to believe you. They have no reason to think you are faking being as smart, talented, or funny as you seem to be.

I mean, really, does anyone know how to be an “adult”? Do you think that you just get a briefcase and a pinstripe suit on your thirtieth birthday, and your vocabulary expands to include words like “ROI” and “401K”? No! We’re all just children playing dress up to impress people we don’t even like. And we’re succeeding at it because we’re faking it.

So, don’t even give it a second thought. Don’t worry that people may be able to see that you are faking it. Because what you’ll really find is that the more you fake it, the more you are acting exactly like the person you are and the person you’ve been all along.

Two-Faced is Too Much

Is it considered mature to be nice to someone you don’t like or is it two-faced and disingenuous?

I would really like my readers to weigh in on this issue in the comments, but of course, you’re going to hear my perspective first. And maybe it will surprise you.

If you grew up female, you absolutely, positively knew one person in your school who “acted nice” in front of someone but tore them to pieces behind their back. And not to discriminate, because if you are a guy, you probably experienced this too. The difference is that you punched that guy in the face and got over it. Us girls, well. I like to say that we’re a bit more creative about our revenge.

Anyway, the person who would raise you up to your face and raze you to the ground in front of other people was generally not considered to be a trustworthy or kindly individual by others’ evaluations. And, undoubtedly, if you were this person, you were on a fast track to not having any friends very quickly if anyone found out about your, shall we say, double dipping. To put it simply, you were two-faced. And to put it in even simpler terms, that’s not cool.

But in adulthood, I think being two-faced is a way of life and a survival technique. And actually, I think it is a sign of maturity. Okay, being open and friendly to someone and then catty and jealous behind their back is not very mature. But I think being nice to someone that you don’t really care for is.

I mean, it happens all the time. The barista at Starbucks could be rude, a co-worker may rub you the wrong way, a family member that you don’t like could be coming over for dinner. Does it really make you less of a person for not flat-out telling them what a horrible person you think they are? Why does no one get points for courtesy anymore? Did “keeping the peace” die out with the Vietnam War?

And okay. I can see the other side, too. Life is too short to be fake to someone. You should be able to be yourself without having to conform to other people’s expectations. And who knows? Maybe your honesty will motivate someone to change their ways.

I mean, it sort of comes down to what you want people to say at your funeral. Oh, she was really, really nice. Like, that’s it? You were nice? No! You want them to say, Well, she could be a total b*tch sometimes, but she said what was on her mind, and she accomplished things. She owned the space that she had been given on this earth.

So, I don’t have an answer to my initial question, and I don’t know what the best policy is. All I know is that we’re faced with the decision to hide our feelings or be honest all of the time. I just feel that we should be able to express ourselves without having to be downright mean and without wearing a mask.

But what are your thoughts?