Have you ever called someone fake? Has anyone ever called you fake? What was implied in either of those situations by the word “fake”? There are a lot of definitions that may come to mind for you, but I think we can all agree that being called fake is an insult. When I think of the word fake, I think about a lot of celebrities that have been deemed as such based on whether or not they’ve had plastic surgeries or how they treat their “friends”, such as the Real Housewives or the Kardashians. In the words of Dej Loaf, “Let’s just be honest; let’s just be real!”
If you ask the closest of my close friends, they’ll tell you that I can sometimes seem fake! I know, I know, “Gigi, you hypocrite, how are you supposed to write about being fake if you’re fake yourself?” Let me explain. I don’t like conflict. I’m a people pleaser, meaning, I like for everyone to get along (with me) and I don’t like causing trouble or drama with others, especially other women. There were instances in college where I’ve smiled and acted like I was friends with girls that I really didn’t care for simply to avoid conflict or beef with her. I would smile in her face, take selfies with her, go out and party with her, and then trash talk her behind her back. That’s being fake! I’m not proud of these moments, but it’s important to recognize your errors so that you can improve as a person. As a slightly older adult, especially in the workplace, if I have an issue with someone, I don’t give them any of my energy, negative or positive. I’ve realized that there’s no point in feigning friendships with people I dislike. I may say “Good morning” when I pass them, just to be polite, but that’s about it. In order to maintain a sense of realness with others and myself, I’m no longer going out of my way to be best buddies with people I don’t like. And you shouldn’t feel like you have to be best friends with everyone either. There are some people you won’t click with, and that’s okay because that’s part of life, but don’t feel obligated to be extra friendly to that person. Certainly don’t be rude, but learn to be okay with being neutral with others. You can be cordial, mature, polite, but also neutral; this prevents you from coming across as fake.
Another point I want to make is about being fake/real with yourself. In society and mainstream media we see so many campaigns encouraging teens and young people to “Be Yourself!” While that’s a great message, it’s being preached much more than practiced and time and time again, I’ve seen so many young people doing things that they wouldn’t normally do just to fit in with the “in crowd”. And it’s not always bad things! Sometimes it’s just pretending that you’re interested in certain music or TV shows because other people are. Or it’s dressing a certain way that you’re not comfortable with because everyone else is. By doing things like this, you’re trying to be someone else and not your authentic, amazing self! It’s okay to try to expand your interests or hobbies, but if you’re doing it just because you want other people to like you, you won’t be happy and you may even get a reputation for being fake. GASP!
Everyone wants to be liked, of course, but it’s important to remember that people value integrity and genuineness in others! People will like you for you because odds are, you’re probably pretty great!