“Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.” ~ Unknown

I love this quote, but unfortunately, this is not always true. So many people will act in exactly the way that you want them to in order to get you on side or, to manipulate you. Before they can do this, they need to get to know you, otherwise, how will they be able to tailor their phoney actions to meet your needs and wants? They may get such information in many ways: asking you directly; observing you up close or from a distance (i.e. stalking); reading your Facebook profile; typing your name on Google; talking to people who know you…

It is very difficult to flush out people like this because they are (usually) very skilled at lying and pretending to be someone they are not – it’s called ‘acting’. I have found that, most of the time, you need to wait for their masks to come off because they cannot wear them forever. Wearing such a mask would be like trying to keep on a physical cover for the rest of their lives – eventually they would suffocate or get a very bad itch that could only be scratched by removing the mask. Patience is key here.

When the veil finally comes off…

When the façade finally comes down, then you will see and experience their real natures – at this point, their actions will truly characterize them. I have seen this so many times, and I have heard so many stories, where the ‘actors’ do a sudden about face, so that at first it is very difficult to believe. Then, you may look for causes for their sudden ‘change’ in behavior when there are none. When people like this finally show themselves, it is not change, but truth, that is revealed. What you choose to do with this truth is up to you…

Where do you go from here?

In most instances, walking away is the wisest thing to do but it will depend on the circumstances. To give you some examples of situations where individuals ‘pretending’ to be someone else may have a good reason for it: wealthy/famous people who want to be liked for who they are instead of all of that other stuff; people on the run from abusive and life threatening situations; those with very low or no self-esteem (that is, they are always seeking approval from others).

Then there are those ‘actors’ who were out to exploit or control you for their own selfish or nefarious purposes (if you cannot positively transform these situations by asserting yourself, then, leave them):

  • Men and women who pretend to be someone else in order to ‘woo’ a potential partner. Here is a real life example: One of my relatives told me that her husband changed the day they got married. He stopped talking to her and paying attention to her in the ways that he did when they were dating. He basically only wanted her for sex, cooking and cleaning. Sound familiar, ladies? He also disclosed that he saw women as lesser than men only after they married when he was adamant about equality between the sexes before that…In another scenario, the woman in an inter-racial relationship proclaimed to like the food and language of the man’s culture until after they had their first child when all of that adoration magically evaporated…
  • Those who want your money, or other property, so that they don’t have to work for it themselves: spouses; business partners; legal or financial advisors…
  • People who only want you when they need you for something that they cannot get from anyone else because no-one they know has what you have to offer, or, you are the only one available at that time: ‘friends’ (when there’s no other shoulder to cry on); ‘lovers’ (the infamous ‘booty call’); ‘family’ (when other family members have kicked them to the curb).

Helen