In education it is no different. Let's face it we all do it sometimes. You put on a smile when you really think "what the ______". Sometimes fake prevents us from being downright rude. At other times though being fake distorts reality, threatens relationships, and can even endanger our jobs.
People we think are friends are not. Some people even go to great lengths to make other people look bad, distort the truth in situations, and just manipulate things in the work place. They justify this as "the truth" or doing their job. They do this because they believe they know what is best and will do whatever it takes to make their wishes become reality. They convince themselves that they have no ulterior motive when in fact those motives drive their life choices.
It's difficult to understand this type of person and even harder to pin them down. They are masters of disguise and enjoy getting to know people just so they can use that information in their game of manipulation and deception. They discover weaknesses, soft spots and all manner of information during this process which they file away for future use. In other words, fake friends just want to know your business so they can use it. They know who talks, who doesn't, and who is gullible. They know who to "go to" if they want to get information "out there" without attaching their own name to it.
Yet they have few, if any, "true" friendships. They enjoy the "power" they have over others and quite honestly think they are far superior in intelligence. While they may appear to do so, they really don't "invest" themselves in anyone but want others to "invest" in them.
They "love" themselves. They see no reason to change because they are the "best" at what they do. They also have an intense need for others to think they are "the best" too thus the constant effort and manipulation to appear "awesome." They absorb others "praise" yet fail to recognize that praise of an "unreal" person means little. It too is fake because it is based on a perception that is distorted.
Sometimes it takes a long time to discover these fakes and along the way you might even start to doubt yourself. Their toxic meddling undermines your relationships with others and portrays you as someone you are not. Don't waste your breath trying to change fakes; it won't happen. Second chances rarely turn out well. Trying to "work around them", understand them, or make others "see" them as they really are won't meet with much success. In the process, you might diminish yourself.
So when you encounter the fake, be it in the education setting or elsewhere, remember that it's "ok" to give second chances but the person rarely lives up to the opportunity. Learn from the fake in the same way you learn from others you encounter but do not let their toxic way of living life become yours. Be real, be authentic, speak your mind, even when sometimes it means you look foolish. Stand strong in the person you really are, practice being kind, smile just because you are awesome in all your imperfections and "let go" of the fake. Let them drift into their world of false praise, shallow friendships and the loneliness of not being "real". It's really poetic justice.