Acting Like You Know Someone When You Really Don’t

They say in life that it is “not what you know but who you know.” I would say that this old cliché is very true. I think it becomes evident at a very early age, as young as elementary school, and then just becomes more and more important and true throughout life. Maybe because of this realistic fact about life and how it does deem a big part in being successful, sometimes people become a little mistaken on who they really “know.”

I get irritated when people claim to know people who they really don’t. It tests my patience when someone tries to put their name next to someone else’s name that they have absolutely no connection to. As I said above, I understand why people might initially think about aligning themselves with someone who is successful or famous but to actually go through with it and publically pose like you know the person is lazy and dishonest.

Because of social media, it has become so much easier to create the allusion that you are best buds with someone when in fact you are not. Let’s be real right now and get out the obvious that just because you are Facebook friends with someone or just because someone might follow you on Twitter that it does not mean that you know the person. Furthermore, even if you happen to have a picture of yourself with a certain person on Facebook or if someone might have retweeted you on Twitter, it still does not exist as proof that you have an “in” with that particular person.

Let me be clear, I am trying to cover all bases here. I am saying that it is irresponsible to say that you know someone you really don’t regardless of who it is, whether it be a world-famous celebrity, a hometown hero who has made it big, or just a respected and successful person in the community. I can’t state enough that I do recognize that one’s personal network of associates and friends is vitally important. Many of these relationships have taken time and effort to cultivate and establish. To have someone who has met someone once or twice try to spin it as if they hang out with the person over drinks on a weekly basis is a joke.

In my experiences, I can quickly tell when a person does not really know someone who they are trying to connect themselves with. Usually they will just continually go back to a certain time when they were with the person, obviously showing that they had just met that person once. They will reflect back on that one time with the person and pull out every little detail from that encounter and space it out over time, thus giving the mirage that they have had lengthy discussions and moments with whoever they are trying to align themselves with. Does not fool me.

Other people will just flat out lie about knowing people and make up stories to prove it. Someone who shook hands with a prominent figure might take that quick non-personal embrace and say that they had an intimate conversation with the person over a candle lit dinner in his/her mansion.  A person who attended a seminar led by a respected person might say they discussed business for hours when really all he/she did was sit in the back of the room and listen. Others might have never even been within a mile of the person they are associating themselves with but their imagination tells a different story. I know someone who told me she slept with a person who has made a big name for himself. Because I happen to know this successful person (believe me, I don’t know too many), I asked him about it. Not only did he not get with this person, he did not even know she existed.

And then there are the people who view someone from the outside looking in and feel like they know the person. These people I count as the more minor violators than the cases I outlined above but they still bother me.  They will admit that they have only met the person once or twice but they will act like they know the person inside and out. I hate to burst a lot of people’s bubbles but even if you think you are great at them, someone’s first impression is usually not entirely accurate. Don’t make a judgment on someone’s character after the first time you meet them.  Don’t act like you know them. I will have someone tell me, “I can’t believe {so and so} did this” (could be a good thing or a heinous thing). I will respond with, “Well did you know the person?” The answer will come back, “I met him once, seemed like a really {nice/bad} guy.” My mind responds with please shut up.

Before I end, just a couple little things that really bite at me that people try to do to create a connection between themselves and someone else they really don’t know. If you are not on a first-name basis with someone, don’t call them by their first name. Unless it is in an unserious tone*, don’t kid yourself and other people. If you have met the mayor a few times, still call him by his title. If you have a favorite athlete, call him by his full name or his last name. Also, can we please just retire the whole “Shout out to my boy/girl” line? Not only does it sound utterly ridiculous just by itself even if you do know the person, it is beyond asinine to use it when you don’t know the person.  The person is not your “boy”/”girl” and you don’t really even know him/her. Just stop.

I find that the people who actually do know important/successful/influential people usually don’t flaunt it. You know why? Well for one, they understand that people are really just people. They don’t get mesmerized by someone’s talent and they don’t get star-struck. They also know how to use their special relationships with key people in an advantageous way…a way that does not include name dropping to every person you come across. Be honest with yourself and others and don’t claim a relationship with someone that really does not exist. You just make yourself look bad. Don’t Blink.

* If you are calling someone by their first name to create a mock sense of a relationship, than I think that is fine. Example: I might say this about Barack Obama. “I really thought ol’ Barack was talking right at me last night when he was speaking about online gambling.”

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