How to Fake It – Theresa Smith

There are no hard and fast rules for faking it. All you need is a reason and a basic enthusiasm. Anyone who purports to tell you how to fake it correctly is full of shit. There is no correct way, but there are suggestions with merit. The goal of faking it is to have one’s presumptions go, for the most part, unquestioned. Anyone who wants to fake it for any other reason is doomed to failure.

You will also need a calculator, some paper, and a pencil.

Faking it can be understood as a mathematical operation where “it” is the output (x) and “faking” is a particular kind of function. The goal of this operation is to graph y=f(x) for this particular function. The easiest way to do this is to list the qualities of the domain you wish to reproduce within yourself, arranging them on a continuum that takes the place of the traditional number line. This list will be the product of observation, reflection and research. Some of these qualities will be incidental. Do your best to find out how they came to be that way.

After the scrupulous work of compilation and arrangement, a typical impulse is to take a shortcut to the finish line, which is now in plain sight. This shortcut usually consists of selecting the handful of qualities with the most frequent statistical representation and fabricating connections between them to create a shape to be used as a scaffolding for constructing a new wing to one’s personality. Some people may be unwise enough to buy into this obvious construction. These people are not the ones whose judgment you are after.

It is important to reduce this list to only the most generic qualities, discarding items that are likely the result of predisposition or personal preference. It is worthwhile, however, to examine these items before rejecting them, tracing their origin and tracking the history of their manifestation. This is useful practice for developing your own irrefutable internal logic to fall back on when the constructed wing of your house comes under the scrutiny of fellow tradesmen.

Having identified the most salient qualities of the subgroup you wish to infiltrate, put each one at the zero point of a graph for which the x-axis is a list of related qualities arranged in the order of precedence, beginning on the left and continuing to the right. Qualities that are closely related to one another by either causation or correlation may be placed nearer one another. You will need to do some gumshoeing as to cause-and-effect relationships in order to arrange these elements wisely. If you cannot determine cause and effect, you are doomed to failure. The advantage of wrangling with this kind of uncertainty, however, is that it gives you the opportunity to put your mark on things. The y-axis represents necessity, which increases from zero, and decreases below it. 

What you are after is a wave, not a shape. A wave moves consistently forward; a shape turns back on itself, seeking its origin, wanting completion and boundaries. This is one of the easiest ways to detect faking it. The shape need not exhibit any kind of symmetry, but if it does, this is almost always a tell. 

Everyone does this. Don’t be self-conscious. I only want you to know how – if not why – it’s happening.

Next, reflect on the necessity of each individual quality to the average presentation of a member of the target domain. Some qualities are more essential than others. Many qualities are inessential to operation within the domain, but happen to be shared by many of its members. Weight them accordingly.

When you have plotted the necessity-value of all qualities on your coordinate planes, draw a line connecting the points on each graph. This is the ideal wave, which you will need to replicate, as faithfully as possible, by means of identifying the function that most closely approximates it. 

First, find the average necessity values for your qualities. Let’s say the average positive necessity value is 4.5. (I’ve chosen to use a scale of 10, although you can use any scale.) Let’s also say the average negative necessity value is 2.8. Your personality curve will oscillate between 4.5 and -2.8. The midpoint of these two values is 0.85, so this will be your baseline. Now, determine the period of your wave by adding together the x-coordinates of your coordinate pairs and dividing by the total number of coordinates. This will tell you how far apart, on average, your coordinates are. Recall that items on the x-axis have been grouped according to the strength of their relationships. Suppose the average distance between your x-coordinates is 0.76. This is the period of your wave. Draw the wave.

You will notice that the necessity-values now given by your curve in conjunction with the qualities plotted on the x-axis are not the same. In some instances, they will be far off. To this end, you must find a correction-value for each quotient that is sufficiently off. The advantage of having a correction-value is that it can be employed at will. Absolute consistency is another hallmark of faking it.

Create mnemonic devices to help you remember the proper correction-values for the qualities in each of your modules. Applying these values incorrectly will, over time, generate suspicion.

Complete these operations for each character module. The unique patterns of interference produced by the superposition of these graphs atop one another is your persona.