see (one) for what (one) (really) is

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see (one) for what (one) (really) is

To recognize one's true identity or nature. It was only after overhearing a conversation she wasn't supposed to witness that Hailey saw Doug for what he really is—a two-faced backstabber. I wish Janet would see me for who I am, and not lump me together will all those other jerks in the office.
See also: see, what