Having fake friends is a struggle almost every single one of us suffers from. Fake friends are rampant and often very difficult to spot. A lot of people will take advantage of the kindness and warmth of other people. They’ll simply treat them as tools instead of being actual friends with them. If you feel like you have “friends” that are like this, you’ll know it for sure with the help of this article.
They can indeed be difficult to spot at first, but fake friends have a series of patterns and habits that make them stick out like a sore thumb eventually. Here are some of the clearest signs of fake friends.
They seldom do favors for you
Fake friends will seldom do favors for you. This is because they expect the relationship to be one-sided. They’ll expect you to do favors for them but they will never bother doing the same thing for you. In fact, even if you seem like you’re feeling under, they’ll never bother asking what they can do for you.
Even if you do personally ask them for a favor, in most cases, they will find a way or a reason to get out of it. Keep this in mind. If you ever have a friend who never thinks about your well-being, you may have a fake friend on your hands.
They never ask how you’re doing
Aside from never doing any favor for you, they will also rarely just ask you how you’re doing. They may start a chit-chat by asking, “How have you been?” but that’s simply small talk rather than a serious, sincere query. This is because they, as horrible as it sounds, don’t care enough about your well-being.
Think about this one hard enough. If you have a friend who has never asked you how you’re doing, even after you haven’t spoken with them in a long time, they may not care about your friendship as much as you do, if they even care about it at all.
They often only show up when they need something
There are “friends” out there who only show up when they need something. “Friends” like these are fake ones. Most of the time, they’re radio silent. They will never ask you how you’re doing, they won’t invite you to anything, they won’t even make their presence felt to you on social media.
However, the time will come when they’ll need something from you. When this happens, they will suddenly appear out of thin air. They’ll converse with you for a few moments until they get to what they really need from you: a favor.
They only show kindness when you’ve done something for them
To give credit where credit is due, a fake friend will actually show kindness to you in some instances. For example, they’ll start showing kindness to you after you’ve done something good for them. It may seem nice for a while, but this act of kindness will immediately dissipate. The next time they’ll act this way again is before and after you do a favor for them.
Although they don’t do this intentionally, by doing this, you’ll feel motivated to help them out time and time again. That’s because you are being rewarded with momentary kindness each time you go out of your way to help them out. Take note that the keyword here is “momentary.” This kindness is false and insincere. It’s almost like it’s a tool used to simply manipulate you into helping them.
They talk about you behind your back
One of the worst things fake friends do to you is talk about you behind your back. A fake friend will often talk about you to other people. They’ll talk about you to their “real” friends. The worst part is that the things they’re going to be saying about you are not going to be all good things. In fact, it’s rarely good things, if it ever is.
The things they’re going to be saying about you are often toxic. They’ll talk about gripes they have about you. They’ll talk about your flaws, insecurities, and bad behaviors. Your life and everything you find wrong about yourself will be revealed to a lot of people, against your will.
They seldom congratulate you
Fake friends will rarely ever congratulate you on your achievements. It’s almost as if they’d rather see you remain stagnant than to see you improve and rise up above your station. This is because the more successful you become, the less susceptible you will be to their control.
They will almost always dissuade you from success. They’ll feel bitter when they start noticing you becoming a better version of yourself. It’s a very terrible thing to do, but it’s something fake friends always do anyway.
They try to compete with you
Aside from not wanting you to succeed, fake friends will also do their best to compete with you. They hate it if you become better than they are. So, if you do become more successful, they will do their best to one-up you. To become better than you. They will compete with you just so they can more successful than you are.
Not only will they try to let you remain in your station, but they’ll also make sure their station is above yours.
You can feel their envy
Fake friends are envious. Whenever good things happen to you, whenever anything decent becomes a reality for you, they’ll feel envious. You won’t always feel it, you might not even know it right away, but that envy is there. You may even have suspected it already. The more you think about it, the more it will make sense.
The reason for this envy is stemmed from their disdain for the idea of you succeeding. Not only will they want you to remain as you are, but they’ll also think that any success that comes your way should go their way instead.
They tease you way too much
Playful teasing isn’t unheard of when it comes to friends. It can be a part of it, in fact. Friends tease each other but it’s mostly harmless. Some teasing can even go too far, but an apology will always come after that if someone happens to unintentionally go too far. That’s what happens when you’re surrounded by real friends.
With fake friends, however, the teasing will always go too far. Apologies aren’t even on the table. They will make fun of you without any regard for your emotions. Fake friends can be very insensitive simply because they don’t care enough about your feelings.
They don’t respect your boundaries
Another thing fake friends don’t care enough about is your boundaries. They will push you over the edge if it means they can make things go their way. If there’s something you’re uncomfortable doing, they’ll ask you to do it anyway.
If you want to rest up and have time for yourself, they will disregard this if they need you to help them then and there. Your boundaries will absolutely mean nothing to them. It’s almost as if they won’t even acknowledge it.
They don’t bother getting invested in your interests
A true friend will always go out of their way to at least get to know your interests. They don’t always have to get into it as you do, but they’ll at least learn a little bit about it from you, show interest, and become a little bit invested. Fake friends, however, will never bother doing this. This takes effort and that’s something they’ll never give to you.
Whenever you talk about the things that interest you around them, the best thing they’ll do is feign interest. It’s never sincere and they will do their best to quickly move on to another topic. A topic that’s preferably centered on them rather than one that’s centered on you.
They never stand up for you
If you get into trouble, a true friend will do their best to help you out. If someone else ever tries to cause trouble for you, they’ll stand up for you. That’s what friends do, after all. They’ll stand up for you just as you would for them.
Fake friends, however, not so much. If someone wrongs you, they’ll simply stand by and allow that to happen. They won’t help you at all. They might if you personally ask for their help, but their effort will be very minimal and their cooperation will be forced.
They’re more upbeat when they’re around their other friends than with you
Have you ever noticed a friend that’s very bland with you but very upbeat when they’re around their other friends? This alone should tell you that this friend is fake. How they’re acting around others is how they are with their “real” friends whereas they’re simply faking things with you. They stick around with you because they have something to gain.
As horrible as this seems, this is simply the reality of things when it comes to fake friends. They have other people they consider “true” friends and they act normal around them. Unfortunately, you’re just not one of those people.
They barely seem happy when they see you
A fake friend will show little to no excitement in seeing you. Mind you, a true friend won’t always jump around in celebration at the sight of you, nor should they, but you will always sense a feeling of satisfaction and positive energy from them when you meet them.
For fake friends, however, the feeling is very… dead. It’s almost as if there’s nothing there. If there is, it seems faked and forced. This is what you can expect from fake friends. They will always seem very barely happy when they see you and that’s because they don’t consider you a “true” friend at all.
You walk on eggshells around them
Because of all of the things you feel about them, you will begin to walk around eggshells when it comes to fake friends. You’re almost not yourself when you’re around them. You’re very careful. You want to fulfill their wishes and you’re very careful not to offend them.
This isn’t how friendships should be. Friendships should be a two-way street. If you’re walking on eggshells around someone, it’s almost as if you’re seeing them as a superior rather than as an equal.
The secrets you share with them gets spread around
Here’s one very easy way of telling whether someone is a fake friend or not. If you’ve ever shared a secret with someone and that secret suddenly gets shared around, have no doubt in your mind that that person is a fake friend. You shared something with them that’s intimate and private, yet they’ve wasted no time in passing that secret around.
Be careful with these friends. As mentioned already, a fake friend will always talk about you behind your back. This extends to your secrets. When this happens to you, cut that friend from your life immediately. We’ll talk about that more and in detail later on.
They’re very manipulative
Fake friends can be very manipulative. They have to be. The reason why they’re sticking around with you is that they want something from you. They need things from you. They can do this by being manipulative.
A fake friend can and will definitely do their best so that you’ll do things for their benefit. From favors to demands and connections to benefits, they will spin you around if it means it will make things happen for them.
They can’t sympathize and empathize with you
Fake friends will never sympathize and empathize with you. If they do, they won’t care enough to actually act on it. That is, of course, unless it can benefit them. The only time they’ll ever sympathize and empathize with you is when they need something from you. Just like how they’re only kind to you when they actually need something from you.
This is something you’ll definitely feel after you hang out with a fake friend long enough. They’ll seem indifferent to your troubles. You know deep inside that they just don’t care enough about you.
They disappear for a long span of time without a word
A fake friend will have no qualms with disappearing without a word for a long period of time. After you do something for them, or after they get something they need from you, it will be very easy for them to disappear. At least, until they need something from you again.
They’ll spend this time away doing whatever it is they do normally. They’ll have fun alone, with their friends, and you won’t even cross their minds. They will only resurface and make their presence known to you again once they need something from you. Not all fake friends will be so blatant about this. Some of them, however, are shameless enough to do exactly this.
They use you as a way to expand their network
Although there is nothing wrong with expanding your network with the help of your friends, the problem lies when you stick with someone simply because of the network they can open up. This is something fake friends do. If they know they can gain a series of networks from you, whether it’s professional or personal connections, they’ll cling to you no matter what.
When it comes to these people, the moment they gain enough from you, enough to uplift themselves, they’ll drop you in a heartbeat.
They don’t provide emotional support
If you ever confide in a fake friend, if you tell them your worries and troubles of any form, they will shrug it off and offer no emotional support whatsoever. That’s because your problems are none of their concern. The only concern they have with you is whatever it is they can gain from you. Nothing more, nothing less.
Real friends will not hesitate to help a friend out. Especially when your emotions are involved. Fake friends, however, not so much.
They force you in getting into their interests
Although a fake friend will never bother getting into your interests, they won’t hesitate in getting you to get interested in theirs. Even if you’re comfortable with whatever it is they’re interested in, they will be uncaring enough to be considerate about this. As long as you do what they want you to do, that’s all that matters.
Although not all fake friends do this, mainly because some of them don’t care enough to introduce you to an interest of theirs, some will do this for a few reasons. In some instances, they’ll do this simply to make themselves feel better. Sometimes a fake friend does this because they believe it’s what a friend “should” do. Whatever the case is, if they force you into doing this without any consideration for your comfort and feelings, you have a fake friend on your hands.
They rarely apologize
A fake friend will rarely apologize. If they do something wrong, if they wrong you in any way, they simply won’t apologize for it. Sometimes, they won’t even know they’ve wronged you, which is why they won’t bother apologizing.
In some cases, however, even if they know they’ve wronged you, they just won’t apologize at all. If they do, the apologize will be very, obviously insincere. A person apologizes because they actually feel sorry for what they’ve done and they want to make amends. A fake friend will just not bother doing this.
They’re very good liars
Fake friends are also very good liars. After all, they’ll lie to gain your trust so they can get things from you. They’ll lie so they can have you do things for them. They’ll lie to serve themselves.
Being a liar is not the only staple of a fake friend, nor does it imply that every liar out there is immediately a fake friend. What this simply means is that if you add everything up and include the fact that the person you may suspect is a fake friend is also a very good liar, then there should be no doubt in your mind anymore.
You feel worse about yourself now than you did when you first met them
This is one of the most terrible outcomes of having fake friends. A fake friend, with all of their misgivings, inconsiderations, and wrongdoings, will ultimately make you feel worse about yourself. You’ll feel worse about yourself more so than you did before you met them. Having fake friends can diminish your self-esteem, your happiness, and your comfort when it comes to socializing.
Yes, having fake friends can be that traumatizing for some people. Others are lucky enough, all things considered, to have fake friends that aren’t as troublesome. Some people, however, find themselves in a friendship with someone who’s totally out to take full advantage of them. It is a terrible situation to be in and it’s one anyone should get out of immediately.
What You Should Do With Fake Friends
If you’ve fully surmised that you have a fake friend in your circle, the best thing you can and should do is to cut that person from your life immediately. As any decent person will do, you can tell them that you’re going to do something you believe is best for yourself, but they might simply fake an apology and win you over. They do this not because they care about the friendship, but because they don’t want to lose someone who does things for them.
Having said that, the best thing to do in this scenario is to simply cut someone off without hesitation. Live free and cut off the heavy baggage that’s weighing you down. In this case, it’s completely okay to leave with no words. Because this is the best thing to do for you as someone who’s being controlled by a fake friend.
If your situation is not too horrible to merit a quit exit but is terrible enough to cut it off, of course, you can leave and say goodbye. Assess the situation and find out what’s the best approach. What’s important here is that you’re cutting off something immensely negative in your life for the sake of your social and mental health.
It should be crystal clear right now that having fake friends is definitely something you don’t want to be in. There are a lot of people in your life you can “true” friends. Make sure you focus your attention on them. They are people who deserve your care and friendship. You don’t need to give those to fake friends anymore.