How To Spot A Fake Friend — 9 Warning Signs To Look Out For

The older you get, the more you realize that the quality of your friends is much more important than how many of them you have. A few really great friends that you can rely on and trust are just as good as having a room full of people to party with. However, even as adults, fake friends are out there and can really tear us down. Here are some signs that one of yours isn’t as well-intentioned as they initially seemed.

  1. Their friendship is conditional. Fake friends aren’t supportive or loving just for the sake of it – they do it when they think there’s something in it for them. It could be a number of things like your money, your possessions, your connections through your job, or anything else. If your friend seems to only want to be there for you to try to obtain something from you, that’s a surefire sign that they’re fake.
  2. They’re threatened by your confidence. Real friends want their friends to always feel powerful, confident, and amazing. If your friend is constantly trying to bring you down or make you doubt yourself, it’s a sign that they’re threatened by you getting ahead in life. Some people only want to surround themselves with people they can control or keep down because it feeds their ego and makes them feel like they’re always on top. This is NOT what a real friend does, and if you’re spending time with someone who’s constantly putting you down, you shouldn’t be wasting your time.
  3. They’re not supportive of the things that are important to you. Some friends have everything in common and some are as different as night and day. The beauty of this world is that we’re all unique and you don’t have to be exactly the same as your friends. They may not understand why you love the things that you love or why certain things are so important to you, but as long as they support you and respect those things, they can still be wonderful friends. If your friend is disrespectful or ridicules the important things in your life, they’re fake because they should want to support you in everything.
  4. They use you for something. If you feel like your friend is constantly using you to get things, that’s a big red flag that they’re a fake friend. If they’re constantly wanting you to buy things, take them places, introduce them to people, be the scapegoat for their issues, or anything of that nature, that is not what a real friend does. Real friends love you for who you are and the good times that you have together.
  5. They keep a score of what you owe each other. Friends will often give each other gifts, or treat each other to things. We’ve all picked up the dinner tab every once in a while or surprised our friends with coffee or little gifts. There’s nothing wrong with taking turns paying but when your friend keeps a meticulous score of how much money or time they spend in regards to you and hangs it over your head like a debt you owe to them, that’s not a quality of a true friend. Real friends don’t keep score because it doesn’t matter to them. It’s perfectly fine if you’d rather always pay your own tabs and keep that separate but, your friends should never act as if you owe them cents on the dollar. That seems conditional.
  6. They enable destructive behavior. This can be a sensitive subject but the fact is, true friends tell it like it is. If you’re engaging in behavior that’s dangerous or damaging, they will tell you what they think and try to stop you from doing something that could jeopardize your future. They love you and they want you to have a successful life so if they see you doing something that could negatively impact it like substance abuse, a relationship with a dangerous partner, or falling into any pattern of destructive behavior, they’ll have the courage to speak up and tell you the brutal truth. If they’d rather ignore things because they don’t want to confront you about it or they just don’t care, then they’re not a real friend.
  7. You can never count on them. Everyone has their own life and their own responsibilities and we can’t expect our friends to be 100% available to us at all times, however, when your friend says they’re going to show up for you or do something, they need to follow through with that. If you find that they’re constantly changing plans last minute, standing you up, changing their mind, or just constantly letting you down, it won’t take long for you to stop relying on them. If you feel like you can’t trust them to keep a promise, they aren’t a real friend, they’re fake.
  8. You can’t trust them with secrets. One of the best things about having close friends is that you can confide in them about everything going on in your life. It’s so nice to have someone to turn to when you need to vent or talk about something that you don’t want anyone to know. However, if your friend tends to gossip or talk about you with other people, telling your secrets and breaking that confidence, that’s a fake friend. It’s someone who’s more interested in staying popular because they always have “tea” rather than being there for you and being someone that you can trust with your personal information.
  9. They run when times get tough. A real friend is with you through thick and thin, even when you’re going through difficult or painful situations. Even if all they can do is be a shoulder that you can lean on and someone that you can confide in about what you’re going through, they will always be there for you. A fake friend might be willing to be there for the good times but won’t be around when you’re really going through it and need someone to depend on. Real friends will always want to make sure you’re okay and won’t ever leave you feeling alone in something.
Journalist and Fiction Writer. Raised in the South but built for the big city. Book Nerd. Overall nerd, honestly. Coffee Addict. Obsessed with all things leather and lacy. I like dark lipstick and writing about my exes. I have headphones in 90% of the time.