How To Tell Fake Friends From Real Ones

Healthy friendships are beautiful. A friendship where you both root and support each other and you can totally be yourself around them. It’s peaceful and reassuring. However, friendships can turn sour if you’ve fake people pretending to love you, and most times it’s difficult to tell who’s for you or against you. If you’re currently at that stage, here’s how to tell fake friends from real ones.

  1. Fake friends are never available when you need them the most. They’re always there during the fun times but when the clouds are dark, they disappear leaving you all alone to sort your misery. They’re never a shoulder to cry on. You can’t trust them with your vulnerability because they might use it against it in the future. So, if you’re always having second thoughts about opening up to someone you’re meant to be close with, chances are you’re dealing with a fake friend.
  2. Fake friends don’t hold you accountable. Obviously, nobody’s perfect. We all have our flaws and things to work on and improve. Fake friends are never honest about your flaws and instead try to mask them with flattery. “Girl, you’re perfect!” even when you’ve got a big ego issue and need to see a therapist. “OMG, you’re amazing and he doesn’t deserve you!” after a breakup that was clearly your fault. Don’t get me wrong, your friends should make you feel good about yourself and big you up, but lying to you makes you wonder if there are ulterior motives there. It’s like fake friends don’t want to see you better yourself because they want to be top dog.
  3. Fake friends are never supportive. While true friends are going to break their backs to get you to the top, fake friends are going to chill and wish you nosedive to the bottom. Maybe you’re trying to start your own Etsy store and instead of buying something from you, they choose a similar object from somewhere else because “they didn’t realize you sold that.” Of course they knew. They did it purposely to knock you down a peg.
  4. Fake friends are close-fisted. A true friend loves to give. Not just material things but their time, attention, and knowledge. Fake pals, on the other hand, will take, keep taking and never stop. They have a crazy entitlement mentality that makes it okay to always want to receive from you but never give, no matter how little.
  5. Fake friends compete endlessly with you. A fake friend sees you as an obstacle to overcome. You’re merely a fellow competitor in the race of life and they can do anything to bring you down. They want your clothes, shoes, husband, kids, car, and home. Maybe it’s insecurity or low-self esteem issues. But isn’t that the more reason why you shouldn’t deal with such a person? They’ll do anything to have anything you have and it’s toxic!
  6. Fake friends are always jealous of your achievements. When you get that promotion at work, it’s normal to want to call up your friends. However, do you take a moment to think about someone in the circle who could be… indifferent when they hear the good news? That’s a fake friend. They loathe hearing you speak of your achievements and are super competitive with you in every sense of the word. It’s like there’s not room enough for two people to be successful!
  7. Fake friends always speak ill about you behind your back. They are charming, warm, and sweet when they’re around you but the moment you leave the room, they switch and tell all sorts of lies about you, gossip, and talk you down. It’s like they want everyone else to think as poorly of you as they do and it’s pretty blatant.
  8. Fake friends never keep secrets. If you want the whole city to know about your relationship problems, tell a fake friend. They’ll spread the word to every ear that cares to listen. They don’t give a damn about your feelings. To them, you’re just something to gossip about.

How to deal with fake friends

The terrible thing about fake friends is just how little you get from them. Tiana Leeds, M.A., LMFT explains: “A quality friendship includes support, loyalty, and closeness—three things you cannot find in a fake friend.” You end up doing all the heavy lifting and get nothing in return. So how do you deal with fake friends?

  1. Keep a healthy distance from them. You can’t stay friends with everyone. That’s one of the harsh truths I had to learn the hard way. The moment you spot a fake friend, learn to keep your distance, otherwise, they’re going to drag you down with their toxicity.
  2. Confrontation might help strengthen the relationship. Sometimes, a fake friend might have a good side and there may just be a major issue that can be overcome with clear communication. They may be engaging in an unhealthy competition with you but at the same time, they’re always available during your down moments. In cases like that, rather than toss them right away, have a conversation with them and let them know how their actions are affecting you. Maybe they’ll do some soul-searching and get their act together.
  3. Never share your achievements or goals with a fake friend. If you’re anything like me, you might have a tough time keeping your good news to yourself, but it’s an important thing to do when your circle is filled with fake friends. Keep your victories to yourself and be careful not to share sensitive information around them.
  4. Be on alert whenever you’re with a fake friend. If you’re still open to keeping a fake friend around, perhaps because of one of their good sides, then ensure that you don’t let down your guard and trust them blindly. For example, keep an eye on them while you party and play at the game nights. I once caught a girlfriend slipping some drugs into my juice while watching a movie together. If I wasn’t alert and watchful, anything could have happened to me that night.
  5. If possible, cut them out altogether. There really is no place in your life for fake friends. While they may be okay in certain ways, their downsides just aren’t worth keeping them around and having to second-guess everything you do and say around them and how they act around you as well. If you can, remove them from your life and move on.

It’s great that you put a lot into your social circle, but remember that it’s better to have one true friend who has your back at all times than tons of fake friends that are only there for the good times and who would love to see you fail. I hope you find the courage to let go of these fake friends and invest in healthier friendships.