Fake friends are more common than you think. If you have real friends, you are very lucky. Genuine friendships are critical to happiness. But fake friends can easily infiltrate genuine connections and make you feel bad. If you know fake people and they are trying to become your friend, watch out for these signs. We are going to learn about 18 signs you have fake friends.
1. Superficial Knowledge
Fake friends only know you at a superficial level. They know surface-level facts about what you like and how you spend your time, but they’re not interested in you as a person. They don’t understand your dreams or your values, and they don’t take an interest in the important things in your life. Oftentimes, fake friends talk to you as if you are a complete stranger. You find yourself thinking, “Does this person know me at all?” If this sounds familiar, your friend may only be interested in a superficial relationship. So, don’t waste your time hoping for something more.
2. Hoping for Failure
When something good happens in your life, you want to celebrate with the people you care about. But fake friends aren’t interested in celebrating your successes. Fake friends do not want you to succeed. They aren’t happy when you’re happy, because they don’t care about you the way real friends do. When you find success, they become distant, bitter, and humiliated. Ultimately, fake friends want to see you fail. When you don’t, it makes them feel small and insecure.
3. Emotional Outlets
A fake friend will talk about all the stressful things happening in their lives. They rant about their troubles. They complain about their partners. They expect you to sit and listen to their feelings for hours, but they never return the favor. To a fake friend, your feelings are not as important as theirs. They view your relationship as a one-way emotional outlet. But this is not a healthy or happy dynamic. Real friends know that every friendship is a two-way street. You listen to them, and they listen to you. If someone in your life is unwilling to listen, their hearts may not be in the right place.
4. Sudden Exhaustion
Spending time with your friends should feel energizing and uplifting. But fake friends have a negative impact on your mood and your self-esteem. Before you see them, you’re excited to spend time together. But as soon as they enter the room, you start wishing you were somewhere else. Maybe this person creates stress and negativity in your life. Or maybe they make you feel worse about yourself. Either way, this person sucks the life of you, because your friendship… isn’t positive or healthy.
5. Needless Favors
Fake friends are always asking for favors. Every few days, they text or call with something they need. Whether it’s borrowing $20 or getting a ride to the airport, fake friends will use you if you let them. To a fake friend, your time and resources are not important. They don’t consider how their favors and demands inconvenience you, because they don’t view you as a friend or an equal. In their mind, you are there to make their lives easier. But any real friend knows… that’s not how friendships work.
6. Emotional Distance
Real friends make you feel included and valuable. They pay attention to your needs, and they enjoy spending time with you. But fake friends make you feel like an outsider. They consistently talk about things that don’t relate to you. Even when you try to join the conversation, they keep you at arm’s length. Time and time again, you make an effort to close the emotional distance between you, but fake friends want you to feel like an outsider. Why? Because it makes them feel better about themselves.
7. Unfriendly Competition
Fake friends don’t want to see you achieve, and when you do, they take it personally. It’s common for fake friends to feel a strong sense of competition with you, especially if you are an ambitious and successful person. Sometimes, that means directly competing for opportunities. Other times, fake friends will actively sabotage your success or undermine your achievements. In either case, this person does not have your best interests in mind. And that is a telltale sign of a disingenuous friendship.
8. Canceling Plans
What happens when you make plans with a fake friend? Despite making plans days or weeks in advance, fake friends consistently cancel at the last second. They abandon your plans with little to no notice, and they rarely consider how their impulsivity impacts your life. Fake friends frequently choose their other friends and partners over you, because in their mind, you are not a priority.
9. Leveraging Mistakes
Fake friends will hold your mistakes over your head. They frequently bring up things you did wrong in the past, and they use those mistakes as leverage to push their own agendas. These toxic people consistently act like you owe them, all because of something you said months or years ago. To a fake friend, there is no such thing as “forgive and forget.” If your friends aren’t willing to move on, they may be taking your friendship for granted.
10. Betraying Your Trust
Do you know someone who likes to gossip? You may assume your friends never gossip about you. But someone who gossips to you about other people… probably gossips to other people about you. To put it simply, fake friends like these do not value other peoples’ trust. They act like your friend, but as soon as you turn your back, they spill all your secrets. All this person cares about is gaining attention from other people. If spilling your secrets will get people interested, a fake friend will not hesitate to betray your trust.
11. Empty Advice
Real friends will come to you for advice. When they have a problem, they listen to your thoughts, and they genuinely consider the advice you give. In short, they value your opinions in a way that fake friends never do. A fake friend will come to you with their problems, but they aren’t interested in your advice. They don’t take your opinions seriously. In fact, they seem to enjoy the drama that’s always swirling around them. Despite your earnest attempts to improve their lives, this person rarely listens to a word you say. Because deep down, they don’t want to change.
12. Harsh Judgments
A fake friend is unwilling and unable to accept you as you are. They constantly judge your decisions. Sometimes, they make you feel insecure about your life choices. Whether or not you’re making good choices is a different question, but your friends should support and encourage you, not judge you or put you down. You should feel comfortable discussing your problems with your friends. If you’re afraid they’ll judge or criticize you, your friendship may not be as genuine as you think.
13. Defensive Patterns
It’s difficult to be honest with a fake friend. You want to tell them what’s on your mind, but you may be afraid your honesty will damage your friendship. In general, fake friends aren’t receptive to your feelings or opinions. When you’re honest with them, they become defensive. They feel like you are trying to put them down, even though that’s the last thing you want to do. Your honesty often triggers a harsh, disproportionate reaction. Your friend may get angry and insult your character. Maybe they ignore you for days on end. In either case, you learn to lie to this person, because fake friends aren’t interested in your honest feelings.
14. Social Selfishness
In a fake friendship, you can hardly get a word in. Your friend constantly talks about themselves, as if the entire friendship revolves around their life and their problems. They don’t ask you questions. They don’t take an interest in what you’re doing. Oftentimes, they have no idea what is happening in your life. Maintaining a real friendship means listening as much as you talk. It means sharing details about your life and listening to details about theirs. If you know someone who dominates every conversation, carefully reflect on the quality of your friendship. You may realize that this person is not your real friend.
15. Creating Debt
Fake friends look for opportunities to create favors and debts. Not only does it give them a sense of satisfaction but favors and debts gives this person control over your life. Whenever you make decisions, they can and will throw those debts in your face. They may guilt you into doing what they want by acting like they saved you from a bad situation. Like many of the toxic behaviors on this list, creating debt is another way fake friends try to manipulate your decisions. The truth is… you don’t owe anyone anything. So, don’t let your fake friends tell you otherwise.
16. Breaking Boundaries
Fake friends consistently invade your comfort zone. They ignore your boundaries and force their opinions upon you, because they don’t respect you as an individual. Real friends know that your boundaries are important to you. They respect the limits you set, and they preserve those limits at all costs. In other words, anyone who breaks your boundaries is not giving you the respect you deserve.
17. Making Trouble
Do you know someone who is constantly involved in drama? Fake friends are magnets for conflict, but they never take responsibility for the drama they cause. Instead, they pass the blame and play the victim. They act like the world is making them miserable, when they are the ones stirring up trouble. Suddenly, it becomes your job to listen and console them whenever these conflicts arise. You might say to your friend, “Why don’t you just apologize and move on?” But fake friends aren’t willing to listen.
18. Offensive Comments
When dealing with a fake friend, you may feel like they’ve crossed an emotional line. Fake friends rarely consider the feelings of others. They make jokes and hurtful comments that target your vulnerabilities. But when you speak up, it often backfires. Instead of apologizing for their actions, fake friends will tell you that “you’re being too sensitive.” Here’s the truth. You’re not being too sensitive. You have every right to stand up for your feelings. If someone doesn’t respect your emotional boundaries, they may not be a friend worth keeping around