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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Fake Friends Vs. Real Friends: 12 Ways to Spot a Two-Faced Faker

Fake Friends Vs. Real Friends: 12 Ways to Spot a Two-Faced Faker

The Signs of a Fake Friend Aren't Always Obvious

Sometimes it is very clear that a person doesn't have your best interests at heart, and sometimes a disingenuous person will subtly display their true feelings. It can be challenging to know whether or not one of your friends is actually a frenemy.


Maybe everything in the friendship started out okay, but then you heard that your "friend" was talking about you behind your back. Maybe you always knew that they were kind of manipulative towards other people, but you only recently noticed that they were doing it to you too. Are they a fake friend?


Unfortunately, we live in the kind of world where we'll run into these kinds of people. Don't take it personally when you encounter a fake friend. A person who is fake to you will also be fake to others. It is likely that this person doesn't have any real friends at all, and you're no exception to that.


In borderline cases, it can be hard to tell if someone is a fake friend—especially if they're trying to be fake about the fact that they're fake! Keep in mind that feeling suspicious of a person's sincerity is usually a sign that something is not right. Trust your impressions of a person and remember that you wouldn't be reading this article unless you doubted one or more of your friendships.


12 Signs of a Fake Friend

  1. Your friendship is conditional.
  2. Your friend acts differently when you're around other people.
  3. Fake friends will speak poorly of you when you're not around.
  4. Fake friends will stop talking to you when you have a disagreement.
  5. Fake friends disappear when someone "more interesting" shows up.
  6. Fake friends always seem to want something from you.
  7. Fake friends will stop hanging out with you if you say "no" to them.
  8. Fake friends never try to help you achieve your goals.
  9. Fake friends always bring you down.
  10. Fake friends don't listen to you.
  11. A fake friend sees your needs and wants as a nuisance.
  12. Fake friends don't accept you for who you are.


1. Your Friendship Is Conditional

The biggest sign that you have a fake friend is that your friendship is extremely conditional. We all have normal boundaries that we don't want people to cross, but conditions are totally different. Boundaries are healthy and they're about the kind of respect a person thinks they deserve. For instance, if you cross a boundary by punching your friend in the face, it's perfectly normal that they would want to stop being friends with you.


On the other hand, conditions are all about standards that they expect you to adhere to, even if it has nothing to do with them. For example, if someone won't be your friend unless you're wealthy, that's a condition. A conditional friendship is when your friend expects you to give them certain things, act a certain way, dress in certain clothes, make a certain amount of money, or follow some other superficial standard before they will associate with you. This kind of relationship has nothing to do with your character and everything to do with appearances. If someone requires you to be anything other than yourself in exchange for a friendship, then that's not a real friendship at all.



2. Your Friend Acts Differently When You're Around Other People

Another obvious sign of a fake friend is if the person treats you differently depending on who is around. Are they nice to you when you're alone, but give you the cold shoulder when others are around? Do they tell you that they like you in private, but keep you at arm's length in public? Even worse, is your friendship some kind of secret?


If so, not only is this extremely immature, but they're definitely not a real friend. Real friends are not ashamed of treating people with kindness, and they certainly won't be afraid to admit that they get along with you.


3. Fake Friends Will Speak Poorly of You When You're Not Around

If someone is your friend, why would they spread rumors and spout B.S. about you behind your back? You might try to rationalize that kind of behavior by assuming your friend does that to everyone, but if they're treating everyone that way then they must not have any real friends. When you genuinely care about someone, you sing their praises to others. You don't try to make them look bad in some misguided attempt to make yourself seem better.


Fake Friends Vs. Real Friends: 12 Ways to Spot a Two-Faced Faker

4. Fake Friends Will Stop Talking to You When You Have a Disagreement

Human beings can easily have differences of opinion. There's no person on this Earth who is exactly like you. Besides, wouldn't it be boring if you agreed with your friends about absolutely everything?


The real test of a friendship happens when you and your friend actually disagree on something. This is especially the case if you disagree about something that one of you passionately believes in. It's times like these when a person shows their true colors.


Does you friend see you as a human being? Or do they see you through the filter of their own opinions only? Do they see you as unworthy or less than human if you disagree with them on X, Y, or Z topic?


If your friend can't handle that you changed religions or political affiliations, they were never a real friend to begin with. They didn't like you for you; they liked you because you agreed with each other about something.


Sometimes the disagreements don't even need to be about anything important like your religion or life philosophy. Sometimes it's simply as stupid as getting into an argument about who owes whom 5 bucks.


5. Fake Friends Disappear When Someone "More Interesting" Shows Up

Part of being in a conditional friendship is that you never know when your "friend" is going to ditch you for somebody else. Fake friends may frequently cancel plans with you at the last minute because someone they like more became available. The problem isn't that they get along with someone else better; the problem is that they have no respect for your time and don't care about disappointing you.


If someone you know doesn't care about your feelings and ditches you as soon as you seem boring, then this is a sign that they're a fake friend. They are just using you for some company, but will jump ship when something "better" comes along.



6. Fake Friends Always Seem to Want Something From You

Do you feel that your friend only hangs around because they want something from you?

This could be anything, really:

  • Money
  • Favors
  • Access to your social circle
  • Sex
  • Career opportunities
  • Free rides to places
  • Free stuff
  • Relief from boredom
  • Relief from loneliness

While these are all things that you can give to a friend simply because you like them, if they are hanging out with you because of these things, then that's a problem.


If someone is "friends" with you for any reason besides the fact that you are who you are, that's a tell-tale sign of a fake friend.


Fake Friends Vs. Real Friends: 12 Ways to Spot a Two-Faced Faker

7. Fake Friends Will Stop Hanging Out With You If You Say "No" to Them

Of course everyone wants to get their way all the time, but you can't always get exactly what you want. Sometimes we have to make compromises when we're interacting with other people. This doesn't mean you have to change your beliefs about life or anything. It just means friends should be generous about smaller things and practice compromising. For example, if you want to see a movie together, but can't agree on what to watch, real friends are flexible enough to come up with an alternate solution.


If, however, your friend is totally inflexible and is never willing to give up small desires for the sake of the greater friendship, then they are not a very good friend. Fake friends tend to disappear the moment you say no or introduce an agenda that doesn't align with theirs.




8. Fake Friends Never Try to Help You Achieve Your Goals

By "goals," I don't necessarily mean some grand desire of making a million dollars or graduating from an Ivy League school. It really comes down to the everyday stuff. A goal can be as small and mundane as wanting to go to the store to get some popcorn, or as huge as wanting to travel the world.


Does your friend always nudge you a little in the direction of what you want because they know you'll be happier that way? Do they try to make it easier for you to do the things you want, or do they just stand by the sidelines and watch? Worse, do they drag you away from your goals? Good friends can keep you on track and will usually try to help you in small ways, even if they can't do much. They turn into problem solvers for the people around them, and they will certainly do anything they can to avoid being the source of problems.


For example, if one of your goals is to find a good romantic partner, does your friend offer you books on relationships, introduce you to new people, or give you advice based on their experience? Or does your friend ignore what you're doing, change the subject, and even discourage you?

9. Fake Friends Always Bring You Down

This should go without saying, but if your friend insults you or belittles you on the regular, they're probably not a very good friend. It's true that sometimes people grow up with the bad habit of relentlessly teasing people about their insecurities, but if they're genuinely abusive, then obviously they're a fake friend.


The same is true if they bring you down by always dumping their negative feelings on you. If all they ever do is vent about their problems when they're around you, you're probably being used as an emotional punching bag.


Fake Friends Vs. Real Friends: 12 Ways to Spot a Two-Faced Faker

10. Fake Friends Don't Listen to You

One major sign of a fake friend is that they are extremely egocentric. Everything is about them, so naturally they will only be slightly interested in what you're saying. Do you ever get the feeling that your friend just doesn't listen? Do they tap away on their phone while you're talking, do they change the subject, or do they just seem bored until you start talking about something directly related to them?


Another way that you can tell that someone doesn't care about what you have to say is if they never reference something that you said in the past. They rarely say things like, "I made these cookies without peanuts because I remember you mentioned you were allergic," or "Let's go see that zombie movie because I remember you said you like horror."


This is different from someone who is just forgetful every once in awhile. A fake friend never absorbs what you said in the first place, so they have no way of remembering. More importantly, they just don't care, so they will rarely if ever mention things that you told them in the past.


A real friend listens to what you say. They make note of the important stuff without even thinking about it, and they'll naturally bring it up later when it's relevant. This should be effortless for a real friend because they should actually care about you. You also won't have to fight to be heard or to keep them from changing the subject constantly.


11. A Fake Friend Sees Your Needs and Wants as a Nuisance

Does your friend guilt trip you or seem hesitant every time you want something? Do they dismiss your needs and treat them as secondary to their own? Does it always seem like the things you want are optional and unnecessary, but the things that your friend wants are always justified?


Fake friends don't take your needs seriously. Since your needs are not critical to their agenda, fulfilling them is at most a "payment" that they have to make to get what they want from you. Ideally, they would never address your needs or wants at all, since they are mostly a nuisance. For a real friend, fulfilling the needs and wants of both people in the relationship is part of the fun. Giving and receiving are equally important.


12. Fake Friends Don't Accept You For Who You Are

Finally, one of the most obvious signs of a fake friend is if this "friend" treats you differently when you change something about yourself. This really just means that the person doesn't accept you for who you are deep inside, they only accept you if you fit in with what they think you should be to them.


A real friend will stick by you if you get rejected from your first choice of university, if you choose an embarrassing career, if you get married to the wrong person, or if you get divorced after decades (or minutes) of marriage. Real friends will continue to be your friends without judgement, because your path is your own and you need to be who you are. If you made a major life change and they don't approve to the point that they've started ignoring you, consider it a bullet dodged.



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