25 Signs to Tell Fake Friends From Real Friends

“I seem to attract people who act nice at first but turn out to be unreliable, two-faced, or self-centered. I want to know how to avoid fake friends who don’t respect me.”

People have different definitions of what a fake friend is. Most commonly, a fake friend is someone who is not interested in being a good friend to you. They may hang out with you because they feel like they have no better options. In some cases, they may even be using you in some way or another. Other times, they may care about you but don’t know how to be a good friend. Hanging out with fake friends usually leaves you feeling drained of energy rather than inspired and content.

How do you tell if a friend is fake or not? It’s not always easy to spot the signs. Some toxic people are so subtle in their behavior that it might be months or even years before you realize they aren’t genuine. In this guide, you’ll learn the warning signs of a fake friend.

Sections

  1. Signs of fake friends
  2. How to deal with fake friends
  3. Common questions

Signs of fake friends

Here are 25 questions you can ask yourself to determine if your friend is a true or fake friend.

1. How much do they talk about themselves?

I once had a “friend” who would call me almost daily to discuss his ideas and problems. I tried to be a good friend by listening to and giving feedback.

On some days, I also had something on my mind that I wanted to talk about, but there was never any space for me to speak. And if I did get to talk a little, he soon changed the topic and talked about himself again.

He wasn’t really interested in me or my life. I realized that he was a bad friend because I never got anything back in that relationship.

I don’t think he was a bad person, but our relationship was one-sided.

Fake friends are not interested in you. They’re only interested in themselves. They may use you as an audience or therapist.

2. How interested are they in you?

Do they ask you many questions about your life, opinions, and feelings? Do you get to talk about your problems? Do they support you when things are rough? These are signs of a real friend.

Do they listen if you tell them something important about you or your life? Do they remember special events and dates that are significant for you?

Some people aren’t very good at asking questions. This doesn’t mean they don’t care. However, you should still get the general impression that they want to know you on a deeper level.

3. What type of people do they hang out with?

I remember when one of my friends started dating a new girl. He told me she was amazing, but her behaviors sometimes troubled him.

Then he told me that his girlfriend’s best friend was a big douchebag and that she regularly hung out with some sketchy people.

That got me thinking. Why would a good person hang out with bad people like that? Sure, we all make bad choices, and it can take time to figure out what someone is really like. But when someone’s best friend is a big douchebag, and they hang out with other bad people, those are BIG WARNING SIGNS.

So, if you don’t like your friend’s other friends, that’s a red flag.

4. Do they apologize and make up for their mistakes?

My best friend once forgot about our date, and I was left alone in the middle of town. I called him, and he was extremely embarrassed and apologetic about it. He later made up for it by making a fantastic lunch for me.

A fake friend wouldn’t have cared. They might even have been annoyed or irritated by my reaction. Real friends make mistakes, but they own up to them and apologize.

5. Do they lie to you or others?

An occasional white lie is OK. For example, most of us have said, “Thank you for dinner. It was delicious!” at some point, even when the food wasn’t very good. But if someone lies often or tells big lies, this doesn’t reflect well on their character.

It’s not easy to know if someone is lying to you. However, watching them with other people can give you some clues. If they lie to others or act insincere, they might do the same to you.

6. How do they make you feel about yourself?

How do you feel when you are with your friends? How do you feel afterward? Do they do or say anything that affects your mood negatively?

Here’s how bad friends can make you feel:

  • You feel bad about yourself
  • You feel there’s something wrong with you
  • You feel you’re not good enough
  • You feel you need to change yourself to fit in with the group
  • You feel ashamed of yourself
  • You feel that your friends are taking pity on you by inviting you to spend time with them
  • You feel that you can’t let your real personality shine through

Real friends lift you up and make you feel good about yourself.

7. Are they critical of your achievements?

Good friends can give constructive criticism when you need it, but they mostly support you and ensure you know how awesome you are when you achieve something.

A fake friend, however, is likelier to act like you are in some competition. When you bring up an accomplishment, they may bring up something impressive that they did or try to downplay your achievement.

8. Do they understand your limitations?

Fake friends will expect a lot from you and get angry or irritated when you disappoint them.

Real friends have reasonable expectations of you, and they are understanding of your mistakes and flaws. They understand when and why you can’t or don’t want to do something.

9. Do they respect your boundaries?

Fake friends overstep your boundaries and make you do and accept things you don’t want.

Real friends respect you and your boundaries. And if they accidentally go too far, they apologize when you tell them how you feel.

I’ve also written an article you might like about how to be more respected by people.

10. Are they supportive?

Fake friends get envious and jealous when you do well, and they will probably try to put you down in those situations or minimize your achievements. Good friends will be happy for you when you do well and will help you out if they can.

11. Do they stand up for you?

I was once at a house party where most of us knew each other, but the “leader” of our group never really seemed to like me.

He often gave me backhanded compliments and was always critical of me. At this party, he started making fun of me in front of some girls. He tried to disguise it as a “joke.”

I even tried to play along by laughing with them.

I didn’t notice how mean he was until later, when one of my other friends told me that the situation made him uncomfortable. He said he didn’t think it was OK for the “leader” to behave like that. My friend then talked to our leader about it.

The fact that he stood up for me meant a lot. Even though nobody dared to say anything immediately, I could tell by my friend’s reaction that he was a true friend. It also made me see that our “leader” wasn’t a real friend.

Read more about how to deal with friends who don’t respect you.

12. Is there always some sort of drama going on in their life?

Ever heard someone say, “I don’t like drama,” yet they seem to be surrounded by it? There’s a good chance they are the source of the problem.

If you are losing respect for a friend, this could be why. It’s hard to respect someone who keeps making trouble for themselves.

Fake friends are often dramatic. For example, they may announce that they are breaking up with a friend or partner but then change their mind. They tend to cause arguments and misunderstandings wherever they go. They also make a big deal of small things and don’t own up to their mistakes.

Real friends try to solve your differences and find a middle ground where you agree. They would rather have a calm discussion than throw a temper tantrum.

13. Do they help you out when you need it?

Fake friends often ask you for help. In time, they might ask you for bigger and bigger favors. Their requests are often borderline unreasonable, but you never get anything back.

Nobody can be expected to help you with everything, but real friends are ready to help you when you truly need it.

You can read more about friends who ask for help but never give back.

14. Do they act differently when around others?

Are they mean when you are alone but act nice to you in front of other people? Or maybe it’s the other way around: they’re nice in a one-on-one conversation but mean toward you when you socialize as part of a group.

Fake friends act differently depending on who is around. This behavior is unacceptable. Real friends are consistent, not two-faced.

15. Do they speak badly of you behind your back?

Fake friends talk shit and gossip about others with you. That’s a sign that they might gossip about you behind your back when you aren’t around to hear it.

Real friends mostly say good things about others and good things about you.

16. Do they seem happy to see you?

When I first got to know David (the founder of SocialSelf), I remember how he always greeted me with a big smile and a hug. I instantly felt great around him and wanted to spend more time with him.

When someone makes you feel good around them, that’s a sign they’re also a good person and a good friend.

Fake friends are often in a bad mood. They are irritable and like to vent a lot. Real friends also need to vent, but it should be balanced with positive, fun conversations.

17. Can you be yourself around them?

Can you relax and be yourself around your friend? Or do you have to put on a mask and fake it to fit in? If you can’t be authentic around them, it might be time to stop keeping in touch with them.

Real friends allow you to be yourself because they accept you and like you for who you are. Fake friends don’t. If you need to fake interests or pretend to be someone else to make the friendship work, it’s not a true friendship.

18. Can you trust them to keep a secret?

Fake friends will tell your secrets to others because they don’t really care about you or respect your privacy.

Real friends can be trusted with your secrets. If someone has betrayed your trust more than once (and not apologized!), it might be time to rethink your relationship.

19. Do they try to one-up you?

Fake friends will try to one-up you. For example, if you tell them you got a new phone, they will claim their phone is better or criticize your phone.

They act like this because they have an inferiority complex and must prove they’re better than everyone else.

20. Do they say, “It was just a joke”?

Have you ever told someone you got offended or hurt, and they defended themselves with the classic line, “I was just joking” or, “You’re too sensitive, you should learn to take a joke”?

That means they’re not acknowledging their bad behavior, and they’re not apologizing. These are both signs of a bad friend. A good friend will not (regularly) brush your feelings off like that. They will try to make amends instead of making excuses.

21. Have they been gaslighting you?

People who gaslight you are one of the worst types of fake friends because they can make you feel crazy.

Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where someone tries to make you question your judgment. Here’s an example:

One day, Abby is using her boyfriend’s laptop. She sees some flirtatious messages between her boyfriend and her friend Sophie. Abby worries that they might be secretly seeing each other.

She confronts Sophie. Sophie denies that she has been flirting with Abby’s boyfriend. She tells Abby, “How could you possibly think I’d do that to you? You know I’m your best friend!”

This makes Abby confused. After all, why would Sophie lie? Abby starts to think, “Maybe I’m being paranoid here? Am I one of those overprotective girlfriends?”

Gaslighting is unacceptable in any relationship, whether romantic or platonic. It signals a complete lack of respect. Avoid people who manipulate you like this.

22. Do they drop off the radar when they start dating someone new?

Fake friends will ignore you when they meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend. They may suddenly reappear when the relationship goes wrong and they want advice, or when it ends and they need someone to give them emotional support. Real friends make time for you even when they are caught up in an exciting new relationship.

23. Are they using you to gain access to other people?

Sometimes, fake friends try to get close to you because they want to take advantage of your connections.

For example, a fake friend might only act nice to you because they want to date one of your other friends or because you know someone who could help them land a new job.

Watch out for a friend who directly asks for introductions when you haven’t known them for very long. It’s normal to network with your friend’s friends, but be on guard if they seem more interested in meeting your social circle than spending time with you.

24. Do they use emotional blackmail?

Fake friends try to get something from you by manipulating your emotions. This is called emotional blackmail.

For example, let’s say your friend wants to borrow your car one weekend. Unfortunately, they are a bad driver who has been in more than one accident. You aren’t comfortable lending them your car, and you politely tell them why. Your friend says, “If you were a real friend, you’d give me a chance.”

In this case, your friend would be emotionally blackmailing you by trying to make you feel guilty for saying “No.” Real friends don’t behave this way. When they hear “No,” they respect it.

25. Are they only around when things go well?

Does your friend seem happy to hang out when it’s a party or special event but disappear when you’re struggling or going through a hard time? A good friend will stick with you through good times and bad.

How to deal with fake friends

If you’ve assessed your friendship and find it lacking, what should you do about it? That depends on several factors, such as:

  • How long you’ve been friends (and how much of that time was good)
  • How important the friendship is to you
  • How many good things are in the friendship compared to the bad
  • Whether you feel your friend is well-meaning or not

Here are some things you can do if you find yourself with a friend you feel is not a real friend.

1. Assert yourself

Are you waiting for your friends to show you that they care, or are you taking initiative in your friendship?

For example, do you share things about your life or wait for your friends to ask? Do you try to organize activities that are important to you?

Changing dynamics in a friendship can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. You can start to speak up and express your needs, feelings, and interests. Sometimes, it only takes one person working on themselves in a relationship for things to start changing for the better.

You might find the following guide useful: what to do when your friends only talk about themselves.

2. Work on boundaries

People often find themselves doing more than they’re comfortable with and then feeling resentful when others don’t do the same.

For example, you may make an effort to pick up your phone and listen whenever your friend needs to vent, no matter what you’re doing at the time. Then, if you call them and they say they’re too busy to talk, you feel angry and upset that they’re not a true friend like you.

The solution here isn’t necessarily to stop being friends. Setting boundaries can help you feel more balanced in your friendships. You may decide to request that your friend ask if you’re in a good headspace before bringing up difficult topics or turn off your phone after a certain time at night.

Read our in-depth guide on setting boundaries for more on this important topic.

3. Bring up the issues that are bothering you

If you’re not sure if your friend cares about your friendship or not, you can try to talk to them about the things that bother you and see how they react. They may be unaware that they are acting in hurtful ways and are open to working on it.

We have a guide that can help you tell a friend they hurt you.

4. Decide how much you want to invest

Your friend may be great in many ways, keeping you on the fence about whether they’re a true friend or not. One possible explanation is that you have different expectations from friendship.

If you find yourself in a friendship that feels one-sided, ask yourself what you’re getting by giving more than you receive. You may decide that you would feel better in the friendship by spending less time together or reframing the way you see the relationship.

5. Distance yourself

If asserting yourself, setting boundaries, and communicating with your friend doesn’t work, making your fake friends less of a priority in your life is the next step. Stop reaching out to them. Instead, get comfortable spending time by yourself, and start working on making new friends.

How can you distance yourself if your fake friend keeps inviting you out? Read our article: how to tell someone you don’t want to hang out.

6. Reach out to new people

If you feel lonely, you’re more likely to feel dependent on someone, even if they’re not a good friend. By making more friends, you’ll be able to look at your friendships more objectively. It will then be easier to walk away from friendships that aren’t making you feel good.

We have several guides on making friends in specific situations (in high school, if you’re over 50, if you have social anxiety…), so have a look around.

7. Consider seeking professional support

Being surrounded by bad friends can be extremely draining and tough to deal with on your own. Just one bad friend can be too much to deal with on your own. A therapist can help you gain more clarity and also support you through any emotional fallout when dealing with bad, fake friends.

Seeing a therapist can be particularly helpful if you’ve found yourself with more than one fake friend during your life. A therapist can help you learn to assert your needs to create more fulfilling relationships. Your therapist can also help you recognize signs early on that a person isn’t capable of being a good friend.

We recommend BetterHelp for online therapy, since they offer unlimited messaging and a weekly session, and are cheaper than going to a therapist's office.

Their plans start at $64 per week. If you use this link, you get 20% off your first month at BetterHelp + a $50 coupon valid for any SocialSelf course: Click here to learn more about BetterHelp.

(To receive your $50 SocialSelf coupon, sign up with our link. Then, email BetterHelp’s order confirmation to us to receive your personal code. You can use this code for any of our courses.)

If you’re still unsure about your friendship, you might like to read this article about the signs of a toxic friendship.

Show references +

Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages SocialSelf’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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  1. Hey I was trying to find out if my friend was a bad one because I always seem to find my self complaining in my head about her. I have fun with her and we have a lot of stuff in common but she is always making “jokes” that really bother me but whenever I say something she says the classic “It’s just a joke”. This girl isn’t exactly “Mean” or a “Drama Queen” but she is the type that always comes up with comebacks even if it isn’t really needed. I’m scared to end the friendship since we both have all the same friends and I know if I break of the friendship all of my friends will help her because she’s crying and stuff… I really don’t like what she does and I always see myself complaining about that one thing she said the other day but ending it is scary and I know shes gonna spam me with how bad of a friend I was being. What should I do? I don’t want to hang out with her, but I would like to hang out with my other friends and I don’t want to make it complicated! Please reply soon. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Ok so I have a friend who knows I’m bisexual and my other friend was biting people as a joke and when she went for me, she shouted ‘DON’T BITE HER SHE’S BISEXUAL’ I find that not only offensive but sexist

    Reply
  3. Yep thanks a lot I just realised I’m at a fake friends birthday sleepover with a ton of fake friends and a really nice new friend. ?

    Reply
  4. I had a friend just say that I’m not funny and never will be. Kinda sucks because I wanna be a comedian when I grow up…

    Reply
    • Different people have a different type of humour. One persons opinion would be different to many. What your friend said was rude don’t listen to him/her.

      Reply
  5. I found friends who used to call me their best friend they shown Very much interest in me.I thought this friends are the best as days passed they started hating me they used to get jealous of me and used to make me feel low I don’t know why their behaviour changed suddenly bit this used to hurt me everyday.

    Reply
  6. So I think my “best” friend may not be a good friend. He checks off a lot of things listed above. If I ever talk about something happening to me or something about me he just brushes it off and goes back to talking about himself. He also likes to bag on me in front of others and disguise as a joke when the things he jokes about aren’t funny, they’re just mean. He’s also copies everything I do and steals my ideas. Wears the type of clothes I wear and uses my creative ideas as his own. I guess there’s a bunch of signs that say my “ friend” isn’t really my friend but I was thinking maybe I’m just crazy? Maybe I’m overreacting and being too sensitive? I don’t have many friends and I’m ok with that but I do feel alone sometimes. I mean I’m writing all of this to a random stranger so I guess I’m a little lonely for sure. There also might be a girl involved, that he says he doesn’t like anymore but definitely does. But that’s another looonnnng story. Am I being crazy? Is my gut feeling about something being wrong with my friendship with this person? Please help, if you can. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Noon you’re not crazy I have a friend just like that well I call her and my neighbor because friends don’t behave that way! Your friend sounds extremely envious and jealous of you most likely talks about you behind your back triangulates with other people so basically will say he’s a narcissist all red flags do not trust him your secrets or update him about anything going on in your life anymore if you still want to be friends keep it to a minimal my neighbor fake friend never picked up the phone and ever initiated contact with me not once and eight nine years unless she needed something she also has histrionic HPD men can have that as well just look out for all those red flags and start distancing yourself I cut my neighbor fake friend off cold turkey about a month ago and I feel so much better because she will still talk about me I’m sure of that but she can’t get anything out of me anymore or knows what I’m doing or what I’m up to or any of my plans I changed all my locks cuz she had my keys I believe she was sneaking in here and stealing good luck keep your distance you’ll feel better!!

      Reply
  7. I have a co worker who wanted to be friends so we gave it a shot. Shes a nice person, but when i became depressed a few weeks go and confided in her about feeling down instead of trying to cheer me up she freaked out on me. And said she wanted to call the police on me for being depressed. This made me feel abandoned and afraid of her. I thought we were friends. I didn’t even do anything crazy i just said life wasn’t going all that well and i was stuck in a sad depressing state. Anyway this was enough to send her running, she abandoned our friendship completely which hurt me quite a bit, but i respected her decision because i want her to be happy and live her best life and sometimes if you just don’t vibe with people you have to walk away. Im professional at work and she is cold to me now and very unkind when i ask her work related questions she says ”what”? like i am bothering her. Its ok, i know sometimes these things just don’t work out. However now she is making friends with co workers that talk bad about her at work and i am very worried about her. They tell everyone her business and laugh about her to me and others and say things wont work out for her. I want to say something to her, but i feel if i do she will snap at me and think i am jealous she is not friendly to me now so i am 100% certain of her reaction if i try to warn her of them. Maybe i should just let things be? I should probably just leave her alone thinking that these people are her friends..but i just feels wrong. I want to stop worrying about her and be more detached, im seeming to have a hard time with it, and im unsure why. Im doing a lot better now, although ive stopped being friends with the other co worker whos bad to her so shes turned on me. So now i have a small group of women at work against me even though im not petty, im nice and still say good morning and and nice to everyone, i don’t like games or silly attitude stuff i just don’t see the point. They don’t return the favor and are rude when they can be to me but its ok. Im doing alright. Why do i still care about the co worker who abandoned me? How do i let her go? Sorry for so much i guess my question is: How do i let the co worker who abandoned my friendship go? How do i stop caring about her? I don’t want to be the weirdo still caring about someone who doesn’t like me anymore. I think my depression was just too much for her. Side note: The take away here is no matter how curious co workers are about you even when they all ask to be your friend do not let them in because it goes wrong very fast and then its awkward at the office.

    Reply
  8. They are the people I like and they don’t like me to then they tell everybody that I am their fake friend and they tell la’nyia
    and Nevaeh to don’t talk to me and I said why are you doing this to me because I did not do nothing to you and I told her to stop I’m going to tell the teacher on you and she said I don’t care go tell the teacher on you if you want and I was somewhere to cry and she came up to me and say I’m sorry?????? and I am and I am heart broken

    Reply
    • Don’t cry there are people somewhere that care about you, and are going through the same thing. I am don’t worry someday they would wish you were their friends?

      Reply
    • He NEVER will! start distancing have a conversation first if nothing changes start slowly distancing yourself there are nice healthy people out there don’t need this drama!

      Reply
  9. I am doing my spring cleaning and asked my friend if she could help me put some mirrors shelves up & move a dresser..Her reply was ” you want my help but your not offering any money…ohh my this really upset me…am I wrong to be upset? Reading this I also came to the realization.. Every time I see her..* its all about her and new boyfriend* and doesn’t listen much or comment on any of what I may be going through
    .sad..but thinking time to say bye.?!!!

    Reply
    • If she was asking for payment, she really isn’t a true friend. I can understand with some things but for just cleaning, no that’s not right at all. I hope everything works out for you!

      Reply
    • Yes it’s time to say goodbye I recently had a friend like that pretended to be my friend she met a guy and disappeared show it all her true colors… if you can’t get anyone to help you and you really need the help off for a couple of bucks but then drop her ASAP!

      Reply
      • Oh and by the way when she keep talking about herself and her new BF change the subject or tell her you got to go and watch how she reacts!

  10. thank you made me feel better because i have fake friends and they never stand for me first i wanted to kill my self thank you

    Reply
  11. Thank you for this but still, my friends have “fake friend” qualities as well as “good friend” qualities. I am too confused with what I should do. I have changed myself to fit in but they don’t really seem to notice if I do or don’t. They care about me but they don’t show it much; they’ve known me so long and they know that I’m going through some stuff and *then* they care. They make me laugh but they make me feel unimportant. IDK what to do.

    Reply
    • It sounds like you need to start setting some boundaries with your friends. Do not accept being treated in a bad way, talk to them about it.

      Most people aren’t real or fake, they’re somewhere in between. That’s when we need to set boundaries and make people treat us like we want them to. Otherwise, you will just be a doormat for life. If they don’t better themselves, it’s time to start looking for new friends.

      Reply
    • Sorry for what you’re going through but you already answered your own question you feel badly when interacting or after interacting with these people you got your answers you should always feel better after interacting good luck!

      Reply
  12. I’ve known by best friends for ten years now and they haven’t made me feel special.I have three friends, the both of them are females. We went the same primary school. We went to the same highschool.I love them but they don’t love me. We’re still in touch but they don’t make me feel loved and cherished.

    Reply
  13. I’ve been besties with these 2 girls lately, but mostly with this girl named Hailey. Recently, she’s been changing, like telling me I’m slow, or saying Emily you did track why aren’t you fast now. I told her that this hurt my feelings, and yet she continued to make fun of me. I remember telling her how I really wanted to start dancing. At this sleepover party, I was dancing and everyone else there said I should become a dance, because they thought I was doing good, but then Hailey was over there looking at me like I was doing everything wrong, then I told her that my mom and I wired looking for some modeling agents since people told me that I could do it. Then she looked at me in disgust and started talking about her mom. Hailey has always been a good friend and my best friend since the beginning of the year, however, a few days ago she was telling me how I should stop being lazy and do all of the homework, but no offense I work really hard and I behave straight As and for her to come into my life to tell me what I needed to do wasn’t right, I was so sick of it I yelled at her and said, Hailey, step in my shoes and taste a little bit of my life because you don’t know my schedule, and you can’t just tell me to do the homework if you don’t know how busy I am. Then she started to look sad, and like, totally shut down. For the rest of the day she didn’t really talk to me, then Angela the other came up to me and said that Hailey called me annoying and that she was going to ignore me for the rest of the day. I couldn’t handle it, because Hailey and I hav pie never been into s fight before, and I couldn’t handle her ignoring me, so I cried during lunch, then everyone was looking for me, then Hailey hugged me and said she wasn’t mad. But the next days hailey continued to ignore me, and whenever I was even frickin near her she would walk faster, the rest of the day I didn’t act normal because it made me feel so sad, it affected how I socialized with others. That following day I confronted it with Hailey, and it’s like I’ve never met this girl before. She didn’t act like herself around me which hurt me a lot because she would always act herself around me, she isn’t popular, but now she’s just acting like a brat. She kept saying she wasn’t mad at me. And I said that I didn’t like how she and Angela were always talking to each other and not me, I felt so left out. I think Hailey is hiding the fact that she doesn’t like me that much snymore, and that she’s ignoring me. It’s so obvious, and she was always talking about herself and changing the subject when I confronted her. I’m not happy with her, if anything I should be getting an apology. This is how she made me feel, and if she and Angela keep this up, I’ll just tell them I don’t want to be their friend anymore because I don’t want to be in a relationship of secrets, and being left out, I don’t care if they get mad st me, it’s their fault for not seeing the situation, what do you guys think.

    Reply
    • Fake Friends when wants to End a friendship, usually don’t want to take any responsibility of it, so they start with passive aggressive behavior. But in Your case I think she’s just jealous, be patient with her. Your happiness shouldn’t be controlled by others, that’s a quest of youth and adulthood too.

      TinAngel

      Reply
    • She’s probably envious of you and she’s not your friend your friend should be proud for your achievements and support your future goals she probably has something going on in her own life don’t let that affect you she sounds like she’s cannot handle situations and sounds a bit toxic and narcissistic when you speak your truth to her basically almost creating a boundary she gets mad and salts that’s called the silent treatment she doesn’t have know how to have a healthy conversation about the situation start distancing yourself I’m sure you are beautiful think of you only don’t worry about telling her your future plans anymore find someone else to talk to good luck

      Reply
  14. one of my best friends took my glasses and dident give it back untill the next period they are my vision glasses too and now im sad seeing this article that all of this is like her.

    Reply
  15. Hello! So I still am scarred because I was once in this relationship with a group of three yes, the group of three acted like the best of friends, yet they never treated me the same, they left me out, the leader of the three (Who actually used to be my friend since elementary school) actually started to critisize me and treat me like a puppet to play with, and it was killing my mind, and my grades. So soon I made a attempt to end it, but then she begged me to come back to being her friend, and I fell for it. And that second time also did not go well at all, and after that, I ended it all, and left the group, and soon I felt much better after that. Right now, I am pretty much a loner at my school, nobody cares about me and they only care about their friends, and I dont make any friends, because my best friend, my only true friend I know is not at my school for this year (Its almost ending but im dying) and I am to scared to ever trust anyone again, so should I still stay as a loner until she comes back? Or what can I do….Because I feel like everybody likes to make me suffer on the inside, even if they dont mean it…Without my best friend, life at school is miserable…

    Reply
    • Hi Victoria,

      I don’t think you should do anything. Focus on your grades and on your Hobbies. Friends come and go but you should be happy that you’re alone instead of being in bad Company. You should be happy and confident! You’re great and other People will notice it too! Let the time heal your heart and never feel bad for being alone.

      Reply
    • Do some Building self-esteem activity, like Yoga, Chen Taiji, Kung Fu, meditation….. let her come back but learn to impose your boundaries!

      Regards
      TinAngel

      Reply
    • Stay away from these bullies don’t rely on them to make you feel good about yourself that’s your own job don’t care what they think love yourself focus on your work and be happy to have another true friend and another school home you can communicate with enjoy your family time.. kill them with kindness always have a smile be happy! And they will hate you for it probably but that’ll pass maybe later they’ll have a little bit of respect when they see you have a lot of respect for yourself and you will not allowed to be bullied good luck

      Reply
  16. I have a friend and let’s say her name is Mel and one day I found out that two of my friends were dating and I told her and she double pinky promised and so the next day at break my friend Tamsyn comes to me saying “Why did you tell her!!” I say “How did you find out I told her not to tell a soul?” She says “Aj told me!” I realize how bad of a friend Mel is so I go to her and start yelling at her and all she has to say is “I thought I should tell someone, so I told Aj.” I got mad and walked up to Aj and asked her why she told Tamsyn what Mel said. “Sg I’m really sorry but I thought I should have told her. She is my Girlfriend you know, I apologize!” I thanked her for apologizing and walked off still a little bit angry. This was in fourth grade but I still remember it like yesterday!

    Reply
  17. so i have this friend who is always talking about me behind my back and she never says sorry or anything like that. she also knew i liked this boy for a long time and now she likes him and i don’t know what to do soooo give me your advice

    Reply
    • people who don’t apologize when they know they are wrong hey are toxic people.. they will never grow as people healthy adults because they’re not going to take responsibility for their behavior find healthy people to surround yourself with!

      Reply
  18. All of these signs apply to one of my really good friends. And I wasn’t able to realize they were fake until I read this article. 🙁

    Reply
    • Aww that sucks 🙁 But I’m glad you can see it more clearly now so you can invest more time in better friends instead.

      Reply
    • Ella, I have the same situation. I have 4 closed friends. Two of them always make me feel not good enough. One girl only wants to take advantages of me as possible as she can. She also gossips and says bad things about her other friends. The other one lives abroad and never tell anything about her life to me. She also doesn’t remember my birthday.

      I’m really sad. Why do I always choose wrong friends? What’s wrong with me?

      Reply
  19. I’ve relocated for work a number of times. There’s something about being ‘the new person in town’ that attracts those who wish to victimize.
    When I first moved to my current city I knew only one person here and that person I had only known vaguely and some time in the past. They were quite polite at first and invited me out many times. I began meeting some of their friends and they all seemed to want to hang out. I was happy about it at first as, like I said, I was new and thus quite alone.
    As I got to know each one of them, they all acted similarly. The would put me down; insulting my looks and my intelligence regularly. If I’d call them on it or try to stand up for myself they’d say “Oh, you’re so sensitive! It was only a joke”. None of it was funny.
    Then they started creating some strange ‘psyche’ profile of me. I had to have a 4 pound uterine fibroid removed and they all said “Oh my god! You had a hysterical pregnancy!”. Not sure if you know what that is but that occurs when a woman desperately wants a baby, imagines she’s pregnant, tells people she’s pregnant and then her body exhibits signs of pregnancy. Ummmmm, no, I had a very common occurrence, a fibroid. Mine was just particularly huge. I’ve never wanted kids nor told anyone I was pregnant.
    One of the guys told me his boyfriend tried to kill me by strangling him. Yet he still continued to live with him. He told me it was the fourth boyfriend he’d had that tried to strangle him to death. It sounded very suspicious and I didn’t believe him. He then told me that since I didn’t believe him he was going to kill himself and it would be all my fault.
    I dropped this group of ‘friends’ and am happy to report that I’ve since been able to meet some real people here. But I do believe that when you are new in town you are extra vulnerable to people who are looking out for people to try to mess with.

    Reply
  20. I have a friend who makes me feel bad about myself .i fell kind of stupid around her and I don’t completely act myself. We’ve. Been friends for 4 years and I feel like we haven’t gotten closer . But I never told her that . She also gets annoyed by me I don’t think true friends do that . But she says I’m her best friend and her mom says that it to my mom. I don’t really say when something was to far for me so I think she doesn’t no my boundaries. But she keeps secrets and is friends with good people and asks me about myself. she talks about her other best friends to me all the time … is that a bad sign ?

    Reply
    • Hi Person, I don’t hear any especially bad signs from your description. She sounds like a decent friend from your brief description. Both keeping your secrets and taking an interest in you. Everyone can get annoyed from time to time. You’d have to be more detailed if there’s something that’s worrying you.

      But the fact that you don’t feel that close to her tells me something. Maybe you’re not honest and open enough with her? When you don’t act like yourself, that hinders you from getting closer to her.

      Reply
    • yes that’s a bad sign if she’s talking about them badly of course she’s going to be doing the same thing to you good luck start distancing yourself you need to feel better after interacting with a person not worse! That’s because narcissists are empty and hollow inside she can’t give you the warmth you need because she doesn’t have it herself

      Reply
  21. For me a “friend” of mine said “I am not your friend anymore.” After I asked why and then they said “oh I was just joking!” They also used me for a while because I had candy and slime and other things 9 year olds love. Hey kept making me give a ton of it to them sometimes even try to make it seem like they didn’t want it that much. After they found someone else better, they decided to abandon our friendship. I am very surprised that the other people she is friends with haven’t noticed yet. I mean, she made it very obvious that she isn’t a real friend

    Reply
  22. I’m starting to sit with a new group of people who are deemed “popular”. It isn’t Mean Girls popular but more of the nice kind of popular. They’ve been friends for years, but I started sitting with them about 2 weeks ago. They don’t really include me in their conversations, but then again, I’m like the most shy person with a 2nd grade level of social skills(due to family issues……….my family sucks….). Recently, my grandmother has been sick and may die, so I’ve been really depressed by that. They acted like they cared but it was like…distant. Like, “I know you’re sad and I’m acting like I care but deep down, I don’t.” I don’t have anyone else to sit with though.

    Reply
  23. my closest friend keeps on saying stuff like “ur in le(a class for learning disabilities.) but he seems nice and is a good friend. i just cant tell.

    Reply
  24. Hello,

    I’ve been raised as the family scapegoat. This means I haven’t been taught ‘how’ to set boundaries and it has left me making very poor choices of ‘who’ to allow into my life. It has also left me with a very deep inability to ‘trust’ anyone.

    Always attract people (especially my boyfriends, even my husband) who love me being around but when something goes wrong (eg someone is out of order with me) they stand back and leave me abandoned.

    I’d love to know your thoughts please? Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to resolve this?

    Reply
    • Hi Kath, that sounds really tough. But it’s great that you’ve already started reflecting on it and how you can improve your situation.

      Like you mention yourself, you need to start practicing how to set boundaries with the people around you. I’ve written more about boundaries over here, especially point 6, 7, and 8:
      https://socialself.com/blog/5-tricks-that-will-make-people-respect-you-more/

      I also think you should ask yourself which people you actually want in your life and which ones are more negative than positive? It sounds like you may need to cut contact with some. You deserve to be treated with respect.

      Reply
  25. Hi Viktor!

    Reading through some of these comments, I’m scared I myself fall into some of these fake friend qualities. I have this tendency, particularly with male friends, to pick on them when we’re with other friends but be nice and more myself when alone with them. If someone ever tells me that their feelings were hurt I feel horrible and apologize and try to make sure I don’t do it again. But I do still fall into this quite often if I don’t monitor myself. I’m afraid that I’m not being a great friend myself for falling into these traps, whether I’m doing it because I want people to laugh at my jokes or whether it’s to do the dumb “I’m gonna pick on you because I like you” kind of thing. Do you have any advice on how I can improve upon this?

    Reply
    • Hi Taylor!

      I see what you’re saying, that’s a common behavior in male friend-groups, especially in younger or less emotionally mature groups. I’ve been there too.

      Just the fact that you can see some of these negative behaviors in yourself tells me that you are a good person and a good friend. And this is reinforced by the fact that you apologize if you hurt someone by mistake. We all mess up from time to time, that’s part of life.

      But onto the interesting part. How can you change this behavior?

      In short, changing a behavior is a 3-stage process:

      1: You need to become aware of your problem-behavior. (You’ve done this already, AWESOME!)

      2: Try to identify when you actually do this behavior. At first, you can maybe see it first after the fact, a day, an hour or a week after you did the same behavior again.

      And by increasing your awareness about it, you will get better at seeing it faster. And eventually, you will see it immediately after you did it. And finally, after that, you will become aware of it BEFORE you do it.

      This brings us to the final step.

      3: Once you’ve become aware of the behavior before you do it, you will be able to stop yourself from doing it again.

      DONE! That’s how you change and upgrade your behaviors. Hope it helps =)

      Reply
  26. Hi there,

    I have this coworker who actually was an old friend at an old company and we had not really kept in touch for couple of years. I used to think he was a cool guy to hang out with, but recently as I joined this new company where he works too, I often find him giving me off handed comments about my situation (no girlfriend, not settled, etc) which he seems to have for him now. I feel like his whole personality has changed now that he is more settled, has a house, etc. I am little hurt since we used to get along well, but these days, I try to avoid talking to him as I feel he often pokes fun at me.

    I am an overthinker and not very good in social interactions, and worst part is this guy actually sits right next to me at work. I am getting sick of being beaten by him through his words and offhanded comments. Please help me how I can get out of this situation.

    Best,
    Tim

    Reply
      • Thanks Viktor for the feedback.

        The thing is he is actually pretty socially competent, but in my opinion he is not so good at the work we do and he might be jealous of me in that regards. I just want to focus on my work and not have to deal with his bullsh*t. Anyways, thanks for pointing to the other article, I will try some of those strategies.

        Best,
        Tim

      • I had a friend named Dominic he was in a serious relationship his girlfriend didn’t really respect the friendship we had and he wasn’t there in person when I needed him and he lied a few times I was having a panic attack and he said he was at school but he wasn’t he was with his ugly girlfriend so eventually I’ve had enough and ended the friendship he was also way too rigid and unable to change anything so as it turns out he has a personality disorder called narcissism luckily I’m not his friend anymore I’m pretty sure I never will be again it’s not really a good situation so I’m not going back yes his girlfriend is ugly very ugly on the inside

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