How to Spot a Fake Friend: 14 Warning Signs
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Life can take you on some truly interesting journeys. It is always better if you have some wonderful friends who can go along with you during the ride.
On the other hand, I think you will agree with me when I say that having fake friends can really make for an unpleasant journey. Therefore, you need to deal with fake friends as quickly as possible.
What is a fake friend and how can you spot one? What can you do if you have a fake friend?
In this article, we’ll provide a quick definition of a fake friend and then provide 14 warning signs that someone in your life might less than genuine.
Let’s get to it.
What You Will Learn
- What Is a Fake Friend?
- 14 Warning Signs of a Fake Friend
- 1. A Fake Friend Will Only Call You When They Need Something
- 2. A Fake Friend Will Always Put Your Down
- 3. A Fake Friend Will Constantly Dump His or Her Emotions On You
- 4. A Fake Friend Will Not Take Your Advice, Ever
- 5. A Fake Friend Will Never Take Responsibility for His or Her Actions
- 6. A Fake Friend Is Never There for You
- 7. A Fake Friend Constantly Fishes for Information
- 8. A Fake Friend Is Afraid To Get Close
- 9. A Fake Friend Always Talks About Themselves
- 10. A Fake Friend Will Spread Rumors and Gossip Like a Pro
- 11. A Fake Friend Leaves a Trail of Destruction Everywhere
- How To Deal With a Fake Friend
- Final Thoughts on Fake Friends
What Is a Fake Friend?
A fake friend is someone who only uses you for their own benefit. For example, a true friend is going to support you during your good times and bad, letting you know when you have made mistakes because they care about you. In contrast, a fake friend is only going to contact you if they need something. Or, they may even spread rumors about you behind your back. You need friends who want to be with you because they enjoy spending time with you. A fake friend is only going to spend time with you because they care about themselves.
Today, you need to take care of your mental health. Life has more pressure and stress in it than ever before. Genuine friends are important to your own mental health. In contrast, fake friends can lead to toxic relationships that can stop you with all of your energy, placing you in a difficult position. The sooner you can spot fake friends, the faster you can improve your own mental health.
14 Warning Signs of a Fake Friend
If you are concerned that you have fake friends in your life, there are a few signs that you should watch for. These include:
1. A Fake Friend Will Only Call You When They Need Something
First, a fake friend is only going to call you when they need something. For example, if you have a friend who is moving, they may call you for help moving boxes. There is nothing wrong with this; however, if you notice that your friend only calls you when they are in need of assistance, this is a sign of a fake friend. Unfortunately, this is more common than you realize. As an example, you may not hear from that person for six months or more.
Then, all of a sudden, you ride to their rescue. If you consistently help them out whenever they call you, they are going to take advantage of the situation. Do not let this happen to you. They might even thank you by giving you a pizza and some beer. Then, you won't hear from them for another six months until they need something else. Then, of course, they will call you again.
2. A Fake Friend Will Always Put Your Down
Sure, friends make fun of each other from time to time. On the other hand, a fake friend will constantly put you down, throw backhanded compliments your way, or one-up you at every turn. Usually, they are simply protecting their own issues on to you. Even if you understand where the behavior comes from, this does not make it okay. It certainly doesn't make it easy to deal with.
Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect. Friends may poke fun at each other from time to time. On the other hand, a fake friend is never going to have anything nice to say to you. Furthermore, they will try to one-up you whenever they can. You should not be in a relationship like this.
3. A Fake Friend Will Constantly Dump His or Her Emotions On You
Every once in a while, people need to vent. Everyone has a bad day and friends are supposed to be there for each other. On the other hand, a fake friend will constantly come to you, and only you, when something is going wrong in his or her life. Do you have someone in your life who only calls you when they need to vent about something terrible that is going on? Then, they are never there for you when you need support?
Yes, this is another sign of a fake friend. Friends are supposed to be there for each other. On the other hand, if all you ever see is one-way traffic, you are acting as an emotional punching bag for your fake friend. They do not actually look at you as a friend. A fake friend will consistently come to you when something is wrong in their life.
4. A Fake Friend Will Not Take Your Advice, Ever
Speaking of venting when something goes wrong, your friend may even ask for advice. They may want your opinion. Now, you feel valued! It isn't that great? On the other hand, even after taking your advice, a fake friend will consistently do the opposite. Now, it is clear why that fake friend always seems to have something going wrong in his or her life.
A fake friend is not going to take your advice, ever. As a result, they are simply going to engage in the same pattern of self-destruction over and over again. A fake friend is never going to learn from his or her mistakes. Then, that same friend is going to expect you to clean up his or her mess every time. You do not deserve to be treated like this.
5. A Fake Friend Will Never Take Responsibility for His or Her Actions
Eventually, you may reach your limit. You may feel like it is time to call out your fake friend due to his or her hurtful or destructive pattern of behavior. A true friend is going to listen to what you have to say. Then, he or she is going to apologize if he or she has hurt you in any way.
A fake friend is not going to engage in this type of constructive behavior. Instead, he or she just simply goes ballistic. A fake friend is not going to understand why you are being so mean. In reality, all you are doing is asking your fake friend to take responsibility for his or her actions. That way, your friend can become a better person.
A fake friend will get defensive, explode in front of you, and fabricate lies to make it seem like you are the one who is really causing problems even though you have only been trying to help. You do not have to sit there for this type of explosion. A fake friend will not take responsibility, ever.
6. A Fake Friend Is Never There for You
Clearly, your fake friend expects you to be there for them at every turn. When something goes wrong, they are going to call you and expect you to ride to the rescue. Of course, you are going to need help from time to time as well. Who are you going to call when you need assistance? You better not call that fake friend, as they are not going to be there for you.
Obviously, this is not a real friend. When something is going wrong in your life, you want your friends to be there for you. Particularly if you are there for them, your friends should be there for you as well. If you call a fake friend, they are not going to be anywhere to be found. They might even ghost you, break a promise, or totally disappear. A fake friend is going to leave you hanging in the wind.
7. A Fake Friend Constantly Fishes for Information
A fake friend may be in your life or some ulterior purpose. For example, a fake friend may try to befriend you solely to help someone else. Even though this sounds ridiculous and juvenile, it is more common than many people realize. For example, if a new person enters your life and appears to be chatty, eager, and has a ton of questions, they may be fishing for information.
When you dig a bit deeper, you may realize that you have a common acquaintance. That acquaintance may even be someone with whom you have had a falling-out. A fake friend could be fishing for information purely so they can use it against you later. Make sure that you keep your antennas up for this type of behavior.
8. A Fake Friend Is Afraid To Get Close
A fake friend to someone who is only going to get to know you on a superficial level. For example, they may know what type of music you like, what type of clothes you wear, and what type of food do you enjoy. On the other hand, the relationship is not going to go any deeper than that. If you try to get to know someone better, and they constantly seem to back off, this is a sign that they do not want to get close. This is a sign of a fake friend.
My friend has never going to initiate conversations that go deeper. They will not inquire about big things that are happening in your life. Do you need emotional support because a family member recently passed away? A fake friend will not be anywhere to be found. They certainly are not going to send flowers or go with you to the funeral.
9. A Fake Friend Always Talks About Themselves
With a fake friend, the topic of conversation is always about them. They always have something going on in their life that they want to talk about. They never want to know what is going on in your life. Furthermore, do not try to steer the conversation somewhere else, as a fake friend is always going to find a way to bring the conversation back to them.
Play, a fake friend is a self-absorbed, conversational narcissist. He or she is going to spend all of his or her time discussing his or her own life. Of course, that also includes problems that are going on in his or her life. You are expected to be there for all of it. On the other hand, do not expect to have any questions asked about you.
10. A Fake Friend Will Spread Rumors and Gossip Like a Pro
Remember that a fake friend is a narcissist. He or she is going to be obsessed with making himself or herself look better. Of course, this also means making you look worse by comparison. A fake friend is going to be a professional when it comes to spreading rumors and gossip. You may be shocked about some of the things that people are saying about you. When you dig deeper, you may find that the source of all of this information is a fake friend.
You may not believe it at first; however, a fake friend off and only pretends to be interested in you for the sole purpose of gathering information that can be used against you later. Be wary of this classic practice when it comes to fake friends.
11. A Fake Friend Leaves a Trail of Destruction Everywhere
Ultimately, a fake friend to someone who practices a scorched-earth policy. A fake friend is the definition of selfish. Therefore, everyone else is only going to be collateral damage. If you noticed that there are lots of people who have also had similar, negative experiences with that individual, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a fake friend.
Therefore, you need to take care of yourself and those around you. You certainly cannot depend on a fake friend to take care of you. A fake friend may even end up stabbing you in the back. If you have a fake friend in your midst, you need to understand how to deal with them quickly and efficiently. That way, you can protect yourself and those who are close to you from becoming collateral damage as a result.
How To Deal With a Fake Friend
If you have a fake friend in your life, you have to deal with them appropriately. First, you need to set limits. Gauge the relationship carefully. Do not give them a tremendous amount of time or consideration if they always seemed to violate your boundaries. Furthermore, you certainly should not be expected to respect someone who treats you with such disrespect. While it's not always easy to accept the signs that people don't like you, if a fake friend is difficult for you to spend time with, then disengage. Make sure that you set boundaries appropriately.
Then, you also have to be realistic when it comes to your own expectations. A fake friend is unlikely to change his or her own behavior. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself to expect bad behavior from time to time. Then, be ready to deal with this behavior appropriately. If you do not feel like your fake friend is treating you with respect, then disengage quickly.
In addition, you also need to take care of your own emotional needs. Ultimately, you are only responsible for yourself. Therefore, you need to take care of your emotions. When you have a fake friend in your life, this can increase your levels of stress and anxiety quickly. If you feel your stress and anxiety building, you may need to put the relationship on hold. This is where setting boundaries is appropriate.
Be aware that fake friends do not necessarily like being called out for their toxic behavior. Therefore, it is not unusual for a relationship with a fake friend to take a difficult turn at some point. If it turns ugly, you should be prepared. Make sure that you can protect yourself and others if the relationship begins to go south.
Finally, if you have a fake friend, then you should also be prepared for the possibility that you may need to end the relationship completely. If you find that it is totally exhausting to deal with a fake friend and that traffic continues to only go in one direction, you may need to cut that person out of your life completely. This is another area where setting boundaries and confronting your fake friend as early as possible is important. This will be better for everyone involved.
Final Thoughts on Fake Friends
Life is a complicated place. Everyone needs to have a strong support group. This includes not only your family but friends as well. Unfortunately, not all of your friends are going to have your best interests at heart.
True friends are going to be there to support you during your good times and bad. A fake friend is only going to engage with you when they need something. They only care about themselves and do not necessarily care about what is best for you.
Therefore, you need to be able to spot a fake friend as quickly as possible and deal with it appropriately. This is critical for your own mental health.