A fake friend is someone who presents themselves as a friend but does not demonstrate the genuine qualities and effort that a true friend does.
Fake friends can be hurtful, emotionally draining, and one-sided. They may gossip about you behind your back, show jealousy or disapproving looks, and only show interest in your life when they need something from you.
Recognizing signs of a fake friend can be a struggle, as they may say things that make you feel good but their actions may not align with their words. Pay attention to their behavior, whether they provide emotional support, invest time and effort in the relationship, or maintain healthy boundaries.
A fake friendship is often superficial and lacks authentic commitment and intimacy. It may be convenient for the fake friend to have you around, but it is not necessarily beneficial for your welfare. They may infect your mood with drama, anger, or manipulation, and cause resentment toward the people around you.
The best way to deal with a fake friend is to accept the unpleasant truth and shift your focus toward investing in authentic relationships that bring you comfort, joy, and mutual benefits. Dumping a toxic friend can be a hard decision, but it may be the best thing for your personal growth and psychological health.
When looking for a good friend, focus on qualities such as sincerity, honesty, trust, and the ability to listen without judgment. A good friend will make you feel valued, understood, and accepted for who you are. They will respect your boundaries and personal information, and offer support emotionally when you need it. A true friend will be committed to maintaining a solid relationship and won’t only show interest in you when it’s convenient.
In summary, a fake friend is a kind of friend who may only be interested in their own needs and wants and offers little or no support emotionally. Recognizing indicators of a fake friend can be hard, but it’s essential to pay attention to them.
Here Are The Top 10 Indicators to Spot A Fake Friend
1) Absence of Care
A fake friend will not prioritize your needs or welfare but only prioritize their own desires.
They do not genuinely care about you or your welfare. While they may appear friendly and engaging on the outside, their actions and behaviors reveal their true intentions. One of the telltale indicators of a fake friend is their lack of consideration for either your needs or well-being; this indicates they do not prioritize prioritizing your desires or interests over their own.
They often talk about themselves, their problems, and their accomplishments without ever showing any interest in your life or asking about how you are doing. Additionally, they may only reach out when they require something from you such as a favor, loan, or support emotionally and then disappear once they get what they want. This demonstrates that they only value you as an object rather than as a valued individual.
2) Communication Is Rare
They will only reach out when they need something, and do not initiate contact often.
One of the telltale signs of a fake friend is their lack of communication. They may only reach out when necessary and rarely initiate contact. This type of behavior indicates they don’t care about maintaining genuine connections but instead use their friend for personal gain.
They often have a one-sided relationship, taking from their friend without giving anything back. They may only reach out when they need something such as money, help with a project, or emotional support; however, once their needs are met they may disappear leaving the friend feeling used and neglected.
They may try to avoid spending time with you or make excuses not to hang out. This could indicate that they don’t care about maintaining the friendship or have other reasons for keeping their distance.
Fake friends can also attempt to avoid spending time with their real friends for several reasons. They may be jealous or resentful of their friend’s success and avoid spending time with them to avoid feeling inadequate or inferior. In addition, they may have other goals in mind such as pursuing a romantic interest or spending time with more desirable social circles; in such cases, they may attempt to distance themselves from their friend in pursuit of these objectives.
4) Hurting You
Fake friends may intentionally or unintentionally cause you harm and fail to accept responsibility for their mistakes.
One of the most concerning signs of a phony friend is their tendency to cause harm to those closest to them. This could take many forms, from purposely harming someone to unintentionally making decisions or behaving in ways that negatively affect their well-being.
They may intentionally cause harm to their closest associates in an effort to manipulate or control them. For instance, they may spread rumors or gossip about them, belittle or criticize them, or attempt to undermine their success. These behaviors often stem from jealousy or insecurity and aim to bring the other down to their level.
5) No Love
They fail to express it when they should, there could be a root cause of this disconnect.
When there is no authentic affection between friends, it could be indicative of a fake friendship. They often fail to show that they genuinely care, love, or are concerned for their pals and make no effort to express it. This lack of warmth may manifest itself in various ways such as failing to answer calls or texts promptly; not acknowledging significant events in their friend’s life; and failing to show up when needed most.
A lack of authentic affection in a friendship can be due to several reasons. It may be that the phony friend lacks emotional capacity or is more concerned with themselves than their friend’s wellbeing. They could even be using the friendship as leverage to gain something they desire, rather than truly valuing their friend as an individual.
6) No Sign of Sincerity
These individuals show no emotion or sincerity in their words or deeds, and do not intend what they say.
Fake friends often lack sincerity in both their words and actions, whether that be saying things that are untrue or making promises they won’t keep. This lack of sincerity can be due to several underlying reasons such as wanting to manipulate or control another person, or lack of empathy towards those around them.
They may use flattery or excessive compliments as a way of winning favor or manipulating their friend. While their words may appear to be supportive and encouraging, they lack depth or sincerity. This can lead to confusion and hurt for those receiving the compliments, who may not know whether they are genuine or just used for ulterior purposes.
7) Hard to Know
It may be difficult to discern how a fake friend feels or thinks, as they may be deceptive.
Phony friends can be difficult to read, as they may not express their true thoughts or emotions. They may be adept at projecting a false image of themselves, making it impossible to know what they truly think. This may lead to confusion, frustration, and even distrust within the friendship.
One reason why phony friends can be difficult to discern is that they may be deceptive or manipulative. They may say one thing but mean another, or act in a manner that contradicts their words. For instance, they may say they support you but then do something which undermines or diminishes you.
Your peers may be jealous of your successes or achievements and fail to acknowledge them sincerely.
They may be overly judgmental of your decisions, behaviors, and lifestyle.
One common characteristic of a fake friend is their overly critical nature. They may quickly judge your decisions, behaviors and lifestyle and express their disapproval in an unflattering or demotivating manner. Constant criticism can leave you feeling insecure and self-conscious; over time it may even erode away at your self-confidence completely.
They may be overly critical may do so for a variety of reasons. They may be jealous of your accomplishments or success and use criticism as an opportunity to boost their own ego. Furthermore, they may need control or power over you and use criticism as a tool to manipulate or exert their willpower over you.
Fake friends may take advantage of your weaknesses and disregard your boundaries.
They may take advantage of your vulnerabilities and disregard your boundaries, which can have detrimental effects to both your welfare and self-esteem. They may use these flaws in order to gain something from you–emotional support, financial gain or social status.
Fake friends who are exploitative may use techniques such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting or manipulating you into doing things you don’t want to. They may pressure you into divulging personal information or secrets which they then use for their own gain.
They may attempt to manipulate you in order to gain what they desire or require.
Fake friends may use various tactics to gain what they desire or require from you. Emotional manipulation, such as guilt-tripping or playing the victim, may be employed to make you feel obligated to do things for them. They may also use flattery and compliments to induce compliance in doing what they desire.
They may use more subtle tactics, such as withholding information or providing only partial data, to exert control or influence over you. They may also utilize gaslighting – where they attempt to make you doubt your own perceptions and memories – in an effort to manipulate you into doing what they desire.
They may use you as a means to reach their own objectives.
When someone views another individual as a “tool,” it suggests they view them primarily as an instrument to reach their own objectives, rather than an autonomous individual in their own right. In such cases, the person using the other individual for gain may be more concerned with what benefits they can gain from the relationship than developing authentic connections or mutual benefits.
Imagine a manager at a company views their subordinates as tools to achieve their own professional objectives. In such an instance, they may prioritize their own advancement over that of their employees’ welfare or development. They might assign tasks unrelated to each employee’s strengths or interests, disregard their input or ideas, or even exploit their labor for personal gain. Such behavior can lead to resentment, demotivation, and toxic work environments.
No Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Neither you nor the fake friend has any real beneficial relationship.
Mutually beneficial relationships are those in which both parties involved gain some advantage they could not achieve on their own. In friendships, this may include sharing experiences, offering support emotionally, having common interests or simply enjoying each other’s company. In a healthy and genuine friendship, both individuals feel valued and respected while striving to promote each other’s growth and welfare.
False friendships occur when there is no authentic connection or mutual benefit. Instead, one party may use the other for their own gain–whether that be social status, resource access, or simply an ego boost. Although both parties may know this dynamic is occurring, they may continue the relationship out of fear of being alone or the need for social validation.
Additional Sings That You’re Dealing With a Fake Friend
Recent Friend: A fake friend can be someone you just recently added to your social circle and not have a long-standing relationship with you.
Place of Jealousy: They may only be your friend because they view you as a means to an end or because they desire to have power over you.
No Honesty: They may not be truthful with you and may refuse to acknowledge their errors.
Surrounding yourself with other fake friends: A person may choose to surround themselves with other individuals who share similar characteristics.
As time passes, you will start to doubt them and come to realize they are not who you thought they were.
Shallow relationships: People may have many acquaintances but few close real friends.
As time passes, you will start to doubt them and come to realize they are not who you thought they were.
I’m Kary Walters, a couples mediator, life coach, and writer with a passion for helping couples stay together and achieve their relationship goals. With over a decade of experience, I specialize in self-improvement and have worked with individuals & couples facing challenges.