Real friends make life better.
Your friends are some of the most special and most important people in your life. They are the ones you love, support, and trust completely. For this reason, people say that your friends are the family you choose. That is, you love them unconditionally and you trust them with more than you ever could your parents or siblings. It must be noted that having true friends means receiving the same love, care, and support that you give. Therefore, it is not surprising that when you have formed a strong connection with people who have your best interests at heart, you will feel content and fulfilled.
Forming friendships with people who do not have your best interests at heart can be dangerous.
While having genuine friends is undoubtedly a blessing, having fake friends can be extremely detrimental to your wellbeing. Fake friends are toxic people who can leave you feeling worthless, insecure, and even depressed. The reason behind this is that, more often than not, they are abusive, manipulative, and/or deceitful. What is more, they are especially dangerous because people believe they are genuine and kind-hearted. In other words, fake friends are difficult to spot and being unable to identify these toxic people can destroy your happiness.
There are 10 signs that you have fake friends.
1. They are selfish.
For a relationship to work, both people need to put in time and effort. While many know that this is the key to a successful romantic relationship, it is also true for friendships. If you find that you are always the one to make sacrifices for the sake of the friendship, you need to be wary. True friends give as much as they receive and never neglect you or your friendship.
2. They use you.
A true friend will be there for you when times are difficult while a fake friend will disappear when you need them most. What is worse, you are always there for them when they are upset or in need. If the people in your life only act like friends whenever they need something from you, they are not your friends: they are just using you.
3. They love drama.
While it is true that many people participate in gossip and drama, toxic people enjoy starting drama and spreading rumors. This should be a huge red flag to you as it means that they most likely talk behind your back in the same way as they do with others. If you are an empath or a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), being a part of drama and gossip can be draining and anxiety-inducting.
4. They are pathological liars.
Fake people are skilled at lying and they enjoy deceiving the people around them. When you listen to a pathological liar talk, you will find that their story never seems to add up. Moreover, you will find that they seem to unnecessarily lie about meaningless things. For example, they might lie about having read a certain book or seen a certain film. Constantly being around such a person can be extremely exhausting.
5. They act differently around others.
Fake people put on different personalities depending on who they are with. The reason for this is that they aim to win everybody’s approval by being someone they are not. You might notice that your friend changes their behavior and pretends to like things that they have told you they do not. This will inevitably make you wonder whether the person you know is not just another identity they have invented.
6. They manipulate you.
Manipulation techniques are not always easy to spot. Some of these techniques include triangulation, gaslighting, and playing the victim. Initially, you will not realize that you are being abused by someone you consider a friend. With time, however, you will notice that you have let yourself become controlled and used by people you have trusted. Remind yourself that a real friend would never use manipulation or thought-control tactics because a real friend would never hurt you.
7. They judge you.
Friends should love and accept you for everything that you are. More importantly, they should support you and encourage you to follow your dreams. If your friends do not do this, they do not have your best interests at heart. While it is true that friends often give you constructive criticism, fake friends seek to tear you down by being overly judgmental. This means that they constantly point out your flaws and shortcomings. Furthermore, they discourage you from following your dreams by persuading you that you are not good enough. Of course, this can leave you feeling worthless, hopeless, and insecure.
8. They are jealous.
Toxic people do not want others to succeed. Taking a case in point, those who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe that they are superior. This means that a narcissist will never be happy for you. Therefore, it is only natural that a fake friend will point out your flaws and try to tear you down when they feel threatened and jealous.
9. They make you act differently.
As already mentioned, fake friends will constantly remind you of your shortcomings. In addition to this, they might even mock you or bully you for the things that you like or the person that you are. If you find that you have begun to change parts of yourself so that someone will like you, you need to stop and ask yourself whether a real friend would make you change. Real friends accept and appreciate you for who you are — they never try to change you.
10. They prove to be untrustworthy.
Every time you trust them, fake friends prove that you should not. They are incapable of keeping your secrets and can never fulfill their promises. In fact, they cannot even be trusted with small and simple favors. Time and time again, your fake friends will leave you feeling disappointed and hurt.
Everybody deserves to have friends who are genuine, kind-hearted, and trustworthy. If you are friends with people who are fake and toxic, you need to set boundaries or distance yourself completely. Put your mental and emotional wellbeing first in order to protect yourself and preserve your happiness.