Fake friends pretend to be interested in you, but in reality, they don’t really care. These people tend to only act as friends when it is in their interest.

Friendships can provide emotional and practical support. Research shows that good friends are linked to a lower level of stress and improved mental and physical health.

It can be difficult to rely upon a fake friendship, as they may not offer much support, loyalty, or empathy when you really need them. They suddenly don’t care about you when you are in need.

Signs of Fake Friends

You are Confused About Them

You aren’t sure where you stand with this friend if you are often uncertain. It might be a toxic relationship if you spend a lot of time discussing this dynamic with another person, worry about what the friend thinks, or feel left out.

You Sense Jealousy

A fake friend can be evident if your friend gets upset when you have a good life or make different decisions than them. It’s normal to feel jealous in a relationship, especially during times of growth or change.

However, it shouldn’t lead to cruel behavior. Someone who uses stress or jealousy to justify bad behavior rather than take responsibility for change may not be reliable as a long-term friend.

Your Feelings are Ignored

They might be trying to control your reality if they are more interested in explaining your feelings to you than expressing themselves. It’s a big red flag. A fake friend acts self-centered and believes that everyone should feel or think the same as them.

Friendship Feels Out of Balance

Good friendships are those where both parties put the effort in and give and receive a fairly equal amount. A fake friendship is one where the relationship feels out of balance, and you are always giving more than receiving. It may seem like you are the only person who is always making plans.

They Get Upset with Your ‘No’

When you feel that you cannot say “no,” it can be harmful because you may feel as though you don’t have any choice. It’s easier to say “yes” to everything rather than deal with the guilt-ridden reaction of your friend. Free will and honesty make a quality friendship, not obligation or fear.

They Only Contact When They Need You

Whether you are being used for your great advice, connections, or resources, you’ll end up feeling used. It creates an unbalanced friendship, where your friend is only helpful when they have a need.

Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

A fake friend will not lift you the way that a real friend would. You may feel used or judged when you are around them. You can feel the disapproval or judgment without even saying a word.

They Suck Out Your Energy

Observe how you feel about the person afterward. A fake friend is likely to drain you or make your time with them feel dull. 

They Don’t Care When You’re in Need

When a friend only comes to your side for the good times and then disappears when the bad ones come along, it creates a confusing dynamic. You feel that you should only share the good things in life for fear of them pulling away from you once you begin talking about the more difficult issues.

They can reinforce beliefs about you being too much or that your problems are not that serious. No one wants to believe that they are too much to be loved and accepted by others.

You Face Harsh Criticisms

If you often face harsh criticisms from them, it will make you feel unaccepted. You don’t want someone in your corner who will tear you down at every opportunity.

They Compete with You

Notice if this friend always tries to outdo you whenever something good happens. They always have a better story, a nicer car, or a nicer place to live. Such people will find a way of competing with you, making your victories feel less special.

They Don’t Protect Your Secrets

You should be able to trust your friend to keep the information confidential after you have shared something with them. You may have a fake ally in your life if you don’t trust them. Your secrets are not used against you by good friends. 

They’re disrespectful

Such friends will not care about your well-being and are more likely to hurt you, such as by disregarding your boundaries. They don’t care about you if they treat you badly or disrespect your needs.

They Pick on You in Front of Others

A good friend will not pick on you to show jealousy when you are around others. It can affect your self-esteem and confidence, as you wonder why they treat you in this manner.

What can you do?

If you have been friends for some time and the changes are recent, you may correct your course with open communication. 

If you have made it to this point and are certain that this person is a fake with no chance of reconciliation, then it’s best to leave.

Trust your gut instinct and intuition. This person’s behavior is not serving you. You should stop pursuing this kind of friendship. It’s not worth the effort if it isn’t a friendship that benefits both parties.


We all come across fake friends, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. When we realize that a relationship doesn’t serve us, we must walk away. You may miss your friend despite knowing that they were a fake. You want people around you who are like-minded and will lift you. Don’t settle for anything less.


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