How to spot fake friends and how to deal with them

Families play a key role in the lives of many people. So make friends. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Personal Relations showed that when it comes to the happiness and health of older adults, friendships may be more important than relationships with family members. But to be healthy and happy, you need to be surrounded by genuine friends, not those who pretend to take care of you. You may not know it, but there are signs to spot fake friends.

Fake friends are those who simply pretend to be your friends. But in reality, they don’t really care about your well-being and don’t have your best interests at heart. They may not be sincere, opportunistic or only interested in what they can get out of the relationship, says Gurugram clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj.

Discover the signs of fake friends. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Ways to identify fake friends

You might see good in everyone, but there are also ways to tell if your friends are fake. Here are some signs of fake friends:

1. Lack of real interest

Fake friends show little interest in your life, feelings, or concerns. Often they only speak for themselves. So for them it’s all about “me, myself and me”.

2. Inconsistent Communication

Fake friends only approach you when they want something from you. And when you need assistance, they don’t take calls or respond to messages.

3. Conditional Support

Fake friends only support you when it benefits them, but are absent during your challenges, says the expert.

4. Negative Energy

Fake friends can bring negativity, drama, or criticism into your life instead of positive vibes.

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5. Jealousy or competition

They might be envious or jealous of your accomplishments and try to compete with you rather than being happy and celebrating your achievement.

6. Betrayal of Trust

Fake friends can share your secrets with others even if you tell them not to. They can talk behind your back or break your trust.

7. Lack of effort

They avoid making efforts to maintain the friendship, frequently cancel plans, or prioritize others over you, Raj tells Health Shots.

8. Selfish

Fake friends are selfish and tend to focus on their own needs. They rarely consider your needs or think about what you want.

Fake friends
Fake friends easily get jealous. Image provided by: Shutterstock

9. Energy Drain

Spending time with them often leaves you feeling exhausted rather than uplifted.

10. No reciprocity

True friendships involve give and take, but fake friends only believe in taking and not giving back.

Tips for dealing with fake friends

Once you spot fake friends, you should know what to do about that friendship. Here are a few tips:

1. Assess the relationship

Consider the impact of their behavior on your well-being and ask yourself if the friendship is worth continuing, suggests Raj.

2. Set limits

Set boundaries so you can protect yourself from their negative influences and demands.

3. Communicate

If you feel comfortable, honestly discuss your concerns and feelings with them.

4. Prioritize true friendships

Your circle of friends cannot be filled with fake people. So focus on nurturing relationships with those who truly care about you.

5. Progressive distance

Slowly walk away from fake friends to minimize their impact on your life. Remember, you need real, authentic friends.

As you gradually break them off, rely on real friends, family, or a therapist for guidance and emotional support. You should also prioritize your own well-being by doing whatever brings you joy and fulfillment. Most importantly, use this experience to develop better judgment in choosing friends and recognizing genuine connections.

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