June 19, 2024

Friendship is a bond that’s built on trust, support, and understanding. But sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine friends and fake ones. These so-called friends might seem kind and caring at first, but their true intentions may be to undermine or compete with you. Spotting fake friends can be tricky, but it’s crucial to protect your emotional well-being and build healthy relationships. In this guide, we’ll explore the signs and behaviors that can help you recognize friendly rivalries and learn how to handle them with grace and confidence. Get ready to discover the secrets to spotting fake friends and cultivating authentic connections that will last a lifetime.

What are fake friends?

Signs of a fake friend

  • Negative behavior: One of the most obvious signs of a fake friend is their negative behavior towards you or others. They may gossip about you or others, talk down to people, or make cutting remarks. They may also be dismissive of your feelings or needs, or only reach out to you when it’s convenient for them.
  • Lack of support: Fake friends are often absent when you need them most. They may not show up for important events in your life, or fail to offer support during difficult times. They may also be quick to criticize or judge you, rather than offering encouragement or advice.
  • Inconsistency: Fake friends can be unpredictable and inconsistent in their behavior towards you. They may be friendly one day, but ignore you completely the next. They may also be warm and welcoming in public, but ignore you in private. This inconsistency can make it difficult to know where you stand with them, and can create uncertainty and confusion in your relationship.
  • Self-centeredness: Fake friends often prioritize their own needs and desires above those of others. They may only hang out with you in public when it’s convenient for them, or only reach out to you when they need something. They may also be quick to take credit for your ideas or accomplishments, or fail to acknowledge your contributions to their own success. This self-centered behavior can make you feel unappreciated and undervalued in your relationship with them.

Types of fake friends

The fair-weather friend

Fair-weather friends are individuals who only show up when it’s convenient or beneficial for them. They might be very friendly and outgoing when they first meet you, but as soon as they realize you have nothing to offer them, they will disappear without a trace. These types of fake friends are usually only seen in public when it’s a positive or enjoyable experience, such as attending a party or a sporting event.

The two-faced friend

Two-faced friends are individuals who pretend to be your friend in public but talk negatively about you behind your back. They may act kindly towards you in front of others, but once they leave your presence, they will make fun of you or share personal information about you with others. This type of fake friend is particularly dangerous because they can cause damage to your reputation and relationships without you even knowing it.

The friend with benefits

Friends with benefits are individuals who are only interested in what they can gain from a relationship, whether it be emotional support, financial assistance, or social status. They may offer to help you with your problems or invite you to social events, but only if it benefits them in some way. Once they have what they need, they will move on to their next target. This type of fake friend is particularly difficult to spot because they may genuinely care about you in the moment, but their actions are ultimately self-serving.

How to spot a fake friend

Key takeaway: Fake friends can be identified by their negative behavior, lack of support, inconsistency, and self-centeredness. To spot a fake friend, pay attention to their behavior, listen to your gut, and be proactive. If you find yourself dealing with a fake friend, distance yourself, be honest, seek support, and consider professional help if needed.

Pay attention to behavior

Recognizing the behavior of a fake friend can be crucial in identifying a friendly rivalry. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Observe their actions: Take note of how your friend acts around you and others. Do they treat everyone with kindness and respect, or do they only show their true colors when it’s convenient for them? Pay attention to their body language and tone of voice, as these can reveal a lot about their intentions.
  • Look for patterns: Fake friends often have a pattern of behavior that they follow. They may be friendly one day and ignore you completely the next. Or, they may only reach out to you when they need something or want to benefit from your connections or resources. Look for these patterns and see if they are consistent with the behavior of a genuine friend.
  • Take note of inconsistencies: Fake friends may have different personalities or behaviors around different groups of people. They may act one way around their own friends and another way around yours. Or, they may only show interest in your hobbies or activities when they are in public or around people they want to impress. Take note of any inconsistencies in their behavior and how it varies depending on the situation.

By paying attention to these behaviors, you can gain insight into the true intentions of a fake friend and whether they are worthy of your time and energy.

Listen to your gut

When it comes to identifying fake friends, one of the most effective strategies is to listen to your gut. Our instincts are often reliable indicators of how others truly feel about us, and ignoring them can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Here are some tips for tuning into your intuition and spotting fake friends:

  • Trust your instincts: If something feels off about a person or situation, trust your gut and investigate further. Your intuition is often more accurate than you think, and it’s better to err on the side of caution than to ignore a red flag.
  • Pay attention to your feelings: Take note of how you feel around different people. Do you feel energized and uplifted, or drained and anxious? Your emotions can provide valuable insight into the quality of your relationships.
  • Don’t ignore red flags: Everyone has their flaws, but some behaviors are deal-breakers when it comes to friendship. If someone consistently gossips about you or others, is overly critical or dismissive of your feelings, or only reaches out to you when it‘s convenient for them, these are all red flags that should not be ignored.

By listening to your gut and paying attention to your feelings, you can develop a stronger sense of self-awareness and avoid falling into the trap of fake friendships.

Be proactive

Initiate conversations

  • Start the conversation
  • Observe their body language
  • Pay attention to their tone of voice

Observe their responses

  • Notice how they respond to your questions
  • Observe their facial expressions
  • Listen to their tone of voice

Pay attention to how they treat others

  • Watch how they interact with people
  • Notice if they are rude or dismissive
  • Observe if they exclude others from conversations

How to handle fake friends

Distance yourself

When dealing with fake friends, it’s important to distance yourself from them to protect your own well-being. Here are some strategies for limiting contact, setting boundaries, and avoiding negative behavior:

  1. Limit contact: Reduce the frequency and duration of your interactions with fake friends. This can be as simple as cutting back on the number of times you see them each week or avoiding social media interactions.
  2. Set boundaries: Clearly define what you are and aren’t willing to tolerate from your fake friends. For example, you might set a boundary around gossiping or engaging in negative behavior. If they cross these boundaries, you may need to end the friendship altogether.
  3. Avoid engaging in negative behavior: Don’t stoop to their level by engaging in gossip or other negative behavior. This will only perpetuate the toxic dynamic and reinforce their fake friendship. Instead, focus on positive interactions and supportive behavior.

By distancing yourself from fake friends, you can protect your own well-being and maintain healthy relationships with those who truly care about you.

Be honest

When it comes to dealing with fake friends, honesty is the best policy. Here are some ways to be honest with your fake friends:

  • Communicate your feelings: If you feel hurt or upset by something a friend has said or done, communicate your feelings in a calm and respectful manner. Let them know how their actions have affected you and why they are hurtful.
  • Be direct and assertive: Don’t beat around the bush or hint at what you want to say. Be direct and assertive in your communication, but make sure to do so in a way that is respectful and not aggressive.
  • Don’t engage in gossip or drama: One of the hallmarks of a fake friend is their tendency to engage in gossip and drama. Avoid getting sucked into these behaviors and instead focus on having constructive conversations with your friend.

By being honest with your fake friends, you can set boundaries and work towards repairing the friendship if that is what you want to do. Remember, honesty is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and being honest with your friends is an important step towards building and maintaining strong, meaningful connections.

Seek support

Dealing with fake friends can be a challenging and emotional experience. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through it alone. Seeking support from friends, family, or a professional counselor can help you navigate this difficult situation.

Reach out to other friends

Having a strong support system is crucial when dealing with fake friends. Turn to friends who you know will be understanding and supportive. Talk to them about what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. They may have experienced similar situations and can offer valuable advice.

Engage in activities that make you happy

Focusing on yourself and doing things that make you happy can help you move forward. Engage in activities that bring you joy and make you feel good about yourself. Whether it’s exercising, reading, or spending time with loved ones, prioritize your well-being.

Focus on building healthy relationships

It’s important to surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Invest your time and energy into building healthy relationships with people who genuinely care about you. Be open and honest with them about your feelings and experiences.

Remember, it’s not your responsibility to change or fix the behavior of fake friends. Focus on taking care of yourself and building strong, positive relationships with those who deserve your time and energy.

Seek professional help

Dealing with fake friends can be a challenging and emotionally draining experience. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Seeking professional help can provide you with the tools and support you need to navigate this difficult situation.

  • Consider therapy or counseling: Talking to a mental health professional can help you process your feelings and develop healthy coping strategies. They can also provide you with support and guidance as you navigate your relationships.
  • Learn coping strategies: Therapy or counseling can also help you develop healthy coping strategies for dealing with fake friends. This might include setting boundaries, learning how to communicate effectively, or developing a self-care routine.
  • Develop healthy communication skills: Improving your communication skills can help you navigate difficult conversations with fake friends. A therapist or counselor can help you identify areas where you might need to improve your communication skills and provide you with tools for effective communication.

Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes courage to acknowledge that you need help and to take steps to improve your mental health and well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if you’re struggling with fake friends.


1. What are some common behaviors exhibited by fake friends?

Fake friends can exhibit a variety of behaviors that can be difficult to spot at first. Some common behaviors include being very friendly and interested in your life one day, only to ignore you completely the next. They may also only reach out to you when they need something or want to benefit from your connections or resources. Additionally, fake friends may only hang out with you in public when it’s convenient for them, but ignore you in private or exclude you from social events.

2. How do you know if someone is a fake friend?

Recognizing a fake friend can be difficult, but there are some key signs to look out for. One of the most obvious is inconsistency – fake friends may be very friendly and interested in your life one day, but ignore you completely the next. They may also only reach out to you when it’s convenient for them, or only hang out with you in public when it’s beneficial for their social status. Additionally, fake friends may only engage with you online or through social media, but ignore you in person.

3. Is it possible to have a friendly rivalry with someone without them being a fake friend?

Yes, it is possible to have a friendly rivalry with someone without them being a fake friend. A friendly rivalry is a healthy and competitive relationship where both parties respect each other and enjoy pushing each other to be their best. However, a fake friend may use a friendly rivalry as a way to manipulate or compete with you in a negative way, or to make themselves feel superior.

4. How do you handle a fake friend?

If you suspect that someone is a fake friend, it’s important to handle the situation carefully. One approach is to limit your interactions with them and focus on building deeper connections with other people. It’s also important to be honest and clear about your feelings, but do so in a respectful and constructive way. Remember that you deserve to surround yourself with people who truly care about you and value your friendship.

5. Is it possible to rebuild a friendship after someone has been a fake friend?

It is possible to rebuild a friendship after someone has been a fake friend, but it will take time and effort. It’s important to communicate openly and honestly about what happened and why it hurt you. If the other person is willing to work on rebuilding the friendship, it’s important to take things slow and make sure that they are truly committed to being a good friend. Remember that trust takes time to rebuild, and it’s important to be patient and consistent in your efforts.

10 Early Signs Of Fake Friends

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