Sometimes it’s hard discern a true friend from one who is toxic, manipulative, or simply apathetic. It takes some time and life experience with a friend to learn whether or not they share your same friendship values.
Let’s start by looking at ten qualities you will find in a real friend.
- 1. They are with you in good times and bad.
- 2. They want you to succeed and be happy.
- 3. They are quick to forgive and forget.
- 4. They respect your opinions, even if they don’t share them.
- 5. They listen and show interest in you.
- 6. They make an equal effort to connect.
- 7. They love you in spite of your flaws.
- 8. They are loyal and trustworthy.
- 9. They are non-judgmental.
- 10. They are fun to be around.
A real friend lifts you up and wants to enjoy life with you. This friend generally has a positive attitude, is quick to laugh, and makes you feel good just to be around him or her.
What are the signs of a fake friend?
Sometimes it’s hard to know if a new friend is real or fake. This person initially might be caring and attentive, only to show their true colors once you are engaged in the friendship.
If you are highly sensitive or a people pleaser, you might be vulnerable to the kind of friend who takes advantage of you or manipulates you.
Here are 20 behaviors of a fake friend that you need to be aware of:
1. They tend to disappear when you need them most.
2. They frequently gossip about other friends to you (so they likely gossip about you as well).
3. They try to make you feel guilty or use passive aggressive behaviors when things don’t go their way.
4. They have a hard time being happy for your successes and achievements.
5. They are disinterested in getting to know you on a deeper level.
6. They put you down for your opinions or beliefs.
7. They judge your flaws and mistakes harshly.
8. They rarely initiate get-togethers or calls to connect.
9. They always turn the conversation back to themselves.
10. They never stand up for you in front of others.
11. They frequently break promises or “forget” commitments.
12. They have a heightened sense of self-importance and entitlement.
13. They use back-handed compliments to confuse and wound you.
14. They say things to embarrass or shame you in front of others.
15. They call you only when it appears they have nothing better to do.
16. They are quick to take offense or get angry with you.
17. They hold your past mistakes over you and won’t let them go.
18. They infect you and everyone else with their bad mood or ill temper.
19. They forget the important things going on in your life.
20. They can easily drop you as a friend when it suits them.
Often these fake friends are selfish, immature, or unenlightened people who haven’t learned emotional intelligence and don’t understand what it takes to be a good friend.
Sometimes people grow and become more self-aware with age and maturity, and you may find a fake friend can evolve into a true friend over time.
In the meantime, it’s important that you protect your emotional well-being by creating boundaries around these friendships or by stepping away from them completely.
If you find your friend is causing too much unhappiness and draining your emotional energy, then you may need to take a break and seek out other people who are more like-minded and willing to invest in a real friendship.
Like any good relationship, a solid friendship requires effort and commitment from both people. You deserve the kind of friend you want to be to others.