10 Signs Someone Isn’t Really Your Friend

If you are looking for signs someone isn’t really your friend. You are in the right place. Welcome to Knowledge World. Today, we will learn 10 signs of a fake friend. Good friends are hard to come by. The average person knows about 100 to 150 people. That includes family, partners, coworkers, and everyone else you know personally. But how many of those people actually qualify as your friends?

The exact number varies depending on your personality type. Introverts tend to have fewer friends, while extroverts tend to make friends more often. But the average number is somewhere between three and five. In other words, most people only have enough friends to count on one hand. That would be plenty if each one shared our interests, cared about our well-being, and wanted to bring happiness into our lives.

Three to five friends are enough to cope with loneliness and significantly improve our lives, but what if the few friends you keep aren’t your friends at all? About 84% of women and 75% of men report at least one toxic friendship in their lives. A toxic friendship is a platonic relationship characterized by manipulative and narcissistic behavior. Usually, one friend is actively taking advantage of the other, often causing them social or emotional harm.

Toxic friendships can be incredibly stressful and uncomfortable, especially for someone who doesn’t realize how poorly their friends are treating them. Most people can recognize what a toxic friendship looks like from the outside. You know it when you see it in the world around you, but it’s much harder to recognize toxicity when it’s happening to you.

Right now, a person in your life may be causing you emotional harm without you realizing anything is wrong. This person may be pretending to be your friend. They may insist that you two have a special connection or that your bond is strong enough to get through anything. But the truth is that red flags are waving right under your nose. How do you know when someone in your life isn’t actually your friend? What telltale signs give away a fake or toxic person?

In this article, we’re going to look closely at the biggest red flags in any disingenuous friendship. No matter what somebody says, if you notice these signs of toxic behavior, that person is not your friend. Now let’s see what are signs of a fake friend.

1. Malicious Exclusion 

signs someone isn't really your friend

Have you ever met someone who actively conspires against you? Let’s say you and your friend have a mutual acquaintance named John. One weekend, John invites your friends to an event and encourages them to bring you along. But instead of passing on John’s invitation, your friend purposely leaves you behind. This is common among fake, toxic friendships. 

Bad friends go out of their way to exclude and isolate you. They might even try to turn your mutual friends against you. The worst part is, when you confront these terrible friends, they act like it’s your fault. They say things like, “I’m not responsible for you,” or “I  didn’t know you wanted to come.” But these bad excuses hardly justify their behavior. Anyone who goes out of their way to sabotage your social life is not your real friend. 

2. The Storm Seeker

signs someone isn't really your friend

Do you know someone constantly in the middle of drama and conflict? These people are called storm seekers and tend to spread toxicity like wildfire. Storm seekers perceive themselves as the victim of other people’s problems. They blame everyone for the hardships in their lives when they are the ones stirring up trouble. Even if nothing is wrong, these people search for conflict and chaos.

Why? Because it makes them the center of attention. It gives them a reason to criticize others and glorify themselves. Not only are these people frustrating, but they also make terrible friends. They’re often negative and self-centered, and they’re likely to fight with you as much as anyone else. A good friendship should feel like a warm sunny day. If you know someone who feels more like a thunderstorm, they might be more toxic than you realize.

3. Conditional Friendship 

signs someone isn't really your friend

Has one of your friends ever threatened to walk away? Bad friends act like their loyalty is conditional. For example, you might have a friend who expects you to lend them money. If you say no, they might threaten to leave, claiming they have no other reason to waste their time with you. This is not a healthy friendship.

Good friendships are unconditional. In other words, real friends like you for who you are, and they never expect you to do anything you don’t want to do. People who place conditions on their friendship aren’t worth keeping around.

4. Hogging The Spotlight

signs of a fake friend

If you have a bad friend in your life, this situation might sound familiar. From the moment they walk in the door, all they want to talk about is themselves. They talk endlessly about their lives but never think twice about yours. They expect you to listen for hours without any intention of returning the favor. 

These kinds of people hog the spotlight for themselves. Why? Because they think the friendship revolves around them. More than likely, this person isn’t interested in your life and doesn’t consider your feelings. They might claim to be your friend but don’t be deceived. They only care about themselves.

5. The Chronic Bailer 

signs of a fake friend

Do you know someone who’s constantly flaking at the last minute? Everyone has to cancel plans every once in a while. Sometimes life gets in the way or throws us a curveball. But what about someone who flakes on every promise they make? Or someone who never seems to show up for anything? These chronic bailers regularly cancel plans at the last minute, showing little consideration for the people they’ve inconvenienced.

In other words, they don’t value the time or resources of others. They may not think about how their flakiness makes other people feel. No matter how many promises they make, these people may always leave you out in the cold. If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to move on. Like it or not, this person is not your friend. 

6. Spilling Your Secrets

what are signs of a fake friend

Bad friends feed on vulnerability. They encourage others to expose their secrets and then they use those secrets to stab you in the back. For example, you might share with your friend a traumatic story from your past. You expect them to protect your secrets like good friends should. Instead, you catch them retelling your story to everyone who will listen, laughing at you all the while. 

Real friends never violate each other’s trust or laugh at each other’s trauma. They value the trust you place in them and genuinely want to be your confidante. If someone in your life spills your secrets for entertainment, they do not respect you. Find someone who will. 

7. Contagious Gossip 

what are signs of a fake friend

Does your friend like to gossip? When you’re alone, do you catch them laughing about other friends behind their backs? This is a huge red flag. You might think it’s harmless because they’re talking about someone else. But here’s the unfortunate truth. If someone gossips about other people, they probably gossip about you too.

Just because you are close to them doesn’t mean you’re safe from their mocking and ridicule. No one should have to worry about their friends putting them down. Real friends have your back whether or not you’re in the room. Don’t let these red flags go unnoticed. Anyone who likes to gossip is not the friend you think they are. 

8. Eye-Rolling Excuses

how do you know if you're forcing a friendship

You can tell how much someone cares by the quality of their excuses. Imagine you and your friend have plans for lunch. You text your friends in the morning to confirm your plans, but they suddenly say they’re busy. In this situation, a real friend would give you a good excuse for why they can’t make it. They’ll apologize, explain the situation, and try to reschedule. A bad friend, on the other hand, finds any insignificant reason to blow you off.

They might say, “I need to walk my dog,” or “I just don’t feel it.” These eye-rolling excuses almost always mean one thing. This person doesn’t care about you. Don’t settle for these lazy and inconsiderate people in your life. Friends that want to spend time with you won’t let tiny things get in the way. They’re communicative, transparent, and honest because they genuinely value the time you spend together. Anything less isn’t the kind of friendship you deserve.

9. Jealous Competition 

how do you know if you're forcing a friendship

Friends can be great competitors. Like good-spirited rivals, two friends can push and motivate each other to succeed, but toxic people take things too far. They don’t see their friends as sources of motivation but as enemies or obstacles in their path. Instead of succeeding alongside you, they want to see you fail.

They may undermine your success and sabotage your goals. Ultimately, these people want to feel superior. They want to look better than you, but that’s not how real friends think. A little competition between friends is healthy, but if someone treats you like their enemy. They’re definitely not your friend. 

10. The Ends of the Earth

how do you know if you're forcing a friendship

Friendships should be an equal exchange, but toxic friends expect much more than they’re willing to give. They expect their friends to answer their every beck and call. In their mind, you should be ready at a moment’s notice to meet their every need. Under the guise of friendship, they demand you go to the ends of the earth to make them happy, but they don’t hold themselves to the same standard. 

This is one of the most common signs of a toxic friendship and a good reason to say goodbye. No one should do all the work in any friendship. You may be holding out, hoping one day they’re going to change. But the truth is that this person is more toxic than you realize. 

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