Photo by Helena Lopes from Unsplash
Meeting new people is all a part of living, and whether it works out well or not, you take something good from that experience. In your twenties, you will lot of different and unique people that have the potential to change your life forever. Some of your real friends, you will meet as a kid, while some, you will get to know after you’ve made them an enemy. It’s amazing how friendships can be predictable and spontaneous at the same time, and it’s always a surprising experience for everyone.
A lot of people don’t respond to friendships well, and it’s maybe because they are not the type of person who bonds so much with other people. Maybe they’re afraid they wouldn’t know how to foster a relationship with another person. Whatever the reason is, many of these friendships turn south when you have someone dishonorable whom you call a friend.
It’s not easy to spot a toxic, fake friend when you see one, especially because it’s second nature to them to be pretentious and act like somebody they’re not. When I turned high school, my mom used to warn me about the friends I surround myself with. There even came a point when she discouraged me to make new friends because she was afraid I might be with the wrong people who will take me off the rails.
She was afraid I might suffer the same fate as her when she was betrayed by one of her friends who swore they would keep her secret. She warned me about friends who appear like sheep when they’re in front of me but talk badly behind my back. I didn’t understand her concern at first, for I didn’t see my friends the way she did. I told her my experience was different from hers, and my mom didn’t know what she was talking about.
I said to myself she was way too quick to judge and had no idea who my friends really were on the inside. Unluckily, it turned out I was the one who failed to see my friends for who they really are. I was the one who didn’t know who they were on the inside, and I had to eat my own words. You might not notice a fake friend when you see one, but you will definitely see the changes she will affect you.
Fake friends will turn you into a person you’re not, and you will find it hard to believe that you’ve changed because they have you wrapped around their fingers. Fake friends will like you only if you do what’s good for them. They like the expectation of you to become someone that can be of help to them; to them, you’re just a tool, an object they can use as they please.
Fake friends wouldn’t want to know more about you so they only pick one or two trivial, fun facts about you and persuade you that they already know everything there is to know. If you’re not vigilant enough, they can control your thoughts, your choices, and your other relationships in life. They can be very shady manipulators that will hit you in a place you’re not expecting, and it would be a rough life the longer you are attached to them.
10 TYPES OF FAKE FRIENDS YOU NEED TO GET RID OF IMMEDIATELY:
THE CONDESCENDING FRIEND
Condescending friends never see you as someone better than themselves. Usually, these people seem like they have it all until their insecurities eat them alive. They boast their possessions and connections to every person they meet but they can’t get enough of what other people are doing in theirs. They judge you for almost every choice you make even without feeling the need to ask your reasons.
They see in a black and white lens where they are always right and you are always wrong. It’s about the way they talk, react, move their body that makes you feel like you’re inferior to them. They are critical to what you say and do because they see you as their poorer, weaker versions of themselves that they feel the need to improve. Condescending friends think they’re helping you with their harsh criticisms but what they’re doing is destroying what’s left of your self-confidence.
THE SECRETLY ENVIOUS FRIEND
This type of friend acts one way around you and another when around others. They’re two-faced people who keep tracking your every move. They appear as if they’re supportive of your accomplishments but deep inside, they’re torn apart whenever a new opportunity comes to you and not to them. Usually, you became friends because she’s the one who initiated the connection but with vested interests.
When you feel down, they take it as an advantage to tell you what’s wrong with you when in reality, she’s saying all the reasons why she’s jealous of you. She blatantly imitates your philosophies, mannerisms, everything that makes you, you. You may not notice it but she might be one of the people in your group who secretly sells you out to other people to make you more vulnerable.
THE NARCISSISTIC FRIEND
Narcissistic friends constantly seek attention and approval regardless of how they gain it. They make everything about them at every chance they get even at the expense of your happiness. They want to make you see the world according to their eyes, and if you challenge their ideas, they will bring out everything they’ve done right in the past and rub it in your face.
Narcissistic friends appear caring and generous but usually, it’s an act to control your emotions towards them. This is because they want to feel like they own you, to grasp the power of being able to predict what you do next. Loyalty is huge to them, but they can’t do the same to you. They shower you with compliments to make you feel attached to the validation they give you, but as soon as you shine brighter, they either take back what they said or hurt you with sarcastic comments about yourself.
When you try to offer advice to them, they react offended and insulted that you teach them something far from their perspective. The longer you hang out with narcissistic friends, the more you find yourself become self-absorbed or unintentionally copy what they do.
THE FREELOADER FRIEND
This type of friend does not work hard most of his life. He thinks he doesn’t have to (because his friends can help him get out of a sticky situation), and therefore, he never takes responsibility for his actions. He’s never gotten the chance to be on his own two feet and to navigate through life the hard way because he’s used to getting what he wants. He piggybacks on his friends’ success and relies on them completely.
He plays the victim card when he isn’t given the level of attention, loyalty, and material compensation from those who succeed in life. All he does is take everything he doesn’t earn, and when you’re all out, cuts you off from their life like you did nothing to them. Freeloaders are usually selfish people who prey on the generosity of other people. They prioritize self-importance over anything and they build high walls with luxuries (but not with their money).
Freeloaders do not contribute fairly to anything; they want everything to be accessed freely and without costs. It’s within their nature to be entitled to all the good things about success but are too lazy to work for them. They couldn’t care less about whom they use to get to the place where they think they deserve to be as long as they don’t have to sacrifice anything.
THE GOSSIPER FRIEND
Although it’s normal for friends to talk about other people, it’s a different case when one constantly brings dirty news about every person. They thrive on gossip and drama; they view it as fuel for a little bit of excitement in their lives. They love to bully other people according to secrets they’ve heard from other people and even add exaggeration to the stories to make them more drama-worthy.
Spreading rumors is their specialty. Usually, this type of friend is not loyal to a single person or a single friend group, so it would be unwise to tell them your secrets. When you get into a fight, she would expose the private conversations you both kept in confidence to the world.
THE USER FRIEND
This type of friend is typically too needy and dependent on your ability to show kindness. She gets herself into scenarios where she desperately needs your help and not helping her wouldn’t be an option. Usually, this type of friend is only around when she needs something from you (and in the most serious instances, they don’t hide it anymore behind fake greetings and small talks). They rarely check in on you or ask you how you’ve been because the truth is, they couldn’t care less about how you’re doing in life.
What they care about is how can you be of service to them this time, in the guise of “supporting one another in times of need.” What’s worse than never being around when you need them is they make you feel like the needy one and they get away with it. Friends like this refuse to believe that friendship is a two-way street because they’re used to getting what they want in an unrequited relationship. They think they’re entitled to the benefits of friendship without putting out the same amount of compassion and empathy.
When the time comes that you need her help, she floods you with reasons why she can’t and make you feel guilty even before you get upset. If you do not set boundaries, you will feel exhausted fulfilling her every demand and keeping up with not making her feel excluded (because everyone should be sorry for her). You will notice your sense of self-worth slowly slipping away since you keep giving and receiving nothing from someone who’s supposed to be your friend.
THE OVERCOMPETITIVE FRIEND
This type of friend thinks of nothing else but to treat everything as a competition, even your friendship. Extremely competitive people don’t know when to settle and draw the line between enough is enough. They will not stop until they’ve proven to everyone that they’re better than you in many ways. They always one-up you even in the simplest things, and it causes you to be insecure about what you have. They love to steal the limelight away from you, especially around people they want to impress.
As the intensity of the competition rises, it becomes more awkward to share anything to this type of friend because she makes a big deal about it. You no longer feel that you can trust or develop yourself in her company since you don’t feel supported. You would ruin each other’s self-esteem because you take pride when the other fails at something and resent them when they succeed.
THE MEDIOCRE OR INADEQUATE FRIEND
This type of friend doesn’t want anything worthwhile and remarkable to do with his life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live simply, but there’s a difference between living an undemanding life and a mediocre one. Hanging out with a person like this will make you question your plans and goals to the point where you lose all sorts of motivation.
This type of friend fills your mind with negativity about the world and persuades you into becoming like them, stress-free and liberated (which is exactly the state of mind you want to be in when you’re feeling stressed out). A friend like this has no regard for consequences because all she cares about is bragging where her spontaneity has taken her.
They are only after the superficial meaning of having done this, having accomplished that. With their lifestyle and habits, they make you feel like you’re missing out in life. They exhibit behavior that seems appealing to the eyes of a teenager but is actually irresponsible on many levels.
HOW DO I AVOID FAKE FRIENDS?
In the earliest phase of your getting-to-know-each-other stage, there’s no shame in having reservations about someone because it’s normal to feel uneasy when you don’t know much about a person. Sometimes, it’s better to become critical and cautious than overly trusting to someone whom you have never met before and vice versa.
You never know what other people go through, and perhaps that lack of knowledge about a person should be a reason we shouldn’t judge them too quickly, but on the flip side, it can also be a warning sign that we shouldn’t be too carried away. Trust is a fickle but extremely significant element in any relationship and once given, you are submitting to the vulnerability of being hurt and betrayed.
To avoid people who lead you to this path, pay close attention to someone’s words, actions, responses, and the vibes they give out. If you see red flags showing, that might be a sign to reevaluate your friendship.
Knowing that there are different types of fake friends around shouldn’t have to scare you from reaching out to other people. It’s like giving up on your dreams because the world is unfair. All the bad parts of life shouldn’t have to discourage you from seeing and experiencing the good parts.
Remember that people do not stay the same, so the person you thought as someone fake can change, the same as how your enemy can quickly become your friend and vice versa. It’s unfair to confine someone in the same box now as two years ago as if he isn’t capable of correcting his wrongs. You are human, and you can be a fake friend to someone else too.
All of us have lapses in our relationships so telling yourself you’re better than everyone else is a lie. But if you want to change your life for the better, one of the primary things you need to do is to clean out the people in your life who are harmful to you, and that includes fake friends.
“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”Alice Walker