Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.

20 ways to tell fake friends from real friends

Last Updated on

How do you tell if a friend is fake or not? It’s not easy because nobody is just good or bad. We all got good sides and bad sides.

But in some people or relationships, the bad sides take over. And that’s when you got a fake friend.

Here are 20 signs that will help you tell your fake friends from your real ones.

1. Pay attention to how much they talk about themselves

I once had a “friend” who would call me almost every day to talk about his ideas and problems. I tried to be a good friend by listening to him and giving him my best feedback.

On some days I also had something on my mind I wanted to talk about, but there was never any space for me to talk. And if I did get to talk a little, he soon changed the topic back to him.

He wasn’t really interested in me or my life. After that, I understood he was a kind of bad friend because I never got anything back in that relationship.

I don’t think he was a bad person, but our relationship was bad since it was one-sided.

Fake friends are not interested in you, they’re only interested in themselves. A good sign to tell is that they almost only talk about themselves.

Here’s a guide on what to do if your friends only talk about themselves.

2. How interested are they in you?

Do they ask you a lot of questions about you? Do you get to talk about your problems and get support or help from them?

Real friends are interested in you and what’s going on in your life. Fake friends are not interested in getting to know you on a deeper level.

Some do care about you but just aren’t used to asking questions. But if you tell something important about you or your life – do they listen?

3. What type of people do they hang out with?

I remember when one of my friends started dating a new girl. He told me she was amazing, but she had some troubling behaviors he was worried about.

Then he told me how his girlfriend’s best friend was a super big douche bag. And she also regularly hang out with some sketchy people.

That got me thinking, why would a good person hang out with bad people like that? Sure, we all make bad choices and it’s often hard to know. But when someone’s best friend is a big douche bag and they even hang out with other bad people, that’s a BIG RED WARNING SIGN.

So, if you don’t like the friends of your friend, that’s a warning flag.

4. Do they apologize and owe their mistakes up to you?

My best friend once forgot about our date and I was left alone in the middle of town. I called him and he was extremely embarrassed and apologetic about it. He later made up for it by making a fantastic lunch for me.

A fake friend would probably not really care, maybe they would be a bit annoyed or irritated that you even mentioned it.

Real friends make mistakes, but they own up to them and apologize. Fake friends don’t.

5. Do they lie to you or others?

A white lie is one thing, but if someone regularly lies, that’s a good way to tell they don’t have a good character.

It’s not easy to know if they’re lying to you, but it’s usually easier to see if they’re lying to others or if they’re insincere.

6. How do they make you feel about yourself?

This is a tricky sign. But ask yourself how you feel when you are with your friends? And how do you feel afterward? Did they do or say anything that affected your mood negatively?

If your situation is hard to read, describe it in the comments below and I’ll help you out!

Here’s what bad friends can make you feel like:

  • You feel bad about yourself
  • You feel there’s something wrong with you
  • You feel you’re not good enough
  • You feel you need to change yourself to fit in
  • You feel ashamed about yourself

Real friends lift you up and make you feel good about yourself.

7. Are they critical of your achievements?

Fake friends criticize

Good friends can give constructive criticism when you need it, but mostly they just support you and make sure you know how awesome you are for your achievement.

8. Do they understand your limitations?

Real friends understand when you can’t or don’t want to do something.

Fake friends will expect a lot from you, and get angry or irritated when you disappoint them.

Real friends have reasonable expectations on you, and they are understanding of your mistakes and flaws.

9. Do they respect your boundaries?

Fake friends overstep your boundaries and make you do and accept things you don’t want.

Real friends respect you and your boundaries. And if they accidentally go too far, they apologize when you tell them.

I’ve written about how to get more respect over here.

10. How do they react when you tell them something you’re proud or happy about?

Fake friends get envious and jealous when you do good and they will probably try to put you down in those situations.

Good friends will be happy for you.

11. Do they stand up for you?

I remember when I was at this house party. Most of us knew each other, but the “leader” of our group never really seemed to like me.

He often gave me backhanded compliments and were always critical of me. And at this party he started making fun of me in front of some girls, it was all disguised as “a joke”.

I even tried to laugh together with them to play along.

I didn’t notice how mean he was until later on when one of my other friends told me how uncomfortable that situation was. He said he didn’t think it was ok to behave as our “leader” did. My friend actually talked to our leader about it after that.

Standing up for me like that really meant a lot for me, even if nobody dared to stand up for me immediately, I could tell by my friend’s reaction that he was a true friend. And that also made me see that our “leader” wasn’t a real friend.

Read more about how to deal with dominating people and bullies here.

12. Is there always some sort of drama going on in their life?

Ever heard someone say “I don’t like drama” even if they seem to constantly be surrounded by drama? That person is usually the one creating a lot of that drama.

Fake friends are often drama queens. They make a big deal of small things and because they can’t own up to their mistakes, the drama just keeps going.

Real friends try to solve your differences and find a nice middle ground where you both agree with each other.

13. Do they help you out when you need it?

Fake friends ask you to do a lot for them and help them out, and their requests are often borderline unreasonable, but you never get anything back.

Nobody can be expected to help you with everything, but real friends are ready to help you when you truly need it.

You can read more here about friends who ask for help but never give back.

14. Do they act differently when around others?

Are they mean when you are one-on-one, but “fake nice” when around others? Or is it the other way around, that they’re nice one-on-one and mean toward you around others?

Fake friends act differently when other people are around. This is a manipulative behavior that’s not acceptable.

15. Do they talk bad about you behind your back?

Fake friends talk shit and gossip about others with you. That’s a sign that they might gossip about you behind your back when you can’t hear it.

Real friends mostly say good things about others and good things about you.

16. Do they seem happy to see you?

When I first got to know David (the founder of SocialPro), I remember how he always greeted me with a big smile and a hug. I instantly felt great around him and wanted to be with him more.

When someone makes you feel good around them, that’s a good sign they’re also a good person and a good friend.

Fake friends are often in a bad mood, they’re irritated on you or others and need to vent A LOT. Real friends need to vent too, but there should be a balance so you also get something positive out of the relationship.

17. Can you be yourself around them?

Can you relax and be yourself around your friend? Or do you have to put on a mask and fake it to fit in? If you can’t, it might be time to stop keeping in touch with them.

Real friends allow you to be yourself because they accept you and like you for who you are. Fake friends don’t.

18. Can you trust them to keep a secret?

Fake friends will tell your secrets to others because they don’t really care about you.

Real friends can be trusted with your secrets. It’s not black and white, but if someone has betrayed your trust more than once (and not apologized!), it might be time to rethink your relationship.

19. Do they try to one-up you?

Fake friends will try to one-up you. For example, if you tell them you got a new phone, they will claim their phone is better, or they will criticize your phone.

The reason they act like this is often because they have an inferiority complex and need to prove they’re better than everyone else.

20. “It was just a joke”

Have you ever told someone you got offended/hurt, and they defended themselves with the classic “I was just joking”?

That means they’re not owning they’re bad behavior and they’re not apologizing, both signs of a bad friend. A good friend will not (regularly) brush your feeling off like that and they will try to make amends instead of excuses.

Have you ever had any fake or bad friends? How did you notice? Write it down in the comments below and help others in similar situations as you!

P.S. I’m more than happy to help you out if you have any ongoing situations you need help with! Just describe it in the comments and I’ll reply.

Viktor is SocialPro's expert in communication and relationships.

He has a B.A. with a major in Psychology at University of Gothenburg and a B.Sc. with a major in Biological engineering at Chalmers University of Technology

Before he joined SocialPro, he worked as a relationship and dating coach.

Follow on Twitter or read more.

Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.

Viktor is SocialPro's expert in communication and relationships.

He has a B.A. with a major in Psychology at University of Gothenburg and a B.Sc. with a major in Biological engineering at Chalmers University of Technology

Before he joined SocialPro, he worked as a relationship and dating coach.

Follow on Twitter or read more.

Viktor is SocialPro's expert in communication and relationships.

He has a B.A. with a major in Psychology at University of Gothenburg and a B.Sc. with a major in Biological engineering at Chalmers University of Technology

Before he joined SocialPro, he worked as a relationship and dating coach.

Follow on Twitter or read more.

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Comments (60)

  1. Anonymous

    I once had a best friend but after he meant another girl his behavior changes towards me even if I try getting his attention or fell like playing with him,he got angry and start working out on me

  2. Lindsay

    I used to be friends (and kinda still am) who would ignore me and when I asked her about it she would roll her eyes and say she wasn’t ignoring me. She later came up to me and said that she never wanted to be my friend again and according to two of my other friends that she still talked to she cussed me out and told me to “burn in hell” every day. Then over the summer she texted me and said “hey I love you, I miss you, can we be friends again.” and of course I said yes because we had volleyball season coming up and it would be awkward to not be able to talk to each other. We were getting closer again but lately she has been acting weird and I don’t know what to do any more. I’m also having problems at home and its really hard to deal with everything.

  3. Anonymous

    I have a group of friends that i’ve known since primary school. I am living with one of my so called friends now, and a girl who I work with, and yet my friend spends more time with the work girl and would rather talk to her than to me. I try to join in and they act as if I am bothering them. I try talking to them and they seem uninterested in whatever I have to say, and never come and talk to me. They constantly make plans without me, and never invite me. I feel like a ghost in my own house.

  4. Idc

    So like my bestie who is really nice and kind to be, who always knows some little things about me, and I have two more besties (one of them is like my actual number 1 BFF who knows everything about me and who is literally like sister) so she gave my bff a gift and she hid it from me because she “assumed” I might feel sad, but tbh I don’t care about gifts because I believe in the power of how rigid the friendship is, so I felt sad she lied to me but then she apologized and I felt happy again.

    So it was lunch break time, I normally do silly stupid things which in return makes all of us have an altogether fun time as we all laugh and don’t give a poop. But yesterday all of us were sitting on a bench and my bff was drinking water my bestie started like push the water on top of her which made all of us laugh. And for fun I did the same thing to my bestie who drank water and it spilled on her, like normally we spill water on ourselves and have fun but this time she got mad, and was like I took revenge and stuff like that which made me guilty and sad because tbh I did it for fun and not in a rude way. If it was ever gonna hurt her feeling then I would have not dared because I really do care about her.

    My bff knew that my bestie was jealous that I couldn’t spend more time with her because all my other best friends are in one class where else I am in a different class. So I was confused, because I don’t understand what my bestie wants and what she wants me do, today in school she seemed so distant and away. Like I apologized a bazillion times and I still feel like a jerk and she doesn’t make any effort to talk to me as I have to be the one to try and talk to her and ask her stuff. I wish I could go back in time and spill water on my head! 😭😭😭

  5. Lilliana


  6. Brhan

    Thank you very much. You helped me a lot. And I hope life will be able to choose good friend.

  7. Anonymous

    Fake friends don’t actually ever seem to want to come to your arrangements and that’s the ultimate test for a real friend enjoys your company and so wants to come.

  8. Anonymous

    Wow thanks for this,,,I get a lot of knowlege.It is so wonderful that I have learn from this.

  9. Emilu

    Hey I was trying to find out if my friend was a bad one because I always seem to find my self complaining in my head about her. I have fun with her and we have a lot of stuff in common but she is always making “jokes” that really bother me but whenever I say something she says the classic “It’s just a joke”. This girl isn’t exactly “Mean” or a “Drama Queen” but she is the type that always comes up with comebacks even if it isn’t really needed. I’m scared to end the friendship since we both have all the same friends and I know if I break of the friendship all of my friends will help her because she’s crying and stuff… I really don’t like what she does and I always see myself complaining about that one thing she said the other day but ending it is scary and I know shes gonna spam me with how bad of a friend I was being. What should I do? I don’t want to hang out with her, but I would like to hang out with my other friends and I don’t want to make it complicated! Please reply soon. Thanks.

  10. 😤

    Ok so I have a friend who knows I’m bisexual and my other friend was biting people as a joke and when she went for me, she shouted ‘DON’T BITE HER SHE’S BISEXUAL’ I find that not only offensive but sexist

  11. None of ur beeswax

    Yep thanks a lot I just realised I’m at a fake friends birthday sleepover with a ton of fake friends and a really nice new friend. 😊

  12. Atticus

    I had a friend just say that I’m not funny and never will be. Kinda sucks because I wanna be a comedian when I grow up…

  13. Nøah

    Thx My Best Friend IS FAKE… Time To Go Dump Her…

    • Sad

      Wish I could do that easily

  14. Anonymous

    I found friends who used to call me their best friend they shown Very much interest in me.I thought this friends are the best as days passed they started hating me they used to get jealous of me and used to make me feel low I don’t know why their behaviour changed suddenly bit this used to hurt me everyday.

  15. Pierre. D

    So I think my “best” friend may not be a good friend. He checks off a lot of things listed above. If I ever talk about something happening to me or something about me he just brushes it off and goes back to talking about himself. He also likes to bag on me in front of others and disguise as a joke when the things he jokes about aren’t funny, they’re just mean. He’s also copies everything I do and steals my ideas. Wears the type of clothes I wear and uses my creative ideas as his own. I guess there’s a bunch of signs that say my “ friend” isn’t really my friend but I was thinking maybe I’m just crazy? Maybe I’m overreacting and being too sensitive? I don’t have many friends and I’m ok with that but I do feel alone sometimes. I mean I’m writing all of this to a random stranger so I guess I’m a little lonely for sure. There also might be a girl involved, that he says he doesn’t like anymore but definitely does. But that’s another looonnnng story. Am I being crazy? Is my gut feeling about something being wrong with my friendship with this person? Please help, if you can. Thank you.

  16. A friend

    I have a co worker who wanted to be friends so we gave it a shot. Shes a nice person, but when i became depressed a few weeks go and confided in her about feeling down instead of trying to cheer me up she freaked out on me. And said she wanted to call the police on me for being depressed. This made me feel abandoned and afraid of her. I thought we were friends. I didn’t even do anything crazy i just said life wasn’t going all that well and i was stuck in a sad depressing state. Anyway this was enough to send her running, she abandoned our friendship completely which hurt me quite a bit, but i respected her decision because i want her to be happy and live her best life and sometimes if you just don’t vibe with people you have to walk away. Im professional at work and she is cold to me now and very unkind when i ask her work related questions she says ”what”? like i am bothering her. Its ok, i know sometimes these things just don’t work out. However now she is making friends with co workers that talk bad about her at work and i am very worried about her. They tell everyone her business and laugh about her to me and others and say things wont work out for her. I want to say something to her, but i feel if i do she will snap at me and think i am jealous she is not friendly to me now so i am 100% certain of her reaction if i try to warn her of them. Maybe i should just let things be? I should probably just leave her alone thinking that these people are her friends..but i just feels wrong. I want to stop worrying about her and be more detached, im seeming to have a hard time with it, and im unsure why. Im doing a lot better now, although ive stopped being friends with the other co worker whos bad to her so shes turned on me. So now i have a small group of women at work against me even though im not petty, im nice and still say good morning and and nice to everyone, i don’t like games or silly attitude stuff i just don’t see the point. They don’t return the favor and are rude when they can be to me but its ok. Im doing alright. Why do i still care about the co worker who abandoned me? How do i let her go? Sorry for so much i guess my question is: How do i let the co worker who abandoned my friendship go? How do i stop caring about her? I don’t want to be the weirdo still caring about someone who doesn’t like me anymore. I think my depression was just too much for her. Side note: The take away here is no matter how curious co workers are about you even when they all ask to be your friend do not let them in because it goes wrong very fast and then its awkward at the office.

  17. Asha

    They are the people I like and they don’t like me to then they tell everybody that I am their fake friend and they tell la’nyia
    and Nevaeh to don’t talk to me and I said why are you doing this to me because I did not do nothing to you and I told her to stop I’m going to tell the teacher on you and she said I don’t care go tell the teacher on you if you want and I was somewhere to cry and she came up to me and say I’m sorry😭😢😢😭😭😭 and I am and I am heart broken

    • Emmi

      Don’t cry there are people somewhere that care about you, and are going through the same thing. I am don’t worry someday they would wish you were their friends😉

  18. Anonymous

    my ex best friend used to post a lot about how sad she was and indirecting me on her private account with many of the friends we shared. We always fought and she would start posting constantly about how she wanted to die. i don’t know if I’m right, but i felt like she did that to get people on her side and make me drown in guilt and eventually apologize for something i never did. after i’d apologize we would act like nothing happen. Its every fight she worries me with those words like “i really want to kill myself’ or “I’m ready to leave this fucking world”, and when she doesn’t answer my calls and texts, she just leaves me on seen making me even more worried. she’d post herself doing it…. and shed post herself crying. It made me go crazy and absolutely heart broken and all i wanted to do was make it stop. so i’d apologize and i was always the one at fault even if it wasn’t my fault. I just thought the whole thing was messed up and that she should’t be doing that anymore. Im scared for my other friends who are best friends with her. but idk if she ever changed.

  19. Jake

    My friend has been toxic just don’t know how to own up to it yet so he can realize

  20. Sharon

    I am doing my spring cleaning and asked my friend if she could help me put some mirrors shelves up & move a dresser..Her reply was ” you want my help but your not offering any money…ohh my this really upset me…am I wrong to be upset? Reading this I also came to the realization.. Every time I see her..* its all about her and new boyfriend* and doesn’t listen much or comment on any of what I may be going through
    .sad..but thinking time to say bye.?!!!

    • Tatiana

      If she was asking for payment, she really isn’t a true friend. I can understand with some things but for just cleaning, no that’s not right at all. I hope everything works out for you!

  21. Anonymous

    thank you made me feel better because i have fake friends and they never stand for me first i wanted to kill my self thank you

    • Sharon

      They are not worth it..You can do better❤

  22. Ana

    I had like, about 5 fake friends, please help me if the last one is also a fake friend…

  23. Anonymous

    Thank you for this but still, my friends have “fake friend” qualities as well as “good friend” qualities. I am too confused with what I should do. I have changed myself to fit in but they don’t really seem to notice if I do or don’t. They care about me but they don’t show it much; they’ve known me so long and they know that I’m going through some stuff and *then* they care. They make me laugh but they make me feel unimportant. IDK what to do.

    • Viktor Sander

      It sounds like you need to start setting some boundaries with your friends. Do not accept being treated in a bad way, talk to them about it.

      Most people aren’t real or fake, they’re somewhere in between. That’s when we need to set boundaries and make people treat us like we want them to. Otherwise, you will just be a doormat for life. If they don’t better themselves, it’s time to start looking for new friends.

  24. Taiwo

    I’ve known by best friends for ten years now and they haven’t made me feel special.I have three friends, the both of them are females. We went the same primary school. We went to the same highschool.I love them but they don’t love me. We’re still in touch but they don’t make me feel loved and cherished.

  25. Emily

    I’ve been besties with these 2 girls lately, but mostly with this girl named Hailey. Recently, she’s been changing, like telling me I’m slow, or saying Emily you did track why aren’t you fast now. I told her that this hurt my feelings, and yet she continued to make fun of me. I remember telling her how I really wanted to start dancing. At this sleepover party, I was dancing and everyone else there said I should become a dance, because they thought I was doing good, but then Hailey was over there looking at me like I was doing everything wrong, then I told her that my mom and I wired looking for some modeling agents since people told me that I could do it. Then she looked at me in disgust and started talking about her mom. Hailey has always been a good friend and my best friend since the beginning of the year, however, a few days ago she was telling me how I should stop being lazy and do all of the homework, but no offense I work really hard and I behave straight As and for her to come into my life to tell me what I needed to do wasn’t right, I was so sick of it I yelled at her and said, Hailey, step in my shoes and taste a little bit of my life because you don’t know my schedule, and you can’t just tell me to do the homework if you don’t know how busy I am. Then she started to look sad, and like, totally shut down. For the rest of the day she didn’t really talk to me, then Angela the other came up to me and said that Hailey called me annoying and that she was going to ignore me for the rest of the day. I couldn’t handle it, because Hailey and I hav pie never been into s fight before, and I couldn’t handle her ignoring me, so I cried during lunch, then everyone was looking for me, then Hailey hugged me and said she wasn’t mad. But the next days hailey continued to ignore me, and whenever I was even frickin near her she would walk faster, the rest of the day I didn’t act normal because it made me feel so sad, it affected how I socialized with others. That following day I confronted it with Hailey, and it’s like I’ve never met this girl before. She didn’t act like herself around me which hurt me a lot because she would always act herself around me, she isn’t popular, but now she’s just acting like a brat. She kept saying she wasn’t mad at me. And I said that I didn’t like how she and Angela were always talking to each other and not me, I felt so left out. I think Hailey is hiding the fact that she doesn’t like me that much snymore, and that she’s ignoring me. It’s so obvious, and she was always talking about herself and changing the subject when I confronted her. I’m not happy with her, if anything I should be getting an apology. This is how she made me feel, and if she and Angela keep this up, I’ll just tell them I don’t want to be their friend anymore because I don’t want to be in a relationship of secrets, and being left out, I don’t care if they get mad st me, it’s their fault for not seeing the situation, what do you guys think.

    • TinAngel

      Fake Friends when wants to End a friendship, usually don’t want to take any responsibility of it, so they start with passive aggressive behavior. But in Your case I think she’s just jealous, be patient with her. Your happiness shouldn’t be controlled by others, that’s a quest of youth and adulthood too.


  26. hm

    one of my best friends took my glasses and dident give it back untill the next period they are my vision glasses too and now im sad seeing this article that all of this is like her.

  27. Victoria

    Hello! So I still am scarred because I was once in this relationship with a group of three yes, the group of three acted like the best of friends, yet they never treated me the same, they left me out, the leader of the three (Who actually used to be my friend since elementary school) actually started to critisize me and treat me like a puppet to play with, and it was killing my mind, and my grades. So soon I made a attempt to end it, but then she begged me to come back to being her friend, and I fell for it. And that second time also did not go well at all, and after that, I ended it all, and left the group, and soon I felt much better after that. Right now, I am pretty much a loner at my school, nobody cares about me and they only care about their friends, and I dont make any friends, because my best friend, my only true friend I know is not at my school for this year (Its almost ending but im dying) and I am to scared to ever trust anyone again, so should I still stay as a loner until she comes back? Or what can I do….Because I feel like everybody likes to make me suffer on the inside, even if they dont mean it…Without my best friend, life at school is miserable…

    • Albina

      Hi Victoria,

      I don’t think you should do anything. Focus on your grades and on your Hobbies. Friends come and go but you should be happy that you’re alone instead of being in bad Company. You should be happy and confident! You’re great and other People will notice it too! Let the time heal your heart and never feel bad for being alone.

    • TinAngel

      Do some Building self-esteem activity, like Yoga, Chen Taiji, Kung Fu, meditation….. let her come back but learn to impose your boundaries!


  28. Gacha Sg

    I have a friend and let’s say her name is Mel and one day I found out that two of my friends were dating and I told her and she double pinky promised and so the next day at break my friend Tamsyn comes to me saying “Why did you tell her!!” I say “How did you find out I told her not to tell a soul?” She says “Aj told me!” I realize how bad of a friend Mel is so I go to her and start yelling at her and all she has to say is “I thought I should tell someone, so I told Aj.” I got mad and walked up to Aj and asked her why she told Tamsyn what Mel said. “Sg I’m really sorry but I thought I should have told her. She is my Girlfriend you know, I apologize!” I thanked her for apologizing and walked off still a little bit angry. This was in fourth grade but I still remember it like yesterday!

  29. bree jordan

    so i have this friend who is always talking about me behind my back and she never says sorry or anything like that. she also knew i liked this boy for a long time and now she likes him and i don’t know what to do soooo give me your advice

  30. Monali

    If this sign is present with husband what to do?

    • Viktor Sander

      Which sign? Just one sign doesn’t necessarily mean much.

  31. Ella

    All of these signs apply to one of my really good friends. And I wasn’t able to realize they were fake until I read this article. 🙁

    • Viktor Sander

      Aww that sucks 🙁 But I’m glad you can see it more clearly now so you can invest more time in better friends instead.

    • KimLiu

      Ella, I have the same situation. I have 4 closed friends. Two of them always make me feel not good enough. One girl only wants to take advantages of me as possible as she can. She also gossips and says bad things about her other friends. The other one lives abroad and never tell anything about her life to me. She also doesn’t remember my birthday.

      I’m really sad. Why do I always choose wrong friends? What’s wrong with me?

  32. A

    So I currently have a girl who I consider my best friend, because she is really my only friend. I was once in a toxic friendship before I met her, and obviously we talked about that. That toxic friendship happened in freshman year of high school. We are in the end of our senior year and me and this girl had a LONG conversation about why our friendship was toxic, we opened up about everything: talking shit about each other, why we were upset, etc. But my current friend says that me becoming friends with her is me being “fake”. Before this conversation with my old friend, we were civil, but I was never able to call her my real friend until now. My current best friend constantly calls me fake because although I may not like someone, in a school setting I can like be civil in class, but she sees this as “you pretend to be their friend”. In my opinion, I don’t have to shout and ignore someone if they hurt me in the past. I can be civil to someone without being their friend. Is she right though, am I being fake? This is something I want to know before I go off to college because I want to know if I am indeed a fake person.

    there has been some tension in this current friendship because the way our friendship works she is the more dominant person, and I am the more submissive person. Meaning that she can tell me to my face that I am fake or annoying, but if I was to tell her the same things would explode. I am always the one apologizing for things that I didn’t even do. I am the first to text back whenever she decides to ignore me. And I want to tell someone how I feel but I don’t know if that is fake to talk about my problems with my “best friend” with another person.

  33. Anonymous

    Well fake friends or relatives will call out the blue demand to you to come over. Usually they never ask how long its gonna take u to get to there place. And when u arrive u can already see on there face there fake ass fuck, when they notice it’s just not u that came over you bought someone else. There face expressions tells it all white as a ghost and shocked

  34. Sal

    I’ve relocated for work a number of times. There’s something about being ‘the new person in town’ that attracts those who wish to victimize.
    When I first moved to my current city I knew only one person here and that person I had only known vaguely and some time in the past. They were quite polite at first and invited me out many times. I began meeting some of their friends and they all seemed to want to hang out. I was happy about it at first as, like I said, I was new and thus quite alone.
    As I got to know each one of them, they all acted similarly. The would put me down; insulting my looks and my intelligence regularly. If I’d call them on it or try to stand up for myself they’d say “Oh, you’re so sensitive! It was only a joke”. None of it was funny.
    Then they started creating some strange ‘psyche’ profile of me. I had to have a 4 pound uterine fibroid removed and they all said “Oh my god! You had a hysterical pregnancy!”. Not sure if you know what that is but that occurs when a woman desperately wants a baby, imagines she’s pregnant, tells people she’s pregnant and then her body exhibits signs of pregnancy. Ummmmm, no, I had a very common occurrence, a fibroid. Mine was just particularly huge. I’ve never wanted kids nor told anyone I was pregnant.
    One of the guys told me his boyfriend tried to kill me by strangling him. Yet he still continued to live with him. He told me it was the fourth boyfriend he’d had that tried to strangle him to death. It sounded very suspicious and I didn’t believe him. He then told me that since I didn’t believe him he was going to kill himself and it would be all my fault.
    I dropped this group of ‘friends’ and am happy to report that I’ve since been able to meet some real people here. But I do believe that when you are new in town you are extra vulnerable to people who are looking out for people to try to mess with.

  35. Person

    I have a friend who makes me feel bad about myself .i fell kind of stupid around her and I don’t completely act myself. We’ve. Been friends for 4 years and I feel like we haven’t gotten closer . But I never told her that . She also gets annoyed by me I don’t think true friends do that . But she says I’m her best friend and her mom says that it to my mom. I don’t really say when something was to far for me so I think she doesn’t no my boundaries. But she keeps secrets and is friends with good people and asks me about myself. she talks about her other best friends to me all the time … is that a bad sign ?

    • Viktor Sander

      Hi Person, I don’t hear any especially bad signs from your description. She sounds like a decent friend from your brief description. Both keeping your secrets and taking an interest in you. Everyone can get annoyed from time to time. You’d have to be more detailed if there’s something that’s worrying you.

      But the fact that you don’t feel that close to her tells me something. Maybe you’re not honest and open enough with her? When you don’t act like yourself, that hinders you from getting closer to her.

  36. Fake_Smile

    For me a “friend” of mine said “I am not your friend anymore.” After I asked why and then they said “oh I was just joking!” They also used me for a while because I had candy and slime and other things 9 year olds love. Hey kept making me give a ton of it to them sometimes even try to make it seem like they didn’t want it that much. After they found someone else better, they decided to abandon our friendship. I am very surprised that the other people she is friends with haven’t noticed yet. I mean, she made it very obvious that she isn’t a real friend

    • Fake_Smile

      Oops by hey I meant they XD

  37. Isabella

    I’m starting to sit with a new group of people who are deemed “popular”. It isn’t Mean Girls popular but more of the nice kind of popular. They’ve been friends for years, but I started sitting with them about 2 weeks ago. They don’t really include me in their conversations, but then again, I’m like the most shy person with a 2nd grade level of social skills(due to family issues……….my family sucks….). Recently, my grandmother has been sick and may die, so I’ve been really depressed by that. They acted like they cared but it was like…distant. Like, “I know you’re sad and I’m acting like I care but deep down, I don’t.” I don’t have anyone else to sit with though.

  38. michael

    my closest friend keeps on saying stuff like “ur in le(a class for learning disabilities.) but he seems nice and is a good friend. i just cant tell.

    • Viktor Sander

      What happens if you tell him that you don’t like it when he says that? Does he respect your feelings?

  39. Kath


    I’ve been raised as the family scapegoat. This means I haven’t been taught ‘how’ to set boundaries and it has left me making very poor choices of ‘who’ to allow into my life. It has also left me with a very deep inability to ‘trust’ anyone.

    Always attract people (especially my boyfriends, even my husband) who love me being around but when something goes wrong (eg someone is out of order with me) they stand back and leave me abandoned.

    I’d love to know your thoughts please? Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to resolve this?

    • Viktor Sander

      Hi Kath, that sounds really tough. But it’s great that you’ve already started reflecting on it and how you can improve your situation.

      Like you mention yourself, you need to start practicing how to set boundaries with the people around you. I’ve written more about boundaries over here, especially point 6, 7, and 8:

      I also think you should ask yourself which people you actually want in your life and which ones are more negative than positive? It sounds like you may need to cut contact with some. You deserve to be treated with respect.

  40. Taylor

    Hi Viktor!

    Reading through some of these comments, I’m scared I myself fall into some of these fake friend qualities. I have this tendency, particularly with male friends, to pick on them when we’re with other friends but be nice and more myself when alone with them. If someone ever tells me that their feelings were hurt I feel horrible and apologize and try to make sure I don’t do it again. But I do still fall into this quite often if I don’t monitor myself. I’m afraid that I’m not being a great friend myself for falling into these traps, whether I’m doing it because I want people to laugh at my jokes or whether it’s to do the dumb “I’m gonna pick on you because I like you” kind of thing. Do you have any advice on how I can improve upon this?

    • Viktor Sander

      Hi Taylor!

      I see what you’re saying, that’s a common behavior in male friend-groups, especially in younger or less emotionally mature groups. I’ve been there too.

      Just the fact that you can see some of these negative behaviors in yourself tells me that you are a good person and a good friend. And this is reinforced by the fact that you apologize if you hurt someone by mistake. We all mess up from time to time, that’s part of life.

      But onto the interesting part. How can you change this behavior?

      In short, changing a behavior is a 3-stage process:

      1: You need to become aware of your problem-behavior. (You’ve done this already, AWESOME!)

      2: Try to identify when you actually do this behavior. At first, you can maybe see it first after the fact, a day, an hour or a week after you did the same behavior again.

      And by increasing your awareness about it, you will get better at seeing it faster. And eventually, you will see it immediately after you did it. And finally, after that, you will become aware of it BEFORE you do it.

      This brings us to the final step.

      3: Once you’ve become aware of the behavior before you do it, you will be able to stop yourself from doing it again.

      DONE! That’s how you change and upgrade your behaviors. Hope it helps =)

  41. Tim

    Hi there,

    I have this coworker who actually was an old friend at an old company and we had not really kept in touch for couple of years. I used to think he was a cool guy to hang out with, but recently as I joined this new company where he works too, I often find him giving me off handed comments about my situation (no girlfriend, not settled, etc) which he seems to have for him now. I feel like his whole personality has changed now that he is more settled, has a house, etc. I am little hurt since we used to get along well, but these days, I try to avoid talking to him as I feel he often pokes fun at me.

    I am an overthinker and not very good in social interactions, and worst part is this guy actually sits right next to me at work. I am getting sick of being beaten by him through his words and offhanded comments. Please help me how I can get out of this situation.


      • Tim

        Thanks Viktor for the feedback.

        The thing is he is actually pretty socially competent, but in my opinion he is not so good at the work we do and he might be jealous of me in that regards. I just want to focus on my work and not have to deal with his bullsh*t. Anyways, thanks for pointing to the other article, I will try some of those strategies.


        • Lauren

          I had a friend named Dominic he was in a serious relationship his girlfriend didn’t really respect the friendship we had and he wasn’t there in person when I needed him and he lied a few times I was having a panic attack and he said he was at school but he wasn’t he was with his ugly girlfriend so eventually I’ve had enough and ended the friendship he was also way too rigid and unable to change anything so as it turns out he has a personality disorder called narcissism luckily I’m not his friend anymore I’m pretty sure I never will be again it’s not really a good situation so I’m not going back yes his girlfriend is ugly very ugly on the inside