Friend or Foe? Signs of Fake Friends And How to Move On

Last Update on May 11, 2023 : Published on May 12, 2023
Signs of Fake Friends

One of the things I’ve always looked up to in my life has been my relationship with my family and then later on, with my friends. I’m not above admitting that the person I am today is because of the people I have labeled as my friends. But this journey of creating bonds and finding my chosen family was not easy. During this arduous journey, I met toxic people as well as fake friends.

Now, I always trust my instincts, but there was a time I foolishly ignored what my instinct warned me against and I fell into a fake friendship trap. This friendship I’m talking about felt very real and I couldn’t recognize the signs of a fake friendship until I almost depleted my mental peace and sanity.

Call it whatever – frenemies, foes, mean girls – at the end of the day, it is these fake friends that  affect your mental and emotional peace. Just like you can unintentionally fall into a toxic relationship, you can find yourself amidst fake friends too.

In this article, I’m helping you explore the signs of fake friends and what you can do to bid them adieu and move on to find healthier and happier friendships.

Friendship or Facade? Signs of Fake Friends

Signs of Fake Friends

When I talk about healthier friendships (the real kind of friendship), I include support, loyalty, respect, and closeness in them. All the qualities that you can’t find in a fake friendship. A genuine friendship would not make you feel less or not enough, but a fake friendship would make you always second guess yourself, even when you’re right. This, among other signs, can be the red flags you need to watch out for in fake friendships.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1. They Only Care About Your Good Times

When you’re in a fake friendship, all you need to do is see when the friend in question is there for you. Is this person there when you hit rock bottom? Or do they only surface when you’re having a good time in life? If this friend is not there when you’re struggling but is present front and center when it’s time to celebrate, then take it as a sign of a fake friend.

2. They Are Never There For You

Again, if this friend of yours is not there – physically, mentally, or even virtually – when you’re in hard times, then they are a fake friend that you need to let go of. A genuine friend would be there for you to offer their silent or not-so-silent support – anything to help you get through. But a friend who can’t seem to support you, regardless of what or where in life you are – then they are a fake friend.

3. They Are Selfish

Another sign of fake friendship is that fake friends are only there when they need something from you for themselves. They text you out of nowhere to ask how you’ve been, only for them to text the next day that they need a favor from you. A genuine friend might not talk to you for months but won’t just reach out for a favor.

4. They Try to One-Up You

Fake friends always stay competitive and try to one-up you every step of the way. This competition may stem from jealousy. No matter where you are or what you do, fake friends would always compete with you and would want to seem better than you.

5. They Make You Feel Insecure

A genuine friend in your life is easy to spot because they always encourage you and make sure you stay on top of your game. However, a fake friend always makes you feel insecure, less, and judged. Instead of uplifting you, a fake friend would make you doubt yourself and second-guess your intentions.

6. They Criticize Your Wins

Fake friends in your life would never celebrate your wins and achievements, and would even criticize you for them. They may also use this occasion as a way to belittle you and make your accomplishments sound easy by saying, “I could have done better.” A genuine friend, on the other hand, would be there for you for your wins and even failures.

7. They Talk Behind Your Back

To spot a fake friend, all you have to do is see how they talk about you when you’re not present. A genuine friend would not talk or gossip about you behind your back, however, a fake friend would say behind your back, spread rumors, and lie about you. If you hear about this happening, then that person is not your true friend.

8. They Use You For Their Gain

One of the signs of fake friends is that they use you for their advantage and gain and never genuinely care about you. They might want to gain social status or would want to extract a favor from you. A true friend would, on the other hand, would never use you for their gain, even if it is something that they can benefit from.

9. They Are Jealous of Your Success

With a fake friend, there is undercurrent jealousy in the interactions. They never want you to go to the top and want you to stay lower than they are. If you succeed, then they would find a way to sabotage that achievement. There will always be jealousy in interactions with a fake friend, so watch out for that.

10. They Disrespect You And Your Boundaries

Another sign of fake friends is that a fake friend would not be interested in keeping up with your boundaries and would disrespect you. They would find ways to disrespect you and can even go as far as being nasty and mean to you. This means that they don’t care about you truly. A genuine friend would never do that to you.

What to Do About Fake Friends in Your Life?

In many cases (such as mine), the friendship would have lasted for a long time, however, that is not a sign of a healthy or even a real friendship. If you find yourself in a fake friendship, then here are some things you can do to move on and let them go;

Talk to them about your feelings and their treatment of you. If they seem to change their behavior, then good for your friendship, and if not, it’s time to consider letting them go.

If it’s a fake friendship that you see no hope for reconciliation, then consider walking away from them or breaking up with them.

If you’re considering breaking up with a friend, then make sure you talk about it with them and end it mutually. If not, then let them know why you’re considering leaving the friendship and why it’s necessary. You can also talk about your friendship needs with them and see if they are considering working together for a better friendship.

Letting Go Could Be Easy…

You may try as hard as you can, but there is a chance that you might (at least once in your life) end up in a fake friendship. Learning how to recognize the signs of fake friends might be difficult at times, but when you know how to watch out for fake friends, it can become easier to figure out who deserves to be in your life and who you need to let go of.

If you’re unsure about it still, then you can reach out to a professional counselor for help and support. You can also connect with a professional by clicking on the link below.


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I hope these above-mentioned signs of fake friends might help you. You can also let us know your thoughts in the comments below or write to us at

Take care!

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.

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