Finding quality friends is extremely rewarding but it can be hard to find them. Everybody wants these great relationships. The issue arises when our need for friendship results in acquiring “fake friends.” Fake friends are people whose friendships negatively influence your well being. These one-sided relationships seem counterintuitive, but recognizing them is not always easy. Even once recognized, people tend to hold onto these relationships unnecessarily.
Here’s how you can spot a fake friend, and the next steps you should take if you have one in your life!
Why Fake Friends Are An Issue
Friendship is good for health, yet there are “friends” who don’t promote our well-being. Sometimes they simply don’t create the right kind of connections. Sometimes they would rather fake them. Often these people aren’t intentionally being false, but for some reason they do not act as a true friend. Figuring out people’s differing levels of sincerity is difficult, but not impossible.
Those who establish connections just to gain something are relatively easy to spot. For example, convenience is a common reason people develop friendships they don’t care about. These individuals only have time for you when they need your assets or want to use you in some way. Take a friend who only wants to hang out with you when he or she needs a ride. They might be your friend simply because they need the car, not your friendship.
Fake friends become a problem when life throws a considerable problem your way where a good friend would be helpful. A fake friend will leave you behind in the dust, which can make a stressful situation worse. In these moments, having fake friends can really hurt.
How To Spot Fake Friends
No matter what you think about your friends, there are bound to be some who are not as true as you think. A study found that about half of a person’s friends actually like the person. This means a big chunk of your friends are not really interested in you yet are still around. There are many ways to pinpoint fake friends.
The following are 3 traits that may tell you a friend is not a true one.
1. Disagreements Don’t Work
One way you can tell that a friend may not be a close friend is if disagreements do not fare well. These individuals may stop talking to you for long periods of time simply because you had a disagreement. There is a difference between a communicated need for space and “the silent treatment.” A good friend tries to work through a problem rather than simply cut all contact with you. Granted, there are some people who need to cool off, but a friend who does this constantly probably has a problem.
2. Do Not Support Goals
Good friends are willing to help you reach your goals, so a friend that never wants to help may not be such a good friend. Try to pay attention to each friend and the way they react to some of your desires. Now, it is important to do the same for your real friends because they probably need help with their goals, too. It is okay if you have not done this before. You can forgive yourself and become a better friend now that you know.
3. Mean In Many Ways
A fake friend may also try to make you feel bad. This person may bring you down whenever possible and may make it hard for you to be happy with who you are. A good friend will accept you and your faults. See which friends are happy with you and which ones are not.
What To Do About Fake Friends
Once you pinpoint fake friends, you can take extra steps. The easiest route is to simply cut these individuals out of your life. Of course, those who want to give these individuals a shot should be honest about the way you feel. Have a real discussion about what you see, and try to figure out a way to improve this relationship. If they are unwilling to work towards a healthier dynamic with you, the best thing to do is to create space. This doesn’t have to mean avoidance at all costs, but it does mean doing them less favors and not seeking them out.
Don’t be petty about creating distance. The silent treatment is not a good way to sort out issues in a friendship. You must first communicate the ways in which you feel things are unhealthy. If they decide not to change their behavior, then you can tell them that you would like some distance. Communication is key.
Considering how these concepts apply to you will help you create better friendships. Please, remove the relationships that are only toxic to your life. There are ways to be kind to these people without letting them take a toll on your own life. Free yourself from fake friendships as soon as you can!
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