10 signs of fake friends and top tips to deal with them

Some people are friends with you because they gain something from the relationship. Look for signs of fake friends and know how to deal with them.
How to spot fake friends
Know how to spot fake friends and keep them at a distance. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 26 Aug 2023, 19:00 pm IST
  • 159
Medically Reviewed by

Families play a key role in the lives of many people. So, do friends. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal Personal Relationships showed that when it comes to older adults’ happiness and health, friendship may be more important than relationships with family members. But to be healthy and happy, you need to be surrounded by genuine friends and not the ones who pretend to care for you. You might not know it, but there are signs to spot fake friends.

Fake friends are those who just pretend to be your friends. But in reality, they don’t genuinely care about your well-being or have your best interests at heart. They may be insincere, opportunistic or only interested in what they can gain from the relationship, says Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj.

Fake friends
Check out the signs of fake friends. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Ways to identify fake friends

You might see good in everyone, but there are also ways to know if your friends are fake. Here are some signs of fake friends:

1. Lack of genuine interest

Fake friends show little interest in your life, feelings or concerns. They often only talk about themselves. So, for them it’s only about “me, myself and I”.

2. Inconsistent communication

Fake friends only approach you when they want something from you. And when you need support, they won’t take calls or reply to messages.

3. Conditional support

Fake friends are supportive only when it benefits them, but are absent during your challenges, says the expert.

4. Negative energy

Fake friends may bring negativity, drama or criticism into your life instead of positive vibes.

5. Jealousy or competition

They might be envious or jealous of your achievements and try to compete with you rather than being happy and celebrating your success.

6. Betrayal of trust

Fake friends may share your secrets with others even though you tell them not to. They may talk behind your back or break your trust.

7. Lack of effort

They avoid putting effort into maintaining the friendship, cancel plans frequently or prioritise other people over you, Raj tells Health Shots.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


8. Selfish

Fake friends are selfish and tend to focus on their own needs. They rarely consider your needs or think about what you want.

Fake friends
Fake friends get easily jealous. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Energy drain

Spending time with them often leaves you feeling drained, rather than uplifted.

10. No reciprocity

Real friendships involve give and take, but fake friends only believe in taking without giving anything back.

Tips to deal with fake friends

Once you spot fake friends, you should know what to do about the friendship. Here are some tips:

1. Evaluate the relationship

Reflect on the impact of their behaviour on your well-being and whether the friendship is worth continuing, suggests Raj.

2. Set boundaries

Set boundaries so that you can protect yourself from their negative influences and demands.

3. Communicate

If you feel comfortable, have an honest conversation with them about your concerns and feelings.

4. Prioritise real friendships

You friends circle can’t be full of fake people. So, focus on nurturing relationships with those who genuinely care about you.

5. Gradual distance

Slowly distance yourself from fake friends to minimise their impact on your life. Remember you need real and genuine friends.

As you cut them off gradually, lean on your true friends, family or a therapist for guidance and emotional support. You should also prioritise your own well-being by doing everything that bring you joy and fulfillment. Most importantly, use the experience to develop better judgment in choosing friends and recognising genuine connections.

  • 159
About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

Next Story