When it comes to fake friends, we have all had them and we have all been one.
Even if you’ve been the best friend imaginable and have never been a fake friend to someone else…
The fact that you have tolerated, excused, given second chances and credit that was never earned to a fools gold friend, means that YOU were a fake friend to the one person who you can never afford to not be a friend to: yourself.
I have been an awful friend to myself and to other people.
When I think back to how terrible of a friend I was to certain people when I was younger, the guilt, shame, self-hate, and embarrassment is so bad, it would paralyze me if I had not built a life around those lessons learned.
What hurts even more, is that I was always a fake friend to the absolute best people.
I would give all of my love, care, and attention to the people in my life who were just as toxic and just as fake of a friend to me as I was to the true friends who were the most deserving.
The ability to put up with fake friends will always tie into how willing you are to continue being a fake friend to yourself.
We all carry shame from our mistakes in the past. We overly blame ourselves. We ersonalize the behavior of others and because of this, adopt negative beliefs about ourselves that make our ability to emotionally survive seem impossible.
The lack of self-worth we feel makes us a sitting duck for putting up with fake friends.
You will never tolerate being treated any worse from others than you are already treating yourself. And remember…
Fake friends will always (directly and indirectly), make you feel (through their patterns, actions, inactions, and words) the exact.same.way that they feel about themselves – sh*tty.
We put up with fake friends for many reasons – because we have a history with them, we feel elevated by association with them, and we confuse them needing us with them wanting to be in a relationship with us.
The common denominators here are loneliness and thirst.
We are lonely and because of this, thirsty for the emotional attention that we don’t know how to give ourselves. The self-reflection that it would require is just too painful.
So, we settle for the low-quality attention of fake friends.
Today, my life is much different than it was years ago…
I value my privacy; my circle of close friends has gone from a big, dramatic, bullsh*t circle to just a few people who are the family I’ve chosen for myself. These are people that I don’t have to be “good enough,” for them to give me the time of day. I no longer have to live on a crumb diet of being tolerated and “kind of” acknowledged, “kind of” told the truth, and “kind of” wanted around.
With fake friends, I was always picking up the proverbial (and sometimes literal) tab that ultimately, came at the expense of my own progression and life.
I was unmotivated. Any confidence I had was shot and my worth was dependent on being understood by friends who I empathized with to my own detriment. It wasn’t until I took some serious inventory and dropped all of the fake friends that my life began to turn around.
If you’ve finally decided to be a true friend to yourself and have hit your limit with fake friends…
Here’s how to spot, drop, and move on from fake friends:
How to spot a fake friend? First, you need to understand this: There are people in your life who simply do not want the best for you. Your success is their failure. Period.
Some of these people you consider friends – good friends – right now. Some, you may even be related to.
Your failures and heartbreak are caviar for their ego. When you’re at your lowest is when these people really shine and show you just how dedicated and loyal of a “friend” they really are. Your happiness and success, however, is not theirs.
These people give you just enough to hook you into believing that if you invest a little more, you’ll get a return.
Disempowering fake friends starts with the realization of:
Knowing that these people are so weak, their egoic survival is dependent upon you NOT knowing your value.
Just like true love, finding true friendship is RARE. There is nothing better in life than having a true friendship – with yourself and someone else. The source of all solid, mutual, and healthy romantic relationships is true friendship.
How To SPOT a fake friend:
- A relationship with them adds no real value to your life. It’s distracting more than it allows you to enjoy the present moment, draining more than it is fulfilling, and you’re always questioning everything that you say and do.
- Fake friends are only capable of a transaction, not a real friendship.
You feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells and can’t ever genuinely open up. Why? You feel like you’d be at risk for abandonment, judgment, or even worse… them having “ammunition” and gossiping about you.
- There’s more ambiguity and anxiety in the friendsh*t than there is clarity and trust.
- Your relationship with them is all about conditions. Everything is always on their terms.
- Fake friends stick around because of how powerful you lowering your standards (and continuing to give them pass after pass) makes them feel. A fake friend’s sense of superiority depends on you feeling inferior.
- Your failures make them feel better about themselves and your successes hold a mirror up to them that they hate the reflection of (unless they’ve already been-there-done-that or they feel that what you’ve accomplished is not a threat).
- Many fake friends are compulsive and/or pathological liars.
- They are very passive-aggressive, defensive, and like to make you feel as though you have to compete with others to be their best friend.
- If you call them out on anything, they’ll cut you off. They are incapable of accountability and are professional victims.
- Fake friends are able to keep the relationship going by stressing your obligation to them/each other in indirect ways. They love relying on history or private information that they know about you to keep you in their web of selfishness. History and fear-mongering do not dictate a lasting friendship – character, integrity, honesty, maturity, and empathy do.
Fake friends do nothing but bring you down. They don’t challenge you or make you want to be better. They just make you feel like you always have to DO better… for them.
- Fake friends think that your availability is a given (not a privilege), and feel entitled to everything.
- As much as they claim to not tolerate drama, they love to passively create it.
- They will make fun of you to others for the very reason that they pretend to console, empathize with, and understand you.
Because they hate who they are, fake friends will try to get you to hate yourself just as much. They’ll then try to motivate you out of the quicksand that they put you in.
- They are masters at mixing signals and are highly contradictory.
- The moment you stop being a cheerleader for them and their goals (always at the expense of your own), they cut you out.
- You always feel guilty, like they’re mad at you or that they know something about you that you don’t yet know.
They will randomly recoil and go cold just to affirm how much control they have over your emotional weather.
- They are attention whores. Some fake friends will even try to get attention from your significant other or get your parents to give them the sympathy they never gave you.
Fake friends are master manipulators. They will make you feel like they want you all to themselves when really, they want to separate you from your other friends and family so that you can be exclusively dependant on their crumbs.
- They gossip about others. And I promise you that anyone who habitually gossips to you will eventually gossip ABOUT you.
- They tell you how poorly other friends of theirs have treated them and then, when you do something that’s not even a fraction as bad, they crucify you.
How To DROP a fake friend:
I kept fake friends in my life because I was plagued with guilt. I felt bad; they had no one. I knew they needed me and I also knew how much of a competitive, loose cannon they could be. I didn’t want them to think that they had “won” or that they had all the power. I didn’t want them gossiping about me. Other times, they were one of the “cool kids” who was finally, giving me a chance.
Here’s what you need to realize:
- The moment that you decide to cut a fake friend off, don’t worry about them feeling like they won. They do not feel powerful at ALL. They feel powerless because they depend on your tears, explanations, reactivity, and brokenness for emotional survival.
- If you can’t physically cut them off and go no contact right away, immediately make yourself less available to them and completely unavailable to their bullsh*t by emotionally cutting them off.
- You will never be able to see the potential that you know you have (or you would not be reading this right now) until you take the trash that is a fake friend OUT. If you put trash in a bag and keep it in your house, it’s going to stink up your house. And the only people who are going to want to enter a stinky house are those who know they can do whatever they want because they don’t have to treat the house with any more respect than the owner already is. Take the trash OUT and set the standard for those you come to your door.
- Whether it’s fake friends or even a family member, you need to step away from anyone who has no problem stepping all over you.
- People reveal who they are over time. Things change. Who they were five years ago may not be who they are today. Create some distance and take inventory of how you’re holding yourself and your life back by remaining in this dynamic. A little distance – emotional and, if you can, physical… it does wonders.
How to MOVE ON from a fake friend:
Rid yourself of the guilt right now and know this…
You are not a “bad” person for having boundaries with fake friends – you’re a better, smarter, and more mature person.
Reclaiming your position as C.E.O of Y.O.U and having a zero-tolerance policy for toxicity is the quickest way to build unshakeable self-respect and confidence. You no longer have to rely on anyone to have your back because you know you have your own.
And you will fire, hire, promote, and demote accordingly and unapologetically – in light of how REAL of a friend you are to yourself.
Life is so incredibly short and I promise, you will never look back and wish you had invested more of yours with fake friends.
It’s trash day. Let’s all take it out together.
+ If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with me here.
First of all Natasha, and the silent readers: ??
Secondly: I have a fake friend. I think of this every day. Anyone with good boundaries would be devastated to know, how much I think of her every day. Thing is, we quite rarely meet. The reason I think of her, is because she is offending my guts system. The instinct! Right now, when I read your post Natasha, I almost feel happy, because it comes so clear to me. All you out there, keep up with your good work, and let’s strive towards the stars together. If you are reading this, please go on with your struggle. Every single step I personally managed, towards cutting out a toxic friend, is a wonderful, colorful relief ? If you are a new reader to PMS, from my perspective: what you get here not only means the world, it changes the world 🙂
Aquilina! I am so happy that the post helped 🙂 and thank you – that means the world to me sister. xx
It’s hard cutting out fake friends when you have no family. Sometimes these friends are all we have, so we think! Currently I am struggling with depression caused by the rudeness and cruelty of a fake friend. Your advice is priceless, I will try to take out the trash, thx Natasha.
I agree with you. It’s the reason I’ve held onto friendships way past the expiration date. I understand <3
So happy that the post helped! You are not alone.
The list of how to spot one is dead on. And when they do turn on you (and they will) – make sure you have a good therapist on hand. Because they set themselves up as pure and perfect while you are the cause of ALL problems. They are blameless. its utter bullshit. Own your stuff but don’t take on more than that. And realize it will take you time to heal from it.
Happy it helped! Thanks Michelle 🙂 xo
Thank you Natasha! ????
I love reading your articles and was excited to see this one in my email this morning. Yesterday (trash day) I had confronted a toxic friend who doesn’t accept responsibility and wants to be the victim even when I bring up situations that have been hurtful for me. It’s as if this person wants me to spin on “proving” their behavior was hurtful and then empathize with their feelings of being called out. Well, I didn’t bite/react this time when the selfish responses started coming my way yesterday afternoon.
I am more confident and stronger because of your insights and the support on PMS. Thank you so much for helping this girl move her life forward!
Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I’m glad that the post served you.
When you wrote: “It’s as if this person wants me to spin on “proving” their behavior was hurtful and then empathize with their feelings of being called out.” You are so spot on. Proud of you for not taking the bait and reacting. You go girl 🙂
I believe in you, love you, and am so happy to help in any way. XOX
Natasha, your words are so on point. Thank you allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to do what you do. Your strength and wisdom is beautiful.
Oh how I’ve lived EXACTLY what you’ve described. Thank you for this. It gives me strength and reminds me of what I’ve always known in my gut. TRUE friends are RARE and I completely agree that I’d rather be alone in my own company instead of being lost in that sea of crazy-making… I know this to be true and have decided this is what I must do – yet I continue to struggle every day. I miss my ex-bestie with an intensity that seems really unhealthy. It’s been almost three years since we parted ways, yet there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t relive the pain. I miss her like no one else. Never before had I found such an amazing connection with a friend. I fear that I never will again. I see now that it was never real on her part. She transformed and camouflaged into exactly the friend I was searching for… I played into all of it, the triangulation, the pedestaling, the ice-outs, the backhanded ‘compliments’, the head games… all because the good times were SO good, that I could justify that terrible treatment – to a point. I rationalized that I was the stronger one who could empathize and help “fix” her and save her from herself. Ha! That’s how I kept my self-esteem intact. I pitied HER. Finally, it all became too much to bare and I consciously hurt her in a way that would destroy the friendship beyond repair. I needed to save myself… because I didn’t trust myself to take out the garbage for good. As expected, she cut me out. I stupidly handed over the power move. #%!*€!!
Each day, I live with the humiliation of having gotten off my white horse and behaving in a way that is disgusting to me. Each day, I miss her, I resent her, I hate myself, hate her, love her, yet feel proud of myself for staying away. I’m tortured and can’t seem to move on. I know better. But I.cant.stop missing the connection and excitement that I had with my fake friend. It’s beyond ridiculous. Healthy friends bore me and I know that I’m not attracted to them because I’m obviously not yet healthy. It all makes sense intellectually, yet my heart is ?. I’m so lost without my security blanket and the drama. WTF????!!!!
I’m so grateful for this community of support, which helps me to feel less alone. So, thank you for your amazing gift. xxx
You have helped so many people feel less alone by taking the time to share your experience and struggles. Thank you so much <3 I wish that I would have had your comment to read when I was going through this.
I know exactly how you feel and it's normal to feel this way. There are so many layers to it and the sense of guilt, loss, and even residual confusion is tough.
Healthy relationships will excite you the more you love yourself by continuing to have your own back, uphold your boundaries and forgive yourself. I wish that I had the time to write more but I am going to write a post soon to further help. Thank you for being a part of this tribe Christie. You are adored, valued, understood, and appreciated. All my love to you girlfriend. xox
Thank you Natasha! Thanks to you I have been able to set boundaries and take the trash out. Once you take the trash out, it can be lonely. It’s not easy to find the real thing. Thank you for helping me to evolve!
?? Carolyn… you will likely not be lonely for long, as you sound like you have real friendship to offer ?
AGREED!! 🙂 I LOVE seeing this love and support!
Carolyn! I agree – it can be lonely but never as lonely as actually being in a friendsh*t with these people. I am so happy for you, proud of you, and thankful for your love and support 🙂 XOXO
Thanks so much Natasha. I had no doubt you would write on this topic. But this was really fast :):)……….it makes me feel so comforted and guided and taken care off. Honestly words cannot express the gratitude I have that you EXIST and are accessible and warm and compassionate.
As always the post is bang on and super helpful and relatable and encouraging. As always you have removed the shame and stigma attached with these behaviors.
Thank you thank you
God bless you
Loads of love
Meg!! So happy that it helped 🙂 I was thinking of you.
I am writing another post that will help with this even more. Thank YOU, sister. Big love to you. XOXO
It is like you are in my head!! I have just gone through a situation with someone who, I thought, was near and dear to my heart. I let her treat me like sh*t and felt like I was walking on eggshells around her. Recently, she did something to me and I decided it was enough. The funny thing about out? I do not miss her. I felt like I needed her in my life because I honestly do not have many people I can count on, and she has been good to me. But I added up the pros and cons, and realized that she is not the friend I thought she has. Due to her bigger mouth and ego than me, she will have lots to say about it to other people. Things have been quite good with her gone, and this post just made me feel so much better about it.
Thank you, AGAIN, for your amazing words and support. So glad that our paths have crossed and I am so grateful for you.
Haha YAYYYY! I am SO GLAD it helped Sam 🙂
It sounds like you REALLY did the right thing. You go girl!
I am just as grateful for you. Love you soul sister. xo
Thank you for making me feel less alone on this subject. There’s a particular kind of stigma attached to friendship that once made me feel like I should try to work harder to salvage friendships, when what I should have done was to take out the trash. Your “how to spot” bullet points are so REAL and on point. Thank you for laying this out so clearly. For me, one of the hardest parts about letting go of a friendship has been the waffle back and forth because of history and some need to “stay loyal.” This post makes arguing with reality pretty difficult and has made me realize that some friends really do not want the best for me; and I very much have fit in the role of simply existing to be put down so that another person can feel superior. Thank you for once again being an incredible light on a difficult subject.
I couldn’t agree with you more about the stigma attached to friendships – especially fake ones.
Happy that the post helped 🙂 Love and appreciate you. xx
Hi Natasha, a million thank you’s I loved this. I was only thinking of deleting a whatsapp group that is not serving me today.
I’m not getting your updates anymore ?can you please re-add me to your mailing list if that’s possible ? I’ve really missed your wisdom. Good night and god bless, thanks for sharing ??? xxx
I have been a regular reader of yours for like 1 year and half..silent..in the background…quietly saying to myself..the lady who writes rhis blog is the shit! Why does she relate to me so much omg! She gets it!
…im 27 from the caribbean, St.lucia to be exact. This is great… beautiful… I always find what i need to help me right here.
Its really important to trust our gut and give our selves the love we deserve. When we do that, we are much stronger. We protect ourselves more…we respect and value ourselves more. We SEE and Feel our innate worth….the incredible way that God / the universe actually feels about us.
I have just been on a journey to trust my gut. I gave my judgment to others…let them decide what was best for me, let them decide how beautiful i am, how valuable I am, how worthy of love I am…now im reclaiming my rightful spot as the champion and owner of me. The one and only Bad gyal Keiwa..periodt! Lol
Sometimes its easy to have this attitude some days its harder ..and i have to do alot of emotional digging and honesty with myself …feel the pain / whatever emotions that are coming up at the time …feel the message that is trying to come through … take in that message and move on.
Trust yourself guys and girls… love yourself.. know your innate worth, reflect on your amaziness daily, talk with God/ the overall spirit of the universe and support yourself… we are so worth it and WORThY! Beyond our imaginations… and we are loved!
Wow – thank YOU so much for not only your support, love, and connection for all this time but for taking the time to share. You have no idea how many people you are helping by doing so.
I want to hug and high-5 you at the same time and could not agree more with everything you said <3
Thank you for surviving all that you have and as a result, being all that you are. I hope that I can meet you one day soon! I have never been to St. Lucia but I really want to go 🙂
Love you soul sister. xox
“They will poison the proverbial soul that they serve you then be the hero who takes care of you when you feel sick as result” FINALLY someone who knows exactly what I’m experiencing. I thought I was going crazy for a second until this behavior was repeated a few times, now I see thru it. How mean and sad some people can be is mind boggling. It’s a good day to take the trash out. Thank you for putting into words what I struggled to verbalise for years.
Thank YOU Sara for taking the time to comment and for being a part of this tribe. I’m so happy that the post helped ??? You are not alone. Xox
Yesterday was literally trash day here so the last line really stuck with me. “ It’s trash day. Let’s all take it out together.”
Also, for anyone else who needs a self-assurance jam try Melanie C’s song Who I Am. The whole album is really an anthem for being true to yourself and letting go of toxic relationships.
“ If I leave you behind I believe I will find
Something good enough.” ~ Melanie C “Good Enough”
Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to share and for being a part of this tribe 🙂 I’m looking forward to listening to the whole album!
Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
So the person I am cutting off is someone I mistakenly gave my number to, I oddly initially prior to this was avoiding him slightly to go do some exercising, similar to what I do only far less intense. So I think I picked things up a little faster in only a copul emonhts or so due to 6 years ago dealing with a covert narcissist whom took control of my life
Well, the individual here I don’t believe is necessarily a narcissit, they haven’t actually deeply criticized me for anything yet. But they could be a phcyo or sociopath, or maybe just a bad person overall. Hard to say.
However I would say initially, and yes I got fooled by it, they invited me in and cooked me chicken only like the 2nd or 3rd time we went out just to do a short exercise. Again when I met them I told them I do a much more vigerous exercising routine and we could do this sometimes here and there, however, they slowly manipulated it into having us do this nearly every day. And I started notcing they slyly had a manner in which I almost felt obligated , however in th summer the days were much longer and warmer so I did it after or before no problem.
But this peron seems to have, in various situations, like when I told him I would be out all day, or go to a company outing 100 miles from here. Or go viist a friend. A day or 2 ahead of time even letting them know I would not be available, well those days they would start texting me asking when will you be home, have you left yet, let me know when you leave, and usually send 3-4 texts about it. I tis like dude, WTF,do you even listen?
So I believe the food and all that must have been love bombing, sure, it isn’t a romantic relaitonshi, it is guy and guy just doing whatever. And everything he manipulated and pesters me about on text is always sthat albeit one time it was to show up to his party.
I also one time had been told by a family member they had tickets they could send me to an event 6-7 weeks before this and that each ticket cost over 100 bucks. They were not free, but this person liked the team playing very much so I asked if he wanted to go. He had to check, and did get back to me. He said he could. And I made it very clear to him at the beginning I need to know 100% as I am spending all this money and I need the person to pay for the ticket when we go. Well only 2 days before the event he texts me and says he has to work . well his “side” job he only does once per week every week during the week, a job he doesn’t need , the person owns their own business. Never mentioned a weekend before. But the forecast was a bit nippy cold. He seemed to hem and haw about it staritng a week before. Well, needless to say, he said there was a very very very remte chance they would work him, but almost one in a million. He told me 2 days from that day (6 days before the game) he would have his schedule. I saw him the day after this and asked him if they scheduled him, he said no. the day after that. Now only 48 hours before we would have to leave. He had to work. And could not get out of it because it was “mandatory” as the national HQ people were coming and everyone had to be there. Only the time he gave me, we wond up doing our exercise that morning and he had me hang at his house and we were still there nearly 2 hours after the time he told me he had to work and said he had to get redy for work.
It is a food job btw. I don’t believe that BS for a second. I wound up having to take someone for free.
Also, this person can’t go as intense or as far as I can. He wa trying to convince me his way was better for your health even though what I did for a couple years got me into great shape. Trying to of course manipulate me into thinking it is better, but his way is not even exercise to me. So I think he was jealous.
One time about a month ago it was really nice out. And I wanted to run. My orute goes by my house and when I left he wasn’t home but when I ran by the 2nd time almost dark. He was probably home. I looked at my watch (btw. He had asked if I wanted to go for our thing we do) I said any time after 630 it was 512 when I ran by. Sur enough on my phone there is a txt at 515 . I see you running
That is very passive aggressive and quite frankly, creepy as hell. I wanted to ask him if he was a stalker or something like that.
I fully explained myself. I should not have but I did.
So btw, that event I went to his sig other was on the phone that morning saying we will be cold there later better bundle up. So when I am there he asked me to take pics so he could sent them to her so she thought he was there with me. She btw was out of town that weekend. Very shady
So the biggest issue is they live across the street and a couple hosues down. And often in their driveway and have the cameras in front. If this was just simply blockin texts and so forth, this would be so easy.
How do I deal with this, especially since I have not responded to any text whatsoever in almost a week now. And will continue to do so since they can’t seem to take social cues or a hint.
Their presence. Is there any way to make this easier?
It is humanely impossible for me to directly advise in the comments. I would need to know more details and have many questions. Please seek professional help if needed and also know that my coaching will open back up again soon. I thank you for your love, support, kindness, and understanding that I am one person and have limitations as far as directly advising everyone goes. Thank you for being you and for being a part of this tribe. I will also try to write more about this soon. Sending you love.