Fake Friends: How To Spot, Drop & Move On From A Fake Friend

Fake Friends: How To Spot, Drop & Move On From A Fake Friend

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 personalize 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.

Written by: Natasha Adamo

If you’re looking for further and more specific help; if you’re tired of waiting to be chosen and ready to choose yourself, personalized coaching with Natasha Adamo is the answer. Book your one-on-one session today.

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Author of Win Your Breakup, Natasha Adamo

About Natasha Adamo

Natasha Adamo is a globally recognized self-help author, relationship guru, and motivational speaker. With over 2.5 million devoted blog readers and clients in thirty-one countries, she is a beacon of inspiration to many. Her debut bestseller, "Win Your Breakup", offers a unique perspective on personal growth after breakups. Natasha's mission is to empower individuals to develop healthier relationships and actualize their inherent potential.

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