People Talk About Red Flags That Can Help You Spot a Fake Friendship From a Mile Away

When a Reddit user asked people to reveal when and how they realized their friends were actually “fake” friends, an avalanche of stories followed. It turns out that sometimes fake friendship looks very real and sincere, and it can last for decades until you realize the person you’ve been calling your friend is actually a foe. In this thread, Redditors opened up about what made them realize their friendships were elusive, and those life lessons are truly precious.

We at Bright Side selected 22 stories people shared in this thread, and they explain, in detail, what “fake” friends say and do.

They need you only when they need something you can do or give.

  • When I was babysitting her kids, things were going great. We would hang out all the time, have movie nights, and just talk and chill. But the second she no longer needed a babysitter was the second I got kicked to the curb. No explanation, not even a text back. Some people will act like your best friend until they no longer need you. Their loss though. @Idgiethreadgoode86/Reddit
  • I slowly realized I was only around for chores and errands — rides to the airport, picking up furniture, helping them move. Anything social always resulted in either last-minute cancellations, showing up 45 minutes late, and bolting after 10 minutes. I thought they were busy, but no. @gelatinous_p***/Reddit
  • I traded in my truck for a smaller, more eco-friendly vehicle. Communication plummeted now that I couldn’t haul furniture around, assist with moving, dispose of garbage, etc. @mandox1/Reddit
  • I was invited to a bachelorette party for one of my friends in this group. While at the party, I figured out that I was the only person not invited to the wedding. I had been invited to the party because they needed another person to chip in for expenses. @littled311/Reddit
  • One friend stopped replying to my texts right after we graduated from college. Like, the same week we graduated. So...I was pretty much just a study buddy that they kept close to keep me helping them. @ts1985/Reddit
  • I used to be a mechanic, and it’s staggering how many people were friends because they needed me to fix things for them. @T***T***M***/Reddit

They oust you from their group.

  • They stopped inviting me to hang out. They would ask me to drive them to parties, but not invite me to go to the parties. They basically ghosted me for a while. They were once such amazing and important friends, but they gradually became really arrogant. It took way longer than it should have to give up and find other people. @D***_By_Pun/Reddit
  • I went to pick up my Xbox 360 a friend was borrowing, and our whole group of friends was there. They had spent the entire day playing games with snacks and pizza, and I had not been invited. And now I was in the situation of being the one who takes the ball home and ruins the fun for everyone. I took my Xbox and never spoke to anyone in that group again. @zenchemin/Reddit
  • I wouldn’t say I have fake friends, but I am definitely the periphery friend. The majority of the time, if there aren’t enough tickets or space in the car for everyone to go do something, I’m the one who gets cut out. It doesn’t bother me much but I wish they would be more mindful when talking to me about “things we have done.” “Remember when we went to see X? Wasn’t that fun?” Well, no because I wasn’t invited. In those situations, it usually gets awkward or they say, “Hey, we would have invited you if we had the tickets, space, etc.” @Moeb***90/Reddit

They don’t really care about you.

  • I realized my friends were fake ones when my phone got stolen and I lost their phone numbers. Mine stayed the same, but we just never talked again. @maddallena/Reddit
  • The group made plans to meet and hang out. I was getting ready at the salon. A couple of friends had to back out for some reason. The other friend then made excuses of his own, and I could tell. I tried cajoling him and offered ways for him to go, but he basically decided to cancel the entire group meet-up. It was my birthday. @TeaTreeTreatly/Reddit
  • Whenever we were supposed to hang out, something came up, and that “something” was hanging out with other mutual “friends.” @Ashii_nix/Reddit
  • I realized I was the one always calling. Then I stopped and the “friends” disappeared. @JohnnyJayce/Reddit
  • When you try to open up and share a genuine conversation about something going on in your life and all they can do is crack jokes and try to get you to go out with them. It made me realize how surface-level many “friendships” really are. @BrotherOfTheOrder/Reddit
  • My best friend of 10 years called on my wedding day to say she couldn’t make it because she was just so sad about her recent divorce. Turns out she just had a date. Our whole friendship was fake, it just took me to that point to realize it. @pudgywombat/Reddit

They talk behind your back.

  • When I started seeing my other friend’s attitude changing, I asked him what was happening and he told me that a girl that I thought was my best friend said things about me behind my back. @slightlyMuster747/Reddit

They hang out with you while you’re happy and successful but never show up when you need help.

  • I realized my friends were fake when I went through a divorce and was down to just $700. That was the most difficult period, and I weeded out all those who “friended” me for my generosity because I was well-off. I started over and have, like, 2 truly good friends. @allens969/Reddit
  • They abandoned me when I was going through a rough time after I’d spent years listening and supporting them. When I had my first true moment where I was coping and needed support, they were nowhere to be seen. That’s when I realized my high school friends never had grown up past high school. Luckily, I had other friends, just not a large girl group like that. But I can actually say that every friend I have I know has my back and won’t judge me if I’m not always happy. And the same goes for me. @LizFrance/Reddit

Have you ever realized that you were dealing with “fake” friends? How did it happen?

Preview photo credit Idgiethreadgoode86/Reddit
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