How To Spot A Frenemy? 12 Signs Someone Is Pretending To Be Your Friend

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How To Spot A Frenemy

Do you have a friend who always leaves belittling comments on your social media uploads? Are you sure they’re not just pretending to be your friend? On this International Friendship Day, get to know your “friends” better.

Friends lift us up when we get bogged down in life and support us through thick and thin. They share our sorrow and add value to our life. True friends make our life meaningful. The internet is flooded with friendship day quotes for people who are looking for ways to celebrate their besties, pals, and buddies. Yes, friends are important.

But what happens when someone starts pretending to be your friend to fulfill their vested interest? A fake friend can be more dangerous than an enemy. An enemy is at least open and upfront about their stance, but your fake friends who know all your weaknesses can hit you where it hurts! Yeah! You never get betrayed by an enemy, only someone pretending to be your friend can stab you in the back.

This is why you should be on your guard about frenemies; enemies masquerading as friends. When someone is pretending to be your friend, they are bound to send off some alarming signals. Some of these signals would be loud and clear, while some would be blink-and-miss.

Fake friends can waltz into your life pretending to be your friend.
Before trusting someone, be sure whether they’re your true friend or just pretending to be your friend

How to know if you have fake friends? Just pay close attention to how your friends behave around you. When you doubt that someone is only pretending to be your friend and does not have your best interest in their heart, look out for these 12 signs of a fake friend, to be sure.

How To Spot Fake Friends? 12 Signs Someone Is Only Pretending To Be Your Friend

When you get familiar with the signs of fake friends, it will not be difficult for you to identify and keep them at arm’s length.

1. They Always Have An Ulterior Motive

Frenemies are fair-weather friends who are always looking for ways to sponge off of you. They always want something from you and are never shy about asking for favors. A friend in need is a friend indeed, however, a fake friend has a seriously twisted interpretation of this proverb. They can just pop up in your life after a long hiatus to simply ask for help.

“Hey, long time! How are you? Our babysitter just canceled on us. Would you mind if I ask you to watch little Johny this Saturday?”

2. They Cannot Be Found Anywhere When You Need Them

They can pull off a fine disappearing act as soon as you are in need of their help. They will find an excuse or simply go out of contact with you if they even get an inkling of you approaching them for a favor. They will lie through their teeth to get out of a situation where they might have to lend you a helping hand, be it physically, financially, or emotionally. When you will need support or care during a difficult time, a frenemy pretending to be your friend will be nowhere to be seen. 

3. They Put You Down

A person who is pretending to be your friend might harbor secret feelings of jealousy or even downright hatred. They will make their feelings known through veiled insults, sly digs, and backhanded compliments, meant to make you feel small and insignificant.

They can say something like “I am happy that you finally managed to grab a good man after dating so many losers.”  in front of your partner to sabotage your romantic prospects and put you down in a covert manner.

Read: 6 Covert Tactics Manipulators Use To Control And Confuse You

4. They Are Exhausting To Be Around

Have you noticed how you feel drained and depleted after being in the company of some friends? They might be pretending to be your friend just to use you as their emotional punching bag. Such fake friends dump all their troubles on you and keep harping on the same string throughout the entire time you spend with one another.

They will keep asking you for advice, but will never implement them. They will do nothing to change their situation but will always bring you down with their negativities. Another shocking sign of such a frenemy is that they will show no interest in knowing about you. It’s always about them and they will steer every conversation toward themselves.

These energy vampires like the way you make them feel and use you to feel better about themselves. No wonder you feel exhausted being around them.

Read: 9 Strategies to Cure Emotional Hangovers After An Energy Vampire Encounter

5. They Don’t Celebrate Your Success

A frenemy pretending to be your friend will always rain on your parade. When you share some good news about your life with them, such as a salary hike or an engagement, they will try to downplay them and make you feel that these are no big deal. They can’t be happy for you and your success or accomplishments will only rub them up the wrong way.

6. They Are Always Competetive With You

True friends compete in a healthy way. But someone who is pretending to be your friend will always try to one-up you to boost their ego. Their competitiveness comes from a place of envy and they cannot bear the idea of you becoming superior to them in any way. They perceive you as their rival and will never want to see you happy or successful, at least not more than them.

7. They Gossip About You

Fake friends go around speaking ill about you and even spilling your secrets. Gossiping about you behind your back is surely one of the signs that your friend is just pretending to like you. And it is also one of the hardest signs to detect. But if somehow the news makes way to you that your so-called friend is badmouthing you, don’t brush it off. They are not what they seem, they are only pretending to be your friend.

8. They’re Inconsiderate About Your Needs

A frenemy will not care about your needs or boundaries. If you ask them not to call you after a certain time in the night, they will flout your rule. They will demand your time and attention whenever they need it and will go ballistic if God forbid you are busy or occupied with something that is important to you.

9. They Don’t Know You

Your fake friends only know you on a superficial level. Someone who is pretending to be your friend will know basic facts about you, such as where you work and what you do, but they will never be interested in you enough to find out about your dreams, passions, and plans for the future. If you feel unseen and unheard among your friends, then I am sorry to break this to you, but, you are surrounded by frenemies.

10. You Can’t Be Yourself Around Them

Your frenemies will never accept you the way you are. They will criticize your every move and exaggerate your mistakes. You will never be comfortable around them and will feel like walking on eggshells trying not to displease them by being the authentic you.

11. They’re Never In Your Corner

Someone who is pretending to be your friend will never stick up for you. They will not take a stand in an argument that involves you and someone else. You cannot rely on them to stand up for you or vouch for your character. Fake friends always play safe during conflicts and take the easy way out. Don’t expect them to have your back.

12. They Can Hold A Grudge

Friends fight and go for days without talking but never try to hurt each other. But a fake friend can hold grudges for a long time and plan to avenge themselves if they feel you have wronged them in any way. They keep pretending to be your friend and simultaneously look for ways to harm you, just to settle the score. Sends a chill down your spine, doesn’t it?

Pay attention to the signs of a fake friend

Some More Signs Someone Is A Fake Friend:

  • They try to fish out information about you or someone you know
  • They flip out on you when you call out on their behavior
  • They try to wiggle their way into your other friend circles
  • They say all the right things but do not walk the walk
  • They act differently in front of others
  • They will create a scene if you don’t cater to their wishes
  • They will not support you during your struggles
  • They will financially exploit you
How to know if you have fake friends?

How To Get Rid Of Fake Friends?

If you want to get rid of the fake friendships and keep it real, then you can choose any of the followings:

  • Distance yourself from your fake friends.
  • Initiate a peaceful conversation with them and try to make them see their wrongful way.
  • Communicate in clear words that you no longer want to be friends with them.
  • Remember that whatever option you choose, your frenemies might put up a resistance, deny everything, create a scene, and try to make you feel guilty.

Keep Your Friends Close, And Your Enemies Closer?

Let go of those who were only pretending to be your friend

If you have identified the energy leeches, who are secretly sabotaging your life by donning the garb of a friend, we hope you take the high way and never stoop down to their level. Whether you want them to be in your life is entirely up to you, but be aware of their intentions and be very careful.

If you are someone who doesn’t easily make new friends, it’s natural for you to feel lonely or sad around Friendship Day. But don’t let your loneliness drive you to the wrong people. Hang in there, and you will surely meet your soul tribe soon, who will be authentic and genuinely friendly. Happy friendship day to you!

So, those were the signs that your friend is just pretending to like you. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the topic of signs someone is pretending to be your friend. What will you do with people who are pretending to be your friend? Comment below!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a real true friend?

A true friend stands by you in good times and bad times. They nurture and encourage you and always remain honest and loyal to you.

How do you deal with fake friends?

Be sure that they are fake, and then either distance yourself from them or try to have an open talk. If everything fails, break up with them.

What do you call fake friends?

Fake friends can be called frenemies, traitors, or double-crossers.


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  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Hello. I can get into multiple upon multiple stories on how fake friends ruined my life. It leads all the way up to attempted sexual rape and several violent instances , all because I associated myself with fake friends DUE to sheer loneliness.

    Thank you for making this website. Not only am I bookmarking this website, you not only made me realize I wasn’t losing my mind but simply my “friends” were trying to manipulate me to think I’m the bad friend, but most importantly, I want everyone else in the world to see this.

    Even if someone doesn’t have any fake friends, or thinks so, it’s important to look at this for future and even past/present instances.

    Thank you. I am now cutting ALL of my fake friends out. When I say they are fake, I mean it runs very very deep. Including sexual abuse, robbing me, and even planned violence towards me. Thank you.

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