How to Deal with Fake Friends: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Deal with Fake Friends: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Deal with Fake Friends: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

It can sometimes be difficult to detect a false friendship, as false friends are often very good at manipulating and deceiving. When you feel that a friendship doesn't support you or recognize your needs, it's probably false. In some situations, you will have to deal with a fake friend, be it a co-worker or someone in your social circle. Don't let these people tire you out emotionally. Identify the problem behaviors and don't let them affect you. If friendship is becoming a burden, find a way to end it gracefully.


Part 1 of 3: Interacting with Fake Friends

Deal with Fake Friends Step 1

Step 1. Set limits on emotional time and space

It's no good letting a fake friend suck too much of your time and energy. Know how much you can tolerate this person and manage your time accordingly.

  • When giving yourself in relationships, do so with care. Don't spend too much time or patience with someone who pushes your boundaries, ignores you, or has disrespectful attitudes. Fake friends tend to behave like that.
  • You are not obligated to respect someone without reciprocity. If it's hard to make plans or stay close to a fake friend, it's okay to walk away. You can even stay close to the person, especially if you are in the same social circle, but it's okay to avoid personal contact and not get carried away by the person's dramas. Focus your energy on true friends.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 2

Step 2. Keep track of your expectations of a fake friend's behavior

This type of person is unlikely to change their behavior, and in some cases they can become unbearably arrogant. So beware of your expectations when dealing with a fake friend. Know that interaction with her will be negative. By preparing for misbehavior, you will be less confused and affected when it occurs.

  • If your friend Samanta always compliments you in such a way that the compliment is a subtle criticism, don't expect any more when you go to the bar with her. Tell yourself she is like that and that's it.
  • Don't expect too much from this person. If you had invested in this relationship and it turned out to be fake, it could bring you down right down. Either way, it's important to accept that you can't expect major contributions to your physical and emotional well-being from her.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 3

Step 3. Observe the nature of friendship over time

False friendships can become a major nuisance and difficult to sustain in the long run. Pay attention to the behavior of fake friends. Look for signs that the behavior is getting worse. It can go so far as to bully the person.

  • Always pay attention to the behavior of a fake friend. Ask yourself if his behavior has made you uncomfortable or stressed lately. Is it getting harder and harder to deal with this friend? Does he just make a case for you and your friends?
  • Friendships do change over time. It is possible for a false friend to change over the years; maybe he will become a real friend. It is important to pay attention to changes. If you feel like someone is becoming a better friend, you might even continue to accept that person into your life.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 4

Step 4. Take care of your emotional needs

Fake friends can make you put your needs in the background. It may be that you are working hard to put up with someone who is difficult to please. If someone brings more bad times than good ones, prioritize your own feelings. If the friendship is getting too tiring, it's okay to just walk away or just spend less time and energy with the person.

Part 2 of 3: Staying Aware of Behaviors That Cause Problem

Deal with Fake Friends Step 5

Step 1. Identify unacceptable attitudes

Don't be around people who treat you in an unacceptable way. When dealing with fake friends, focus on identifying intolerable attitudes. If your fake friends act this way, walk away immediately. Unacceptable behaviors can be identified by the way they affect you.

  • If you always argue in an unhealthy way with this person, he or she may be pushing the envelope. A fake friend may deny treating you in a way that makes you feel bad, insisting that you are being too sensitive.
  • You also must not tolerate any attitudes that make you tense, anxious, or uncomfortable. If an attitude affects your self-esteem or makes you feel unappreciated, it is unacceptable.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 6

Step 2. Look for signs of bullying

Sometimes a fake friend can cross the line from just being a rival friend to becoming a bully. If this is happening between you, it is wise for you to end it. Learn to identify and deal with this type of behavior.

  • People who engage in bullying tend to have low self-esteem. That's why they look for people to vent their insecurities and frustrations. If a friend is becoming a bully, he will start criticizing you. He can become irritable and do and say things that hurt him.
  • It can be difficult to know when a person has crossed the line with bullying, but it's good to be aware. Over time, this type of person can damage our self-esteem. Pay attention to the treatment you receive from people. If someone constantly pushes your limit without apologizing, they are probably out to dominate you. It's better to end that kind of relationship.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 7

Step 3. Pay attention to the treatment you receive from true friends

It is wise to identify the real friends so that it is easy to know who the fake ones are. Real friends are genuinely concerned and supportive. They will help you know how to be treated.

  • A good friend should make you happy. Friends should have a good aura and always be kind, respecting their limits. Unlike fake friends, real friends value you for who you are. They don't expect anything different from this.
  • Friends can offer constructive advice from time to time, as well as tell them openly when you have a troubling attitude. Unlike false friends, they do not wish you harm and want your best and always demonstrate a legitimate concern for your well-being.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 8

Step 4. Watch out for codependencies

False friends are often codependent people and therefore emotional manipulators. They want friendship just to satisfy their need for stability and they don't know how to value others. You may not notice when a friend is fake, as codependency can be disguised as love, concern, and is almost never aggressive. If you have a friend with these characteristics, you need to take action to solve the problem.

  • A codependent friend will rarely be assertive. In fact, he might even agree on what you want to do. However, later this will have consequences and he may say that he did not like to accompany you. It may also be that he becomes extremely demanding in public.
  • Codependent friends have difficulty accepting responsibility for their own actions. They can blame you or deny their own guilt by taking a reprimand.
  • If you are in a codependent relationship, you really need to consider whether this relationship is worth your time. Codependent relationships can be exhausting and, in the long run, harmful.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 9

Step 5. Protect yourself from emotional blackmail

False friends are used to blackmail. It is very important to know how to detect this type of attitude and focus on your own sense of happiness and security. Emotional blackmail is a form of manipulation in which the person uses anger or shame to make you behave the way they want you to.

  • Fake friends can be very good at emotional blackmail as this allows negative comments to be hidden behind praise. For example, if you do something your fake friend doesn't like, he might say “I thought you were better than this. I can't believe you did it right away.”
  • Emotional blackmailers can also, out of anger, threaten you if you don't behave the way they want you to. For example, your friend might say something like “I don't know what I'm going to do if you don't go to this party with me. I might miss you and end up drinking too much.” Emotional blackmailers try to hold you accountable for their actions.
  • If someone emotionally blackmails you, don't wind it. Avoid manipulative conversations and don't respond to messages or emails trying to blackmail you.

Part 3 of 3: Setting limits when needed

Deal with Fake Friends Step 10

Step 1. Be aware of your needs

The first step in setting healthy boundaries is knowing your own needs in a relationship. Everyone has certain rights when entering into a relationship or friendship. Identify your rights to decide whether or not a fake friend is worth your time.

  • What makes you comfortable in a relationship? What do you look for in a friend? Common interests, kindness, empathy? Does the person in question have these qualities?
  • Does this person go overboard with you? Does she care or not about your emotional well-being? In your life, you certainly need an empath more than a fake friend.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 11

Step 2. Decide if this friendship is worth it

It's not always worth keeping a fake friend. If one person is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, it's okay if you walk away.

  • Think about the effects this relationship has had on your self-esteem. Do you feel that this person brings out your worst? Have you internalized some of the criticisms and complaints made about you?
  • Do you really want to keep seeing this person? Maybe you get tense around her and just interact out of obligation. If that's the case, it could be that this friendship is fake.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 12

Step 3. Find an elegant way to end a toxic friendship

If you've already decided that this friendship isn't worth it, find an elegant way to end it. You must tell the person directly that you no longer want them in your life.

  • Even though this seems like a cold thing to do, it can be easier by text message or email, especially if the person is very stressful and tiring. You don't need to be cruel or make a list of bad points. A simple email will suffice. Say something like "I'm sorry, but I don't think this friendship is working for either of us."
  • Keep your emotions in check. Even if you're right, blaming yourself can make the situation worse. Get out of this with a minimum of rancor and unnecessary drama.
Deal with Fake Friends Step 13

Step 4. Decrease contact with fake friends without ending the relationship

You don't need to end all fake friendships. If it's a person you see from time to time, it might be wiser to cut the ties. It may be that they have mutual friends or work together. Simply accept that this is someone you will no longer interact with directly. Do not invite the person to go out as a couple, nor to small meetings between friends or colleagues; keep it away from the center of your life.


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