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3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

3 WARNING Signs of a Bad Friend

Once you hit 20-something and over, you reach a point where your time becomes your most precious asset. A bad friendship can drain our energy, so we seek to avoid them as much as possible. This manner of prioritization tends to put our relationships into prospective, by subconsciously implementing The Two Laws of Adult Friendship.

1. I will only spend time on/with subjects of obsession – Just like your obsession with running, painting, or growing your own tomatoes, most of us will only initiate friendships with those who make the most of our time.

2. I must recognize realistic variables – Yes, adult friendship is like a real life math problem—helping us set realistic expectations. Sometimes we want to be closer with others, but we foresee responsibilities that can get understandably in the way.

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What is the probability of Person X + (1 Husband + 2 Kids + 1 Kitten) /Full Time Job have of going out dancing with Person Y Friday night?

Somehow, you might find those few friends who get past this litmus test, but really aren’t worth the energy you are wasting on them. You might feel like a bad person when these types of thoughts start popping in your head. If this is a constant concern in the friendship, rest assured that it’s probably for the best. Here are the 3 facts to consider if you think someone is a bad friend.

Lack of Eye Contact

It says something about a person when they can’t look you in the eye. Having a bud that stares at you intensely is pretty creepy, but avoiding your gaze altogether is even worse: it’s a sign of lacking intimacy in the relationship.

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Take a notice of how many times your friend checks Facebook updates and tweets while you’re in the middle of a conversation. Or maybe there are more subtle instances, like avoiding eye contact while they breathlessly monologue in what’s supposed to be a shared dialogue. Paying attention to body language will trigger that they are being rude and should probably do a little listening, so they avoid your gaze out of selfishness.

An amigo who doesn’t value you enough to pay the slightest subconscious attention to your needs of communication isn’t a real friend to you.

Self-Centered Interaction

The strength of friendships is based on our interactions with one another. It’s about what you enjoy about them, and what they enjoy about you. That’s why you can spend hours with your closest friends while literally doing nothing; you’ve built companionship that doesn’t require more than the other’s best interest.

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Bad friends couldn’t care less about your well-being or interest, and this shows in the context of your interactions. They’ll hang out when it’s convenient for them or generally ask surface level questions, if they ask any at all. Getting to know you isn’t important—they just ind you a convenience for the moment.

Remember, a good friend will let you rant on a bad day, and an even better friend will tell you when to let something go without dismissing your feelings for the sake of their own good mood.

Seeking Validation

There is a 50/50 chance about how the last major sign will show up in a weak friendship. It’s a mystery as to why it doesn’t scream in the moment that this relationship might be toxic, but the fact is, those who are poor at maintaining friendships often know it. One of the few times they will look at us in the eye is when they admit “I’m a bad friend.”

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It’s not a statement that comes up once or twice when they admit to messing up. Toxic friends will keep telling you this just to hear you validate their behavior. We’ve all been guilty of doing it, so that the cycle continues on.

The other 50 percent might be so diluted by their selfishness, that they feel it’s OK to take you for granted. In either circumstance, the best way to be a real friend to a faux one is to tell them—in a loving way—that they suck.

Telling them that their behavior is OK isn’t going to help them or you; it will only make things worse. We will say something when friendships really matter to us, unless we are just as bad as they are. That’s the double-edged sword to this revelation. Recognizing these traits in others might be hard to admit, but it’s even harder to acknowledge that we might be the bad friend who needs to change.

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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