The Signs They Aren’t Your Real Friends
If you’ve been lucky enough to have a real friend in life, you know exactly what it feels like. They’re someone who has your back even when you’re wrong. You can confide your darkest secrets to a real friend and share your most humiliating mistakes without feeling judged. A real friend enthusiastically shares in your biggest victories (even if they’re jealous)! You know a real friend would never stab you in the back (or whisper about you behind it).
Red Flags Friends
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a person has your best interests at heart. You may think that someone is a closer friend than they actually are. So how can you separate the cocktail companions from the people you should keep around for the long haul? Here are the 4 ways to tell if they’re not your real friends:
- You always feel drained after spending time with them.
- You start looking for reasons to avoid hanging out with them when they contact you.
- Whenever they reach out, it’s only to ask for a favor.
- They always take control of the outing, without any regard for your interests, opinions, or boundaries.
But what if you’ve never experienced any of those specific red flags, yet you sometimes still get an uneasy feeling about a friend? Here are a few more things to watch out for that may suggest that your friend isn’t as invested in your friendship as you thought.
It’s All About Them
You know the type. When you have a problem and talk to them about it, they comment briefly and nod their head here and there, but you can tell they’re waiting for you to hurry up and finish so they can talk about themselves.
Now, we can all be a bit self-centered from time to time, especially if we are going through a crisis like planning a wedding or expecting a child, etc., but a real friend cares about what’s going on in your life too. They support you and are there for you emotionally. A self-absorbed friend barely listens to you and won’t be there for your in your hour of need. Honestly, they aren’t that invested in your friendship and you shouldn’t consider them to be a real friend, much less any kind of friend at all.
You’re Always the Initiator
If you’re always the one reaching out to get together, you’re encountering a relationship red flag. Sure, there are things that keep us busy for extended periods of time, but a real friend will make time for you. Whether it’s a lunch date, cup of coffee, or a brief phone call, a real friend reaches out to you too. If you don’t hear from someone for ages. If they don’t return your calls, texts, email, etc., and generally don’t have time for you, they’re not a real friend.
Look for patterns. Who’s always calling who? Who’s never available to get together? Who’s always making excuses and always promising to reschedule but never getting around to it? If you’re the only one interested in communication, they probably aren’t a real friend and you’re trying too hard to maintain a friendship not worth maintaining.
You’re Constantly Criticized
You want your friends to be honest with you. Honesty is the sign of a real friend. But if you have a friend who is always putting you down or criticizing you, you need to seriously reconsider the friendship. If they always have something negative to say about your actions, words, or appearance, they’re not trying to be helpful. Rather, they’re being hurtful and they don’t have your best interest at heart. They either have an ax to grind or they’re projecting their own self-esteem issues on you. An overly-critical friend is not a real friend.
Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to friends, it’s not about quantity. It’s better to have a few amazing friends who respect you and treat you well, than a lot of superficial friends who don’t really care about you.
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