When it comes to fake friends, we have all had them and we have all been one.

Even if you’ve been the best friend imaginable and have never been a fake friend to someone else… The fact that you have tolerated, excused, and have given second chances and credit that was never earned to a fools gold friend, means that YOU were a fake friend to both your gut/instinct and the one person who needed you the most: Yourself.

I have been an awful friend to myself and other people. When I think back to how terrible of a friend I was to certain people when I was younger, the guilt, shame, self-hate, and embarrassment is so bad, it would paralyze me if I had not built a life around those lessons learned.

What hurts even more, is that I was always a fake friend to the absolute best people.

I would give all my love, care, and attention to the people in my life who were just as toxic and just as fake of a friend to me as I was to these friends who were the most deserving. This negative feedback loop justified my narcissistic, hypocritical behavior and cemented my bad luck and self-sabotaging ways.

The ability to put up with fake friends is directly tied to your low self-esteem, non-existent confidence, and lack of boundaries. It’s all about how willing you are to continue being a fake friend to yourself.

We all carry shame from our mistakes in the past. We overly blame ourselves, personalize the behavior of others, and because of this, adopt negative beliefs about ourselves that prevent our innate ability to prevail. The lack of self-worth we feel makes us a sitting duck for emotionally cutting via putting up with fake friends.

You will never tolerate being treated any worse from others than you are already treating yourself. And remember…

Fake friends will always (directly and indirectly), make you feel (through their patterns, actions, inactions, and words) the exact.same.way that they feel about themselves – sh*tty.

We put up with fake friends for many reasons – because we have a history with them, we feel elevated by association with them, and we confuse being needed with being wanted.

The common denominators here are loneliness and thirst.

We are lonely and because of this, thirsty for the attention we avoid having to give ourselves. The self-reflection that it would require is just too painful.

So, we settle for the low-quality attention of fake friends.

Today, my life is much different than it was years ago…

I am able to share without shame, I value my privacy, and my circle of close friends has gone from a big, dramatic, bullsh*t circle to just a few people who are the family I’ve chosen for myself. These are people who I don’t have to be good/useful enough, for them to give me the time of day. I no longer have to live on a crumb diet of being tolerated and “kind of” acknowledged, “kind of” told the truth, and “kind of” wanted around.

With fake friends, I was always picking up the proverbial (and sometimes literal) tab that ultimately came at the expense of my own progression and life.

I was unmotivated. Any confidence I had was shot and my worth was dependent on being understood by friends who I empathized with to my own detriment. It wasn’t until I took some serious inventory and dropped all of the fake friends that my life began to turn around.

So, if you’ve finally decided to be a true friend to yourself and have hit your limit with fake friends…

Here’s how to spot, drop & move on from fake friends:

First, you need to understand this: There are people in your life who simply do not want the best for you. They do not want you to succeed. Period.

Some of these people you consider friends – good friends – right now. Some, you may even be related to.

Your failures and heartbreak are food for their ego. When you’re at your lowest is where these people really shine and show you just how dedicated and loyal of a “friend” they really are. Your happiness and success, however, is not theirs.

These people give you just enough to hook you into believing that if you invest a little more, you’ll get a return.

Disempowering fake friends comes with the realization of:

Knowing that these people are so weak, their egoic survival is dependent upon you NOT knowing the value of the investment that YOU and your friendship are.

Just like true love, finding true friendship is RARE. There is nothing better in life than having a true friendship – with yourself and someone else. The source of all solid, mutual, and healthy romantic relationships is true friendship. Fake friends are about the worst thing that can happen to you.

How To SPOT a fake friend:

  • A relationship with them adds no real value to your life. It’s distracting more than it allows you to enjoy the present moment, draining more than it is fulfilling, and you’re always questioning everything you say and do.
  • Fake friends are only capable of a transaction, not a real friendship.
  • You feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells and can’t ever genuinely open up. Why? You feel like you’d be at risk for abandonment, judgment, recoiling, or even worse… them gossiping about you.

  • There’s more ambiguity and anxiety in the friendsh*t than there is clarity and trust.
  • Your relationship with them is all about conditions. Everything is always on their terms. 
  • Fake friends stick around because of how powerful you lowering your standards (and continuing to give them pass after pass) makes them feel.
  • Your failures make them feel superior and your successes make them feel inferior (unless they’ve already been-there-done-that or they feel that what you’ve accomplished is not a threat).
  • Fake friends are only consistent at being inconsistent.
  • They will poison the proverbial soup that they serve you AND THEN, be the “hero” who takes care of you when you become sick as a result.

  • Many fake friends are compulsive and/or pathological liars.
  • They are very passive aggressive, defensive, and like to make you feel as though you have to compete with others to be their best friend.
  • If you call them out on anything, they’ll cut you off. They are incapable of accountability and are professional victims.
  • Fake friends are able to keep the relationship going by stressing your obligation to them/each other in indirect ways. They love relying on history or private information that they know about you to keep you in their web of selfishness. History and fear-mongering do not dictate a lasting friendship – character, integrity, honesty, maturity, and empathy do.
  • Fake friendships do nothing but bring you down. They don’t challenge you or make you want to be better. They just make you feel like you always have to DO better… for them.

  • These people are highly narcissistic.
  • Fake friends think that your availability is a given (not a privilege), and feel entitled to everything.
  • As much as they claim to not tolerate drama, they love to passively create it.
  • They will make fun of you to others for the very reason that they pretend to console, empathize with, and understand you.
  • Because they hate who they are deep down, fake friends will try to get you to hate yourself just as much. They’ll then try to motivate you out of the quicksand that they put you in.

  • They are masters at mixing signals and are highly contradictory.
  • The moment you stop being a cheerleader for them and their goals at the expense of your own, they cut you out.
  • You always feel guilty or as though they’re mad at you.
  • They will randomly recoil and go cold just to affirm how much control they have over your emotional weather.

  • They are attention whores. Some fake friends will even try to get attention from your significant other or get your parents to give them the sympathy they never gave you.
  • Fake friends are master manipulators. They will make you feel like they want you all to themselves when really, they want to separate you from your other friends and family so that you can be exclusively dependant on their crumbs.

  • They gossip about others. And I promise you that anyone who habitually gossips to you will eventually gossip ABOUT you.
  • They tell you how poorly others friends of theirs have treated them and then when you do something not even a fraction as bad, they crucify you.

How To DROP a fake friend:

I kept fake friends in my life because I was plagued with guilt. I felt bad – they had no one. I knew they needed me and I also knew how much of a competitive, loose cannon they could be. I didn’t want them to think that they had won or that they had all the power. I didn’t want them gossiping about me.

Here’s what you need to realize:

  • The moment you decide to cut a narcissistic, fake friend off… They do not feel powerful at ALL. They feel powerless because they depend on your tears, explanations, reactivity, and brokenness for emotional survival.
  • If you can’t cut them off and go no contact right away, immediately make yourself less available to them and completely unavailable to their bullsh*t by emotionally cutting them off.
  • You will never be able to see the potential that you know you have (or you would not be reading this right now) until you take the trash that is a fake friend OUT. If you put trash in a bag and keep it in your house, it’s going to stink up your house. And the only people who are going to want to enter a stinky house are those who know they can do whatever they want because they don’t have to treat the house with any more respect than the owner. Take the trash OUT and set the standard for those you come to your door.
  • Become more intolerant of putting up with the flakiness, the lack of reciprocation, the selfishness, and the shadiness than you are of listening to your gut and acting on what it’s trying to tell you.
  • Whether it’s fake friends or even a family member, you need to step away from anyone who has no problem stepping all over you.
  • People unfold over time. Things change. Who they were 5 years ago may not be who they are today. Create some distance and take inventory of how you’re holding yourself and your life back by remaining in this dynamic. A little distance – emotional and, if you can, physical… it does wonders.

How to MOVE ON from a fake friend:

Rid yourself of the guilt right now and know this…

You are not a “bad” person for having boundaries with fake friends – you’re a better, smarter, and more mature person.

Reclaiming your position as CEO of Y.O.U and having a zero tolerance policy for toxicity is the quickest way to build unshakeable self-respect and confidence. You no longer have to rely on anyone to have your back because you know you have your own.

And you will fire, hire, promote, and demote accordingly and unapologetically – in light of how REAL of a friend you are to yourself – first and foremost.

Life is so incredibly short and I promise… you will never look back and wish you had invested more of yours with fake friends.

It’s trash day. Let’s all take it out together.

x Natasha

If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with me here.

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21 comments

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First of all Natasha, and the silent readers: ❤️
Secondly: I have a fake friend. I think of this every day. Anyone with good boundaries would be devastated to know, how much I think of her every day. Thing is, we quite rarely meet. The reason I think of her, is because she is offending my guts system. The instinct! Right now, when I read your post Natasha, I almost feel happy, because it comes so clear to me. All you out there, keep up with your good work, and let’s strive towards the stars together. If you are reading this, please go on with your struggle. Every single step I personally managed, towards cutting out a toxic friend, is a wonderful, colorful relief ? If you are a new reader to PMS, from my perspective: what you get here not only means the world, it changes the world 🙂

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Aquilina! I am so happy that the post helped 🙂 and thank you – that means the world to me sister. xx

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The list of how to spot one is dead on. And when they do turn on you (and they will) – make sure you have a good therapist on hand. Because they set themselves up as pure and perfect while you are the cause of ALL problems. They are blameless. its utter bullshit. Own your stuff but don’t take on more than that. And realize it will take you time to heal from it.

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Happy it helped! Thanks Michelle 🙂 xo

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Thank you Natasha! ??❤️
I love reading your articles and was excited to see this one in my email this morning. Yesterday (trash day) I had confronted a toxic friend who doesn’t accept responsibility and wants to be the victim even when I bring up situations that have been hurtful for me. It’s as if this person wants me to spin on “proving” their behavior was hurtful and then empathize with their feelings of being called out. Well, I didn’t bite/react this time when the selfish responses started coming my way yesterday afternoon.
I am more confident and stronger because of your insights and the support on PMS. Thank you so much for helping this girl move her life forward!
Hugs!

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Hi Katie!

Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I’m glad that the post served you.

When you wrote: “It’s as if this person wants me to spin on “proving” their behavior was hurtful and then empathize with their feelings of being called out.” You are so spot on. Proud of you for not taking the bait and reacting. You go girl 🙂

I believe in you, love you, and am so happy to help in any way. XOX

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Natasha, your words are so on point. Thank you allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to do what you do. Your strength and wisdom is beautiful.
Oh how I’ve lived EXACTLY what you’ve described. Thank you for this. It gives me strength and reminds me of what I’ve always known in my gut. TRUE friends are RARE and I completely agree that I’d rather be alone in my own company instead of being lost in that sea of crazy-making… I know this to be true and have decided this is what I must do – yet I continue to struggle every day. I miss my ex-bestie with an intensity that seems really unhealthy. It’s been almost three years since we parted ways, yet there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t relive the pain. I miss her like no one else. Never before had I found such an amazing connection with a friend. I fear that I never will again. I see now that it was never real on her part. She transformed and camouflaged into exactly the friend I was searching for… I played into all of it, the triangulation, the pedestaling, the ice-outs, the backhanded ‘compliments’, the head games… all because the good times were SO good, that I could justify that terrible treatment – to a point. I rationalized that I was the stronger one who could empathize and help “fix” her and save her from herself. Ha! That’s how I kept my self-esteem intact. I pitied HER. Finally, it all became too much to bare and I consciously hurt her in a way that would destroy the friendship beyond repair. I needed to save myself… because I didn’t trust myself to take out the garbage for good. As expected, she cut me out. I stupidly handed over the power move. #%!*€!!
Each day, I live with the humiliation of having gotten off my white horse and behaving in a way that is disgusting to me. Each day, I miss her, I resent her, I hate myself, hate her, love her, yet feel proud of myself for staying away. I’m tortured and can’t seem to move on. I know better. But I.cant.stop missing the connection and excitement that I had with my fake friend. It’s beyond ridiculous. Healthy friends bore me and I know that I’m not attracted to them because I’m obviously not yet healthy. It all makes sense intellectually, yet my heart is ?. I’m so lost without my security blanket and the drama. WTF????!!!!
I’m so grateful for this community of support, which helps me to feel less alone. So, thank you for your amazing gift. xxx

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Hi Christie!

You have helped so many people feel less alone by taking the time to share your experience and struggles. Thank you so much <3 I wish that I would have had your comment to read when I was going through this.

I know exactly how you feel and it's normal to feel this way. There are so many layers to it and the sense of guilt, loss, and even residual confusion is tough.

Healthy relationships will excite you the more you love yourself by continuing to have your own back, uphold your boundaries and forgive yourself. I wish that I had the time to write more but I am going to write a post soon to further help. Thank you for being a part of this tribe Christie. You are adored, valued, understood, and appreciated. All my love to you girlfriend. xox

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Thank you Natasha! Thanks to you I have been able to set boundaries and take the trash out. Once you take the trash out, it can be lonely. It’s not easy to find the real thing. Thank you for helping me to evolve!
Xoxo

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?? Carolyn… you will likely not be lonely for long, as you sound like you have real friendship to offer ?

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AGREED!! 🙂 I LOVE seeing this love and support!

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Carolyn! I agree – it can be lonely but never as lonely as actually being in a friendsh*t with these people. I am so happy for you, proud of you, and thankful for your love and support 🙂 XOXO

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Thanks so much Natasha. I had no doubt you would write on this topic. But this was really fast :):)……….it makes me feel so comforted and guided and taken care off. Honestly words cannot express the gratitude I have that you EXIST and are accessible and warm and compassionate.
As always the post is bang on and super helpful and relatable and encouraging. As always you have removed the shame and stigma attached with these behaviors.
Thank you thank you
God bless you
Loads of love
Meg

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Meg!! So happy that it helped 🙂 I was thinking of you.

I am writing another post that will help with this even more. Thank YOU, sister. Big love to you. XOXO

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It is like you are in my head!! I have just gone through a situation with someone who, I thought, was near and dear to my heart. I let her treat me like sh*t and felt like I was walking on eggshells around her. Recently, she did something to me and I decided it was enough. The funny thing about out? I do not miss her. I felt like I needed her in my life because I honestly do not have many people I can count on, and she has been good to me. But I added up the pros and cons, and realized that she is not the friend I thought she has. Due to her bigger mouth and ego than me, she will have lots to say about it to other people. Things have been quite good with her gone, and this post just made me feel so much better about it.
Thank you, AGAIN, for your amazing words and support. So glad that our paths have crossed and I am so grateful for you.
Sam

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Haha YAYYYY! I am SO GLAD it helped Sam 🙂

It sounds like you REALLY did the right thing. You go girl!

I am just as grateful for you. Love you soul sister. xo

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Thank you for making me feel less alone on this subject. There’s a particular kind of stigma attached to friendship that once made me feel like I should try to work harder to salvage friendships, when what I should have done was to take out the trash. Your “how to spot” bullet points are so REAL and on point. Thank you for laying this out so clearly. For me, one of the hardest parts about letting go of a friendship has been the waffle back and forth because of history and some need to “stay loyal.” This post makes arguing with reality pretty difficult and has made me realize that some friends really do not want the best for me; and I very much have fit in the role of simply existing to be put down so that another person can feel superior. Thank you for once again being an incredible light on a difficult subject.

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I couldn’t agree with you more about the stigma attached to friendships – especially fake ones.

Happy that the post helped 🙂 Love and appreciate you. xx

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Hi Natasha, a million thank you’s I loved this. I was only thinking of deleting a whatsapp group that is not serving me today.

I’m not getting your updates anymore ?can you please re-add me to your mailing list if that’s possible ? I’ve really missed your wisdom. Good night and god bless, thanks for sharing ??? xxx

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Hi Tash

I have been a regular reader of yours for like 1 year and half..silent..in the background…quietly saying to myself..the lady who writes rhis blog is the shit! Why does she relate to me so much omg! She gets it!

…im 27 from the caribbean, St.lucia to be exact. This is great… beautiful… I always find what i need to help me right here.

Its really important to trust our gut and give our selves the love we deserve. When we do that, we are much stronger. We protect ourselves more…we respect and value ourselves more. We SEE and Feel our innate worth….the incredible way that God / the universe actually feels about us.

I have just been on a journey to trust my gut. I gave my judgment to others…let them decide what was best for me, let them decide how beautiful i am, how valuable I am, how worthy of love I am…now im reclaiming my rightful spot as the champion and owner of me. The one and only Bad gyal Keiwa..periodt! Lol

Sometimes its easy to have this attitude some days its harder ..and i have to do alot of emotional digging and honesty with myself …feel the pain / whatever emotions that are coming up at the time …feel the message that is trying to come through … take in that message and move on.

Trust yourself guys and girls… love yourself.. know your innate worth, reflect on your amaziness daily, talk with God/ the overall spirit of the universe and support yourself… we are so worth it and WORThY! Beyond our imaginations… and we are loved!

Keiwa
Xz

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Hi Keiwa!

Wow – thank YOU so much for not only your support, love, and connection for all this time but for taking the time to share. You have no idea how many people you are helping by doing so.

I want to hug and high-5 you at the same time and could not agree more with everything you said <3

Thank you for surviving all that you have and as a result, being all that you are. I hope that I can meet you one day soon! I have never been to St. Lucia but I really want to go 🙂

Love you soul sister. xox

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