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Stop that Fake Friendship Train from Stopping at Your Door

Updated on May 4, 2014

“It judged indecent in me to come forward on this occasion; but when I see a fellow-creature about to perish through the cowardice of her pretended friends, I wish to be allowed to speak, that I may say what I know of her character.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Do you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of fake friends with nobody to turn to in times of trouble? You might have unknowingly become a pit stop for fake friends. But, you can stop that fake friendship train from stopping at your door if you really want to free yourself.

Fake friends hurt no matter what the age. Friendship should involve mutual respect and support. When you find yourself giving more or caring more about a “friend” than he/she seems to give towards the friendship, you might be dealing with a fake friend.

Why are Some People so Fake?

Why do grown adults in their 40s and 50s go to such great lengths to keep up with fake friendships? I think it has to do with opportunity and motive.

All fake friendships tend to have similar characteristics, such as the following:

  • You only hear from the person when they need something like a favor.
  • They disappear during the bad times.
  • Make every excuse in the book not to be there when you really need them to be.
  • Drop you when something or someone better comes along.

There are motives and reasons why people are fake. These reasons have nothing to do with you as a person. You are just an opportunity.

Being Taken Advantage of is Not Friendship

If you find yourself surrounded by fake friends, you might be the type of person that allows others to take advantage of you. This experience is quite common and nothing to be ashamed of or a reason to make you feel down. It happens to me all the time because I work in the nonprofit world and people assume that because I may help them once that I am wiling to do it over and over. You just have to know how to set boundaries and stick to those boundaries.

The bottom-line is that people stay fake friends because they get something out of keeping you in their lives.

  • Maybe you are willing to babysit their children, take care of their dog when they go out of town, or help them with a new job opportunity. Are they or would they do the same for you if you needed help?
  • Maybe they want to keep you in the wings in case another friendship doesn’t work out. You are a backup for a time when someone else might cancel plans or fail to follow through on a commitment. Do you get calls at the last minute to get offered to do something or asked to drop everything at the last minute to assist with a project?
  • It could also be a one-side relationship. Do you always do everything for someone who never comes through when you need them to help you in a jam like give you a ride to the airport, pick you up when your car breaks down or be there for you in a time of crisis.

You can turn the table on your fake friends. Here is how to do it:

  • Learn how to say no when someone asks you a favor. If this person is a true friend, he/she will not end the friendship because you said no and understand that you have other plans and obligations.
  • Distance yourself from your fake friends. Stop expecting them to be there for you when you need them. If time and time again they disappoint, please do yourself a favor and emotionally distance yourself from them and take the time to develop new, truer friendships.
  • Stop doing just to get someone to like you. When someone is your true friend, he/she accepts you for who you are and not what you can provide. You don’t need to do special things or favors to get someone to be your friend. You shouldn’t have to give more than you receive in any relationship.

Be aware of fake friends who drain your time and energy and just hurt your feelings by disappointing you and not being as good of a friend as you are to them. Everyone wants friends and so sometimes it is hard to say goodbye to friendships that aren’t working. But, when you get rid of those who drain you, you might find you have time to develop some real, lasting friendships.

As always, I am happy and glad to be your friend here on Hubpages!


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    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      I find the older I get, the more fake friends I seem to accumulate; the ones who always need something from me like a ride to the Dr. or to the store. I need to learn to just say NO.

      Voted UP, etc.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice work. These things do happen, so we must learn to watch out for these kinds of people.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This is good advice for those who need to watch who they befriend. WE have all had one of those fake friends or two who seem to drain you.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Voted up, useful and interesting...this is an excellent topic and I am sharing this with my sister who has a neighbor who is NOT her friend but takes terrible advantage of her...and has been very nasty to her, but will text her, 'have a good day, my friend.' Glad you addressed this issue, and you have probably helped many, many people...that being said, I am thankful for wonderful people I have met on HubPages...and I truly consider many of them my friends. THANK YOU for this great write. Blessings, Sparklea :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I knew what FAKE friends meant after my move to a foreign country and that had opened my eyes and mind to another kind of life. I don't have them on my list any more not worth my time and energy. A useful hub.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting. You offered great advice. My sister has a 'friend' who takes terrible advantage of her. It is awful to watch. Thank you for this excellent advice, a topic I would not have thought of. God bless, Sparklea :) ps: this 'friend' of my sisters, went to Las Vegas for 11 weeks and dumped her 4 cats on her...gave her one day's notice. It was awful. In appreciation she gave my sis a refrigerator magnet...Sis ended up buying cat litter for 11.50 and the 'friend' handed her a $10 dollar bill.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent hub here as to the value of true friendships and those others we may have had to learn the hard way about ... the fake friendships. It does hurt, and they do happen. I think it is best that we figure out the fake ones no matter how much it hurts to prevent even more harm, if it is possible to figure it out early on.

      Good points and useful hub.

      Up and more and away


    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      Interesting hub and food for thought. I can relate to the subject - how disappointing it is when people use a friendship for their own gain. And yes, it can drain time and energy. Your explanations and advice are spot on. Voting.

    • profile image

      SandCastles 3 years ago

      Excellent hub. I knew a person, I'll call him Billy, who always looked after the dog of (I'll call him John) for free whenever John went away on holiday but when Billy needed help moving, John charged him a fee. Billy had to hire John to help him but he was expected to look after John's dog for free. A bit lopsided in the supposed 'friendship' department I'd say.

      You also have to be careful when you think someone is your friend when you are actually just a client. I knew someone ("Ross") who thought this person was an old family friend(Hugo let's say). Ross and his family were Hugo's clients but Hugo seemed to go beyond being a paid service provider (it seemed that he actually liked Ross's family). But when Ross was no longer a client, Hugo dropped him like a hot potato. He wouldn't even acknowledge him when he saw him but pretended that Ross did not exist. I think because Ross was no longer useful to Hugo.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a useful hub, truthfornow. Unfortunately, some people are fake friends. It would be nice if all friendships were genuine, but sadly this isn't the case, as you've pointed out. Thanks for sharing your advice.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Been there, done that. It's difficult to walk away eventhough you know you're being used. Great topic and some excellent suggestions...