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How to Purge Yourself of False Friends

Updated on March 8, 2015
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

Opposing chess pieces on a chess board
Opposing chess pieces on a chess board | Source

Friend or Foe?

In this life you will meet a lot of people I call 'posers', 'pretenders' or 'false friends'.

If you've been around on this earth for more than forty (40) years, like me, then you must know exactly what I am speaking about? Have you noticed that when things are going really good for you in life, a lot of people know you, want to be around you, want you to go here and there with them, are always asking for things or favours done, always want to introduce you to people and make them know that they know you, etc.?

Then, as is inevitable in life, since there will be seasons of plenty and seasons of drought, some misfortune strikes you and all those people who called themselves your friends - false friends - disappear from around you. It almost feels like you have leprosy or something (lol)?

Well I have experienced this at two (2) different points in my life and if you have experienced this already, then I will share some wisdom for purging yourself of those false friends.

If you have not experienced these false friends as yet, then this can be read as 'words of warning to the wise, so that you know what to do when it does happen to you. There are no, ifs and buts, it happens to the best of us at some point in our lives!

Image credit: Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

CHERISH YESTERDAY DREAM TOMORROW LIVE TODAY Vinyl wall art Inspirational quotes and sayings home decor decals
CHERISH YESTERDAY DREAM TOMORROW LIVE TODAY Vinyl wall art Inspirational quotes and sayings home decor decals

The 1st step to receiving good in your future is always being thankful for what was.

 
Religious Statue of Jesus with arms wide - Praise God!
Religious Statue of Jesus with arms wide - Praise God! | Source

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 1

Express gratitude to God for the time they were a part of your life.

Why? Because, it does well to remember the quote, "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime".

Added to that, every single one of those persons would have brought something good to your life, no matter how small; some more than others.

Whether it was the way they made you laugh, venture out doing things you would not have done, introduced you to someone else who is now an important social or work contact, given you something special (tangible or intangible gift), lifted your spirits when you were feeling low, or opened up your eyes to the reality of life and living, and the list goes on...

Image credit: Naypong/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Forgive Ourselves Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past Mistakes
How To Forgive Ourselves Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past Mistakes

You made a mistake but this is not the end of your life! Think about the lessons that you learnt.

 
Throwing a right arm punch - Don't beat up on yourself!
Throwing a right arm punch - Don't beat up on yourself! | Source

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 2

Don't beat up on yourself!

Why? Because you’re wiser now!

Yes, maybe you saw it coming but did not listen to that quiet, still voice within you that alerted you to that person’s true personality because you were lonely, needed a friend, just wanted someone to talk to, go out with, be there for you, etc.

Whatever the reason, they fulfilled your need for a while and you are wiser now! So focus instead on how you have grown from that experience and the lesson(s) to be learnt.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose
The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose

Exchange the bad for the good! You do it with food items and clothes. Well it's much more important when it comes to friendships!

 
Button showing padlock - Protect yourself!
Button showing padlock - Protect yourself! | Source

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 3

Protect yourself from those false friends, in the future, when things improve in your life?

Why? Because sure enough, they will come ‘knocking at your door’ once again and it’s easy for you to ‘take them back’ because you are familiar with them and would obviously feel some connection because of your past together.

However, you should keep reminding yourself that, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness” (Euripides) and keep them firmly out of your life without becoming an enemy or making them your enemy.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You
When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You

It is important to deal with and heal your hurt first, before finding new friends.

 

False Friend Count Down

How many times have you experienced betrayal in friendship?

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Do It Now Clock - Take Urgent Action
Do It Now Clock - Take Urgent Action | Source

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 4

Move on with your life and don't be afraid to meet and befriend new people?

Why? Because you'll have the ability to be more selective in choosing your friends this time around, since you have learnt from your past experience(s) with false friends.

Not everyone is a 'pretender' or false friend. There are still lots of genuine people out there but it just takes some time to find them and the only way you really get to know people is by spending time with them.

So just be vigilant and take your new relationship (platonic or romantic) slowly. Then develop, what T.D. Jakes calls, "The Gift of Goodbye" if that person shows you those nasty, self-seeking ways that your former false friend(s) showed you before and you chose to ignore. Remember you’re wiser now!

At this stage, you’ll also benefit from Oprah Winfrey’s Life Lesson No. 13 – “When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them”.

If they remind you of that false friend, John or Jane, then guess what! That’s your small inner voice giving you a good warning. Heed the warning! You have to love yourself enough to get away quickly because as Demi Lovato so practically puts it, "When there's smoke there's fire...And I'm not gonna stick around just to be burned". You shouldn’t also, especially if you have experienced this before.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sterling Silver "The Story of Friendship" Disc and Heart Pendant Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver "The Story of Friendship" Disc and Heart Pendant Necklace, 18"

Give someone this beautiful sterling pendant, for a birthday, anniversary or some special occasion, to let them know how much their friendship means to you.

 
Sterling Silver "A True Friend Reaches For Your Hand But Touches Your Heart" Ribbon Heart Pendant Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver "A True Friend Reaches For Your Hand But Touches Your Heart" Ribbon Heart Pendant Necklace, 18"

You don't have to wait for a special occasion though. Any time is a good time!

 

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 5 - Learn the importance of having good friends.

Friend lending a helping hand.
Friend lending a helping hand. | Source

I consider the Holy Bible as the best guide in that area. What does the Holy Bible have to say about the importance of good friends? In Sirach 6:13-15 we read, "A loyal friend is like a safe shelter; find one, and you have found a treasure. Nothing else is as valuable; there is no way of putting a price on it".

Continuing on in Sirach 6:16, we also read, "A loyal friend is like a medicine that keeps you in good health. Only those who fear the Lord can find such a friend."

If you have been burned by false friends before, then you will fully appreciate the truth of these verses from the Holy Bible and you will take the time necessary to keep God close and seek wisdom and a discerning spirit from Him in order to prudently choose your friends.

Don’t let loneliness or peer pressure or a burning desire to be part of the "in" crowd at school, work, church or in your social life lead you to make hasty ‘friend’ decisions.

Image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 6 - Learn the qualities of a good friend.

Friend helping friend to cross a stream
Friend helping friend to cross a stream | Source

Qualities of a GOOD Friend

Again I consider the Holy Bible as the best guide in that area. What qualities should a good friend possess according to the Holy Bible? A GOOD FRIEND:

1. would not betray you (Sirach 7:18),

2. will protect you (Sirach 22:25),

3. will not turn you away if you have a need (Sirach 22:25),

4. will plead for you (Job 16:21),

5. will help you against your enemies and protect you in the fight (Sirach 37:5),

6. is a good guide to you (Proverbs 12:26),

7. helps you financially if he/she has the means (Sirach 29:10),

8. prays for you (Psalm 35:14)

9. enquires from you whether you did do something wrong that he hears about you (Sirach 19:13),

10. respects you (Sirach 27:17),

11. does not turn against you when troubles come (Sirach 37:4),

12. does not insult you, reveal your secrets or turn on you unexpectedly (Sirach 22:21-22),

13. assists you when you have a need (Luke 11:16).

Image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND, HARDER TO LEAVE, AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET Viny...
GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND, HARDER TO LEAVE, AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FORGET Viny...

A visible and tasteful reminder for you and the friends who visit.

 
God loves your dream - God will provide you with all the support you need
God loves your dream - God will provide you with all the support you need | Source

False Friend Cleansing Step No. 7

KEEP YOUR DREAMS and ASPIRATIONS TO YOURSELF!!!

Even when you have good friends, you need to learn to keep your dreams to yourself and act on them quietly.

Remember! Your dreams and aspirations were placed inside of you by God and only you can feel the realness of them. Your friends won’t be able to understand them like you do or relate to why you have a burning desire to do a specific something or be a specific person.

So even though they may love you and have your best interest at heart, here are two (2) very important things to keep in mind:

1. Not all of your friends need to know about your dreams and aspirations; especially the really big ones.

2. It is best to relay your dream(s) to only one (1) or two (2) at most, good friends but in small doses, only as it becomes necessary, especially since you will need their help along the way.

You don’t have to show them the whole picture though. Telling them the details may well result in:

  • Them stealing your dream from you by unwittingly discouraging you and making you see the obstacles and impossibilities attached to realizing your dream.
  • You invoking their anger, since they may feel that you are implying that you are better than them or that attainment of your dream will mean leaving them behind as friends or improving your life beyond what they can imagine or feel is realistic. (Remember, Joseph in the Bible? (Genesis 37) When he told his brothers his dream which revealed that they would one day be bowing to him, they sold him off as a slave.)
  • Robbing you of much needed help along the road to achieving your dream(s), since your friends may feel that helping you will result in a wasted investment. Especially if finances are involved.

So as much as you’re passionate about your dream and want to share it with the world, ‘zip it!’. Keep your mouth shut until you accomplish what is in your head.

Image credit: Amazon

Multi-Plating Sterling Silver "Believe, Dream, Faith, Hope" Charm Necklace, 18"
Multi-Plating Sterling Silver "Believe, Dream, Faith, Hope" Charm Necklace, 18"

A comforting constant reminder to wear around your neck.Each time you reach upand touch it, you will be reminded that it is possible - no matter what your dream is.

 
Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life
Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life

Maybe soem time has passed, like more than 40 or 50 years and you are feeling that your dream is impossible to achieve right now.I want to remind you of Sarah & Abraham who received God's promise of a son when he was 100 years old.

 

Healing Yourself of False Friends

Have you taken any definitive steps to heal yourself of a false friend?

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God Loves Your Dream: A 60-Day Journey to Fulfilling the Dream  God Placed in Your Heart
God Loves Your Dream: A 60-Day Journey to Fulfilling the Dream God Placed in Your Heart

Keep hope alive. Trust God and he will send you the people and resources to achieve that dream he placed in your heart.

 

Visit the Catholic Contributor for great reviews…

delicious recipes, winning gift ideas and inspirational Catholic & Christian articles at http://www.thecatholiccontributor.com

How many new, silver friends and old, gold friends do you have? - From the adage: "Make new friends, Keep the old. One is siver, the other is gold."

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    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 2 years ago from GRENADA

      You're so right, notsuperstitious1. I am glad you finally had the courage to stand up to your self-seeking step-daughter. Have a blessed weekend!

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 3 years ago from Canada

      Excellent advice. I finally have learned to say no to my step-daughter who only called me Mom when she needed money. The last time she phoned, my husband actually told her we were in the same position she was in--dead broke, and she never asked me for money. It is hard to distance yourself from family, but if we say No enough, they finally get the hint.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Encountering 'false' friends can really be a bummer but having good friends, like you do, is great consolation. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a blessed week.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Nancy Hardin: Whenever we didn't agree on something, a friend of mine and I used to say, "We agree to disagree" and we'd move on. The key point being that, like you, I don't think that a difference of opinion should spoil a friendship. Thanks for visiting and sharing. So sorry about your most recent friend experience. Have a blessed week.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Brite-Ideas: Well when you get burnt and have learnt, Brite-Ideas, you end up with the ability to explain it really well. Thanks for visiting and your lovely compliments, Have a blessed week.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Jerzimom: Thnks you, CherylFay! Have a blessed week and thanks for visiting.

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I have a lot of good friends, but have had a few very false friends as well.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I have a friend from as far back as my 15th year on earth, and those as new as you! But I have experienced this exact thing in the last two years of my life on Squidoo. Because I did not agree with the attitude and policies of some who were my "friends" they turned on me. Fortunately, I have others who stuck by me. Thanks for an excellent lens.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      oh this is very wise, wonderful advice that everyone needs to remember - you've explained it very well - your points are clearly outlined for each of us to remember

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 3 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      What an awesome lens! Very well said!! I love your ending quote too!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Yes, LynnKK, we should leave them to sort themselves out and not let them stunt our growth by staying in that unhappy place with them. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a blessed weekend.

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      AnuradhaM 3 years ago

      It is a good lens, but there are only a handful of people out there who will take an extra effort to help others. And those who have them are very lucky. :)

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Very wise. A lot of energy is spent on people who are not healthy or kind. Thanks for a structure for improving your own life.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @AnuradhaM: People who make good friends may be in the minority, AnuradhaM, but they make up for all the false friends we will encounter and we will be blessed when we find them. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a blessed week.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Babu Mohan: A fresh start is always possible; as my Squidoo lensmaster suggests. Have a blessed week, oh-man, and thanks for visiting.

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      The wonderful life lessons you have given certainly promises a fresh start.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @kimberlyschimmel: Great story of you actually helping someone to discern true friends, kschimmel! Thanks for sharing it with us. I agree with you that Jesus is our ultimate best friend. I treat Him as such and that is why I love the hymn - What a friend we have in Jesus. Have a fabulous week!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Elsie Hagley: Glad you can confirm this, kiwinana71. They say 'knowledge is power' so when you've been blessed with the knowledge of who is a false friend you have to be be very grateful. Have a fabulous week.

    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 3 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      When I helped my daughter with the idea of real friends v. users, I gave her a simple definition: Your real friends would be there for you even if you had absolutely nothing to give them. Based on that definition, she was able to make a break from the users in her life and has experienced healing with the help of her real friends. Jesus is the ultimate real friend--loving us even though we have nothing he needs.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for all that good info, all very true, you soon learn who are true friends and who are not.As you are saying, just move on, don't beat yourself up, it's not worth it, it will only shorten your life. Enjoy it while you can.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 3 years ago

      Thanks for all the good advice. I tend to make excuses for everyone long after I should have clued in. Then, that Oprah Winfrey quote hits me and I think, "I did it again". I think I'm learning. I sure hope so.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @DChance LM: Thanks for visiting and sharing how you feel about keeping your dreams and aspirations to yourself, DChance. Have a blessed week.

    • DChance LM profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago

      You are right about the dreams thing.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Arachnea: Thanks Arachnea for visiting and sharing. Like you, I believe in a few quality friends. That's enough for me.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      In this day and age where quantity translates into quality for many people, the true meaning of friendship becomes blurred and ambiguous. I'm content to have a few friends in my life who are good friends rather than hoards of people taking of space in my life. This also points to a persons personality type in terms of being an introvert or extrovert (or even an ambivert). Well, 'nuff said. Needless to say i enjoyed reading your lens.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @esmonaco: So true, esmonaco! Gald you liked this lens. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts on the matter. Have a blessed weekend and Valentine's Day tomorrow.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I always say, you can go through life with many friends, but in the end you can count your true friends on one hand. I agree with Daisy Step No. 6. Thanks for a wonderful lens :)

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @Zeross4: Well DaisyDixon if we don't know what to look for then we will always be doing it by trial and error and that's a very hard way to learn. Glad you liked Cleansing Step No. 6. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a blessed week

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @ProjectResolute2: Well said, ProjectResolute! This lens can indeed be used to make us all better friends to other people. What we expect of others, we should first be. Thanks for visiting and sharing your profound insight. Have a blessed week.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      What an excellent lens, I really loved this. Step No. 6 was my favorite, and I really enjoyed seeing all the passages from the Bible that help you decipher who a "Good friend" is. Also @ProjectResolute I think you made a great point and we could all benefit from reading this and being a better friend to others.

    • ProjectResolute2 profile image

      ProjectResolute2 3 years ago

      ThIs is great advice on how to find friends. But it's not the only reason to read it, because it also shows you how you should be a better friends. Also, this advice can be used when looking for a perfect spouse. P.S. you spelled silver wrong in the sentence above.

    • trevorjb1406 profile image

      trevorjb1406 3 years ago

      A nice lens, Sybil, (my Mothers name) also very true. I have been there, done that and worn the T shirt as they say!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @sybil watson: Great, sybil-watson! I see age has brought wisdom to you in choosing great friends who are as "shelters". May God continue to bless your friendship with your 2 GOLD friends! Have a blessed week and thanks for sharing your experience.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      I have two close friends who I've known since high school and they are like a shelter to me. As an adult, I don't have any problem getting rid of false friends, but I sure did as a teenager.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @lesliesinclair: Step 3 is indeed a challenge, Papier, and that's the reason why I have based my analysis of what to look for in a friend and what friends should and shouldn't do on the Bible (my scriptural reference because I am a Christian), because, like you've rightly said, Holy Scripture (Qur'an or Bible etc.) is a much more powerful tool for gaining wisdom and discernment than any human can give.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      I think it's Step 3 that's the real challenge. Circumstances, family and "friends" can have huge effects on how we relate to friends and those who wish to be. I trust the Qur'an and the wisdom of the Bible to open hearts and minds to our best ways of relating to others.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @GrammieOlivia: So true, grammieo. Good friends are the spice of life :) Have a blessed weekend.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @georgepmoola2: Thanks georgepmoola! It is good that you are spiritually inclined. Thank you for sharing from your buddhist perspective. Have a blessed week.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      One can never have enough really good friends! You know who they are and they know who they are......

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      Some good, solid information here. My own spiritual leanings are from the buddhist perspective but the essential principles remain the same.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image
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      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      @DuaneJ: Thanks, Duane_Jackson! I believe that our spirituality is our foundation as human beings, so it must be at the center of all that we do. Have a blessed weekend.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 3 years ago

      Wonderful advice with a spiritual perspective!