Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

Real Friends vs Fake Friends: 21 Ways to Instantly Tell Them Apart

They say good friends are hard to find, so how can you spot a bad one? Real friends vs fake friends, let’s battle it out!

real friends vs fake friends

How do you tell the difference: real friends vs fake friends? It’s actually not that hard, all you need to do is pay attention to their actions. Eventually, the real intentions of someone will show. However, you need to catch it early. That way, you can remove this person from your life. You don’t need them! They’re not your real friend in the first place.

So, if you’re wondering about the true intentions of a couple of people hanging out around you, that’s already a sign. But if you want a more concrete answer, here’s how you can tell the difference between real and fake. [Read: The signs telling you you have a toxic friend]

Real friends vs fake friends – 21 ways to recognize the real ones

Growing up, we usually have many friends around us, and it’s great. You have people to hang out with, to laugh with, but as we get older, it changes. Your friends seem to disappear and live their own lives. Now, this is just a part of life, you can’t be friends with everyone. But sometimes the friends we choose aren’t really around us with their best intentions at heart.

They may simply be using you for a good time or to help them score. The point is, they don’t really care about you. There’s always going to be someone fake trying to tag along for the ride.

1. You feel it inside of you

Your gut is telling you something for a reason and what it’s telling you is that this person is not to be trusted. If you have an uneasy feeling when you’re talking to someone claiming to be your friend, there’s a reason why your guard is up. Don’t ignore it, because it’s right. If you feel someone is fake, they’re fake. [Read: The shallow traits a superficial friend just can’t hide]

2. Real friends are there when you hit bottom

Your life isn’t always going to be on a high. Sure, you’re going to have some great moments, but there are going to be some lows as well. Now, any friend can be there to celebrate, but if you’ve hit rock bottom and they’re not there, that’s not a true friend.

Real friends will plough through the bad times with you, right by your side. [Read: Good friends are like stars: How to build last friendships]

3. Fake friends treat you differently around certain people

They may be nice to you when you are alone, however, when someone else joins in, they’re completely different. That’s a sign of a fake friend. They shouldn’t be treating you differently if they’re around people or not because they shouldn’t care. Fake friends are nice to you when they need something.

4. They talk behind your back

Okay, we all have a tendency to do this. If we’re mad at our friend, we will talk about them to someone else. That’s normal. But if someone is talking poorly about you with the intention to spread rumors and have people change their perception of you, that’s not a friend. If you care about someone, you will never talk poorly about them.

5. Fake friends will be jealous of your accomplishments

Of course, unless it benefits them. But if you landed a new job with more pay, they’re going to make snarky remarks about it. Sure, they’ll celebrate – if you’re paying, but they’re not actually happy about the accomplishments you’ve made. If you’re trying the figure the differences between real friends vs fake friends, always remember that real friends are genuinely happy for you. [Read: 13 signs of bad envy you’ll see when someone is jealous of you]

6. A real friend will keep secrets

If you tell someone a secret, the point is that they shouldn’t share it with other people. A fake friend will take that secret and use it for their own personal gain while a real friend will keep their mouth shut and respect the fact that you shared something personal with them.

7. Real friends accept who you are

A real friend isn’t concerned about what you’re wearing or if you’re wearing makeup. They love you for who you are. You don’t have to act or dress a certain way to impress them because that’s not what friendship is about.

8. Fake friends call you when they need you

Calling someone just to see how they are and then calling someone only when you need something are two different things. Fake friends may be social with you on Facebook or Instagram but they only want to see you when they need something from you. [Read: How to end a friendship like a grown-up]

9. Real friends forgive you

Everyone makes mistakes. And yes, maybe you made a big mistake, but real friends will forgive you. They’re not interested in torturing you or using your faults as a weapon against you. A real friend will accept your apology and continue being by your side.

10. Fake friends don’t like the word “no” 

Okay, honestly, who does like hearing the word ‘no’? But that’s not the point. A fake friend will take the extra step of not hanging out with you if you don’t give them what they want. A real friend may not like to hear the word ‘no,’ but they’ll continue hanging out with you.

11. Real friends make time for you

Listen, you may have 2,000 friends on Facebook, but how many of those people can you call when you want to go watch a movie or grab a coffee? Maybe two or three of them. Real friends make time for each other. Yes, we all have busy lives but you always can make time for a cup of coffee. [Read: 14 ways to instantly recognize fake people and stay away]

12. Real friends respect your opinions

We all have our own set of opinions whether it’s political or religious beliefs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with someone who thinks differently than you. If anything, it adds more excitement to the friendship. A real friend respects your opinions even if they disagree with you. The world is full of different opinions and thoughts. [Read: 15 ways to get yourself the friends you want] 

13. Fake friends don’t care what you have to say

They don’t care because they don’t respect your opinion. If they’re hanging out with you but never really listen to what you have to say it’s because they don’t value you. We all have those friends that seem to just never listen, either they’re zoning out or on their phones. This is because they don’t care.

14. Real friends believe in your ideas

A real friend will listen to your ideas, support you, and give you constructive criticism if needs be. They will never dull your shine or tell you that your ideas aren’t worthwhile. However, a fake friend will do exactly that, even if the idea is a fantastic one. They don’t want you to outshine them, basically. [Read: Bad friends: 25 types of friends you MUST unfriend from your life]

15. Fake friends will manipulate you in a subtle way

The reason the whole fake friends vs real friends argument rumbles on is that it’s sometimes hard to spot the differences. That’s because fake friends are very good at subtle manipulation. They’ll give you the cold shoulder and you’ll have no idea why. Perhaps they won’t answer your texts for days and make you worry that you’ve said something to upset them. A fake friend might even go as far as to start gaslighting. [Read: What does it mean when someone ignores texts on purpose?]

16. Fake friends will always make excuses

We know that a real friend will always be there for you as much as they can, but a fake friend will be a master of excuses. The dog is sick. I’m really tired. My cat has gone missing. I’ve got to work late *and you later see them tagged in a bar on social media*. You can’t rely on a fake friend. [Read: 15 signs you have shitty friends and need to get some new ones]

17. Real friends make you feel at ease with yourself

When you’re around a real friend, you know you’re supported and you feel comfortable. When you’re with a fake friend, you’re always second-guessing yourself and you feel like you need to be someone else. That’s one of the best ways to figure out whether you’re dealing with a good one or a bad one.

18. When you’re with a real friend, you can do nothing and still enjoy it

Fake friends are all about agenda. They need or want something from you. However, when you’re with a real friend, you could be sat in your comfy clothes, watching TV, and still manage to laugh and talk about something fun. [Read: 32 crazy things to do with friends: life is short, live it up!]

19. You don’t know your fake friend that well at all

Fake friends don’t tend to show who they really are. That’s because they’re putting on a facade around you. As a result, you don’t really know small details about them. You have no idea what their mom is called or where they went to school. Real friendships aren’t all about the details, but they crop up in conversation at least.

20. Real friends have no problems looking stupid to cheer you up

This one might sound odd but bear with me. A real friend doesn’t care what others think of them or what they look like if they know you need cheering up. They’ll happily make a fool of themselves to see a smile on your face. A fake friend? Not so much! [Read: How to cheer someone up: 18 ways to help them feel awesome again]

21. Your real friends will automatically know who is fake

If you have a close friend who has taken an instant dislike to someone new in your life, trust it. Sure, people sometimes just don’t click, but it’s often those outside of our own awareness that can tell what’s really going on. A good friend doesn’t care that you have more friends than just them, so if they tell you someone isn’t good for you, hear them out.

[Read: How to enrich your life and build real friendships]

When you find a true friend, keep them close to you. But before that, you’re going to have to figure out who’s a real friend vs fake friend.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...