15 Signs Your So Called “Friend” Was Never Really A Friend


1. The person’s text messages are superficial.

It is one thing to say that a person will occasionally text a one liner or a brief response. If a person does that the majority of the time, that is just plain unacceptable. A friend deserves more than one-liners. If a person isn’t interested in being a real friend, then honesty is required. It would save a lot of time.

2. The person never wants to hang.

It is understandable that people are busy. That’s common knowledge. However, if a person uses that as an excuse that is just bullshit. There is no other word for it. It is one thing if something comes up. That happens occasionally. But if a person never wants to be bothered, that’s troubling. Friends make time.

3. Your friend rarely wants to be bothered in person.

This point relates to the business about hanging out in a general sense. When a person will only mainly communicate with you over Facebook messages or texts as opposed in real person that is another red flag. A person should want to be bothered with both online/via text and in person. Both technology and real person provide a balance. Technology should not be the primary method of communication. Real connections are important in life.

4. The person tries to turn the tables on you.

People don’t always realize manipulation does not even have to be blatant. It can happen on a smaller level too. It might be fair to say that no one is perfect. But that does not mean that a person should make you the problem. That’s disgusting since that reveals the person is a coward.

5. The person is a player.

The idea can apply to both men and women (since they both sleep around). It isn’t even about making a value judgment about sex. Sex reveals the art of manipulation. Some people will say anything to get a person into bed with them. And although the matter might seem unrelated to being a bad friend, the two are very much connected. Knowing “exactly what to say” is another indicator that the person is manipulative. So while this point should not be the end all be all, it can still serves as a warning sign.

6. The person doesn’t even care enough to come up with real excuse.

There’s only so many times that a person can say, “I’m busy”. A real friend would have a legitimate reason for not wanting to be bothered. At the very least “I’m busy” becomes boring after awhile. So if a person keeps saying, “I’m busy” time after time you should definitely not be impressed.

7. The person comes off as phony.

If somebody comes off as phony, nine times out of ten the person is probably phony. And no! It doesn’t make a person judgmental to think that somebody is phony. There’s a reason why a person comes off as a phony.

8. You can’t read the person.

The idea might seem to be contradictory of thinking that the person is a phony. The idea of not being able to read a person is still logical. If you can’t figure out the person that should be a warning sign. People might be complicated. A person should still have depth though. If a person doesn’t have much depth, than there might be legitimate cause for concern.

9. The person is a “good friend” only when it is convenient.

It might be tempting to dismiss concerns about the person’s disingenuine intentions if the person seems to occasionally be a good friend. The key to that scenario is “occasionally”. A person shouldn’t be a good friend only when it is convenient. A person should be a good friend all the time. There will be some times when a person comes up short. That’s inevitable. But the idea of being a good friend should occur all the time. The idea of being a fair-weather friend is also troubling because it shows a person’s calculating side (as a result of choosing when to be a good friend).

10. The person tells you exactly what you want you to hear.

Being polite is a good thing. But buttering up a person is suspicious. It is as if a phony person does that so you will forget all about that person’s negative qualities and become “enchanted” with the person all over again. Although the bright side might be that it shows that the person might make a good politician since politicians always tell a person what they want to hear.

11. The person never really shares anything personal.

If you can’t name that many things about a supposed “friend” that should also set off an alarm since real friends share things. It is fair to say that it would be naïve to expect complete disclosure. But that doesn’t mean that a person still can’t share some things. It is only fair.

12. You feel like you are the only one that cares about being friends.

It doesn’t even have to be about hanging out. The idea can also apply to keeping in touch. It could be troubling if you realize that you are the only one that makes the effort for the friendship.

13. The person pulls you back in when you start to pull away.

That is another classic sign that points to manipulative behavior. A person shouldn’t only become interested when you pull away. That is rather childish. It also goes to the person being unreliable.

14. Your friends are unimpressed with the person.

Thinking that all of your friends will know each other would be unrealistic. But if the majority of your friends tell you that this so-called “friend” is bad news, then the person probably is bad news.

15. You keep getting intuitive feelings that something is off.

It does not make a person neurotic to believe in the power of intuition. Intuition exists for a reason. It’s there to guide people in the absence of logic. There’s a reason why the mantra “go with your gut” is still around today. That doesn’t mean that realizing the truth will be easy. It won’t. But that’s okay. It is still better to know the truth. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include essays on Thought Catalog, short stories on Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Short-story.me, Quail Bell Magazine, Pidgeonholes Magazine, Abbreviate Journal, creative nonfiction personal essays on Inklette Magazine, Sprout Magazine, and Entropy Magazine.

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