The other day, my little sister, who is going through middle school, said to me, “ Everyone at my school is fake, and there are so many fake friends." I was sad to hear that my little sister had to go through the awful stage of recognizing who her real friends are. Her statement made me realize that in our lives, no matter how old we get, we all run into people who are fake. The worst fake people you can run into are the people who call themselves your friends. Although I haven't had such a terrible experience with fake friends as much as my little sister has, I have grown to learn the difference between a real friend and a fake friend over the years.
Fake friends tend to be the ones who will do everything with you, but then they slowly start to fade as soon as they find a new friend. For example, maybe you had plans for months to go see a concert with them, but all of a sudden they just stop talking to you. Now, they are taking their new “friend” instead of you. They replace you instantly with this new “friend” without any warning or explanation. I've seen this happen to various friends of mine, and it saddens me because they go into denial saying that they just “drifted apart”. Truth is, if a friend replaces you with another friend without any explanation, they really weren't your friend in the first place, which can be really hard to accept.
When you hit a hard point in life, you will most likely go to the friends who will listen and be there for you. Fake friends in these situations will most likely not care, or they may even say that your problems aren't that big of a deal. In fact, they don't really listen in these situations or have any sympathy towards you. They might even interrupt you during the venting process to talk about other things, and you eventually give up on even going to them for help. A lot of the time when you need advice fake friends will somehow end up making it all about themselves. As soon as this fake friend needs help, they expect you to drop everything to help them out. This can be frustrating especially if you always end up being there for them when they are never there for you.
Sometimes you will have different interests than your friends, and that's okay. What's not okay is when a fake friend makes fun of your interests. You may be obsessed with a certain TV show or a movie, but they make rude comments to you about liking it. It's okay if your friends may not like the same things, but if they are always commenting on how their interests are better than yours, they are not a true friend. Real friends will listen about your interests even if it doesn't really appeal to them. The friends that I have may not always understand why I like certain things, but they try to understand why I like them rather than brushing my interests off as “lame”.
Friends are people that you know you can trust with secrets. Fake friends usually will want to know your secrets only to go tell the whole world about them. Fake friends will also be the ones who have a lot to say about you behind your back. If you were to get an argument with a friend and all they do during that time is talk negatively about you, then they weren't really your friend to begin with. A friend, no matter if you get an argument or not, will not talk negatively about you to others.
Notice who is happy when you are successful. Whatever success you just reached, whether it was passing a test or getting a new job, you're going to want to tell your friends. Fake friends in these situations will say that you are bragging about your success, when in reality that's not the intention behind sharing good news. All you want to do is share your happiness with your friends. Fake friends will usually get jealous and not really acknowledge your success because the good news is happening to you and not them. Real friends would be supportive and congratulate you on your success no matter how big or small.
These are just some ways to determine a fake friend from a real friend out of many other characteristics. If you haven't already, you are most likely going to run into someone who is a fake friend at some point in your life. Most people who spot a fake friend in their life think they don't have a way out, and that's not true. It's never a good idea to keep toxic people in your life who constantly poison your happiness. It's really all up to you to determine who your real friends are. Once you figure out who your real friends are, it's up to you to say “farewell fake friends."