Are Your Friends Fake?

These days I’m a bit of a loner. Not to say I have no friends anymore but I definitely have a better quality friends. It took me a while to figure out that having a lot of friends didn’t mean I had great friendships or that I was a great person to be friends with. During that time when I considered myself pretty popular, most of my friends ended up being fake.

It was a painful realization to know that a majority of my friends were just friends with me because of circumstances, not because they genuinely liked me as a person and valued me in their lives.

The first thing I needed to learn was the difference between friends of circumstance and friends of value.

Friends of circumstance gravitate to you because they enjoy your company AND because you have some shared activity together.

High school friends are a good example. These are people that you saw for maybe four years day in and day out, going to the same school, the same classes and the same activities. It’s easy to build close relationships when you see someone all the time. But they’re still friendships of circumstance. Everyone experiences this. It becomes painfully obvious after high school ends. When everyone goes to different colleges and you see the friendships begins to fade. You don’t get texts as much from them or calls. You start to notice that you’re not getting invited for birthdays or meet up’s. Maybe that friend joined a different group of people, many of which you’re not familiar with. The reality is that most high school friendships end because the circumstances that brought the friendship together is over and then maintaining those friendships start to require work.

This is the main cause for why people perceive certain friendships as fake, especially if you could’ve sworn that the person liked you for you. But they were just circumstantial.

And this is why you’ll see a lot of people stick around their hometown because they have the comfort of their circumstantial friendships. Subconsciously, they know that if they leave the circumstance that created the friendship there’s a chance the friendship will not continue. From what I’ve seen, circumstantial friendships tend to breed complacency, lack of growth and staleness.

Friendships of value are very, very rare. I would say that maybe 1-5% of everyone’s friendships are friendships of value. If you meet a friend like this, it’s good to keep nurturing that relationship because it’s a healthy, honest, no strings attached friendship.

A telltale way of knowing if you have a friendship of value is that no matter how far you go, how many years pass by or how many changes occur in your life, that person is always able to be there for you. Maybe not physically, maybe they live far away, but they make the effort to contact you and share their lives with you. Why would someone do that when they’re no longer in a situation that makes it easy for them to be friends with you? Because they value who you are as a person.

Another way to tell if someone is less than a good friend is if they treat you differently then they treat others.

Some people view their lives as a movie and see their friends as just supporting characters, supporting them. Someone to make them look good, someone to fill the silence in their lives. People who have poor character will NOT make good friends. These people are capable of being kind, friendly and fun but their lack of character will keep them from being good friends in the long term.

For example, you see your friend Emily talk down about another friend that’s going through a rough time-maybe that person is a little strange or shy. You see her talk badly about that other friend behind her back but in person she’s friendly with them. What does that tell you?

That Emily would easily just talk as badly about you as she would about that other person.

Sure, you might shrug it off as just gossip or small talk, but that kind of behavior is very toxic and is sure to rear its head as soon as Emily finds someone better so they can talk about YOU behind YOUR back.

I had a friend like this once. She was very two-faced and I kind of gave her the benefit of the doubt because she never treated me badly. But once she found a friend that she considered “better,” I was the new person gossiped about.

So it’s really important to look at a person’s character even if they don’t treat you badly, if they treat other people badly, to just avoid them and not even bother building a friendship that way. Because it’s only a matter of time before that friendship collapses and you find out that you wasted so much time with a toxic person.

I wish I had better advice to give other than avoiding someone who’s fake. I wish had advice for how to change a friend and make them better. But whether a person is a good friend or not, that’s a choice they need to make for themselves, it’s not something you can help them with.

The important thing for you is to determine if they’re fake or not. And if, after reading this, you find your friends to be circumstantial, self-centered or two-faced, it might be time to manage expectations on how loyal you expect those friends to be.

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My Best Friend Ghosted Me & Lost Friendships

My Best Friend Ghosted Me & Lost Friendships
My Best Friend Ghosted Me & Lost Friendships

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I remember graduating from high school and some of the girls were crying. We were all excited about our next chapter in our lives.  But those girls were bawling their eyes out.   They knew. They KNEW things were going to be different and that the comfortable shelter of childhood was coming to an end. Little did I know that I would have a best friend who ghosted me and several lost friendships only a few years later.

I had a best friend.  Let’s just call her M. She was middle eastern and both her and I suffered from some light bullying, so I guess we both found solace knowing we both came from strict households and were the outliers in the high school social scene. She lived 4 blocks from my house and, even now, I remember what her room looked like. For some time she shared it with her Grandmother and had soccer posters up and Turkish evil eye jewelry laying around. We would spend our free time in high school working at Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop at the mall, I got a job there and brought her in. She was the first one to get a car and would drive me home from school from our after school activities. We did a school dance show and came up with a belly dance routine together, we joined the school play and did orchestra.  We got drunk for the first time together. I remember passing notes and gossiping about the boys we liked.  I was her maid of honor in her wedding.  I thought she was a true friend.

We honestly shared a lot of great memories.   I can’t go back more than 5 years without finding a picture of a moment we shared.   But now we don’t talk or text and it’s been this way for a while.

We just kinda stopped talking. I would send her texts and try to make plans and they weren’t reciprocated. Nothing.  A text would just not get much of a response. Plans would be cancelled last minute. It sucked.  All I wanted to know was why my friend is ignoring me, why this was becoming another one of my lost friensships.

A part of me wants to believe that friendships sometimes can drift apart and that maybe that they can be brought back together somehow and be the way they were.

But another part of me is like, “F that B*tch!”

Life didn’t keep us from being friends. Sending a text is nothing now. Keeping up to date and making quick call takes no time. We’re no longer friends now because one day she decided she didn’t want to spend time with me.  SHE decided she didn’t want to be a good friend.

I was noticing other things though. Like how she would make time for other friends, she would post pictures of them doing things and making plans together. I know, I know… I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people and focusing other people’s social media highlight reels. But I couldn’t really shake the feeling that our friendship wasn’t drifting apart but rather suddenly ending.  My friend was not there for me.

M stopped liking my stuff except for really positive items. Once in a while I’d get a random text like, “oh hey, how are you? It’s just been so busy but we have to hang out soon!” But then no real plans would materialize from her end.

I guess this is how it feels to be ghosted by your best friend. I learned it would become on of my many lost friendships to mourn.

My husband asked about her last night, “What happened to M? How couldn’t you guys just stop talking like that? For literally no reason?” I cringed inside when he said that, because I don’t really know either.  If I think too much about it, I start to question all the things I did to deserve the ghosting.  Maybe I wasn’t there for her either, maybe I’m too selfish.  Maybe I wasn’t good enough? The truth I need to accept is that maybe I’ll never know.   Human nature is a fickle thing.

The hardest part is that this happened during the toughest part of my life. I had an unexpected pregnancy, was failing career wise, was struggling to pay bills, and drowning in debt. It would have been nice to have my best friend there. It would have been nice to been part of her hardships too. But she stopped being my friend.

Things have changed for me now. I have new friends, not really a best friend now but good friendships that are understanding, light and easy. My relationship with my sisters have replaced that best friendship I lost. We call eachother weekly. I call my mom too. I have K’s family and sisters in my life.  One friendship was lost, but so much as been gained at the same time.  I really need to think of it that way.

I don’t know what I would do if M suddenly tried to pop back in my life. Life has gotten better for me since we stopped talking, that’s for sure. It seems a shame to let 10+ years of friendship fizzle out and to find out my best friend ghosted me.

But what’s the quote people like to use?

“If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best?”

I feel kind of silly being this grown ass woman worrying about lost friendships from my childhood.  Like I should be past these kind of disappointments by now, right?  But friendships were a major part of my life when I was growing up.  From ages 14-24 I had a best friend who was like a sister to me.  My friendships and relationships were the most important thing to me and it was even more important to keep them.  If you would have told 18 year old me that in seven years I would no longer be talking to M, I would have called you a liar.  I would have never believed it.  It would have been unfathomable to me that my best friend ghosted me.

Maybe that’s part of growing up though, its accepting that friendships and even relationships can’t last forever, that they become lost friendships.  Two people aren’t even obligated to keep in touch after so many years.  M doesn’t owe me anything and I should really stop having these kinds of expectations on people.

Part of growing up is realizing that people can grow apart and sometimes the ship’s just sailed.

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