17 Telltale Signs Someone Is Not Your Friend

Friendship is important in our lives. True friends make us feel valued and supported. But sometimes, people we think are friends may not have our best interests at heart. So, how can you tell if someone isn’t your friend? Here are 17 signs to watch out for.

Fair-Weather Friend

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A real friend is always there for you. But if someone only reaches out to you when they need a favor, it’s a red flag. They only come to you to benefit from you. They may ask for help, money, or a ride. But when you need them, they are never present.

Erode Confidence

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Friends should uplift you, not tear you down. If someone constantly criticizes or makes fun of you, they may not be your true friends. Negative comments from friends can lower your self-esteem and increase stress levels. In such cases, it’s always best to reconsider your friendship.

Envy You

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A true friend is genuinely happy about your achievements and celebrates them with you. If your friend feels jealous of your success, that’s a clear red flag. They may downplay your accomplishments or become distant and cold. This jealousy can create tension and damage the relationship over time. True friends support and cheer for each other. They do so wholeheartedly, without envy or resentment.

Disregard Boundaries

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Everyone has personal boundaries, and a good friend respects them. If someone constantly crosses your boundaries, they don’t respect you. This can include anything from invading your personal space to ignoring your wishes. Experts say that respecting boundaries is crucial in developing healthy relationships.

Manipulate You

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A true friend respects you and treats you with honesty. However, if someone manipulates you for their gain, it’s a clear sign of a toxic relationship. Manipulation can take many forms. These include guilt-tripping, gaslighting, and mind games.

Experts say that manipulation in relationships can make you feel powerless. It can also cause emotional distress.

Backstab You

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When a friend lies, shares your secrets, or spreads rumors, they break your trust. This is a significant warning sign. It shows they’re not honest or respectful. Look for patterns of dishonesty and secrecy, and trust your instincts. Watch how they treat others, too.

If a friend repeatedly disregards your trust and well-being, reconsider the friendship. Prioritize your emotional health. Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe and happy.

Never Apologize

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Everyone makes mistakes, but a true friend will apologize when they’re wrong. If someone never says sorry, it indicates a lack of respect and maturity in the friendship. Apologies are crucial in repairing relationships and maintaining trust.

In friendships, a genuine apology shows accountability and commitment to fixing any harm caused. When someone never apologizes for their mistakes, it breaks trust and undermines the foundation of the friendship.

Self Prioritization

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Friendship is about give and take. If someone always puts their needs above yours, it’s a sign they are not a true friend. They may expect you to change your plans for them or ignore your needs. Such people are self-centered and only care about themselves.

Conditional Support

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True friends offer unwavering support, whether lending an ear or assisting in tough times.

As highlighted by this research article, emotional support is vital for fostering strong bonds. However, if someone is absent during your struggles and only shows up when times are good, they may not be genuine.

Competitive Behavior

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Healthy competition can be fun, but it’s not a good sign if someone always tries to one-up you. A true friend is happy for your success, not threatened by it. Competitive behavior can create tension and conflict.

Research shows that excessive competition in friendships can lead to stress and anxiety.

Exclude You

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Feeling left out is never pleasant. If someone often excludes you from events or talks, they may not value your friendship. Inclusivity is important. It helps us feel connected and valued.

Research shows that being left out can cause loneliness and depression.

Disregard You

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A true friend pays attention to what you say. Someone who constantly interrupts you or doesn’t care about your thoughts and feelings may not be a real friend. Good communication is vital in any relationship.

According to experts, active listening strengthens bonds and improves understanding between friends.


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A survey shows that reliability is one of the traits people seek in their friends. Friendship is built on reliability. Without reliability, friendships falter. When someone constantly cancels plans or breaks promises, it’s hard to rely on them.

Being dependable is the key to keeping friendships solid and meaningful.

Ignore You

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Everyone is busy, but a true friend will make time for you. If someone always has an excuse for not meeting or talking, it shows a lack of effort. Experts say that spending quality time together is essential for maintaining a solid friendship.

Drain Energy

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Toxic friendships can drain your energy and leave you feeling emotionally depleted. These relationships often involve one-sided dynamics where one person takes more than they give.

If spending time with someone constantly makes you feel tired or stressed, they may be a toxic friend. So, surround yourself with supportive and uplifting friends who can help replenish your energy and foster healthier connections.

Exploit You

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A true friend respects your generosity and doesn’t take it for granted. If someone always borrows money or asks for favors without reciprocating, it’s a sign they are using you. They keep exploiting you without considering your feelings or well-being.

Experts say balanced reciprocity is crucial for healthy friendships.

Disregard Opinions

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Respectful disagreements are normal in friendships. However, if someone frequently dismisses or belittles your opinions, it shows a lack of respect. True friends value and consider each other’s perspectives. Experts say mutual respect and open-mindedness are crucial to sustaining long-term friendships.

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