Domestic Economy Family & Kids Featured Joy Mfon Essien Notes

How to Spot a Fake Friend

Almost everyone has been a victim of fake friends at some point in life, probably, more than once, too. 

You think you have a friend or friends, and you’re left stunned, bitten, and taken for a fool when you discover it was all in your head and you’ve been all alone. The worst part is that the signs had always been there but you either ignored them or just weren’t paying close attention. 

Over time, some of us grew to push people away, never hang on too much to people, have very few people in our circle or just enjoy our own company. This is always the case with a good number of people, especially as the circle keeps growing smaller as we age. 

Anyway, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can spot a fake friend and do the needful early enough. 


1. They’re never really happy when you succeed. Some of them may remain good until good things begin to happen to you.

There’s the popular saying, “Friends want you to succeed, they just don’t want you to succeed more than them or beyond their mind can carry.” These are fake friends. If you pay attention to their mood and body language when you share good news, you’ll get the perfect position of things. I had this🤏 friend who knew all the problems I had in my current place of abode. The day I announced to her that we had found a new place, she seemed genuinely happy. However, I noticed a change in her body language the day she visited and toured our new apartment. This new place was really nice but somehow it was too much for her to be happy for me. 

2. They won’t hesitate to use personal information about you, they’re privy to, against you.

I shared personal information with a friend once. Not only did she share it with another, they actually planned to use it against me. I was smart enough to quickly decode what was happening and quickly remove myself from them and the situation they wanted to create. This was in secondary school. Even when friends fall out, I’d rather everyone parted ways quietly and peacefully too, without raising dust or drama. 

3.  They lack empathy.

In the university, while I was going through a very rough patch, an emotional one, my then closest friend, for whatever reason, ghosted me. She had no words of encouragement, no support or shoulder to cry on. I went through that painful phase alone and quietly withdrew from her. And guess what, she acted like she didn’t notice, and neither did she make any effort to even try to patch things up. 

4. They are users.

Fast forward to a few years after school, and this same friend and I reconnected but guess what? The relationship was beginning to look like it was going to be a parasitic one. We weren’t trying to get back to being friends this time. We were only being cordial but this time, she only called me when she needed money. From asking for an extra change I could spare to requesting loans to pay back. Now you know, aside from her antecedent, loaning friends money can be very tricky. More often than not, you won’t be getting your money back. I quickly activated speed bumps. Before I shut the door completely, I observed that I never got invited to any of her get-togethers or any celebrations. I was only there for emergencies. 


5. Absent in time of need.

These ones are only there for the good times. They can never be counted on for anything. These ones, I think, should only be invited to fill up the seats at our parties. They should never be taken seriously to avoid disappointment. When you start seeing them for what they are, your expectations of them will be limited. 

6.  They are competitive.

This is in the sense that they want what you have. They may not need a red car but because you bought one, they will go and buy a red car too. If you send your child to an Ivy League school, they will also send their child there, even if they can’t afford it. 

7.  Very quick to criticise.

Lips that criticise are never fast to compliment. Sometimes they can be rude, too. And when you are fast to call them out on it, they quickly call it sarcasm. And they’re constantly looking for ways to put you down. 

I’d like to end this with the words of Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are, best believe them.”


  • Joy Mfon Essien is an Entrepreneur and the CEO, of Discover Essence Media, Millionaire Woman Soapworks and Delicioso Foods. Writer, TV presenter and producer, Wellness Coach and mom of two.

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