Many people seek validation from people they call "friends" when they're actually only acquaintances.
Do you ever contemplate your social life and wonder just how good a "friend" these people purport themselves to be?
Are they actually there for you when you need them or are you just another notch on their friend lists on their respective social media?
The term gets thrown around loosely too often and it seems many friendships are either taken for granted or are conditional. Those aren't friendships.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their social lives, Redditor VexAndStuff asked:
"When did you realize your 'friends' were actually fake friends?"
Those who deliberately isolate you are not exactly the kinds of people you want in your circle to begin with.
"Went to pick up my xbox 360 a friend was borrowing, and our whole group of friends were there. They had spent the entire day playing games with snacks and pizza, and I had not been invited. And now I was in the situation of being the douche who takes the ball home and ruins the fun for everyone. I took my xbox and never spoke to anyone in that group again."
Selective Group Chat
"Back in my first year of college, I used to have a group of friends (like 7 dudes with me included). We always hang out together and we're used to have this 'group chat' where we discuss about anything from class subjects to random things. After a year, I noticed that one of the guys (let's just call him Randy) keeps getting excluded; Not invited/informed to group hangout while they're talking smack behind his back. And the 'unofficial leader' of the group actually made a whole new group chat, inviting everyone (myself included) except Randy without his knowledge."
"I know what it feels to be left out, I experienced that in Middle school and it's really awful. I stopped hanging out with them and I starts hanging out with Randy. He's quite eccentric but a very good person at heart. We've been friends for more than 6 years, and he still got my back"
"When I returned to work after being off for 3 months due to an injury and I practically begged them to go grab a beer and do pub trivia but all 3 of them passed because they had plans. Well it turns out their plans were to go grab a beer and do pub trivia... Without me. Found out through social media. Deleted it shortly afterwards."
"I've been a lot less depressed about things since I've deleted social media and stopped looking at them as friends and just as work acquaintances. It took that for me to realize that the 'friendships' were really one-sided and I'm better off not pursuing anything other than being cordial at work."
People who take advantage of you under the guise of being friends are the ones to watch out for.
Friendship Of Convenience
"When I slowly realized I was only around for chores and errands. Rides to the airport, pick up furniture, help move. Anything social always resulted in either last minute cancellations, showing up 45 minutes late and bolting after 10 minutes. I thought they were busy, but no."
The Underappreciated Babysitter
"When I was babysitting her kids things were going great. We would hangout all the time...have movie nights and just talk and chill. But the second she no longer needed a babysitter was the second I got kicked to the curb. No explanation...not even a text back. Some people will act like your best friend until they no longer need you. Their loss though."
A Cringey Greeting
"Yep, this happened to me, but more generally. Had a 'friend' who would only contact me when she needed something, but she was pretty sly about it in the beginning (inviting me over to hang and then bringing up the favor organically, like oh we don't have anyone to watch the dog next weekend, or I want to move this bed but it's so heavy, etc). After a while it got more egregious and obvious - only calling to ask to use my truck or dog sit. I'd politely say I wasn't available and eventually she stopped calling. She still texts every now and then to 'catch up' (she tried that a few times in the past and it was always followed by a request) despite my no longer responding. To this day I cringe when someone says 'Hi Friend!', her freakin catchphrase."
Something Came Up
"Whenever we were supposed to hang out something came up and that something was hanging out with other mutual 'friends.'"
Looking For Better Options
"Yes! My 'best friend' in high school used to do this to me all the time. On Wednesday, I’d ask if she wanted to see a movie Friday night. She’d always say maybe, if I can get out of doing whatever with my parents. Come Monday I’d hear her talking about how great the movie was. Apparently, last minute her parents said she didn’t have to go and miraculously a group of people called right then and asked her to see the same movie. She’d always say 'I figured you made other plans' when I confronted her about it. In reality, she’d just wait to see what the better option was and pick on Friday. God that pissed me off."
A technical malfunction revealed the real status of friendships.
Out Of Touch
"When my phone got stolen and I lost their phone numbers. Mine stayed the same, but we just never talked again."
Abandoned And Forgotten
"When my Apple account got compromised and I lost my backup when I changed phones I lost all of my numbers. I haven’t gotten a text or call from any of my friends since. That was 5 years ago."
"When I traded in my truck for a smaller more eco friendly vehicle. Communication plummeted now that i can’t haul furniture around, assist with moving as much, dispose of garbage.. etc."
"I flew out to support a friend going through a messy divorce. While I was there, she left me in the apartment to meet up with her boyfriend that I didn't know about. He turned out to have just been released from prison for manslaughter. Once she told me that, I told her that I didn't want to spend time with him, especially considering the circumstances of my visit."
"The next night, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him in the living room. She said that she thought it wouldn't matter since I was asleep. The next day, she invited her soon-to-be ex-husband over without telling me and then asked me to meditate their conversation once he got there. That conversation turned ugly fast, and she ended up storming out. He broke down and asked if I thought it was salvageable, and I told him that she had already moved on. Maybe not the best idea on my part, but at that point, she had shown me how vile of a person she is."
"My wife and I separated and she got the majority of our friends. Almost nobody checked in on me to see how I was doing."
"Then we decided to work it out and stay together and now there's a whole list of people's birthdays I don't have to remember."
"The group made plans to meet and hang out. I was getting ready in the salon. A couple of friends had to back out for some reason. The other friend then made excuses of his own, and I could tell. I tried cajoling him and offer ways for him to go but he basically decided to cancel the entire group meet up."
"It was my birthday."
"Same thing happened to me on my 21st birthday- all my "friends" made up excuses why they couldn't come. Then the 3 friends that did met some guys and we went back to their house and awkwardly sat around."
"Happened again for my 25th birthday- I had moved across the country and found new friends, but they all bailed at the last minute. I called my roommate at the time who came out when he got off work, and he called some of his friends who came out and I had the best night ever. Those guys are now my real friends, and I married that roommate."
I couldn't help but realize while reading the thread that there must be a lot of people in my life I mutually acknowledge as friends but aren't really there for me when I need them.
However, that doesn't make me want to visit all my socials and start cleaning house.
All I really need are a handful of people I can call actual friends who don't get offended after a long absence. The ones I practically recognize as family to me are the ones where we can pick up where we left off as if no time had passed–even if it's been a significantly long time.
People come and go out of our lives. Friendships fade; we drift apart. It's a disheartening fact of life, but as long as you have that one person who will unconditionally have your back, that's all that really matters.
That also doesn't mean others in your periphery haven't impacted your life in some small way. You should hang onto those acquaintances who genuinely like you as well.
It just never hurts to check up on them every once in a while.
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