Food Fashion and Flow: Faux Friends   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Faux Friends

This post came about when I was having a conversation with some friends about friendship and the complex dynamics that exist between friendships with other women. I wanted to write about a subject no one likes to talk about. Keep reading...

The word Faux, is great when it refers to fur or some other inanimate object. I have a faux fur hanging in my closet, it is beautiful, it keeps me warm and you would never know it wasn’t real fur unless I told you. Deep down at the core of those fibers that make my faux fur jacket look like the real thing, it is fake.


Fake friends are just like that.  They look and feel real, but they are not. The danger in faux friends is that they are worse than enemies. At least with an enemy you know where they are coming from, with a fake friend, they secretly dislike you, but you are oblivious to that fact because they pretend they are your friend.

A real friendship is like a palm tree, it bends, sways, even through challenges, but it never breaks. And if you are lucky, you have a friend like a cedar tree in Lebanon, it thrives forever. If you have even one friendship like this, consider yourself very blessed.

Friendships with women are priceless, deep, emotional and challenging, but sometimes too much estrogen is a bad thing. I was having a conversation with a male friend of mine and he said that women are always competing with each other and he stated that male friendships don’t have that dynamic.  He said that our friendships are laced with envy and her ugly sister, jealousy.

I had to ponder that for a moment and then I realized that over the years I have experienced friendships that I thought were genuine and then years later I discovered that some of those friends didn't really like me. And there were those that were not well wishers but pretended that they were.

If you want to experience that one, just announce your engagement and watch what unravels when you plan your wedding.  And there were the ones that always had something negative to say. Dream snatchers is what I call them. and this soapbox woud not be complete if I didn't mention the ones that made everything a competition.  Of course by the time I realized some of these things, I was already emotionally attached because I let them get close to me not knowing that they weren't genuine.

Has that ever happened to you?

The challenge in spotting a faux friendship that is not in your best interest, is that when you are too close to it, you don’t see clearly.  Or the friendship is like an old pair of clothing, or shoes that you just don’t want to donate or trash because you think they are going to come back in style at some point and then you can wear it again.  But here is the caveat, if and when it does come back in Vogue, do you really want to wear it?

Here are some of the telltale signs of faux friends:

  • Phone calls only to talk about what is going on in their life, but icy indifference when it comes to yours
  • Around for the good times, but when you go through the storm you cant find them in the daytime with a flashlight. The flip side of this is the old mantra that misery loves company. There are also those that love it when you are down and the minute things shift for you, they can’t stand it
  • And this classic trait, they smile in your face but they talk about you behind your back
  • They ignore your victories
  • When you accomplish something impressive green foam comes out of their mouth.  They would rather ignore your accomplishments than celebrate them with you
  • They use personal things you revealed about yourself and all of your weaknesses against you
  • They are happy with your gifts and your blessings as long as you don’t pass them up on the freeway of life. Did u get that?
And now the signs of a real friend

  • A shoulder for your tears and champagne for your victories
  • They are genuinely concerned about you and show it through action
  • When the storm comes they provide an umbrella and then walk with you until the sun rises again
  • They are happy when you are thriving, in fact they are as happy for you as they would be for themselves
  • They don’t allow trivial matters to contaminate your friendship
  • They are not jealous hearted and are thrilled at your accomplishments
  • They want the best for you
  • They know what is going on in your life because they stay in contact with you through real person to person contact

And what about those shades of gray? The friendships you can’t quite classify? Here are a few ways to gain clarity.  Think about the last time they picked up the phone and actually called you.  If they asked how you were, was that a platitude, or did they really care about the answer?

Life is too short for faux friends. Do you have any hanging in your closet?

 Talk to me...  Tell me your thoughts.


downtownchicagobarbie said...

OMG! I'm so happy you post this because I can spot a fake friend a mile away. Those people are the ones that want to call you to vent about their problems or need help with something. I just had this happen to me two days ago. This faux friend just called me to help him move. We don't even talk like that. He always have tons of friends to hangout with but he decided that he'll call me because good Mia is a good friend and reliable. We don't hangout at all. We just use to work together that's it. I get rid of people right away like that. My boyfriend says that I'm too mean but I tell him I'm not going to let anyone take advantage of me. So thanks for this article because you were right on the nose about everything. I can tell I'm going to be a faithful follower of your blog.

Francesca R said...

It happened several times. I just lost one friend because she thought I was becoming her boss, which was not the case by the way...

Like Mousse Au Choco said...

Thanks for your post. I love it!!
These faux friends are everywhere!! I´m 26 years old and I already went through this sh*t.
It sad that many people are bad inside, they don´t want you to progress, they are jealous even with your clothes in your wardrobe loll
They tell you how wonderful you are but in your back they tell lies etc...
At first I was naiv and I always saw the best in a personne that was my fault. Now I prefer being with my family and I honestly have only 3 of those GOOD FRIENDS.
I really enjoyed reading your article. Pls write more of those things,kiss Abi

MsNana_ said...

i really enjoyed this post. I have alot of those ones
but i am the kind of person who accepts that i came in this world alone and i am gonna go there alone.. so i just usually enjoy my own company. Even within real friendship, its not cake and custard, there comes situation where you question the friendship. but it is about living your life for you and not relying too much on others..

Shasie said...

Preach girl preach! Faux friends are no fun. I've had to clean house over the years and probably still will in the future...
Live Life in Style

Sarah said...

I did used to have faux friends. When I was younger I had friends who were mean to me because they apparently cared about me, but growing up I realised that they were mean to me because they got a buzz out of it, and liked exerting the power that they had over myself and others. I have now since ditched them and although my friendship group is rather small, I know that all those in it are true friends.


Catina said...

Having faux friends is like having a rash......they just don't go away. We BOTH have friends like these and I couldn't agree with you more on your tips for noticing them. As my mom use to say...."feed those people with a long-handled spoon" and thats what I do. I keep my communications at surface level and thats it. There will be a time and place where that fake relationship will me.

lasophia said...

WORD! The older I get, the more my real friends become faux friends, but I guess this is just life. I always have my family.


CEO(angie stone) said...

I must say L.V. there are many sheep in wools clothing. Many people have an agenda when befriending you. The days of just liking someone for who they are instead of what they have, or what you think they have are long gone. (This is a growing trend). Our society has become a bunch of moochers and the quality of friendship has diminished. Some people will look at you as a project. Meaning doing a good deed in-order to make themselves look good in other peoples eyesight. I often wonder what happens in life when your values have become so low that you feel as though your behavior is acceptable. Never let people like that steal your joy or infiltrate your happiness. You must be a friend in order to know how to be a friend.

Madeline Quaint said...

I was just reading through your older posts when I found this, so I'm a latecomer to the conversation.

Your description of the faux-friend fits one of my friends so accurately... I wish I knew what to do with the situation, I've been thinking about it for such a long time. Sometimes I thought I should break contact with her, sometimes I think she isn't conscious about what she's doing and saying... At the moment I'm trying to keep some space between us, and see... I'd hate to "break up" with a friend. Do you think faux friends can be changed, cured, turned around?

LV said...


I have often pondered this myself. If your friend is truly a faux friend then something at her core is not genuine and that is not something you need in your life. I would say keep a safe distance and if you want to keep her in your life as a friend, keep it surface so that you do not allow yourself to be hurt by her. It is really hard breaking up with friends, even faux ones. I think most of the time faux friends can't be turned around because if they are not well wishers, they will always be jealous of you even if it is secretly. One thing that always lets me know what I am dealing with is to look at actions and not words. What is the old saying? You know a tree by its fruit...

Madeline Quaint said...

Thank you for answering!

The biggest problem with her is that she cannot handle other people's happpiness or success. I wish I could train her how to be glad for others!

Generosity is one of the most important trait I like in people, and so many don't realise that you should be generous with your smiles and love as well as your money and time.

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