Friendships are meant to be simple and care-free, not complicated. Once you start questioning a friendship, you might as well start planning your exit from the friendship.

True friends will never make you second guess yourself. A true friend is someone you can speak to without fear of judgment. But not everyone is a true friend. We also have fake friends who keep you in their lives because you probably benefit them in some way.

Once they have used you enough, they will discard you for their next unknowing victim.

How do you tell if someone is a true friend or not?

Someone who uses you is NOT a true friend. You shouldn’t be the only person putting in an effort and getting no effort in return.  There should always be mutual understanding, trust and care for each other.

  • They are only around you when they want something

You may not realize this in the beginning. You might be in a bubble of happiness because you think you finally found a new friend who gets you, and they are always around you. Whenever you go out together, the scales always seem to be tipped in their favor. For example, you might find yourself always getting the bill, but maybe you don’t mind because you think that your friend is worth it.

Sooner or later, you will notice patterns and might even question why your friend always seems to be broke or in certain situations which could be avoided in the first place. Whether it’s a place to stay, unwelcomed visits, helping them with something or always bailing them out of messy situations, remember that you are not your friend’s keeper and their life is not your responsibility.

Man and woman eating

  • You only hear from them when things go wrong

Sometimes you recognize all the signs of a toxic friendship and might decide to distance yourself from them. But you might find yourself being around them again. You’re not sure how it happened or why you’re around this toxic person again, but you seem to keep getting pulled into their life.

I grew apart from a friend who had a special place in my life. The friendship became toxic so I distanced myself. And just like that, out of nowhere, she called me in a panic because she was going through some problems.

Even though I wasn’t in contact with her for more than a year, I still cared about her. When she contacted me, I put our differences aside and tried to help her but soon I remembered why I distanced myself. My friend brought back all the drama that I didn’t miss when I stopped speaking to her. As much as I didn’t want to, I had to cut myself off from her for the second and last time.

She only knew my number when things went wrong in her life. When things were great, she never tried to reach out to me, but every time I got a call from her, it was because of something that was going wrong in her life.

  • They gossip about you

The saying goes if they gossip to you, they will gossip about you. If your friend is discussing other people to you, they are probably discussing your life with others too. A person who is busy and happy in life will not have time to keep up with the lives of others. They will be focused on making their own life better.

If they are constantly gossiping about other people and still hang around those people, they are definitely doing the same to you.

Sometimes, this is a way of life for some people and they are not even aware that they are doing it.

Two girls telling each other a secret

Someone I knew used to gossip to me about her friends. I remember always telling her to address her issues with them instead of talking about them, but she never did.

I don’t think she realized that she was gossiping, I guess she assumed that everybody spoke about others. She had no problem telling me that she was taking my stories to others too. It shocked me that she naturally blurted out anything about my life to her friends.

I stopped telling her about stuff that was happening in my life because she was clearly a natural gossiper.

  • They are jealous of you

Some of your closest friends and family might turn out to be your secret haters. They are the people who are closest to you and know the most about your life. They are also the first to know about your success and failures.

If they start comparing their life to yours in any way, they are probably jealous of you. If they start dropping comments that make you question the conversation, don’t ignore your intuition or brush it off as being paranoid. There is a reason why you are second-guessing them and have every right to do so.

  • You check in with you to make sure you aren’t doing better than them

Person peeping through the window

Sometimes people keep you around because they are jealous but they also want to make sure that you aren’t doing better than them. I asked myself why people who have a lot more than others are still jealous? I couldn’t figure this out.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with material wealth. Sometimes, they despise you because of the way others gravitate towards you or the way you handle situations in your life. Just because a person seems successful and beautiful on the outside, doesn’t automatically translate to them being happy.

People can have everything and still want what you have. People want you to do well, but not better than them.  Be careful of those who support you only when it suits them. You might think that they are trying to help you but they might actually be trying to keep you down.

Respect yourself enough to be absent in their lives

Sometimes we have to recognize those who portray a different persona to who they really are. Even if this takes some time to do, the important thing is that you come to this realization and take action at some point.

If you think that you are being used, the chances are that you are probably right. You wouldn’t be questioning friendships or people if something didn’t seem off. If you are constantly broke or drained because you are spending your time, money and effort on others, recognize the situation and respect yourself enough to be absent in their lives.