Real Friends and Fake Friends – What a Toxic Friendship Looks Like


I remember the first few months of high school as if it was yesterday…

We’d just moved from Namibia and I was so shy that I didn’t open my mouth up to anyone on the first day. Eventually, I landed up in a group of a few girls. I became quite buddy-buddy with one of them in particular…it seemed like we had so much in common (let’s call her Lesley).

fake friendsOver the next few months, Lesley became the type of friend to me that bordered on a toxic friendship. In some ways she was a real friend, but after she moved away a year later, it became quite clear that she hadn’t been.

For most of our friendship, I’d probably consider her to be one of those ‘fake friends‘. The ones who don’t really care about you or your feelings.  They just think about themselves.

Only years later did I realise how badly she’d treated me and how much crap I took from her. I would never allow someone to do that to me today.

She constantly put me down in front of other people, criticised me, and made me feel stupid on quite a few occasions. No.I don’t know how I put up with it either…The friendship wasn’t all bad – we had a lot of fun hanging out most of the time, but there was always this underlying imbalance of our friendship. 

I wrote this article below for All4Women recently on signs to watch out for when dealing with ‘friends’ like this. I learnt a lot while researching for this article – I only wish I’d known about some of these signs all those years ago…

Do you have a toxic friendship?


Sometimes a friendship can be salvaged, and sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and just move on.

Have you ever done this before?

Have you ever said goodbye to a friendship because you felt like you were investing more in the relationship than what the other person was?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

Image credits: adamr and  imagerymajestic –



6 Replies to “Real Friends and Fake Friends – What a Toxic Friendship Looks Like”

  1. Ok ladies I’ve had adult friends like that:) sad, but true. You know people who are your best friend when they are down and need money or whatever and when things are good they don’t have time to answer a phone call? Very recently, I thought a friend was trying to reconnect which I thought was cool…then I found out they only needed a deed copy for their personal reasons. Once I got the deed for that “friend” (which was a pain in the butt) I’ve never heard from them again!! Ha! Oh well…live and learn, live and learn:)

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Can’t stand people like that…I’ve had my share of “friends” like that too. Or even worse, the ones who only call you when you’re the last option on their list.

  2. In middle school I had a friend like that: she always felt like she couldn’t do well in school and I wanted to help her. Not to mention she was the principal’s daughter. So, I let her copy my homework that I’d spent HOURS on, and she even copied answers from my tests…and sadly, I let her. I knew the stuff; she didn’t.
    My blood boiled, though, when she got all A’s and B’s for the first time in her life and her mom took her out of school and they went mall-shopping for the day.
    It took the better part of a year for me to recognize she was just using me. When I finally told her, “no, I will not let you cheat. I work hard for my grades and you have to, too,” she all but ignored me after that.
    I ran into her briefly on Facebook and “friended” her for about a month, until I’d see that the things she posted were bucolic.
    I’ve had a few friends after that whom I observed to be “users,” but I always let the friendship die. I try to surround myself with only supportive people and I only let a few into my heart. It’s part of my introversion, but it’s also a protective measure: I can’t stand it when I get hurt by someone who was supposed to be a good friend. No one does, I think. But, even more so, when I let you in and you hurt me, it cuts to the quick.
    I can forgive, but yes, once I’ve been hurt, the friendship is never the same.
    I love being nice to everyone, and I have a number of acquaintances…but I need close friends. 🙂
    Cyndi recently posted…Blue Gold: The Water CrisisMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      I can really relate to that! It’s probably why I take so long to make friends and why I only have a handful. Close friends are awesome! 🙂

  3. I had a friendship just like that in high school. Of course, I only recognize it looking back now. I allowed this “friend” to influence me – and my choices- in too many ways and shrugged off her mean comments that made me feel bad as jokes.
    Great topic! I think many of us can relate to this!
    Amy recently posted…A Little PhotographerMy Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      I wish we could have seen it back then, but oh well – you live and learn, right?!

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