You probably want to give your friends the benefit of the doubt, and in most situations that’s the best thing to do. However, it’s all too easy to get caught up in someone who doesn’t value you the same way you value them. That doesn’t mean that you should go on a witchhunt looking for people to root out of your life, but if you happen to notice some odd behavior, maybe it’s time to reevaluate who you spend your time with. Here are some ways to figure out if you’ve been putting too much faith in fair weather friends.

  1. They don’t want to see you when they’re sober.

This is a big issue in college. You think it’s just the nature of friendships in your twenties, but if somebody only wants to go drinking with you, they probably aren’t interested in a serious emotional connection with you. In my experience, people like this are more interested in having people around them to make them look more popular or to be their wingperson. If you’re okay with that dynamic, then that’s great, but if you’re looking for a true friend, they’re not the one.

2. They’re more interested in photos of hanging out with you than actually being with you.

If they’re putting most of their effort into their social media and “plandids” then they aren’t valuing your presence or your friendship. Just like with my previous point, these people just want to look cool. When faced with a situation like this, you’ve got to remember: you are not a prop. You are a person that deserves genuine interaction and affection. You are not a disposable friend to boost someone’s image or just a pretty face to hang around in the background of their instagram pictures.

 

3. They’re always “busy”

This point is a little tricky because it’s hard to draw the line between a person being genuinely swamped or them just avoiding you. If someone is constantly engaging in social activities with mutual friends, they aren’t too busy. They’re just too busy for you. It’s 2017. Inviting you to join them is as easy as sending a three word text message. Nobody is so immensely overwhelmed every second of their life that they can’t type out “u wanna come?” or even say “sorry, I’m busy right now.”

 

4. They’re constantly gaining new friends and discarding old ones.

A person isn’t looking for sincere companionship if they’re trading friends like an eleven year old with their first deck of Pokemon cards. This is a sign that they’re just a social climber, always looking to upgrade their clique. If you notice they stop hanging out with you once richer or more popular people enter their life, chances are they weren’t interested in you personally. They just wanted to take advantage of your connections or social status.

5. They treat hanging out with you like a backup plan.

I notice this a lot with people who wait a week to text you back after you ask about their availability. Most people carry some sort of planner or scheduling device with them nowadays so chances are they already know their availability the moment you ask. Unless they have a hectic or inconsistent work schedule, or they’ve recently experienced a large change in their life (such as a big move or a family emergency), they probably aren’t replying about their availability because they’re trying to make plans with someone else and don’t want to coordinate with you unless it falls through.

If someone only wants to hang out with you when their “cooler” friends are busy, they aren’t best friend material and they aren’t valuing you properly.

 

It’s important to note at this point that if you’ve been investing emotionally in a fake friend, it is not your fault. Their inability to reciprocate your dedication or affection is a reflection of their poor priorities. It is not because you aren’t good enough. Fake people will be fake because they have their own personal issues regardless of how wonderful you’ve been to them or what you’ve put into the friendship.

When you notice someone you love or care about doesn’t appreciate you the same way, there’s no point in wasting your energy on them. You just get your heart broken. Try to put the same amount of effort into the relationship as your fair weather friend had. If that means politely cutting your ties with them, then that’s probably for the best.

Whatever you chose to do (because how you handle the situation is 100% your choice), remember that you deserve someone who cares about you and appreciates you. It might feel lonely when you first start to move on from a fake friend, but investing in safe people who are willing to reciprocate your level of emotional involvement is always a better idea than being ignored by someone you used to treasure. If all else fails, try to find comfort in the hallowed words of Drake, “F!ck a fake friend, where your real friends at?”

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