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Not everyone is worthy of your loyalty.

Life is too short to deal with even one fake friend, let alone a group of them.

According to recent statistics, the average life expectancy for an American is currently 78.8 years. Let’s go ahead and round that up to 79, and then multiply 79 by the number of hours in a year, which is 8,760.

That means one can expect approximately 692,000 hours in a lifetime. Subtract the sleep and the work from the life total, and you have 38,200 hours of ostensibly free time. Which of course is largely anything but, given the kids to raise, the errands to run, the home repairs, the time spent at the gym or jogging, and all the rest of it.

RELATED: Toxic Friends: 6 Signs of a Toxic Friendship, and When To Call It Quits

Add it all up (or subtract it all, as the case may be) and one conclusion is easy to draw: there’s just no time in life for fake friends and fake people. Only friends you can really count on deserve your time, and only a true friend will recognize how valuable your friendship is. You might think, “It’s not my job to teach a grown person how to be a good friend.” And you’re absolutely right. If you ever find yourself doubting a friendship, then the following quotes on fake friends can help guide you in the right direction.

What Is a Fake Friend? 

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in Bridesmaids

Nobody has time for fake friends. But what defines a fake friend? In all the talk about fake friends quotes and fake people, we’ve never actually come across a universal definition. So instead, let’s turn this question on its head: What makes someone a true friend? 

Real friends are not going to be easy to define either, because people are by nature complex, unique, and varied. But if enough of the following adjectives can be applied to someone, chances are good that they are a true friend and maybe even a best friend: caring, reliable, honest, trustworthy, patient, understanding, supportive.

If you have someone like that, cherish them. And more to the point, make sure you are a good friend in return; it’s better to be an honest enemy than a fake friend! Better than that, be kind and decent but don’t pretend to be a friend to someone you simply don’t care for.

How Do You Know if Someone Is a Real Friend?

Friends cast

A true friend should make you feel stronger, more self-assured, bolder, freer, and overall better about yourself. On the other hand, a fake friend will do the opposite; make you question yourself, doubt your own choices, and reduce your sense of self-worth. 

A quick way to assess a friendship is to peruse some best friend quotes – those that speak to a genuine, balanced, and positive friendship. Then ask yourself honestly if you can apply them to the relationship you are assessing. And as a true friendship is always predicated on mutual respect and trust, go ahead and also consider some trust quotes as you examine the friendship.

What to Do Before Deciding Someone Is a Fake Friend

Man pensive holding head at sunset by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash
Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

Never doubt your instincts – though you do need to do a so-called gut check on yourself to avoid impulsively acting on emotional responses. If something consistently feels off about a relationship, it might be time to re-evaluate your bond together. You owe nothing to a fake friend. To yourself, however? You owe the world. And you’re worth it.

RELATED: How to Turn a Toxic Friendship Into a Healthy Bond

Not everyone knows how to identify a fake friend. So to help figure out whether or not someone is the real deal or a “frenemy,” consider these 55 quotes about friends. Once you do, you may realize that it could be time to cut some ties. It’s normal for this to be difficult, but if you think back to all that math we did earlier, removing fake friends from your life will only give you back that precious time. All you’re losing is baggage.

Quotes on How to Know if Your Friends Are Fake

Gossip Girl cast

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”

ALICE WALKER

“If they talk about other people with you, they will talk about you with other people.”

CARLOS WALLACE

“A friend to all is a friend to none.”

ARISTOTLE

15. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

“This is what happens. You tell your friends your most personal secrets, and they use them against you.”

SOPHIE KINSELLA

RELATED: 5 Signs You’re Actually the Toxic One in a Friendship

“Before you count your friends, make sure you can count on them. Some friends are only around when they want something from you but are never there when you need something from them.”

RASHIDA ROWE

“Having fake friends is like hugging cactus. The tighter you hug, the more pain you get.”

RIZA PRASETYANINGSIH

“True friendship can afford true knowledge. It does not depend on darkness and ignorance.”

HENRY DAVID THOREAU

“Stop falling for those who won’t raise you up in the future.”

MICHAEL BASSEY JOHNSON

Quotes to Help You Spot Real Friends

How I Met Your Mother cast

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”

ARNOLD H. GLASOW

“A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success!”

DOUG LARSON

“Spend your time with those who love you unconditionally, not with those who only love you under certain conditions.”

SUZY KASSEM

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

“People may not always tell you how they feel about you, but they will always show you. Pay attention.”

KERI HILSON

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

OPRAH WINFREY

“A friend who stands with you in pressure is more valuable than a hundred ones who stand with you in pleasure.”

EDWARD G. BULWER-LYTTON

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

JANE AUSTEN

Quotes About Fake Friends

Tyrion and Shae in Game of Thrones

“You got nothing to lose. You don’t lose when you lose fake friends.”

JOAN JETT

“Eliminate those fake friends who seem real when you have something and disappear when you have nothing.”

RASHIDA ROWE

“It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers.”

SONYA TECLIA

“Fire false friends as early as possible. Do it before they dig out the dream seeds you’ve planted. The earlier, the better; the quicker, the safer.”

ISRAELMORE AYIVOR

“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because…they aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go.”

DANIELL KOEPKE

RELATED: 4 Telling Signs It’s Time to Let a Friendship Go For Good

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

THE BUDDHA

“I’ve got more respect for someone who comes out and says they don’t like me than for the ones who act like they do but talk bad about me when I’m not around.”

MITCHELL PERRY

“If people are hating on you it’s often because they are: 1. Threatened by you, 2. Jealous of you or 3. Feeling like you’re above them so they put you down to feel better about themselves. The greatest people have haters for a reason, so take it as a compliment.”

JEANETTE CORON

“With success comes the never-ending task of blocking or weeding out fake friends.”

MOKOKOMA MOKHONOANA

Quotes About Real Friends

Sam and Frodo in Lord of the Rings

“At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.”

SANDI LYNN

 “An honest enemy is better than a best friend who lies.”

VANDI TANKO

“You don’t lose friends because real friends can never be lost. You lose people masquerading as friends, and you’re better for it.”

MANDY HALE

“What a desperate, pathetic fool I was. Time after time, my ‘friends’ had shown me their true colors. Yet, I still wanted to believe they were sorry for causing me pain.”

JODEE BLANCO

“The word ‘friend’ is a label anyone can try on. You decide who is best suited to wear it.”

CARLOS WALLACE

“Be very careful of who you share your problem with, remember that not every friend that smiles at you is your best friend.”

KEMMY NOLA

“Sometimes it’s not the person who changes, it’s the mask that falls off.”

MHAJ PORRAS

“Fake friends are like shadows: always near you at your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour. True friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but they are always there.”

HABEEB AKANDE

Wise Quotes About Friendship

Pumbaa, Timon, and a young Simba from The Lion King

“False friendship, like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports.”

RICHARD BURTON

“It makes no sense to try to extend a friendship that was only meant to be a season into a lifetime.”

MANDY HALE

“Sometimes the person you’d take a bullet for ends up being behind the gun.”

TUPAC SHAKUR

“I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions, or unnecessary conversations.

JOQUESSE EUGENIA

“Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.”

HUSSEIN NISHAH

RELATED: You’re Making Friends Wrong – Here’s How to Do It Right

“To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.”

MALCOLM X

“Some people are willing to betray years of friendship just to get a little bit of the spotlight.”

LAUREN CONRAD

“You create more space in your life when you turn your excess baggage to garbage.”

CHINONYE J. CHUDOLUE

“Some men can love forever, some for six years, some for six months, and others for six hours.”

MICHAEL BASSEY JOHNSON

“There’s no fall greater than one from a burnt bridge.”

CARLOS WALLACE

Quotes About Fake People

Michael from The Good Place

“Life is too short for fake butter or fake people.”

KAREN SALMANSOHN

“The strong-minded rise to the challenge of their goals and dreams. The weak-minded become haters.”

STEVE MARABOLI

“Being betrayed is one of the most valuable lessons life can teach.”

SHANIA TWAIN

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.”

WILLIAM PENN

“The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.”

BETTE MIDLER

“Betray a friend and you’ll often find you have ruined yourself.”

AESOP

“It’s hard to tell who has your back, from who has it long enough just to stab you in it.”

NICOLE RICHIE

“Feigned interest is worse than brutal honesty.”

STEWART STAFFORD

“I love fake people provided they are mannequins.”

PUSHPA RANA

If I doubt your intentions I will never trust your actions.”

CARLOS WALLACE

Deciding to End a Fake Friendship

Gretchen crying in Mean Girls

So you’ve read through the quotes about fake friends – and a few about true friends that shed light on what fake friends are like by contrast – and as it turns out, you’ve got some fake people crowding your life.

Then it’s time for you to rise to the occasion and lose fake friends without creating genuine enemies. There is an art and a grace to ending a false friendship, and it’s admirable of you to take the high road and remain decent and kind even as you sever the ties of toxicity.

RELATED: 3 Signs It May Be Time for a Friend Break-Up (and Why That’s OK)

First, though, you need to be secure in your own commitment to end a friendship because fake friends are often very good at leaving their tentacles wrapped around you. If you are sincere in your desire to end a friendship and the methods briefed here don’t work, then go ahead and be a touch more assertive about it. Or a lot more.

How to Cut a Fake Friend out of Your Life

Harry Potter and Peter Pettigrew when his betrayal is discovered

A good start is to simply start saying no to the person. You can say no to plans, no to phone or video calls, you can say no to a loan request for a book or record (and of course to money), and on it goes. Most people will, in time, whether consciously or not, realize that you have closed the gates and will retreat of their own volition.

RELATED: 3 Subtle Ways to Tell a Friend Their Toxic Behavior Has Hurt You

Before the friendship has time to fade, it’s possible that your fake friend might call you out on all the rejections and ask if something is wrong. In your reply, you can use language like: “Listen, I think that we have grown apart and I think it’s for the best, for both of us. I appreciate the friendship we had and hope you have a great rest of your life.”

What to Do if a Fake Friend Won’t Leave You Alone

Frustrated man pulling hair by Ryan Snaadt by Unsplash
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

If the slow fade is not working and the fake friend is still seeking to stay in your orbit, it’s time to rephrase that conclusive statement and apply it more proactively, as in: “Listen, I don’t feel like we bring out the best in each other as friends and I have decided things will be better if our lives continue apart from one another, but I hope you have a great rest of your life.”

In an extreme case, as noted, you do have the right to be harsh when merited. Just remember that someone who was false, conniving, backstabbing, or any such thing when you were “friends” could be truly awful once you’re not, and they may go out of their way to hurt you. Nevertheless, your real friends will have your back, but it’s always better to try to gently close the door rather than burn things to the ground, if you can.

KEEP READING:

6 Ways to Build New, Meaningful Friendships as an Adult