Many of us have been in a toxic friendship before—those relationships that somehow always make us feel worse after hanging out with the person, even if we can’t quite put our finger on why. Well, as these Redditors found out, there usually is a reason for those gut feelings, and their fake friends revealed themselves to be true enemies.
1. Brutal Honesty
This friend, I'll call her Mary, had kids the same age as mine. We got together for play dates pretty often and our kids would sleepover at each other’s houses for weekends. I liked Mary. We would often visit and talk while our kids were playing. One weekend, her kids had stayed at my house. The older one called her mom to see when she was coming to pick her up.
I was in the room, and the kid put the phone on speaker for some reason. Mary told the kid what time she would be there. Then it took a dark turn. She then added, "You had better be waiting outside. If I have to go in and spend the next hour talking to that woman, I'm going to be really annoyed.” We didn't spend much time together after that.
Did I overreact? Was Mary just having a bad day and not want to talk? Well, here's what happened after I overheard my friend say that to her child: I simply stopped initiating contact and wasn't as available to do stuff for her. When we dropped off or picked up the kids, I smiled and waved. I let the kids make the plans for playdates.
I no longer had time to help her with her garden or watch her kids while she went out with another friend. She never contacted me unless she wanted something. This had always been true, but I had not realized it. The "friendship" eventually fizzled out on its own. So, I guess it had never been much of a friendship to begin with.
2. Quiet Cuts
Ooof! This one hurt. When I was married, we had a friend group of three couples from our street. We went to football games, trips to the beach, and spent holidays at each other's homes. After the divorce, I went traveling for a year then moved to a condo downtown in our city. I'd had lunch with the wives after returning from traveling.
I thought we were still friends. I was sitting on the second-floor balcony of my new condo one night about 8 pm and saw them walking down the street. I said, “HI! So good to see you!” They'd all been out to dinner and were headed to another couple's apartment who had moved downtown while their house was being renovated for a quick drink.
I was excited to see them and asked them to stop by on their way back to where they'd parked. I tidied up my place and anxiously awaited seeing my old pals. I was texting with one of the ladies during the wait. About 9 pm, I saw them walking and chatting back towards my place. They couldn't see me. I wish I hadn’t seen what I did.
When they got close to my balcony, they stopped talking and walked quickly and quietly by. Then started laughing and talking after they passed. The one I'd been texting with while I waited sent me a text an hour later saying they were just now leaving the other friend's place and it was too late to stop by. I replied that I'd seen them when they left.
I never spoke to any of them again, even though they tried to be "friends" on Facebook. I wasn't hurt that they couldn't stop by on short notice. It was that they made me a joke that really hurt.
3. Trying His Luck
At university four years ago, I had some typical bro friends. It was all right that they were jerks because I was a jerk at the time myself. Then one day, I managed to land myself my (STILL) current partner, who was beautiful, funny, and smart. We had been dating for about six months at the point this story takes place, and we all went for a night out as you normally do.
A couple of days later, my girlfriend made a disturbing confession. She told me that one of my so-called friends tried hitting on her when I wasn't around. When I talked to him about it, he played it off as, “Oh, I was so wasted, sorry bro.” Except the thing is, my girlfriend told me that he said to her: "He doesn't need to know."
It kind of brought me to my senses that I needed to grow up and move away from these idiots, because they do not care about anyone but themselves.
4. One And Done
When I was in my mid-20s, I worked a job where four of us had the same position. The four of us did everything together. Then I made a mistake. Although I apologized for it, one of them just could not seem to forgive me, and aggressively isolated me from the group. I remember how awful it was to discover that they had a whole group chat that I wasn't included in, and had done all these social things without me.
I've always been lucky to have a lot of friends, and I figured out after a while that these people weren't going to be it for me. So I stepped away from those friendships and invested in my actual friendships. It still makes me mad looking back, though.
5. Get Your Story Straight
This one friend constantly told people that she had some form of cancer for as long as I could remember. At first, I thought it was because she was trying to cover up the fact that she was gay and had short hair, which to a certain degree is still a little taboo in our region. But then she just kept lying, even after she actually came out as gay.
She kept telling people she had cancer, but it always changed. Leukemia, brain cancer, melanoma, colon cancer, the list goes on. She told a ton of people at a cattle show that she was a 14-year-old boy, all so she could show someone’s steer in the junior class. Then in the ring showing, the steer knocked her over and she fell down.
The metal brush in her back pocket penetrated her jeans and was stuck into her cheek. I still remember some of the bystanders helping her. Dude: "C'mon young man, we need to pull it out, let us help you." Her: "No I'm fine." Dude: "There’s blood all over the back of your jeans, we need to take a look and see if we can pull it out or if you need to go to a hospital. We can't tell if you are wearing your jeans over it. We're all tough folk here, no one cares if they see your butt."
She agreed, and then the entire crowd saw her neon pink thong. That's when everyone she had lied to realized that she wasn't a 14-year-old boy. She would also claim she wasn't gay after coming out. There were times that she was dating or screwing around with guys in secret.
6. Girl’s Trip
Apparently, I didn’t realize I was on a different tier of friendship with my so-called friend. My friend was getting married and I didn’t get an invite, which was fine since her wedding was a destination wedding in a different country. But then I attended a sleepover party, which she hosted. There were about nine girls there in total.
They kept talking about the awesome bachelorette party and then started showing photos of their crazy times. That’s when I realized I was the only one not invited out of that whole group. It made me feel kind of crummy.
7. The Cabin In The Woods
I had a group of friends in my mid-20s that I had considered close. These were people who were going to be a part of my wedding when it eventually happened and were going to be aunts and uncles to my future kids. Our kids were going to grow up together. Then I realized in the summer of 2014 that they didn't feel the same way about me. It was one rude awakening.
There were a bunch of little things leading up to it and a bunch of little things that happened after, but two big things were a local wedding that I wasn't invited to and an apparently incredible weekend at a cabin in the mountains that I also wasn't invited to. I was feeling depressed because of the wedding and all of the aforementioned little things and some other personal stuff going on in my life, so I had begged the organizer of the cabin if I could join.
It was pathetic. I said that I can sleep on the floor; I can come for just one night; just anything as long as I can come over. I was told very firmly, "No. There's no more room." But it gets worse. Oh yeah, my birthday was also that weekend, and literally, all of my friends that I would have asked to spend my birthday with me were already out of town or at that cabin.
No exaggeration, for a year after these events, whenever I spent time with these “friends,” the conversation would somehow gravitate to how awesome these events were. Like during a board game night, someone would bring a board game and go, "This is the game that we played that one night at the cabin, remember? Bob got really lucky with those dice rolls, didn't he?" and that would trigger a full-blown conversation about how awesome that weekend was.
Or we'd be at a dinner and someone would go, "Where's Frank and Lindsey?" and someone else would go, "They're finally on their honeymoon. Man, remember the awesome wedding they had?" Made me feel awful.
8. Backhanded Compliment
I was friends with so many people during college, and the last three weeks were an unpaid work placement. When we had to go back to the school to hand in our paperwork, not one of them spoke to me or would even answer me if I said something to them. It became clear that I was only valuable to them when I was helping them. Class awards had me down as "most willing to help classmates.”
When I returned to work after being off for three months due to an injury, I practically begged this group of work friends to go out and do pub trivia. All three of them passed because they had plans. I wish that was the end of it, but it was most certainly not. It turns out their plans were to go grab a drink do pub trivia...without me.
I found out through social media and deleted it shortly afterward. I've been a lot less depressed about things since I've deleted social media and stopped looking at them as friends and just as work acquaintances. It took that for me to realize that the "friendships" were really one-sided and I'm better off not pursuing anything other than being cordial at work.
10. Strings Attached
I am definitely the periphery friend. The majority of the time if there aren't enough tickets or space in the car for everyone to go do something, I'm the one who gets cut out. It doesn't bother me much, but I wish they would be more mindful when talking to me about "things we have done." "Remember when we went to see XXX? Wasn't that fun?"
Well, no because I wasn't invited. In those situations it usually gets awkward or they say, "Hey, we would have invited you if we had the tickets, space, etc."
11. Fool Me Once
My "friends" made a Facebook account for a fake girl who was "transferring to our school," and then they full-on catfished me, only revealing it was a scam when I arrived at a movie theater to meet her. Was I dumb? Yes. Were they horrible? Undoubtedly.
12. You Think You Know Someone
I was very close friends with this guy I met in high school, let's call him John. Then John started dating this girl, Caroline. I never really became friends with her but I liked her. We finished high school and lost touch a bit, and they married and had a baby. We still live close to each other, so we would go out occasionally with some other friends.
Then, in 2019, I learned they were getting a divorce—and the reason blew my mind. Caroline’s friend told me that John had been abusing her. It even got to the point that he pointed a weapon at her, said she was a bad mom, and cheated on her multiple times with underage girls. John was never this type of guy when we were teenagers, but his father always acted like this and I think he developed this behavior later.
I don't consider John my friend anymore, and he lost almost every friend he used to have.
13. Unhappy Ending
My group of friends made plans to meet and hang out one day, and I was getting ready in the salon preparing for it. All of a sudden, a couple of friends had to back out for some reason. Then another friend made excuses of his own. I tried cajoling him and offered ways for him to go, but he basically decided to cancel the entire group meet-up. Here’s the twist: It was my birthday.
14. The Truth Comes Out
Once high school ended, I heard about all the rumors they made up about me. Horrible, horrible stuff. They told people that I was addicted to substances—so much so that they were the reason I got tested at school. They also said I was easy because my friend’s boyfriend was my best friend and she wanted me to stop hanging around with him.
High school sucks, just a bunch of children trying to be better than everyone else.
15. Hedging My Bets
My “best friend” in high school was awful. On Wednesday, I’d ask if she wanted to see a movie Friday night. She’d always say maybe, if I can get out of doing whatever with my parents. Come Monday, I’d hear her talking about how great the movie was. Apparently, last-minute her parents said she didn’t have to go wherever and “miraculously” a group of people called right then and asked her to see the same movie.
She’d always say, “I figured you made other plans” when I confronted her about it. In reality, she’d just wait to see what the better option was and pick on Friday. God that made me angry.
16. Give Your All
When they ghosted me after 17 years of close friendship, that HURT. I still have no idea what I did wrong. But then there was extra salt in the wound. See, it was right after I spent a week eating instant noodles because I donated every cent I had to one of them for her cancer treatment GoFundMe. Hurt more than any relationship breakup.
17. Choosing Sides
Getting divorced was a real eye-opener. I started with a core group of close friends who had all met in our late teens/early 20, and one of them introduced me to the woman who I would ultimately marry. Well into our 40s, they were what I considered to be my family. But when the divorce happened, things spiraled. My best friend stuck with me, but his wife was the one who orchestrated things in our group, and she was best friends with my ex.
I was expecting the two of them to insulate for a while and I knew it was painful for my ex to be around me, so it was no surprise when I stopped getting invitations to cookouts, etc. But then I noticed that the other members of the group were also avoiding/ignoring me. I'd see on Facebook that one of them came into my town to go to a concert for a band that they knew I liked and hadn't so much as texted.
Birthdays rolled around and nobody would call. When my parents both passed within a few months of each other, not a one of them reached out. I knew where I stood. My best friend needs to get credit, though. Alone from all of them, he made a consistent effort to stay in touch and see me regularly. He was there when my parents passed and through everything else even though his wife clearly disapproved.
I think finally after this nonsense had been going on for several years, he told her how ridiculous it all seemed and the entire friend group tried to reconcile with me. I made it clear right from the start that there was no guarantee that I'd ever find space for them in my life again.
18. The Odd One Out
When I was in school, all my friends and I did different A levels. Despite us all having different lessons from each other, they would wait for each other to go to lunch together. Only, they would always, always forget me. Like, I'd come out and they wouldn't be there, so I'd have lunch by myself, and then they'd come back and tell me they thought I was with them.
I was the only one they didn't wait for. I've only seen one of them since we left school, and she had forgotten my name. So that sucked.
19. Not My Person
There was no single awful event, but it was by a thousand cuts, really. I just got tired of being an afterthought even though when we were actually together you’d swear we were all family. I finally decided to just cut it all out and move on after my absolute closest friend, who I’ve known since I was eight, handed me a wedding invitation for a wedding that had been planned for a year, and by the time he invited me, it was like two weeks away.
He tells me the “hotel is almost fully booked, so call soon if you plan on staying overnight.” That was the most I’ve ever felt like a complete and total afterthought. I went to the wedding for the ceremony in one last show of effort for the friendship, but at this point, I felt so uncomfortable and alienated I knew they just weren’t my people anymore and I had to get on without them.
20. Party Down
I was at a party, really depressed after a bad breakup, and I started drinking too much. My horrible ex showed up, caught me somewhere alone, and hit me. I begged several friends for help since I was too gone to drive home alone, and they ignored me. My ex-best friend was there, completely clean, and refused to drive home with me because she didn't believe my ex would do that.
There's no Uber or anything in my country, by the way. The whole thing escalated, and one guy I didn't know ended up finding me alone in a field crying and throwing up. He brought me back to the house, built a bed out of blankets for me, and sat guard all night to make sure my ex wouldn't do anything again. I moved away for university and only saw my ex two more times in public places where he just glared at me.
I blocked him everywhere, and he was only kicked from the friend group later for unrelated stuff. I no longer talk to the ones from the friend group that were at the party. I found new friends at university and met an amazing guy who didn't give off a single red flag during the time I took to carefully get to know him. We're engaged and have a baby on the way.
21. A Little Off The Top
This was when I realized who were my friends and who weren't. We were supposed to go on a tour and we saved our money and pooled it together. These fake friends then told me they had to cancel the plan because the ticket prices got too high, and told me to wait a few days to get my money back. My real friends asked me why I bailed on them, and were worried that I had an emergency.
Turns out my fake friends didn't want me to come and instead used my money for their booze and told everyone else that I bailed out and took my money back so everyone else would give more for their booze allowance.
22. Split Down The Middle
I flew out to support a friend going through a messy divorce. While I was there, she left me in the apartment to meet up with her boyfriend, who I didn't know about. It didn’t end there. This boyfriend turned out to have just been released from prison for manslaughter. Once she told me that, I told her that I didn't want to spend time with him, especially considering the circumstances of my visit.
The next night, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him in the living room. She said that she thought it wouldn't matter since I was asleep. The next day, she invited her soon-to-be ex-husband over without telling me and then asked me to meditate their conversation once he got there. That conversation turned ugly fast, and she ended up storming out.
He broke down and asked if I thought it was salvageable, and I told him that she had already moved on. Maybe not the best idea on my part, but at that point, she had shown me how vile of a person she is.
23. No Clear Answers
When I “fell asleep” camping, I heard endless complaints about me. It was all coming from this one guy, who was a total jerk to me even while I was awake, but probably what hurt the most was how everyone else just enabled him. I’m surprised I put up with it for so long. It’s hard when it’s mixed in with genuine brotherhood and friendship.
24. No Fun
Shortly after getting sober, I realized that a majority of my "friends" only kept me around so they could feel better about their own habits. I was heavily addicted and setting myself down a path I never once thought I could or would take. I stopped for my own benefit and health, and was treated like a selfish piece of garbage for doing so.
The next months ensued and not one of them checked in to see how I was doing, but instead, my high school best friend started sleeping with my ex-high school girlfriend. I was with her for five years and actually thought I was going to marry her at one point. Ironically, she dumped me for doing illicit substances and is now an honorary member of the group I was cast out of.
Replaced with the person who partially fueled my substance use, who dumped me for that use, by the group that didn't like me stopping my using, so they could all use substances together. It's now been over a year since I quit, and honestly couldn’t be happier. Got rid of an addiction and about 1,000 lbs of dead weight. But it was an eye-opener, to say the least.
25. You Kidding Me?
When I was babysitting her kids, things were going great. We would hang out all the time, and we’d have movie nights and just talk and chill. But the second she no longer needed a babysitter was the second I got kicked to the curb. No explanation...not even a text back. Some people will act like your best friend until they no longer need you. Their loss, though.
26. At Least Put Some Effort In
I had a "friend" who would only contact me when she needed something, but she was pretty sly about it in the beginning. Like, inviting me over to hang and then bringing up the favor organically, like “Oh, we don't have anyone to watch the dog next weekend,” or “I want to move this bed but it's so heavy,” etc. After a while, it got more egregious and obvious
Stuff like only calling to ask to use my truck or dog sit. I'd politely say I wasn't available and eventually she stopped calling. She still texts every now and then to "catch up." She tried that a few times in the past and it was always followed by a request, despite my no longer responding. To this day I cringe when someone says, "Hi, friend!" which is her freaking catchphrase
27. The Good Kind Of Ghost
When I realized literally just being in the same room as that person made me miserable. It’s because the person was extremely self-conscious, to the point that they would overcompensate by “putting others down” every little chance they had, to make themselves feel above it all. I kept wondering why they would keep throwing me under the bus for no reason.
Like we had been friends for years, why would they treat me like this? It took me years to figure out exactly how bad of a friend they were, no matter how hard they pretended not to be. It took me an entire year of ghosting to stop being friends with that person, because they loved putting me down so much they wouldn’t stop calling me, texting me, trying to contact me.
A year with no responses because they could not understand how someone could possibly want to stop hanging out with them because they are so perfect!
28. Girl Power
They abandoned me when I was going through a rough time, and this was after I spent years listening to and supporting them. When I had my first true moment where I wasn’t coping and needed support, they were nowhere to be seen. But that wasn’t the worst of it. In fact, they were just complaining about me behind my back that whole time.
This is when I realized my high school friends had never grown up past high school. Luckily I had other friends, just not a large girl group like that. But I can actually say that every friend I have now, I know they have my back and won't judge me if I am not always happy. Obviously, it’s the same for me. I have always had very high expectations of myself as a friend and I feel that everyone I call a friend is someone who brings something special to my life.
That is worth more than having a huge group of witchy girlfriends who turn on each other when they are out of the room. It took me a long time to realize it, though.
29. One Strike, You’re Out
One "friend" at university tried to plagiarize my animation coursework and get me kicked out for copying his work. However, I had help setting things up by one of my professors, so he got expelled and blacklisted from the university and any other university in the UK doing the same subject. The people running all the animation degrees in every university in the UK back then knew each other and talked to each other regularly as it was a small community.
I think there were less than half a dozen universities with animation degrees back then.
30. The Class Weirdo
Back in my first year of college, I used to have a group of friends; it was like seven dudes with me included. We always hung out together and we used to have this group chat where we discussed anything and everything, from class subjects to random things. After a year, I noticed that one of the guys, let's just call him Randy, kept getting excluded.
For example, he wasn’t invited to group hangout, and all the while they're talking smack behind his back. The "unofficial leader" of the group actually made a whole new group chat, inviting everyone (myself included) except Randy, without his knowledge. I know what it feels like to be left out, since I experienced that in middle school and it's really awful.
Because of that, I stopped hanging out with them and I started hanging out with just Randy. He's quite eccentric but a very good person at heart. We've been friends for more than six years, and he’s still got my back.
31. In The Red
When I went bankrupt. I lost $2 million in net worth, and both my homes. I learned the hard way who my friends were and who were no friends at all. Some of my closest friends literally abandoned me. My fiancée started cheating on me when this occurred, as if I wasn’t dealing with enough in my life at the time. It was icing on the cake.
You’ll never really know, unless you hit a rock bottom of sorts, who’s going to be there and who’ll be lickety split, got no time for you when the going gets rough. Of course, it could have been worse; I could have married her. Meanwhile, one of my closest friends disowned me over $600, which I was unable to come up with to pay him back.
Due to, you know, being bankrupt. I was a groomsman at his wedding and I’d known him for 15 years. Other friends helped tremendously. One gifted me $10,000 to cover court costs, and another married couple let me stay with them rent-free in their beautiful home for eight months while I healed from the financial devastation and emotional train wreck I’d been through.
It was a rough, dark, terrible two years following all of that. The one friend still to this day will not speak to me, all because at that time I couldn’t scratch up the money to pay him back as I was being evicted and foreclosed on. The weirdest thing is that he and his wife have a painting of Jesus in their living room. The forgiver of sins. Christ almighty.
The three friends who helped me the most were an agnostic, an atheist married couple, and my Jewish friend.
32. Growing Up, Moving On
In college, I remember hanging out with a group of people. They were also my roommates for three years. Every year, we’d throw a fun party for everyone’s birthday…but mine. They didn’t even know when mine was. After I graduated and looked back on it, I realized they were never my friends. I don’t even hear from them anymore.
I spent four years socializing with the wrong people, and if I had just hung out with the people that I had been led to believe were “nerds” or annoying (or who I had more things in common with) I would likely have had a much more fun time in undergrad. Good thing I have much better friends than just the ones I made back then.
33. I Don’t Need You
It was in middle school, and I hung out with a group that treated me like trash. I was always the one getting made fun of, the group punching bag, that sort of thing. I hung out with them because they were the only "friends" I had. Then I woke up one day and realized they all sucked. At lunch, I went up to them and told them they were all jerks.
I got laughed at, but I went and sat alone. I was alone all the way until junior year of high school when I told my parents that the big city wasn't for me. So my amazing parents sacrificed everything and moved up to Montana. I showed up at a small school and didn't know a soul, and I decided to join the football team. That was the best choice I ever made.
I met all new friends, who I'm still friends with 15 years later.
34. Two-Timing In More Ways Than One
When my “best friend” became close with the guy who mistreated me for two years. She knew everything, and still formed that friendship anyway. When I confronted her about it, she said he was a nice guy who was misunderstood, that my experience never happened. She also said that my other friend—who had integrity and reached out to me with screenshots when he attempted to contact her—was making him look bad.
She threw away a four-year friendship in that moment. She was also sending him screenshots of our private conversations and updating him about me when he has a new girlfriend.
35. Double Take
This was quite a few years ago. My ex and I were really friendly with another couple, and we did a ton of stuff together. Then they moved (not far), and fairly shortly after my ex and I separated. They hung out with me for a few months but then stopped calling. A few years later, I ran into both of them at a race…and they both pretended like they didn't know me. That was actually a really painful moment.
36. People < Animals
I just kind of realized I was the background friend. People always called me when they had a problem and needed my help with it. My job is the type of job that people seem to think that I love freelancing without pay. So I would constantly get, "Hey how are yous" followed up with, "So I’m having this issue with (job-relevant thing)."
I stopped answering these questions outside of my defined work hours and directed people to my work email with any questions when they did ask. Apparently, that makes me a jerk and I kind of fell off people's radar. I'm not sure how I feel. I'm married so I mostly just hang out with my husband in terms of people. I also have two dogs and two horses and I love hanging out with them, too.
I like to just grab a book and a picnic lunch and ride out with them, find a cool place and just kind of exist. I'm reading a book, the dogs are playing and the horses are grazing. Life is honestly not that bad.
37. Keep Your Guard Up
I was fired because one of the people in my circle of friends was jealous of my success and started badmouthing me to everyone behind my back. I lost the job and the circle of friends, even though I could, and did, prove that it was all lies. They still sided with the jerk. Also, more than one I helped in rough times by finding jobs for them, getting them into the interviews.
When I lost mine, they all ghosted me. Needless to say, they all just proved that a friend is just a jerk who hasn't had time to backstab you yet.
38. It’s Personal
My so-called “friends” invited me to a party, and then at the last moment, they texted the group that no one's coming and the party is canceled. Only…they did have the party that day. Everyone went. They just had decided they didn't want me there because I was boring and not a fun person, so they told me that there was no party happening. It hurt a lot; it was a terrible day for me.
39. Single-Use Friend
I had a “friend” in college who displayed some pretty troubling tendencies. She was quick to anger, and was very insecure and paranoid about friendships and relationships in general. She became one of my roommates after she failed to get into a sorority that most of her “real” friends were in. After a pretty tumultuous few months of her constant angry behavior, I realized her toxicity.
Anyway, upon graduating, she reunited with her actual friends and I never heard from her again. Never felt so relieved, honestly, but it also still hurt a bit that I could be so disposable to someone.
40. Pickup And Put Down
I had a pickup truck, and it was amazing how many friends didn't want to hang out with me after I got rid of it. One day proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. I got a call about six months after I had traded the pickup to a car. My "friend" was like, “Hey, long time no talk,” so we talked for a few minutes. He then goes, “What are you doing tomorrow?”
I said, “I'm going to wash my new CAR.” I had heard he was moving and of course he wasn't aware that I no longer had the pickup, because he didn’t talk to me unless he needed something. Lo and behold, he ended the conversation not too long after that. Never heard from that "friend" again, and honestly good riddance to him.
41. Always The Bridesmaid
In my fourth year of high school, I found out a large portion of my “friends” had been meeting every single week for the past four years to watch the show Community together. In four years of high school, they never once brought it up, or invited me. Similarly, at the end of my four-year university program, I saw on Snapchat that 99% of my program was throwing a huge house party and no one invited me.
42. Here For A Good Time, Not A Long Time
After accidentally overdosing and ending up in the hospital, I reached out and messaged those friends who'd said, "Message me if you need anything!" When I asked them to do something like feed my cat, check the mail, message my family who don't use the Internet, or just talk to me, the response was still just, "Let me know if you need anything!"
It was as though saying that somehow allowed them to ignore what I was telling them I needed. That day, I learned people say this when they don't know what to say, or don't want to actually do something. Like, here I am, in a hospital bed, asking you for that help you said I could ask for. I know that I've helped you, but now that I just need this rudimentary help while I'm being treated at the hospital, no one is there.
Not even family. I've gone out and visited friends, hosted events for them, helped them in many ways, and it could have been that way for years. And yet if I ask to be visited or for help, there's nothing. Sometimes they won't even let me know they can't show up for things like my birthday until hours into the party starting time. Some people just want to "piggybank" you, dropping figurative social coins into you so that you show up for them, but they may never show up for you.
I've spent years talking to someone wondering what it would take for them to ever visit me, to have them literally show up once in over five years of a friendship. I feel like an idiot for having invested so much of myself, time, money, and genuine love to realize they do not want to invest even a fraction in reciprocation. "We're friends for life now," some have said to me, and we've shared deep things.
But it's always in public chat groups and we never converse in private. I've learned some people know how to be emphatic and seem really caring, but often it seems all they really care about is a performative friendship. The song and dance of a friendship, but when you genuinely want to talk and open up about a conflict, to really ask for help to work through something, it's not what they're there for.
They're there for the superficial and entertaining, the positive only, and the negative—whatever it may be—is not in their vocabulary. I don't know anymore what a real friendship is. I'm left really wondering if I'm the problem. The proverb "if everyone is the problem, then it's you" rings in my head. I must be the problem, because every relationship has similar issues: lack of genuine connection.
43. Pale, Don’t Care
I was wondering why my house, which I share with my roommates/friends, was so quiet in the morning. I didn't hear anyone move about in their rooms or come through the front door. Lunchtime passed, and I realized that they all had gone. They came back in the evening after spending a day at the beach together. I cried a little inside, but I didn't get sunburned so I had that going for me.
44. Done And Distant
I had a pretty bad bout of depression, the kind where it's insanely hard not to just drive into a wall, and tried to talk about it to a dude I considered my best friend at the time. He pretty much just said I was being stupid and ignored me for the rest of the drinks. I noticed a week later that no one in the group was texting me, so I thought I'd see how long until they noticed I wasn't around.
I ended up confronting one of them a year later, expressing how disappointed I was, and that was the last time I saw, spoke, or heard from any of them since. Oh, about another year after that, one of my exes who was in the group tried to be "friends," so I let something "slip." That was an enormous blunder. Sure enough, through a friend of a friend, she had been talking about it to the old friend group.
45. These Friends Need Couples Therapy
I found a huge skeleton in my family closet and it messed me up for months. I explained to my "friends" I was going through a lot and it would take time to talk about it. Except when it really DID take some time, my friends were angry that I didn't trust them enough to go through it together. I did tell them after a couple of months and I went to therapy for it, but at that point, they told me they didn't care if I got better.
One friend's exact quote was, "Your existence bothers me." We were all roommates and I ended up moving out in secret because they were purposefully causing anxiety attacks by banging on my door at night, not letting me into the kitchen to eat, etc.
46. That’s Just Sick
This girl was a habitual liar. We’d been friends since we were little kids and I always just excused her smaller lies because of her horrible childhood, but when she came out with the lie that she had leukemia, I had to end our then-25-year-long friendship when I found out it was untrue. The worst part was that her mother and my uncle had both just passed of cancer.
She tried to backtrack and say that the alleged leukemia was soon cured with a blood transfusion—which of course is utter nonsense. I’m still sad about it, but I can’t abide that level of lying.
47. Here’s To The Real Ones
When you try to open up and try to share a genuine conversation about something going on in your life and all they can do is crack jokes and try to get you to go out drinking with them. It made me realize how surface-level many “friendships” really are. Then you have the opposite of that—three guys I’ve known since I was a freshman in high school.
We’ve been friends for over 15 years and have stayed in touch through all of us getting married, having kids, and moving to completely separate areas of the country. Yet whenever we’re within an hour of each other, we always make a point to get breakfast and catch up. This usually turns into 3+ hour conversations. This may only happen once or twice a year, but I consider those guys my best friends.
That’s real friendship and I’m fortunate to have them.
48. New Phone, Who Dis?
My best friend since fifth grade invited me to his wedding as a guest. I expected to be a groomsman, since we basically stayed the night at each other's houses every weekend all through high school and I set him up with his wife. We were still "close" for long-distance friends too after moving to college. I'd come visit and spend the weekend with him and some mutual friends a few times a year.
We did fantasy football and texted pretty frequently. Fine—but then it got so awkward. At the wedding, the bride and groom each had about eight people in their parties. The groom had his brother and seven friends. I didn't even make the top seven. I knew pretty much everyone on the bride's side, but only knew half of the guys up there with the groom.
That opened my eyes a bit. I took a step back and analyzed our friendship after that. At that point, I realized I always texted him first or made plans, always visited him but he never visited me, etc. He basically put in no effort. So I stopped texting for a while, as a test, and I haven't heard from him since. It's been about 11 years.
49. Change For The Better
In my late teens, my girlfriend of about a year or so cheated on me with a random dude, then started dating another guy in my pretty preppy and sheltered friend group. In an effort not to "pick sides," they kept inviting us all to everything, claiming it was my problem if I didn't want to attend. I ended up saying screw them and started to make an effort to engage in the punk/DIY scene.
I took a lot of social "risks" going to shows, parties, and events on my own, but eventually met people, joined a band, and ended up quite involved. Fast-forward another year or so, and my band is booked to play a show at a local bar. A group of my former "friends" are there inadvertently rather than for the show, including my ex who has broken up with the other dude.
I chat with them briefly, they ask me who I'm there with, I respond, "Oh, my band's playing in 20 minutes." The Look. It was amazing. I spent the rest of the night hanging with my bandmates and friends, they spent the whole night looking over at, and no doubt talking about me. Yeah I changed, and I certainly don't need you anymore.
50. Nice Day For A Rude Wedding
My best friend of 10 years called on my wedding day to say she couldn’t make it because she was just so sad about her recent divorce. Later on, I found out the truth and it wounded me to my core. Turns out, she just had a date and would have rather done that. Our whole friendship was fake, it just took me to that point to realize it.