How can you know? What are the signs?
This is a discussion on How to know when your friend is selfish and or fake? within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; How can you know? What are the signs?...
How can you know? What are the signs?
You just know I guess. There probably aren't specific, universal signs. I usually know when someone is fake from the way they talk and interact. Doesn't matter what it is they're talking about, I can see through the BS. With selfishness, it's a little more complicated. You have to be their friend for a good while before you can even speculate.
Last edited by Arthur Boo Radley; 06-04-2014 at 01:48 PM.
When they don't show up for you in life or keep promises. And if you intuitively feel someone doesn't have your back, they usually don't.
Also look at how they treat others. If they treat others in a nasty or unfair way don't believe you're a special snowflake. They'll treat you in exactly the same way after awhile, once you are done being a source of narcissistic supply to them. And it will happen no matter how magical the honeymoon period is now.
It's not easy to find honorable people in this world but they are worth waiting around for. I don't waste time with fake friends or lovers anymore. In the past I gave people the benefit of the doubt too often or was overly optimistic about their capacity for a mutual, respectful relationship. I'd ignore clear warning signs instead of facing and acknowledging an unpleasant truth about the person.
Maybe they're not "fake" or whatever. What's fake anyway? It's different for all of us, and so are our tolerances for certain behaviors, so when friendships are more of a drain rather than actual sources of mutual good/benefit, then analysis of them are in order.
However, keep in mind (in all relationships), that people have bad days. They have their faults and their challenges to deal with as well, so to expect them to ALWAYS be there for us in a good mood, is sort of silly in my opinion.
Not that it excuses bad behavior by any means, but to drop a friendship entirely, based on one bad experience with them, shows perhaps we may be the fickle ones in the relationship.
Looking at your relationships from all sides is always a viable option since you're questioning anyway. You decide where to draw the lines in a friendship, so it's up to you to decide what to do in them.
If it appears that I'm "supporting" your friends/people you may be experiencing trouble with in the first few sentences, I assure you I'm not. I'm just trying to remain objective as possible since I have no knowledge of your experiences, or even if this is about any specific instances.
Humans are fundamentally selfish, so you're out of luck if you want to find someone who isn't. As for authenticity, you'll have to dig deep into a person's psyche to find it. Genuine friendships are made when you acknowledge the selfishness of a person and when him/her and you work in coordination to achieve your goals and further your desires.
I can just tell, tbh. I think I come off as someone who is easily taken advantage of because I'm so agreeable over most minor things but it's painfully obvious when I can tell someone is trying to just take advantage of me and that's one of the few things that pisses me off. I'll call people out for it and intentionally put them in an awkward position where they tend to just back down because they probably didn't expect me to stand up for myself like that. I just don't think a lot of things are worth getting upset over so when I actually do, it's because of something that really bothered me and "friends" who try and take advantage of me are one of those things.
you will kinda know it..
when i was younger i used to wonder about this, but if a person doesnt make me feel right ..then somethings up.
a real friend will go out of their way to help you out.
Personally, I'm friends with people based off of how I feel when I am around them not what they can get me or how "convenient" it is to be with them. When I like someone I SIMPLY LIKE THEM and feel happy to make sacrifices for their well-being. Why? Because they've given me so much by the very nature of their existence. Their laughter and disposition have enriched my life and I want to see them do well. And if they mutually enjoy my company, I would hope they have the virtue and maturity to show that they value it by also reciprocating caring. That's called respect.
That is the true definition of friendship for me.
If I don't like someone on a personal level I can't even pretend to be their friend in order to get something I desire, whether it be status or material object. I've had many opportunities to do so.
First up, define "fake". Normally it means "appearing to be something you're not". The thing is we're all forced to do that at times, it's a basic necessity of life! In my case, as a teacher, I have to get up and go to school and appear positive and energised when sometimes I'm feeling really down. Sometimes I just want to stay in bed or play video games all days and just let the world go on without me. But I make myself do stuff I don't "feel" cos I have to. Is that "fake"? Or is it just dealing with the fact that we can't always expect the world to accommodate us?
On a more casual level, "fake" means "a person who deliberately pretends to be a certain way to curry favour with others". The most obvious trait here would be a person changing their opinions and attitude when around different groups of people, particularly talking about others behind their backs. I think people who do that get found out eventually - maintaining such a web of wide-spread deceit is more than most people can handle.
As for "selfishness". Well, I agree and disagree with what @Clopin said about humans being selfish. It's a matter of semantics for me. I would say humans are all motivated by self-interest, but that "selfishness" is not quite the same thing. By my reckoning, "self-interest" is the basic trait in humanity that motivates us to maximise our own comfort and security. It's fundamentally necessary to our survival. But "selfishness" is the quality of being focused only on the self. Now sometimes, "selfishness" (focus on the self) is not always in our long-term self-interest. But the truly selfish individual doesn't see that. They fail to see the bigger picture because they are (yes) entirely focused on the self. Instant gratification, the ID principle.
It's also common to hear some folks state that there is no such thing as "selflessness", because all acts of good will ultimately come with a feel-good pay-off. I disagree. Whatever "feel-good pay-off" we may get from an act of charity, it does not necessarily override the desire to keep that money for ourselves, or spend that time on ourselves. It's not a False Dichotomy of Purely Selfish VS Purely Selfless. It's a balancing act of gain VS loss. And sometimes one loses more than one gains in order to help someone else out. Sure, you "gain" some positive vibes. But did those good vibes make up for what you lost to do that? Not always. But you did it anyway. That to me is "selflessness". Even when the pay-off is worth it, it's still not entirely selfish either, because you have helped to benefit another rather than just "The Self".
Anyway, enough semantic prattle. How to spot a selfish friend? They're the ones who always put their needs first. They want certain things from you (usually revolving around their needs), but they expect to be exempt from you needing them (also revolving around their needs). They're the ones whose focus is always on their payoff, what they want. They're the ones who never seem to have to sacrifice anything, or do anything of inconvenience to themselves to be your friend. Friendship is supposed to be about mutual support and security. If the support and security isn't mutual, you'll know it.
Delicious semantics debate going on here, always a pleasure to read that kind of intellectual action.