When you find a faithful friend, you have a priceless treasure. You may have countless buddies and acquaintances, but very few close friends. When you notice the signs of a disloyal friend, it can save you a world of hurt in the long run.
Some of your fondest memories probably revolve around you and your inner circle. Those who grew up with you are often as close as siblings. The years you spent laughing, crying, and growing together will always be in your heart.
Ten Telltale Signs of a Disloyal Friend
Within almost every circle of friends is a Judas-type character, as we know from the Bible. They may kiss your cheek while they stab you in the back. Here are ten red flags that may warn of a disloyal friend.
1. A Disloyal Person Will Make It All About Them
Everyone has at least one friend or family member who has narcissistic tendencies. These are the individuals who make every situation about themselves. An egotistical acquaintance may be using you as someone to pump up their ego or to be their therapist.
Although friendship should be a two-way street, they’re too busy with their drama to even care about things in your life. You try your best to please them, but they are disloyal when it comes to helping you.
While they usually aren’t bad people in general, you can’t depend on egotists. They’ll just about always put themselves before anybody, including you.
2. They Surround You With Negativity
A friend may prove to be disloyal if they are chronically bombarding you with negative energy. You dread answering their phone calls or text messages because you’re sure it’s nothing but doom and gloom. Sometimes you may deal with a friend who has a toxic mix of narcissism and pessimism.
According to an article published by Psychology Today, pessimism can be contagious. If you spend enough time with that grumpy friend or mate, you’re most likely to adopt their attitude. Over time, this dark energy can affect your physical and mental health.
Maybe your pessimistic friend isn’t being loyal to your feelings. Regardless of how you try to break free of that toxic energy, they keep whining and griping. If you don’t make a quick exit from the friendship, you may lose your optimistic outlook.
3. They Are Backbiters
Everybody is guilty of sharing a juicy little tidbit they shouldn’t have said. Do you have a friend or loved one who is a perennial gossip? They spend their time delving into everyone’s closet to discover any hidden skeletons.
In the Yiddish culture, such busybodies are called yentas, and you may know a few. They love to call and text you about the latest scandals in the lives of mutual friends and family. If the stories aren’t spicy enough, gossiping people will often embellish them by telling lies.
Be assured that if this disloyal big mouth is filling your ears about other people, they are talking about you, too. A real friend won’t go behind your back and whisper your business. Plus, they won’t invent lies that make you look bad.
4. Disloyal People Say Hurtful Things
Disloyal friends show their true colors when they make jokes at other people’s expense. Of course, you and your besties may have insider jokes or good-natured ribbing. However, it’s unacceptable to make someone the butt of mean tricks.
After they’ve insulted you, they’ll often try to play it off by saying, “just joking.” These insensitive boors think they are the life of the party, and everyone should laugh. Even though they’ve cut you down in front of others, they dare to say you don’t have a sense of humor.
Nobody deserves to be humiliated in the guise of a joke. Hurting someone for their folly is unconscionable. If these bullies aren’t concerned with your feelings and dignity, they don’t deserve to be in your circle.
5. They Won’t Apologize
Even in the best friendships, you’re bound to have a few rifts. Different personalities can sometimes clash, and offenses will happen. However, genuine friends know how to apologize and make proper amends.
Apologizing goes beyond just saying you’re sorry. Not only do you acknowledge the wrong and its consequences, but you try not to repeat it. Toxic friends often think they can continually hurt you, and a flippant “sorry” will suffice.
In the worst case, some of these people will shift the blame when you confront them. Instead of apologizing, they may mention something from the past or pass it off as a joke. If a friend can’t care enough to make a sincere apology, mark them off your list.
6. They Are Fair Weather Friends
These are the fake friends who are always there when they need you. When all is sunshine and roses, they claim to be your best friend. However, when you’re down and need a hand, they’re nowhere to be found.
They are usually self-centered people who may feel like they’re doing you a favor by offering their friendship. When you call, text, or message on social media, they claim they “forgot” to respond. Friends who ghost you aren’t worth your time.
Another type of fair-weather friend is the “guess who.” They are so moody that you never know who they will be from day to day. You may go to lunch together, and they are jolly and caring, and the next day they completely ignore you.
Of course, your friend may have a mental issue that could cause severe mood swings. In this case, you can be supportive as they get the help they need. However, some people use others as a convenience, and they’re not reliable friends.
7. Disloyal Friends Do Not Tell the Truth
Perhaps nothing can damage a relationship more than dishonesty. While some may see a trivial lie as harmless, it can lead to a lifelong habit. If you can’t trust your friend or partner to tell the truth, then whom can you trust?
You may have a pal who is a pathological liar. A study published by Victoria Dykstra et al. in the Journal of Adolescence discusses teen friendship and lies. They found that chronic lying can lead to poor-quality friendships and depressive symptoms.
If this pattern continues, it may have detrimental effects on adulthood. Friendship is built on mutual trust and has no room for lies and secrets. Once a friend has broken your confidence, it can be challenging to repair the rift. If you want a faithful friend, don’t choose a chronic liar.
8. They Don’t Respect Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are an essential key to lasting friendships. In his iconic poem, Robert Frost reminds people that to have good friends, you need good fences. Although Frost was talking about literal barriers, he uses them symbolically as boundaries.
It’s nearly impossible to have a decent friendship if that person can’t respect your wishes. These are the folks who are constantly stepping on your toes and shrugging off your objections. Real friends tell each other how they want to be treated and do so.
Those who disregard your preferences aren’t only selfish, but they’re disloyal and unfaithful. There comes a time when you must give these people a request to respect your boundaries. If they can’t, then keep your distance until they can.
9. Disloyal Friends Use Family as an Excuse
The old saying that blood is thicker than water doesn’t always ring true. Some people who aren’t even related to you can be better to you than family. Just because a person is a relative doesn’t make you a doormat.
However, a disloyal family member can be incredibly hurtful. If they talk about you behind your back, lie, or cheat, you needn’t keep them in your life. Even if you see them during holidays or reunions, be civil and go your way.
10. They Aren’t Dependable
Who doesn’t have that one friend in a group who is hopelessly unreliable? They will be the first to volunteer for anything needed, but they don’t show up. They are the friends that promise the moon and stars and deliver nothing.
Everyone has people in their family or friend circle who aren’t loyal. When you plan a get-together, they’ll either be late or forget altogether. While they have the best intentions, their thoughtlessness affects everybody else. It’s an unhealthy relationship because it causes you to harbor resentment.
Loyal friends keep their word and are dependable. Of course, anybody can make a mistake, but it’s nothing you should make a habit of doing. There are just some people that you cannot rely on at all.
The whole reason for friendship is to have people you love and trust. They create joy and bring out the best in you. A person who abuses you physically, verbally, or emotionally isn’t your friend.
Nobody has the right to hurt you or make you feel insignificant. Not even if they are family or your partner. Be kind to yourself and say goodbye to these folks.
Final Thoughts on Identifying (and Dealing With!) Disloyal People
Genuine friendship requires loyalty and trust to last. If those virtues aren’t there, don’t waste any more time, energy, or resources. Save those for people who value your friendship. You owe it to yourself to pour into those who take time to care and pour back into you.