It took a lot of life lessons for me to realize that not everyone has my best interests at heart. I allowed myself to get mocked, used, and disrespected by so-called friends for a long time. I ignored the discomfort they would make me feel in their company. Years ago, I felt that being with people who hated me was easier than being alone with my thoughts.
Once I finally found my self-confidence, I realized my people-pleasing personality allowed others to trample on me. I wasn’t aware of how some women in my life actually disliked me. I brushed off their eye-rolls, jokes, and sideways glances. Now that I’m a little older and wiser, I’ve learned just how cruel and insecure some people can be – including our closest "friends."
We often have gut feelings and nudges of intuition about our secret haters, but it’s easier for us to deny them because it feels better. Our ego always tries to shield us from emotional harm, but that can lead us to trust individuals who may not deserve it. If you’ve been having suspicions about someone close to you, look no further. Here are some signs that you have a secret hater, not a friend.
They Make Jokes About You
I had a former friend who would always make fun of my looks. Whenever we were with our group of friends, she’d comment about how weird I walked, my bushy eyebrows, or my clothes. We’d all laugh, of course, because she was "just joking.”
When someone is jealous of you, their sense of inferiority will make them try to put you down. It’s their attempt to make themselves feel better than you. They humiliate you under the guise of jests because it makes them feel like you’re below them. Jokes are fine here and there, of course – but if you notice that they’re poking fun at you constantly, and if they’re specifically commenting on your insecurities, run. A friend is meant to bring you up and not put you down.
They Stalk Your Social Media but Don’t Interact
Obviously, someone not interacting with your social media feed isn’t always a sure sign that they’re a hater. There can be many reasons why your bestie isn’t liking your cute selfies. Maybe she’s busy or doesn’t value engaging in posts. However, I will say that the lack of interaction in posts is something that I noticed with my former friends.
One of them followed my Instagram account and would watch all of my Stories on Instagram. She’d like our other friends' posts, but she’d never do the same with mine. Eventually, I found out she didn’t like me because a mutual friend informed me about her true feelings.
They’re Constantly Annoyed by You
Don’t dismiss the constant eye-rolls or scoffs – a real friend enjoys your company. Likewise, if you have a friend who comes off as harsh every time they give you advice, don’t be so quick to brush off their tone as “tough love.” The same goes if they're always condescending. Envy can manifest itself in many different ways, including anger. Jealous people are bitter deep down, and their emotions seep through their words, body language, and tone. It's up to us to learn these signs to cut off the toxicity from our lives.
They Sometimes Ignore You
One week, we’d hang out and go shopping. The next week, they’ll ignore my texts and calls but hang out with someone else. A friend who doesn’t like you will also sometimes bail on you – it shows they don’t care about your time or feelings.
Are there exceptions? Of course. I didn’t hear from a best friend of mine for a week, and she usually responds quickly. Turns out, she was super busy with school and work and felt too overwhelmed to speak to people. She explained that she needed some time to herself and apologized for the delay in getting back to me.
However, if you confront a person who dislikes you about their lack of communication, you’ll notice that they usually ignore your feelings or even start deflecting.
They Minimize Your Accomplishments
Years ago, I had a friend who was also my coworker. When I quit, I found a higher-paying job. She congratulated me and expressed how happy she was about my new ventures – then she told me that she probably would have gotten the job had she been interviewed for it first.
Guess what? That same friend called my boss when she learned that we were looking for someone to fill a similar position. When I approached my former boss and asked him how her interview went, he told me that my ex-friend said she would do a better job than me. She was so competitive that she said she was “going to beat me.” We stopped talking after that.
They’re Extra Nice When They Need Something
Don’t be so easily seduced by food and drinks – especially when they only treat you kindly when they need something from you. These types of people aren’t looking for genuine friendship and only want relationships that benefit them. Your real friends will be nice to you without expecting anything in return simply because they love and care about you.
Envious people might gravitate toward forming a relationship with you for several reasons. They might hope that by befriending you, their sense of self-worth improves. Maybe you're liked by a lot of people, and they want to enhance their social standing. Or, perhaps you have something they don't have, and they want it for themselves, so they try to copy you. It's very possible they just want to sabotage you and make you feel miserable.
Whatever the reasons may be, it's not worth giving our energy to people who frequently try to bring us down. So, what's the best-case scenario? For some of us, it's easier said than done, but I promise it will bring you the peace you deserve: Cut them off and only spend your precious time with the ones who deserve it.
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