How to Spot a Fake Friend in Nigeria

by Ayopadeayo Oluwadamilola
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fake friends

Fake friends, they are also called aboki karya in Hausa, onye iru unuo in Igbo, and ore eke in Yoruba.

We all have them around us. Always giving the impression of being the best but not the best. Society, social media, and Nigerian movies have opened our eyes to the diverse activities carried out by fake friends, from conniving against their friends to speaking ill and also making you feel guilty about your growth.

Deception and forgery lurk beneath the accuracy a fake friend displays. In this article, you will discover red flags of fake friends, how to spot fake friends, and the types of fake friends you should avoid around you. 

Who is a Fake Friend?

Fake friends act loyal but are disloyal. Friends who feel like you’re always competing with them and are made out of bad choices and unproductive commitments. A fake friend is an enemy disguising as a friend.

Types of Fake Friends

  1. The “complimenter”

They compliment you, your looks, and your achievements all the time. As humans, we like to be complimented, which, when received, brings out the best in us. So they get through to you by consistently complimenting what you do and savouring what you offer. 

  1. The social climber

This type of friend only associates with you when it suits them. They care little about your feelings and can easily drop you off when you aren’t up to their standards. Let’s say they want to climb a certain ladder to see if you can help them get there. They get closer to you, and when they have achieved that, they drop you like a piece of trash. 

  1. The backbiters

These are the type of fake friends that act as your friend when in real-time, are secretly cooking up things against you. They are nice to your face and gossip, defame you to others other, to badmouth you and everything you do. 

  1. The manipulator

These are one of the most difficult fake friends to spot. To earn your trust and appreciation, they act in your favour, and when they’ve gained your trust, they begin any devious act they have in mind. Because you have trusted them enough to trust their actions, you will entrust major decisions to them, which they will always use against you. 

  1. The attention seekers

Have you ever been to a gathering that calls for a celebration about someone else, and they instantly make it all about them? These types of fake friends are easy to spot. They always mess with everything happening around them and make it theirs.

They are overly competitive with your actions and see it as a challenge, whereas if they can’t seem to beat you, they make you an enemy. Spotting such a fake friend is easy.

Read Also: Insights on How to Value Yourself

Red Flags of a Fake Friend

As much as you’d deny it, the flags are always there! Where the problem lies is your inability to accept those acts, habits, behaviour, or mannerisms. Regardless of how well a fake friend acts, there will always be a hole. Some fake friends act well, which makes sense, but let’s look at these signs and see if they reveal anything. 

be careful who you trust

  • They always tear you down in the presence of another and never accepting your successes or wins. 
  • They hate your advice, guts, and actions. Because they aren’t real friends, any advice or actions you take or give aggravates their jealousy and anger and challenges them never to accept any word that comes from you. 
  • They start petty arguments that often lead to petty fights and disagreement 
  • They are always nice when in need of something from you.
  • They disappear when you require them and appear when the coast is clear. 
  • They make you feel guilty and bad about situations that involve them and even situations that do not. 

Read Also: How to Set Boundaries for a Better Relationship

How to Identify Fake Friends 

  1. Enjoys pleasing people

One of the ways to spot fake friends is by observing how they relate to others. Do your friends sit to serve others’ interests, even if they are false? Do they relax in favour of others rather than you?

To be in their good graces, they will go to any length. They will do anything to be noticed, liked, and praised, and if it means bringing your opinion down, they are willing to go through that. 

  1. Quick to judge 

Fake friends are manipulative and conniving. A way to spot fake friends is by noticing how they see ideas, suggestions, and actions. As a result of not wanting to feel small, they will judge the achievements of others to get to the top. They make aggressive comments about others and make them feel bad. If your friend constantly does this, you should take notice. 

  1. Sticks around for a gain

Okay, all friendships and relationships happen for improvement. We all have reasons for making friends, but fake friends’ reasons always differ from true friends. All they do is hang around when they can get something from you when your well isn’t flowing–they skip the part where they get to know you.

You can spot fake friends by how frequently they come to you in times of need and are never present when you need them. When there is a gain, fake friends are always with you, but when there is no gain, they act fickle toward you. 

  1. Always rude and hurtful

This is one of the ways you can spot fake friends-by their choice of words. Do they belittle you with words? Do you always feel weird sharing your thoughts or opinions with them because of their judgemental response?

A friend who causes you to experience negative energy, stress and loss of strength because of what you do and how you do it is not for you. No matter how they put their words together for you, they will always hurt you, touch your place of pain, and send you into tears. 

  1. You are a competition to them

What a friend! When your friend sees you as a competition and seldom celebrates what you do, they become your worst nightmare and are overly competitive. Your success or win becomes a threat to them; in every way, they want to beat you to it.

This is another way to spot a fake friend. What kind of attitude do they give you when you accomplish something? Do you always need to keep your good news from them because it will not sit well with them? True friends do not make you go through this emotional and success stress. 

  1. Do not respect your boundaries

Boundaries are meant to be respected, and if your friends are not respecting your emotional, physical, and behavioural space, you will spot fake friends and their intention. Any friendship that doesn’t respect you tends to embarrass you, talk you down, and overly disregard who you are. Sometimes, your personal space is needed, and friendships must respect that. 

Read Also: How to Build Lasting Friendships in Nigeria


A friendship works best when both parties are real and true and have good intentions toward each other. However, when one interest overshadows another, it becomes fake. It’s okay to check your friendship level and observe what’s missing. This keeps your sanity, love, action, and interest in check.

Though it is difficult to identify a fake friend, you can take it one step at a time using the listed points to spot fake friends around you in this article to determine how far your level of friendship has fallen or otherwise – know who you dine with! Interestingly, you might even find out that a friend you do not trust happens to be true. Ensure you are not exibiting any signs of a fake friend because you are also a friend to other people.. 

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About Author

Ayopadeayo Oluwadamilola
Ayopadeayo Oluwadamilola
Podcast Host and Content Writer.

There's a line between living healthy and large.

As a Podcaster|| I help you create a minimalist, simple, and productive life through my podcast content.

Content Writer|| I'd help you create and write exciting, compelling content for your brand, blog, social media pages and website.

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