“Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
Oscar Wilde (Playwright)
“All men’s misfortunes spring from their hatred of being alone.”
Jean de la Bruyere (French philosopher)
“My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, then you’ve had a great life.”
Lee Iacocca (American businessman)
I used to be a gold-digger when it came to friendships.
Maybe gold-digger is the wrong phrase.
I wasn’t after money.
I was after attention.
But attention is as valuable as gold in today’s world, so I’ll stick with gold-digger.
Let me start over…
My circle of friends now is very different from my past circle of friends.
My life now is very different from my past life.
This isn’t a coincidence.
When I chased attention from popular people, it always ended in disaster.
I wanted to be best friends with the most popular kid in school or the most popular kid on the team.
I’d squeeze myself into a box to be tolerated by these people.
And then I would wonder why my life would stop moving forward.
I’d downplay myself to be “kind of” liked.
To be “fake” liked.
While the rest of my life fell apart.
While my grades dropped, my performance plummeted, and my confidence disintegrated.
It wasn’t until I took stock of who my “fake” friends were and eliminated them that my life rebounded.
I did this eventually.
But I wish I would have done it much sooner.
Scientific Proof That 50% Of Your Friends Are Fake
Some people don’t want you to be successful.
Even some of your so-called “friends” don’t want you to fulfill your purpose in life.
They might say they do, but behind their big toothy white grins and pats on the back, they really want you held back — or at least behind or below them.
We initially seek out friendships with an intrinsic focus on our return on investment — whether we know it or not.
When you grow, when you get fired up to move in a different direction, people can feel threatened.
Your growth and success makes them feel inadequate or lazy.
Especially if you’re attacking something they’ve never had the guts to.
People hate self-reflection that isn’t positive.
So they’ll try and discourage you from reaching your full potential and from being really happy.
Even though they’ll deny it.
The truth is that half of your friends are fake.
Half of your friends do NOT want what’s best for you.
The numbers don’t lie…
Researchers from The University of Tel Aviv and MIT found that in general, we’re all pretty terrible at accurately perceiving our friendships.
Like, really bad…
“We found that 95 percent of participants thought that their relationships were reciprocal,” Dr. Shmueli says. “If you think someone is your friend, you expect him to feel the same way. But in fact that’s not the case — only 50 percent of those polled matched up in the bidirectional friendship category.”
In other words, only 55% of your friendships are reciprocal.
Not 95% (even though, like most people, you think this is the right number).
In measuring friendships, their algorithm found that lack of reciprocity or a “unidirectional” relationship occurred in many of the friendships that we could identify as being our closest and best.
What does this mean?
It means that even some of your “best” friends do NOT want what’s best for you.
Think about that.
Are you surprised?
I bet you’re not really that surprised.
There’s nothing better than a true friendship — a reciprocal friendship.
But there’s nothing worse than a friendship that you treat as true but that someone else tolerates or abuses.
People in reciprocal relationships enjoy greater progress and overall success as a result of that influence.
Let’s sum up…
At least 50% of your friendships are misjudged friendships.
These friendships are influencing you negatively, whether you’re aware of it or not.
Fake friendships are distracting at best and toxic at worst, no matter where you find them.
Of course, true friendships are extremely valuable.
For example, if you have healthy friends, you are 5 times more likely to be healthy yourself.
If you have a good friend at work, you are 7 times more likely to be engaged in your job.
Having true friendships that are positive makes you better at what you do.
True friendships make life more enjoyable.
True friendships give life more meaning.
Just as there is nothing better than a true friend, there is nothing worse than a fake friend.
Just as a true friend can improve your life in every way, a fake friend can destroy your life in every way.
A fake friend can pull you off course and make you give up on yourself and your goals.
Why You Need To Cut Out Your Fake Friends
No one is worth sacrificing your goals to.
Especially not fake friends.
It sounds harsh, but it’s true.
You must eliminate the fake friends from your life.
The problem is that most people know they have fake friends, but never take action to get rid of them.
The reason most people fail to act is because they feel bad.
Instead of walking away from the fake friends holding them back, these people get emotional and keep these fakers in their lives.
This is always a mistake.
Look — the only way to keep making progress in life is by leaving negative people behind.
You were meant for something more than fake friendships.
You were meant for something more than being tolerated.
You just can’t see your potential because you’re surrounded by the wrong people.
You’re surrounded by fakers who don’t really care about you.
You’re surround by people who are not reciprocating.
It’s time to cut out fake friends and eliminate toxic people from your life to make room for some more true friends. Here’s how…
1. Fake friendships are highly conditional
Fake friends are only there for you when it’s convenient, when you agree with them, or when you’re not pursuing your goals.
Or when you’re down and out and your companionship makes them feel superior.
Otherwise, these fakers are inconsistent and unreliable.
They might only support you if you’re doing something they approve of… or something they’ve already done.
For everything else, it’s just lip service.
All talk, no action.
Their support is circumstantial and their encouragement of your purpose is weak and pallid.
These people are fake and unbelievable to your face, and hard and ruthless behind your back.
These people do not care about your goals and they do not care about you.
All they care about is their goals.
As a result…
You’ve forgotten about your goals.
Instead, you’ve dedicated yourself to THEIR goals.
Now, you’ve become a twisted reflection of their goals, not your own goals.
Fake friends are just in it for how you make them feel.
As soon as you stop making them feel good, they’ll cut you out.
As soon as you stop caring about their goals, they’ll cut you out.
To them, your friendship is highly conditional.
If you don’t mirror their actions, these fake friends will wreak havoc on your life.
They will belittle you and undermine you in every way possible.
They will try to make you miserable.
When you start making progress in your own life, these fakers will pressure you to get back to where you belong — beneath them.
Stop tolerating people who only tolerate you.
Stop adding value to people who will never reciprocate.
End these highly conditional fake friendships now.
2. Fake friendships are based on obligation.
Are you trapped in an obligatory friendship that’s no longer real?
Are you trapped in a fake friendship by guilt, or fear, or some other emotion?
If so, you need to take responsibility for yourself and leave this relationship now.
Maybe the faker you need to get rid of is your best friend from high school… or kindergarten.
Maybe it’s the person you’ve known FOREVER.
You swore you’d be BFFs or blood brothers or sisters for life.
Or maybe it’s a family member.
Either way, you need to step away.
You need to cut the cord of obligation and support these people from a distance.
History means nothing.
The person that was meant to be in your life yesterday may not be meant to be in your life today.
Look — fake friends will hold you captive with your past for the rest of your life, if you let them.
They will keep you as the person you’ve always been.
They’ll keep you from improving.
Loyalty is a choice that isn’t based on history or obligation, but on values and character.
Your job is to go after what you want in this life without being trapped by obligations that limit your freedom.
This obligation is skewing your perspective.
The only way to gain a better perspective is to create some distance.
Distance creates clarity.
When you’re enmeshed in other people’s lives, especially the lives of your fake friends, your perspective takes a nosedive.
It plummets until you can’t see clearly at all.
The only way to correct your perspective is to physically remove yourself from your current environment.
In other words…
You need to gain some emotional distance.
You need to spend some time alone.
You need to stop being clingy and needy.
You need to stop being attached to the wrong people.
Instead, get away for a few days to a few weeks.
Reduce the clutter of fake friends in your life and you’ll start seeing clearly again.
3. Fake friendships don’t challenge you.
Our friendships shouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows.
Friendships are NOT meant to be comfortable forever.
Friendships are meant to be challenging, or outgrown.
Yep, that’s right — if you’re ambitious and motivated in life, you will outgrow your friendships regularly.
This is a good thing.
Stop feeling bad about it.
Instead, focus on finding new, like-minded people who have their own goals in life and start chasing your goals with these people — independently but in parallel.
Find true friendships that revolve around mutual accountability.
These friendships should be stimulating.
Fake friends, on the other hand, are de-energizing.
Fake friends drag you down into the gutter, making you feel lethargic and helpless.
This is because there’s no depth in your fake relationships.
Fake friendships are like house-guests sleeping on your couch who won’t leave.
After three days, these guests have started to stink.
But you’ve kept them around for years.
Now they’re rancid.
The only way to clean up your life is to clean house and kick these disgusting house-guests out for good.
Realize that cutting someone out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a better person.
After gaining distance and clarity, you’ll be in a strong position to decide if the relationship is right.
You’ll have the perspective you need to determine whether it’s time to step away from this person for good, or if it’s time to repair the bond.
You’ll only have room in your life for true friends that want to see you reach your goals when you cut the negative weight of fake friends and toxic people that are holding you back.
Be focused on what matters to you. Do a regular scan of who you have in your life and your circle of influence. Look for people that actively reciprocate your friendships, reflect your values, and are aligned with the goals you have for your life right now. Scrutinize those other tepid or toxic relationships at the same time. Take a break from anyone that doesn’t amplify where you are and where you’re going. Lose the clutter of fake friends and be bold enough to permanently cut out people who are actively holding you back from reaching your goals.
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