Usually when a girl screams "RED FLAG", they are referring to someone they are dating. But did you know it is a great idea to look for red flags in ALL of your relationships--especially your friendships? We all love a good and genuine friend that reciprocates and pours out just as much love as we pour out to them! But have you ever encountered that friend that is good friend material one day and somehow the friendship seems so skeptical the next day? Sometimes we miss the tinier subliminal red flags. Lucky for you, I am here to pass along three red flags to help you identify if you have a fake and phony friend on your hands!
a. THEY RARELY INITIATE CONTACT
If you are most likely the one to call or text first, then that is a major issue. Your friends should be just as excited to speak to you just as you are to them. Adulting can be hectic and yes, lives can get busy; but even a gesture as small as sending a funny meme or sharing a Tik Tok cooking clip can go a long way. An initiation of contact from your best bud shows their interest in the friendship and their willingness to include you in their day. We all want to be thought of!
b. COMPETITION, COMPETITION, COMPETITION!
Keep in mind who is not clapping when you win. If you notice that your friends always need to one up you, then certainly they are not a true friend. A competitive friend can come in many different forms. Don't be the one that misses the signs! Some friends even begin to mimic the attribute of your life they desire for themselves. Friends are there to uplift you, not beat you to the finish line. BEWARE!
c. IT WAS ONLY A JOKE
We've all heard a joke from a friend of ours that makes us laugh inaudibly until we can't breathe and have tears welling up in our eyes. But recall a moment when a joke was told by your so-called friend that rubbed you the wrong way. You may have second guessed yourself out of disbelief that the joke was even uttered. Most times the subtle jabs, impromptu roast sessions, and snarky remarks are all a fraction of truth pouring out of your friend's heart. It's almost like the saying "a drunk man speaks a sober mind"; in the same sense, a jealous friend may "joke" around with you, but by reading in between the lines you will see their true intentions.
IN CONCLUSION: We want that genuine and loving friendship filled with reciprocity so badly that we find ourselves ignoring every inkling that whispers to our intuition that this person may not be as beneficial for our lives as we are perceiving them to be. I believe we at times can idolize the desires we have for our lives. So much so, that we overlook the signs that can scream, "RUN!" But gratefully, now you have a little more insight into the signs of fake and phony friendships! Be sure to stay prayerful, amp up your discernment, and be on the lookout for these red flags the next time you self-reflect on your current or future friendships. Remember, not to give out more love, affection, gifts, time, or energy than you are receiving.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11