1. Guilt Trips, Guilt Trips Everywhere
What better weapon does the fake snake have than the guilt trip, eh? They will use that terrible emotion against you, especially if you're a nice person in general. For example, say you're working overtime and can't give the fake snake a ride. You call and tell them while profusely apologizing. It won't be new to hear them go: "Oh my god, you really don't care about my safety, do you? Well at least Lindsay's a real friend!" They know pretty well that if anyone is fake in this "friendship" it's me.
2. They expect the highest level of happiness for their achievements...
Now, you should be happy for others when they pass that test, get that promotion or overall just achieve something they've been working hard for. However, real friends are happy with you congratulating them. For them, it's usually more than enough, and that is an important component in friendships. The fake snake, however, expects you to... I don't know, alert the planet and throw a parade for them. If you appear to be missing the slightest bit of happiness, they will prowl on you fast and again, claim you don't care when in fact you're very happy. This one is a bit more low-key so be careful!
3. ...But when YOU are the one to achieve something, they'll try to act like it's not that great and won't be happy.
A characteristic of our dear fake snakes is hypocrisy. Double standards are common in the friendship, and they're the ones with the upper hand.
You got a boy/girlfriend?
"They're not that great, don't over hype something like that."
You got the job?
"The qualifications are so easy, and they were probably desperate."
You graduated high school?
"Anyone can graduate high school!!"
You get the point. All in all, since they want to be the ones using you as a tool and NOT the opposite, they might think you newfound achievements can help you get the upper hand at them. Real friends don't want control. Fake ones do. Remember this when picking friends!
4. They make your boss look chill and relaxed.
In number #3, I mentioned that, when it comes to a fake snake, it's all about control, and one way they try to achieve control is by being so bossy that Mr. Smith will look like he's the most laid back person you met. (I do not know a Mr. Smith, just so you know.) They will throw around loads of orders to make sure they're the ones being served and not you. No, you can't go to the club without them, set a date with your partner this Friday, or make friends without their approval. It's almost like living with a strict parent. It's suffocating and drains the life out of you, and, if you're like me, you can't and don't work with strict rules; you rebel against them. Friendships just don't work like that.
5. Your social circle is restricted. VERY restricted.
Speaking of not making friends without their approval, the fake snake is controlling but quite cunning, so, the moment you become friends with them, they will want to know all about your friends so they can filter out the ones who can see what they're doing to you and try to get you away from them, whether it's by trying to limit the times you can see them or even flat out telling you: "It's either me or him/her!" They don't want to be caught in the act. Sometimes, you may suspect that they're using you, but if you ask them, they'll accuse you of not being a good friend. Word.
6. The only time their number shows up calling you is when they need something.
This one is probably the biggest giveaway and a big red flag. Sometimes your friend will need something and that's not bad—unless it's a repetitive habit. For example, if you got an invitation to the cool kid's party, they might call you when you almost forgot who they were and are like: "You know, we've been such good friends, and I heard you got an invitation to Bryan's party, can you take me as a guest?" And deep down, they know that if it was reversed and THEY got invited to Bryan's party, they wouldn't dream of taking you. In their eyes, you are their lackey and not their friend. Sad, I know, but it's unfortunately true. The real friend wants you. The fake snake wants what you have.
7. When it comes to trust, they're shadier than Taylor Swift.
Yes, I went there. A real friend does not leak out your secrets and might actually feel touched that you trust them, and trust can make or break a friendship. A fake snake using you as a tool could not care less about trust, unless it lets them have more control over you. This is especially true if they need something to blackmail you with, you know, for their own personal gain. If you told your friend about the time you peed your pants in 5th grade, and they go spreading it to everyone, beware; there might be a fake snake lurking about!
8. They exclude you so much that it's like they don't know you.
This is especially alerting if your mutual friend is involved. Remember when I said the only reason the fake snake has you on their radar was what you have? Apart from that, they don't want anything to do with you, so they'll try to avoid you. If you're unsure, wait until there's some sort of event with them including your mutual friend. If they don't invite you, you can casually ask if you can come too and watch how they react. If there is no legitimate reason you can't come, that's exclusion! "There is no space in the car" is an actual excuse as to why you can't come, stuttering and trying to change the subject is not.
9. Gratefulness is not in their vocabulary.
Now, it's a good thing to treat/do something nice for your friend, but they should be at least a bit grateful, and the same should be vice versa. That's because you could have spent your time and energy doing something else but you decided to use it on them. Say you decided to take out the friend for lunch and you pay for them too, if they seem to be rushing through the "thank you," not even saying it, or overall not showing gratefulness, it's quite possible they're a fake snake.
10. They avoid things they owe you like their taxes.
Finally, any favor they owe you will never be executed. Friends should not really be "in debt" to each other, but those 20 bucks they borrowed and promised they'll pay you back? Let's just be honest; you won't see those 20 bucks again. The fake snake wants you to serve them and not vice versa, so they'll get you to do stuff for them, promise they'll do something back for you, but avoid doing so because of their nefarious (ha) purposes.
Sadly, we can't really avoid those fake snakes, but at least we know how to spot them. If they fill out some of those conditions, have a talk with them. Either work things out or leave them in the dirt. They're just not worth it. Thank you for reading this article, despite me not writing much. It means so much, and knowing you guys read my articles just warms my heart!!!