Let’s be real, no one likes to feel like – or know – they have two-faced friends.
When someone is two-faced, they’re insincere, deceitful, and aren’t good friends you can rely on in times of need.
And it hurts to know that you can’t trust someone to be there for you like you’d be there for them!
To help you separate the genuine from the fakers, here are 20 signs of two-faced friends to look out for:
20 Signs of Two-Faced Friends to Lookout For!
1. They Talk a Good Game But Never Show Up
This could relate to anything from making promises about the future to telling you how much you mean to them – then never backing it up and proving it.
A true friend will always show up for you when they say they will, not just talk about it.
Fake or two-faced friends want you to believe every word so they can lead you along.
2. They’ve Revealed Things You Told Them in Private
A true friend would never reveal private things you’ve shared in confidence, no matter how small it may seem.
But a two-faced friend will have no problem betraying your trust by using the information you told them against you or for their own personal gain.
I’m sure they’ll always have an excuse or a reason, but this is always a red flag.
3. They only Seem to Be Around You When It Suits Them
A two-faced friend will only (or mostly) ever be around you when it’s convenient or benefits them in some way.
They always have a different agenda than you and don’t get the same enjoyment from hanging around with others.
They’ll put themselves and their own needs first, so don’t be surprised to only see them when it works for them.
4. They Take a Lot More than They Give
This is a classic sign of a two-faced, fake, or bad friend – they take, take, and take, and never give back.
I’m not just talking about material things, but also support, energy, and time.
A true friend will always feel the need to give back in some way and make sure the friendship is balanced.
5. You Catch Them Talking Behind Your Back
If you’re getting the feeling – or know – that someone is talking about you behind your back, they’re clearly not a good friend.
Talking behind someone else’s back is a sign of disrespect and two-faced behavior.
A good friend will always talk to you directly about any concerns or issues they have, they wouldn’t gossip behind your back.
6. They Withhold Information from You
This is one of the behaviors that really annoys me, even when it’s little things.
When someone holds back information that they know you need, they’re usually doing so as a way of retaining some kind of power.
If someone feels good about not telling you things that they know you’d like to hear, it has to make you question their motivations.
7. They Do Things to Sabotage Your Progress
This sounds drastic, and it is!
Some two-faced friends will do things that actively sabotage your progress or success so that they feel better about themselves.
They could be anything like trying to trip you up at work, talk you out of signing up for a club, or start rumors about you to damage your reputation.
8. They’re Always in Competition with You
A two-faced friend will always see you as competition, rather than a friend.
This means that they’re always trying to one-up you, whether it’s in terms of looks, achievements, or material possessions.
They need to feel like they’re better than you in some way, without making it obvious to you that they’re behaving like this just to spite you.
9. They’re Never Happy for You
This is one that hurts, because when you’re happy and those around you are also happy it helps lift you even higher.
But when someone is never happy for you, it brings you down and really kills the whole vibe.
A two-faced friend may even pretend to be happy for you when they’re not, but you’ll be able to see through it at some point.
10. They Find a Way to Pick Fault in Everything You Do
On the back of never being happy for you, if a friend always seems to pick faults in what you’re doing it’s a sign that they’re not a real friend.
Good friends will always build you up and make you feel good about yourself, even when you make mistakes!
11. They’re Jealous of Your Other Friendships
A two-faced friend won’t like it when you’re close to other friends, and will try to sabotage those friendships in some way.
They might do things like talk about you behind your back to those friends or try to come between you so that you’re not as close.
It’s a toxic behavior that can cause some serious issues within your group of friends and something I hope you can spot and deal with.
12. You Catch Them Being Dishonest
Honesty is one of the most important things in a friendship, if you catch your friend being dishonest it’s a sign that they don’t value your friendship.
It might be little white lies at first, but if you catch them in a lie it’s likely that they’re doing it more often than you think.
You need to take notice of this red flag and stand up and set some boundaries with them.
13. They Bring Bad Energy
The energy someone brings when they’re around others is contagious, and if someone is always bringing bad energy it’s not good for anyone.
A two-faced friend might blow hot and cold, but if they’re constantly bringing bad energy and bringing you – and others – down, it needs to be addressed.
14. They Act Differently when You’re Both Around Others
This is a huge red flag that a friend is two-faced and one that’s usually easy to spot.
If someone behaves one way when it’s just you and them then a totally different way when you’re among other friends, they’re showing two different sides of their personality.
It can be confusing and frustrating, but it’s a sign that they don’t really know who they are as a person.
15. They Hold a Grudge Over the Smallest Things
If someone can’t let go of a grudge, no matter how small, it shows that they’re not really willing to forgive and move on.
It might not seem like a big deal to hold a grudge over something that happened months or even years ago, but it’s a sign that they’re not really a friend worth having in your life.
16. They Go Silent on You if They Don’t Agree with Something You’ve Done
A two-faced friend might be happy to talk to you and act like your friend when they agree with you and things are going how they want.
But as soon as something goes against the flow of how they want it’s common for a fake friend to push back and go silent on you.
This is their way of trying to manipulate you into doing what they want, it doesn’t feel good but you shouldn’t give into them.
17. They Don’t Have Time to Listen to Your Problems
This is a big one as the main thing we want from friends is someone to talk to and know they’ll be there to listen to our problems.
If they don’t have time to listen when you need them, it’s a sign that they’re not really interested in being your friend.
Worse still, if they pretend to listen but go behind your back with what you say, they’re a pretty useless two-faced person.
18. They Never Really Ask how You’re Doing
Fake friends just don’t have the same feelings and emotions for others as real friends do.
This often shows itself in the fact that they either don’t ask how you’re doing and feeling or clearly don’t care.
Again, it’s a hard one to take as it means so much to be close to genuine friends, but if they’re lacking empathy there is only so much you can do.
19. They Try to Change You
A two-faced person will often try to change you into someone that they want you to be, rather than just accepting you for who you are.
If you have a ‘friend’ who is always suggesting you change certain things about yourself instead of celebrating who you are, you’re right to be wary.
20. You Just Know They Won’t Be There for You When You Really Need a Friend
The most impactful and devastating sign that you might have a two-faced friend is when you know that they won’t be there for you when you really need them.
We all want – and need – to be able to rely on our friends, that’s what friends are for.
If you truly know that someone you call a friend wouldn’t be there when you needed them the most, it’s time to seriously consider if you need them in your life.
There are plenty of other people who would be there for you, those are the kinds of people you need to be surrounding yourself with.
What Causes a Person to Be Two-Faced?
There’s no one answer to this question, it depends on the person and there are many different reasons why someone might act two-faced.
It could be that they’re afraid of being rejected or not liked, so they put on a false persona in order to try and be liked.
Or it might be that they have low self-esteem and don’t feel good enough, so they try to be someone they’re not.
It’s also possible that they’re just naturally manipulative and enjoy being two-faced as it gives them a sense of power over others.
Whatever the reason, it’s not something that you want in a friend and it’s best to distance yourself from those kinds of people.
It’s also important to remember that you probably can’t change them and it’s not your job to do so, it needs to be something they realize for themselves.
How Should You Deal with Two-Faced Friends?
If you think one of your friends is being two-faced, it’s important to do something about it.
Firstly, you need to decide if you want to confront them about it or just distance yourself from the friendship.
If you decide to confront them, do it in a calm and collected manner.
Explain how you’re feeling and why you think they’re being two-faced, then give them a chance to explain themselves.
If they don’t have a good explanation or if they try to deny it, that’s a pretty clear sign that they are two-faced and aren’t going to just fess up and try to try going forward.
If you don’t like confrontation, you could just distance yourself from them.
This will likely send them the message that you’re aware of what they’re doing or that they’re just not being great friends.
It’ll be interesting to see if this makes them put in more effort.
Either way, it never feels good to lose touch with someone you like, but you have to hold yourself in high value and realize that you deserve better.
The truth is, nobody deserves to be lied to and manipulated and if you’re friends with someone who is two-faced, it’s time to either confront them or move on.
Life is too short to waste time on people who aren’t genuine, so make sure you surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and who you can trust.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.