It seems safe to say that we’ve all known at least one friend, or more, in our lives that comes and goes as they please and doesn’t contribute much of anything to our lives, while we seek to enrich theirs whenever possible. Those type of friends are often called fake or artificial since they’re there for one reason and one reason only, their own gratification that comes from whatever you can provide. They don’t give but they certainly take, and they don’t think twice about doing it. Such friends aren’t even on the same level as acquaintances since even those individuals can be counted upon at some points in life to help out and bolster those they interact with when it’s needed.

Artificial friends are a conditional bunch when it comes to friendship. So long as you’re willing to give them the attention they want then they’ll be your friend. But don’t expect much in return.

They can be emotionally sound but their friendship is based on a system of gratification.

In other words “what can you do for them?” is the main reason why they’ll stick around. Friends that continually ask for favors or seek compliments and don’t give them in return tend to be very one-sided in their dealings with other people. While it might not apply to all such individuals, many could still be called narcissists considering that if their needs are sated it doesn’t matter if anyone else’s are. Their emotions can be intact and they could be very kind and loving to others but if they are not willing to be this way with those that give without the thought of asking for something in return then it’s possible that they’re simply not worth your time.

Don’t give to someone that’s not willing to reply with even a ‘thank you’ for the effort.

Typically such friends will expect you to be excited about their lives, but will express little if any real joy when talking about yours.

Some friends will be quite animated and fully expect you to heap them with praise when talking about what they’ve done or plan to do. Their accomplishments after all are the center of their universe and they expect you to fawn over everything they’ve done or will do with great enthusiasm. Even if you do however some people will act almost bored and lackadaisical when it comes to discussing your exploits and achievements, as though they mean absolutely nothing. This is a very one-sided friendship and not worth the effort to be honest.

When your friends are as excited for you as you are for them, then you’ve found a real friendship.

It takes a little time and a little more effort, but finding friends that will enjoy your life even as you enjoy theirs is much more worth the effort. Don’t waste time with those that will ask for praise and offer you none in return, life is too short to give continuously without receiving as well.


  1. Regarding the shared quote, I think it is also true that you can’t expect to have a deep relationship with “every” person. I’ve noticed that that even if someone does not have to be shallow necessarily to still be consumed with their own life and issues and thus not available to another person outside of their significant others and/or family obligations. Especially if it might require real effort on their part. Seems like most friendships are being kept alive through social media and/or email. Does anyone still bring a sick friend a bowl of chicken soup? That is a real friend.

    1. I agree, friendships have indeed changed, but even a kind word makes it worth the effort of keeping someone around. It’s not feasible to be best friends with everyone you speak to, but those that are there when you need them are true friends. You and I are in agreement on that.

      1. Here’s a test when I feel like things are one-sided. I wait a while to see if the other person asks me how I am. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen. Then, after a while they send a simple “what’s new?” At that point you know they are just bored and just fishing for an opportunity to blab about themselves. Unfortunately. I honestly feel that it is not so much that people are shallow, the friendship is. You realize this once you try to dig deeper and still get nowhere.

      2. Agreed. Thankfully there are those friendships where people don’t talk for years but the moment they get back in touch it’s like they never left. Those are true friendships as well.

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