We sometimes take friendship for granted. When you have a healthy and happy social circle, you can forget that not everyone has a close-knit group of friends they can always rely on. When you know for a fact that your BFFs, your pals, your buddies have your back, it’s incredible how confident you can feel. They’d do anything for you, you’d do anything for them, and even the three musketeers get jealous when they see you. Watch out, world, nobody can stop us!
Alas! Real-life doesn’t mimic our favorite fantasy books and TV shows as much as we’d like! Unfortunately, not every friendship turns out to be as brilliant as we just described it. True friends are rare. And some people who you think you can rely on can end up betraying you at the drop of a hat.
Internet users opened up about the moment that they realized that their so-called ‘friends’ were actually truly awful people. Just horrible. Jerks of the highest magnitude. Scroll down for their stories, as shared on r/AskReddit. If you’re feeling up to it, tell us about your own fake friends in the comments. And if you happen to be incredibly blessed, why not share a bit about how awesome your pals are, too? Meanwhile, you can find Bored Panda’s earlier article about fake friendships right over here.
Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., explained to Bored Panda why human beings seek validation and attention, at what point the desire for approval becomes unhealthy, and how we can learn to trust someone after being betrayed by a close friend. Professor Degges-White a Licensed Counselor and the Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, told us that human beings are wired for social connection and we all crave a sense of belonging and acceptance by others. Read on for the full interview and to learn why being alone is better than being in a bad relationship, as well as how to tell how someone is likely a fake friend.
Meanwhile, Bored Panda also got in touch with redditor u/One-Refrigerator69, the author of the viral thread, to get their opinion on friendships and 'friendships.'
#1I got surgery and no one checked up on me. Not even a text.
Image credits: KindredSpirit24
"When we are unable to find folks who will treat us the way we deserve to be treated, we will accept poor treatment from others," Professor Degges-White, from Northern Illinois University, detailed to Bored Panda why some people accept being treated poorly by others.
"Unfortunately, folks who grow up in abusive families learn to equate abusive behaviors with love or acceptance. Thus, they will tolerate pretty awful behavior from people that say that they love them or care about them—even when these people's actions show otherwise," the expert said.
"Sometimes, a person will decide that any 'friend' is better than no friends and allow themselves to be walked all over. Unfortunately, research indicates that a rocky or combative relationship is worse for a person's well-being and health than no relationship, actually," she said that being alone is, in fact, scientifically proven to be better than in a bad relationship.
#2“Survival of the fittest” after I said that covid could take out my mom. they wanted to go back to partying.
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#3I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp. When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think? This was in 2006.
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"When a person is spending all of their 'friendship energy' trying to please a 'friend,' that's a sign that the relationship is out of balance and is a cause for concern. If you're willing to sacrifice your pride, your assets, or well-being for a friend who is unwilling to invest in the relationship in an equivalent manner, whatever that might be, it's a time to re-evaluate your perspective and the relationship," the professor warned.
Professor Degges-White said that trust is one of the most essential ingredients in any healthy relationship. When broken, trust is extremely difficult to rebuild. And some of us go through life assuming that others are just as trustworthy as we are.
"When a friend has violated our trust, our need for that friend often dictates how quickly we're able to 'forgive and forget' or at least 'move on' from the incident. To rebuild trust can take time—we may need to give another person several opportunities to show that they can indeed be trusted. If we want a person in our lives, and they have let us down, we are often willing to start anew and see what happens," the expert told Bored Panda.
#4When they prioritised drugs over loyalty and began to steal from me to financially support their habit. F**k those guys.
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#5When I told my friend I was completely in love with this girl and also told him that I’ve been battling depression for 2 years as well as thinking about killing myself. Then found out that not even 2 weeks after I told him all this he starting hooking up with the girl and then would brag and talk about her in front of me as if he had no idea about how I felt.
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#6We were at a music festival. He came back from the restroom with a scared girl who looked to be no more than 15. He told me that she had lost her friends and that she couldn’t get a cell signal. He wanted to take her back to our car camping spot, and give her alcohol and drugs to “get her to relax”.
I told him that he was disgusting and after a brief conversation with her, I reunited her with her friends within 5 minutes.
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"I think the saying, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me' is one that applies to those friends who continue to let us down and violate trust," she said.
"Healthy relationships are based on trust and respect and if we don't ask for those from our friends, the relationships will be a lot less satisfying, balanced, and healthy. But we have to be willing to set boundaries, expectations, and offer to friends what we need them to offer to us."
#7When they cut me out all of the sudden. I had been friends with these guys for 10 years then one day they all up and left blocked me on everything. I have been questioning if I am a horrible person.
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#8She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her. Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions (telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc), and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more. All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly. One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other b******t reason and telling me to try again. The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset. I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point
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#9I had gotten into a car accident that left me needing a couple years worth of physical therapy. To this day, i still cannot close my left hand in a fist with it hurting and shaking like mad. Anyways, i get discharged from the hospital. I had, let’s call this girl wendy, i had asked wendy a week before if she’d be able to pick me up that day at this time. She agreed. I called her she said “oh sorry there’s traffic i’ll be there in 20 minutes.” 20 minutes turned into 6 hours, and i called an uber home. sent a text two days later saying “sorry my car wouldn’t start.” Why lie?? Anyways, a couple weeks later i see Wendy, Jesse, and Vila. I’m at their house to hangout and to celebrate one of their birthdays. The ENTIRE time, was Jesse complaining on how i shouldn’t be here at the birthday party because i’m taking everyone’s attention of the birthday girl. And how i planned this to ruin her birthday. yada yada. Wendy and Vila gossiping while looking at me and giggling. Jesse got fed up that i needed help raising my hand for a toast(because why else would she specifically make EVERYONE use their left hand?). I attempted to make an effort raising my hand and the champagne spilt everywhere on me. And then jesse got up and pushed me out of her party, while Wendy and Vila did nothing and laughed at me. That day, i went home, blocked all their numbers, stopped talking to them. About a couple months later i get a text from Wendy saying “i’m sorry but you kinda deserved it, i mean u were taking all the attention of Jesse.” How does that justify anything???? And then i learned that all three girls got arrested selling drugs together. Good times.
Image credits: Far-Ad-8219
The author of the viral thread, redditor u/One-Refrigerator69, shared with Bored Panda what made them create the post on r/AskReddit in the first place.
"My inspiration for writing this was because recently one of my friends was being very mean and disrespectful to me and my other friends," they told us.
#102006 my then best friend wanted to go to a big German metal festival. I did not want to go because my Dad had endstage cancer. Dad died August 8th, couple of days after friend returned from the festival and I called him because I needed someone to talk. He very bluntly stated that he had no interest in my Dad's passing but wanted to tell me how great the festival was. You can't imagine how disappointed I was. For years I've been there for him whenever he got dumped and the one time I needed a friend he wasn't there for me. Told him to shut my door from the outside and loose my number...
Image credits: SorilkadMalur
#11I let my friend use my car while i house-sit my neighbors house while my friend uses it for work (his car died)..9 days later, he comes back in a uber and gave me 500 bucks and i asked him where my car is and he said "ima be honest with you, i sold it for weed and alcohol so no hard feelings?"
My car around that time was a 1965 Chevy Impala SS that my grandpa gave me before he died due to lung cancer and that was the last thing he gave to me so the car was very special to me and the fact that my "friend" sold it for f****n weed and alcohol blows my f****n mind?
Also, i had an appraisal on my csr just in case if i needed money and the appraisal was around 35-45 grand for the car.
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#12A friend never had much money but that was OK. Gave him a lift home from a hospital appointment, about 40 miles, no problem. Came a time I needed a lift home from A & E, maybe 5 miles, he asked for petrol money. A dim little light came on.
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Meanwhile, they also shared how they check if someone's a true or false friend. "In my opinion, the way I check if a person is really my friend is if they don't try to use me for anything and don't make excuses for trying to hang out with you," they said, adding that if someone's overly rude to you when you spend time together, it's a red flag that they might not be such a great pal as you initially thought.
"What me and my friend did was talk about the sort of things that they did and why that is wrong," the OP said that they tackled the issue head-on. "Hopefully they will be willing to listen and understand that what they did was wrong and how they can change that."
#13They were picking on a member of our group for random c**p (eg her hair, her clothes etc).
I snapped and told them to stfu and that they sounded like a band of hyenas, and they said "if she doesn't know how s**t she is, her life will be hard, we are HELPING her".
Needless to say we didn't keep in touch afterwards.
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#14When he didn't invite me or even tell me about his wedding but called on the wedding day and asked me to lend him $1000 because he was in a tight spot.
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#15A classmate told me my 'friend' was saying some weird stuff behind my back. I didn't believe it and she told me to lock myself into the bathroom stall and to listen.
She managed to get her to talk about me and what I heard wasn't nice at all.
She called me some names and said that she didn't like me at all, she was just pretending to. Sadly I didn't drop her immediately. Was friend with her for a good year after that. She just got worse. Eventually dropped her.
Image credits: KassyFrost
Professor Degges-White previously explained to Bored Panda in more detail how to tell if a friendship is superficial or authentic. She said that real friendships are built on trust and mutual respect. “If you don't feel in your gut that this is what a person is offering to you in the relationship, they aren't a true friend,” she said.
“Also, friends recognize that the 'giving and taking' in friendships needs to be balanced over time," the professor noted that the spirit of reciprocity is very important in friendships. A person who constantly asks for favors like a place to crash or a loan, but never has the time to help you when you need a hand, is most likely not someone you can trust.
"Friends who talk about us behind our back, aren't there for us when our lives are crashing and we need someone to talk to, or aren't there for us when we want to celebrate our successes—those friendships don't reflect authentic deep friendship. When a friend takes advantage of us or lets us down repeatedly, then it is time to re-think whether this is a relationship that is worth the risk,” Professor Degges-White said.
#16I was in the locker rooms changing and one of my classmates said "did you see what X posted on her insta story?" as in a very condescending way. Then, the other girls jumped up saying "No, let me see!" or "Yeah, she's such a h0." I happened to have seen that story bevorehand and it was just a selfie with her in her bf's car. Nothing out of usual.
AFTER that, they started to show each other old videos of themselves mocking other stories of her. I realized the real h0es were in there with me, quickly grabbed my stuff and left.
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#17This was way back in the MSN Messenger period.
I had this "friend", really friendly outgoing guy and we used to hang out together like once or twice a month. Spinning some records, watching anime, playing video games. He tried to make steps into a music career and our chats usually would involve him sending over samples and tracks. Most of the time it was just utter trash but me, being a good friend, being positive and giving tips.
His music 'career' took off and he was able to DJ at some small events. He gained some traction, kinda gathered an entourage.
Didn't hear from him much any more, after suddenly he messaged me with many different things, if I could help him out. Do some graphics, do some spreadsheeting. When I said I was busy he threw the "but we bros, bro". I screenshoted the chat, highlighted the date of our last chat and told him "bros don't let bros messages unread and unreplied for 6 weeks and than don't say 'hi' and barge in with questions and demands".
I've seen him one or twice in the past 7 years. I greeted him but avoided conversation.
I heard later that he done this with more people and it was his way of making 'friends'. Look for people with certain skills, use them, benefit from them and 'move up'.
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#18We were in highschool. My mom is a psychologist, and has a nice office near where we went to highschool. One day i envited my friends to the office to have whisky and cigars. I told them the place had to stay as clean and neat as it was, so we don't get caught.
One of them puked in the corner, and they put the couch against the bathroom door while i was in there breaking one leg of the couch and trapping me in.
I'm not friends with these people any more.
My current friend group is really nice, and i'm really happy.
Image credits: Ohm_stop_resisting
"Real friends are those people who are going to be there for you whether life is going beautifully for you or life has tanked and you feel like you're in over your head. Friendships are about emotional and instrumental support—it's a totally mutual, voluntary, reciprocal relationship. Therefore, we can all decide what we want to put into a friendship," she said.
"Authentic friendships are built on mutual respect and reciprocity and affection—there's an emotional commitment there that doesn't exist in superficial friendships. Don't tell your secrets or your vulnerabilities to a superficial friend, because you can't be sure how they might use this information. With authentic friendships, we can be completely ourselves and know that we will still be loved," the professor told Bored Panda.
"One of the biggest differences between friend types is the amount of emotional energy they are investing into the relationship and the depth of their appreciation for your presence in their lives."
#19When I made new friends and realised that it's not normal for friends to constantly beat on me and make fun of me
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#20when they started to smoke and drink alcohol as kids. they were obsessed trying to pretend they were gangster and s**t and then as they got older they started to rob and do drugs.
another one, i didnt see it at the time but they only wanted to be with me because i was the "rich" kid of the block. so they took advantage of that, i payed for the arcades, food or we played often at my house since i had a video game console and they didnt, but when i wanted to play at their house they would refuse every single time.
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#21When my 3 friends made fun of me for not having the money to go on a camping trip for a week.
I was just coming back from a month long unpaid vacation and needed to get back to work. I had less than $100.
We had gone on this same camping trip twice and it never cost as much as they were claiming everyone had to pay this time around. I didn’t have the $500 to go and I let them know well in advance. The day before I was due to fly home, I got a text from my friend who was planning the camping trip telling me when it was, in 2 days, and how much it was going to cost.
The things she said to me are things I would never say even to someone I hate. They never let it go either. I literally lost my 3 best friends due to a camping trip.
This was at the height of Twlight (I know, I know) and we were going camping up in Forks. It is absolutely gorgeous up there so we enjoyed the scenery more than anything.
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Meanwhile, financial expert Sam Dogen, the founder of the Financial Samurai blog, shared with Bored Panda how we can tell if someone is with us just because of our money.
"If the partner never offers to pay for anything, that is a huge red flag. A truly loving partner would at least offer to pay for a meal, buy a small gift, or spend time doing something nice for you, especially if they don't have a lot of money. However, a partner who is mainly using you for your money will usually never speak up. They'll just have the default expectation that you'll pay for everything," he explained how we can tell if someone who we’re dating is more interested in our resources than who we are as people.
"The wealthier partner can protect themselves by first having an open dialogue about their partner's finances. Once the wealthier partner knows what they are dealing with, then they can make a more informed decision about how money will play a role in the relationship. It is really the surprise money issues that throw couples off-balance," the financial expert told Bored Panda.
#22I came back from six months of travelling all around the world. Second night back, I organised to hang out, had brought them presents, souvenirs and wanted to get drunk on a massive bottle of Saki I'd got from Japan and have a proper catch up.
Instead, they wanted to meet at 2am to smoke weed in the park and then instantly all go home. I decided I wouldn't message any of them until they messaged me after that, three years later and I've never heard a peep.
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#23When I was being abused by my ex and told them what was happening so maybe they could help me get out. They didn't believe me, acted like I was lying, and even defended him.
That was nearly 10 years ago and thankfully I was able to get out and now I'm happily remarried, but you can bet that I haven't had a close friendship since because I no longer trust people.
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#24Had been friends with this dude like 2 years, shared a common hobby of playing guitar and we used to jam a lot.
One time we met up and he started to brag to me that he had just cheated on his girlfriend with her niece, I mean dude was proud over it like "woohooo I just got laid". I lost all respect for him in that moment and slowly started to talk less and less with him so eventually he wouldnt bother to make contact again
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"For example, if you know your partner is deep in debt and you still choose to team up, then that's fine. Your expectations are set. But if you went into your relationship thinking your partner had a million-dollar investment portfolio but doesn't, then things might turn sour quickly. A strong relationship is based on trust and admiration,” he said.
"Ideally, I think marrying your equal is better than marrying rich. It's extremely rewarding and more dignifying to build your wealth together as a couple. However, if you can marry someone who you love who is also already rich, then that works too!"
#25Some people have told me it wasn't a big deal but it was to me. She went after the woman i had a thing for and i was already pursuing. She knew I had a thing for this woman. I told her how much I liked this person. My friend knew how strongly I felt and what made it worse was she was being supportive to my face and gave me the courage to finally go for what i wanted but never had the confidence to do before. but then she tried to get with this woman behind my back. She said "it's whoever gets there first" when I found out. Wtf.
I always felt like that was just something you don't do to friends anyway, whether it's behind your back or they're being obvious about it. It's a line you're not supposed to cross. I felt betrayed and disrespected. I did end up dating the woman and we were together for 2 years. So there's that. But I cut ties with my friend.
Image credits: RushingBravado
#26When my ‘best friend’ f****d the guy I was in love with (she knew) while I was on work-placement for 2 weeks.
All my ‘friends’ thought I should get over it and not rock the boat. So I did.
First major depressive episode and a reflection of my self-esteem at the time.
A year later she threw a fit because I kissed a guy that she liked. While still being in a relationship with the original guy.
He dropped off a bag of my clothes she borrowed INCLUDING a box of tampons I had given her.
You know the friendship is over when you get back your feminine hygiene products!! ?
F**k you A and J!!
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#27When they stopped being my friends after I went through a rough financial patch.
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#28when i was suicidel and no one cared enough to try help me just left me too it one even said why attempt to stop you if youre gonna do it ,Do it .
#29When they ganged up on one of them over her changed behaviour due to her depression. She had been very happy-go-lucky, but fell into a deep depression and completely changed. Teenage girls are the worst
#30When I started to actually show how horrible my mental health was. I was expected to be the "clown friend" in a friend group. Meaning I should always be joking and happy even in serious times and playing dumb. It's not how I wanted to be known but it seemed like it was the only way for me to make friends. The pressure of this, plus other things I was dealing with became too much for me to handle so I started taking about how I was feeling and how I was starting to have an identity crisis. Since I stopped playing dumb and being obnoxious I became "too boring" to hang out with. I had a few who stuck around and eventually the few and I became more open to each other about mental health.
#31When I almost died in the hospital. People I thought were good friends never visited or called, and people who I wasn't very close with came to visit me.
#32A couple things.
About three years ago i sold them my pc, monitor and desk for $800. They only gave me $400 and when i asked about it recently (they brought up having to sell it) i told them they still haven’t paid me for it entirely and they basically said they never will.
I only ever get invited to big parties where all of their friends (none of which i know) attend. I end up in the corner by myself every single time. They have weekly hangouts with friends and often go to shows/camping/trips with other friends that I’m never even considered being invited to.
I struggle a lot with mental health issues and every time I’ve messaged them saying I’m struggling/ want to kill myself they say s**t like “idk i feel like everyone feels like that sometimes u kinda just gotta work through it.” Then proceed to talk about themselves and how broke they are (they’re terrible with money).
We’ve been friends for nearly ten years but i feel like we’re not even friends at all anymore. I haven’t cut them off yet bc i quite literally have no one else and have zero social skills to make new friends.
#33When I realized I was her last close friend left. Shortly thereafter I started to open my eyes and understand why that was the case.
#34When I finally realised that if she was b**ching about other people to me, she was most likely b**ching about me to them. It took me a surprisingly long time to figure this one out.
#35When one told me I should try harder to be well to be happy for them, and having me depressed was "sad" and not "fun"
I was hiding self harm and very dark thoughts from them, and couldn't afford therapy.
#36We used to be a group of 4 BFF until the day one of my friends wanted to bring along another girl to hang out with us. I didn't like her very much bc she was known to have this habit of breaking couples (if she heard that X and Y were having a hard time in their relationship,she'd go with all her kindness to try to "make things right" by flirting and hooking up with the boyfriend) and honestly she was a total two-faced snake who spent her time talking s**t behind people's back and then playing nice. I really can't stand hypocrisy but for the sake of my friendships I tried to make an effort. God I lasted like 15min with her and then left the group saying that we'd see each other at school. Next morning my friends are there with the girl and some other people from our class,I went to say hello and kiss everyone even the girl and then I spotted my friends and her exchanging glances and they started to laugh. No need to be a genius to get that after I left,they told the girl that I didn't like her and that me saying hello despite of that made me the two-faced one. Friendship ended,new group of 4 hypocrites unlocked.
#37When I became depressed, when I reached out, the first thing they did was tell me off for being depressed (more like full on yelling), then stopped talking to me over time.
#38One of them found me crying in the closet and just closed it and walked away. But they also often hung out without me that was just the final nail.
#39When we went on a trip to America and a day before coming home he mentioned that he only could afford a one way trip so could we help him pay for his return flight.
This was back in the early 2000s when flights were only around £400.
He’s the guy who’ll organise a meal knowing he can’t afford it. He only gets away with it because he’s funny.
#40Was dared to run down the hall of our hotel butt naked. They locked the door and I had to stand outside and hold my junk whilst the poor woman who worked at the front desk let me back into my room.
Funny now, I was pissed at the time.
#41When he sexually assaulted my new girlfriend, while I was using the washroom.
#42When they told the whole class about which girl i had a crush on and then started bullying me.
#43When I just asked if anyone wanted to play and he told me to kms and I was a fat loser all I said was anyone wanna play?
#44When we were driving, he purposely tried to run over some ducks. The first time I saw him swerve at a turtle I thought that I hadn't just seen that and thought that I was wrong in what I saw. When we got to his house ( we ran to the store for some more chips and rolls for a cook out) told the wife we had to go. His wife called later to see if everyone was ok, and my wife shared with her what had happened. To which she replied" it's just freaking birds". I'm polite but not friendly to he and she now.
#45When i prepared my graduation project with them.
Those assholes left me in the last week before the deadlines, and put their names with group of girls.
The surprise that i had another plan, and it won the prize of the best project( so i didnt need to share it with those assholes)
#46When she made out with a rando stranger right next to me on an airplane (for like, an hour) WHILST she was in a serious relationship with one of my best friends from high school.
Once we were back on land, I texted my hs friend and told him that she cheated on him, and I immediately friend-dumped the cheater. (She was genuinely shocked that I told him, like she expected me to just be chill with her cheating on a bro).
This was really the straw that broke the camels back-- the cheater was a real narcissist and her behavior had been getting on my nerves for a while by that point, especially the way she'd been emotionally abusing my buddy in the months leading up to this.
My hs friend was devastated at the time, but it's been a few years and he's a lot happier now.
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#47After I realised that other people don't s**t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle. And that it isn't right when a "friend" uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to.
Image credits: ViscousPlateman
#48(just one) When he propositioned my girlfriend to have sex with him under the guise of making sure she was being faithful to me.
Image credits: Due_Primary_90