People who are friendly to your face but unkind behind it often display these 10 specific behaviors

Avatar by Paul Brian | May 8, 2024, 2:52 pm

Friendly people are wonderful and we all react well to them. 

But what if they don’t mean it?

Fake friendly folks are a blight on society and our social life. They draw us in with their bright smiles and kind words only to speak behind our backs and let us down in a thousand ways. 

So what can you do? 

The answer is simple: learn to spot two-faced friendly people before they get close to you and make sure you don’t fall for their act.

Here’s a look inside their bag of tricks. 

1) Flattery

Fake friendly folks are full of flattery

By dropping lots of pretty words, they get others to let down their defenses. 

These fake friends don’t mean a word they say, and the telltale sign is that they overdo the flattery beyond any reasonable level, praising every little thing about you when there is no reason to do so.

Imagine all that flattery reversed behind your back: it doesn’t feel so good now, does it? 

2) Love bombing

This ties into the previous point and is a form of excessive flattery. 

Love bombing is commonly used by cult leaders, sleazy gurus and marketing con men, because it is so effective. 

When these fake friendly people surround someone with enormous amounts of affection and acceptance, it causes people to give in, trust them and often allow themselves to be taken advantage of by them.

Love bombing works especially well on those who tend to be trusting and believe the best about others. 

3) Agenda-driven communication

The next key sign of a friendly person who’s not for real is that they only talk to others when they have something to gain. 

There’s always an agenda. 

It could be finding out gossip, or it could be looking for a job or trying to hook up.

But they don’t just chat and talk for the sake of it, they do it to get something or achieve an ulterior motive. 

4) Keeping info hidden from you 

Fake friendly people are very selective with the information they give out. They’re all smiles, but they’re far from forthcoming. 

They only share information with you strategically and in a limited quantity, withholding what isn’t necessary to get what they want. 

They may also twist the truth in order to please you or shut down an unpleasant interaction: very “friendly” indeed. 

5) Mismatched body language

Another key thing to look for in a friendly person who’s not for real is mismatched body language. 

For example, they are smiling at you and nodding, but their feet are turned away from you

Another example would be that they are laughing at what you say but their actual expression looks far from amused and their hands are fidgeting.

When body language doesn’t match the friendly surface, something is awry.

6) Eye rolling and excessive reactions

There’s nothing wrong with being a sensitive person who reacts a lot, and there’s a time to do an eye roll when a particularly absurd thing is being talked about. 

But folks who are kind to your face but go behind your back tend to be very sarcastic and roll their eyes a lot. Just a little too much.

They’re overly reactive, in other words. They’re reacting so dramatically to everything you say that it feels like you’re the host of an award-winning podcast or something. 

But you’re just you. And there’s a good chance they’re putting on a show. 

7) Jokes that belittle other people

People who are unkind to others often end up being unkind to you behind your back, too.

It’s sort of like a chain of dominoes.

It may seem like you won’t get hit in the line of cascading tiles, but eventually it happens. 

Those who like to tell jokes that belittle others, engage in a lot of gossip and are generally mean-spirited are usually the type who will do the same to you.

They don’t have much of an on-off switch. They’re most likely to be respectful to you because they’re currently talking to you, and that’s about it. 

Once they’re out of your zone or texting someone else? All bets are off… 

8) Subtle negs and backhanded compliments

Watch out for friendly people who have just a little too much edge to their compliments and comments.

That “edge” can easily be a preview of what they actually get up to when you’re not around. 

They give you a backhanded compliment or throw a little shade your way, and you may be tempted to write it off as no big deal. 

Maybe it’s not a big deal. Maybe they’re a loyal friend, partner or colleague. 

But this type of person is also likely to be saying and doing all sorts of stuff behind your back that’s not so kind at all.

9) Putting on a public mask that’s false and shiny

A crucial sign of a person who’s friendly to your face but not so nice when you’re out of sight is just that they are over-the-top in their expressions of niceness. 

They put on a mask that’s all smiles and good times, but you can tell it’s fake.

You even see them “put on” a smile before approaching you and adopt a tone of voice that’s clearly not how they normally talk. 

This is their public face, the show they put on to be how they think you want them to be. Behind your back you can be quite confident this over-the-top smile is nowhere to be seen.

10) Engaging in actions that contradict their words

The top sign of a fake friendly person is that you have proof that their actions contradict their words. 

They aren’t just a hypocrite in your opinion, they’re a hypocrite in cold, hard fact.

You’ve seen them sympathize with you as you talk about a struggle you’re going through only for them to turn and smirk at somebody else, thinking you didn’t see. 

You’ve seen them tell you that their relationship is everything to them and then turn around and flirt with another person in a sexually suggestive way. 

They’re full of it. And their friendliness is a mask for their hypocrisy.

‘It’s so good to see you!’

Two-faced folks aren’t worth your time or energy. It’s best to be fake right back to them and get on with your life. 

They have issues to work out on their own. Don’t let them work those issues out by using you as a test subject. 

You have your own life to live, and fake people have no place in it.