30 Brutal Moments When People’s Illusions Of Friendship Were Shattered
Our friends are the family members we get to choose. They can come from all walks of life, and they may enter our stories at any time: when biking around the neighborhood as a child, when being assigned our first roommate in college, when moving to a new city in our late twenties to have a fresh start, or through an introduction by a mutual friend. A great friend can be hard to come by, someone who truly understands and accepts you and who makes your life more exciting and enjoyable than it was before, so we must cling onto the people we really mesh with.
But like any important relationship, once we become close, we have to be vulnerable and open ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt. The sting of losing a dear friend can be incredibly hard to experience, so recently, Reddit users have been bonding with one another over sharing stories of the times they realized their so-called friends were actually jerks. Some of these anecdotes are quite painful to read, from finding out about gossip going on behind their backs to enduring actual abuse, these people have gone through the ringer with their friendships.
Below, you can read these heartbreaking stories, that you hopefully cannot relate to, and let us know in the comments if you have ever had a hurtful epiphany about one of your ‘friends’. Then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring times people’s friends did not have their best interest at heart, be sure to check out this story next.
My oldest and best friend who I've known since we were 5 started travelling around Europe in a camper with his girlfriend so we rarely saw each other.
We work together on the side doing websites, talk every week by text or video.
He calls me around midnight saying he's back in town and invites me over for drinks, when I arrive I find 10 other people there already because the party actually started hours ago and he forgot to invite me.
Not only that but it turns out he had already been home for weeks, we even talked during the time he was back about work and not once did he tell me he was literally 10min down the road from my house.
Told him to go f**k himself and never talked to him again, he tried to apologise when he worked out I wouldn't help him with his websites anymore, then he refused to pay me for websites I had already built for him.
Luckily I had already been f****d over in the past so I installed a backdoor to sites I make so he did end up sending the money once I added a giant banner calling him a c**t on a couple of his sites.
The last time I tried throwing a birthday party for myself. It always seemed like the ratio of people who said they'd come to people who actually showed was...lacking. But my final attempt. I had 20+ people say they'd show. Exactly one actually came.
I've never had a birthday party since. But I'm still good friends with the one guy who showed.
Couples retreat of 3 pairs, other 2 girlfriends flaked last minute, leaving mine. They still came, then had the nerve to tell mine the trip would’ve been better without her right to her face when I was out surfing. This was never established as a guys trip at any point. She fed them, organized the trip as a whole, etc.
We all deserve to have close friends we can rely on. Even at a young age, we realize this, as kindergarteners often have a best friend already picked out who they create matching bracelets and secret handshakes with. As kids, friendships are powerful to help us socialize and get through the school day with someone to confide in and to play with during recess, but even as adults, we need solid friendships to bring more enjoyment to our lives and help us feel a sense of purpose. According to the Mayo Clinic, having good friends is even beneficial to our health.
They explain that having friends can increase our sense of belonging, boost our happiness levels and reduce our stress, improve our self-confidence and self-worth, help us cope with traumas like serious illness, divorce, or the loss of a loved one, and encourage and support us in avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking or a lack of exercise. Our friends are great to have around during the good times and the bad times, and as the Mayo Clinic explains, “Adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index.”
I was the "therapist", never meant to take care of myself mentally, never meant to be unavailable to talk... and if I didn't reply instantly, than I was up schitt's creek without a paddle, cause then I was a horrible person who didn't really love them... My suicidal thoughts returned with a vengeance when I realized that if this kept up, that if this was my life, then I might as well not have one.
That scared me, so hard that it made me decide to fight instead, like it was a fight for my life. Cutting them out, saved me in a way that nothing else would.
1 year, 7 months of no suicidal thoughts.
I used to hang out with this guy in college. We would go hiking and paintballing,mostly outdoorsy stuff. One time we met these girls on campus that we liked that agreed to go on a double date with us. So we had dinner at a pretty nice steakhouse.
We get there and it started out great, ordered food, good conversations, and when the food arrived my friend completely changed. He was a total douche to the server. He made a big stink about his steak being over cooked, made the whole rest of the dinner about this. On and on about how when you pay a bunch for a steak it better be cooked how you ordered it, and how the server should have known better like he was the one cooking the steak??
Anyway, I stopped talking to him after that. People that are rude to service people, big no no for me
They were always a bit catty which I thought was all in fun until I watched them gang up on a girl and try to tear her down in front of our college class. She was so down after that and I couldn't bear to be part of a group like that so I quietly stopped hanging out with them and have been friends with the girl they ganged up on ever since.
Especially when we are not in a romantic relationship, our friends are vital to our well being. It can be very easy to slip into unhealthy habits or start spending every evening cooped up inside when you don’t have anyone to socialize with. But when we have friends to hang out with and confide in, we have reasons to get out of the house and experience life. Your friends might encourage you to try new hobbies or have new experiences that you would not have otherwise thought of, and they can even help you increase your social circle by introducing you to other people who play an important role in their lives.
It’s also great to have an outside perspective every now and then. If we spend all day dwelling on our insecurities or issues in our own lives, it can be hard to see the full picture. But if you open up to a friend, they can help you navigate a difficult situation or shine some light on factors you would not have otherwise considered. They can also be great reminders of how wonderful you are and help you build self-confidence. We tend to be our own harshest critics, but your best friend will always be there to tell you that you’re beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, loving, and you deserve to take care of yourself. So you don’t spend Friday night inside your house eating an entire pizza alone.
When I was in high school I was hanging out with my three "friends" in one of their kitchen. I was the only one dating so I didn't hang out as much as I used to. They were acting odd then all of a sudden one got me from behind in a choke hold as I was sitting down. I quickly got out of it and yelled what the f**k are you doing. I got up asd left but later I found out they were planning on jumping me.
Worked with and rented a large house with my friend group after high school. Dumb and inexperienced with life, I didn’t know they were lying to me about bills and making me pay more/whatever they felt like until a family member asked about it. Eventually they all looked at moving into a new place without telling me. 1 felt guilty and confessed- they would basically steal my money to shop with and planned on moving out while I was visiting family so I came back to an empty place and responsible for everything.
When my father passed in middle school and they ghosted me and stole my stuff. My mom had to get their parents to give me my stuff back because they wouldn't even respond to me.
When questioned later, one of them said they did that because "my father's death was too much for him."
Being betrayed by someone you considered a close friend is extremely painful, and it can feel very similar to experiencing a break-up from a romantic relationship. Suddenly, your go-to person is gone, and you might not know where to turn. So it’s important to hold tight to the relationships you really value. Even if you and your best friend from college now live half-way across the country from one another, be sure to keep in touch with them. It’s important to nurture your friendships by calling every now and then to check in on them, sending them a card on their birthday, keeping up with what’s happening in their lives and not allowing too much time to pass without seeing them. Even if you can’t travel to each other every year, technology makes it much easier to keep in touch nowadays than it ever was in the past. Shoot them a text with a photo of the two of you letting you know you’re thinking of them, or leave them a voicemail reminding them of a favorite memory. I’m sure it will bring a smile to their face, and it will keep that friendship flame burning.
When one stole my PS4 and denying he did it, Despite the fact he's the only person I've had over in 2 years.
When they not only didn't invite me to come trick or treating with them for Halloween, but discussed their costumes in front of me, and then trick or treated *my house*.
When none of them showed up to my birthday party, and then I found out that they all went out to celebrate a colleague's leaving-do that same night instead. Not one had thought to even let me know that they wouldn't be coming.
I had planned on celebrating together with my partner's best friend because his birthday is the day after mine, and I was hosting the whole thing and was so excited to have them all over. When none of my guests showed up, it effextively meant that I was hosting someone else's birthday party, on my birthday.
I cried that night.
Later I realized that I had considered them closer friends than what they had considered me (they were my only local friends at the time as I had moved there only 9 months prior).
I had a hard time making and trusting friends for a few years after that.
The Mayo Clinic also recommends several ways to nurture our friendships including being a good listener, opening up, and showing that you can be trusted. Many of the heartbreaking stories on this list include times friends were dishonest or went behind people’s backs to speak negatively about them or engage in harmful behavior. To make it clear to our friends that we love and appreciate them and would never turn our backs on them, it’s important to show that we care about their lives. Ask them questions about what’s going on and how they are feeling, and be sure you are really listening. On the same note, be sure that you are willing to open up to them as well. When you both are vulnerable and share with one another, your bond is strengthened and your connection is deepened. You will also understand one another much better when they know the context behind why you are the way you are.
Sleepover where everyone in our group was invited to one girls place. We were gathered in the living room and everyone was trying to decide on what we were gonna start with. Movies, music/karaoke, chatting amongst ourselves. One of these people happened to crack a joke about offing themselves because, well, yeah we were in middle school and edgy as f**k. And someone looks at me and starts to snicker and chuckles out "let's see if you can beat her to it".
I proceed to physically wince and shrink in on myself and I can't remember if I said anything to them or not, but they later started talking about how I am the " token depressed friend" and how I would be the first to die.
Couldn't really move outta town at that age, so I just kinda had to deal with it—
Those people were a**holes, and I regret that they were my first experience with friendship.
I stopped being friends with absolute everyone in a move a few years ago and none of them have ever made any attitude to contact me since, nor have I tried to contact them. I've got better friends and a family that keeps me out of toxic relationships/is super protective.
I'm 54 and about 10 years ago I discovered that one of my best friends as a teenager lied to my then girlfriend to get her to break up with me. My whole group of mates who I'd known since I was at school knew. I never knew why I got dumped and it destroyed me. They even sat and listened to me crying over this and never said a word. All the time knowing he was trying to get her into bed.
35 years later when I found out I lived it all over again.
C***s every one of them.
When my boyfriend pointed out to me that they never make any effort. I invited them to my house... they could never make it. But they were totally down to ask me to chill when I was the one driving an hour to their house and would arrive with beer and food.
Another tip the Mayo Clinic recommends for nurturing friendships is to be sure that you make yourself available. Of course, this cannot be done at all times. We all have to set healthy boundaries and should not make great sacrifices to maintain a relationship, but if a friend calls you in crisis, answer the phone. If they are experiencing pain or heartache, show up on their doorstep with chocolates and flowers. Make sure they get out of bed in the morning and take a shower. Bring them dinner when they’re too sad to cook, and sit with them while they cry or watch a movie with them when they’re in too much pain to leave the house. If we want to experience deep, meaningful relationships and have friends to rely on when we need someone, we have to put in the work ourselves as well.
When my former “best friend” loudly told the story of my SA in front of my, now, husband in an attempt to make him leave me because she “didn’t think he would want to deal with broken goods”. F**k you Jess.
I remember I was severely depressed and I called someone I thought was my friend. When he realized I wanted to talk about real s**t he made up an excuse to hang up. After that he kept ignoring my calls. D******d.
What's crazy is I was there for that dude when his wife left him for another guy. There were times where I wanted to escape his depressing stories, but sat there and listened because he was my friend.
They asked to not have one of the people in our group over. They didn't want to tell him there was no game, they just wanted him to knock and pretend no one was there. I wasn't very cool with this but they didn't want to be "confrontational" with said person.
Before the next week rolled around they were saying "there wasn't going to be anything going on" that Saturday. I knew they were full of s**t, but went by to confirm they were all there that Saturday, and sure enough they all were. Just dropped them like a sack of potatoes and never spoke to them again, no reason to.
As a kid, you probably had built-in friendships. The kid next door, the person who sat next to you in class, or one of your teammates from baseball practice. As an adult, however, it’s not as easy to meet and bond with other individuals. So if you’ve recently had to cut off a friend or moved to a new place and are in need of new friendships, you might need some tips on how to build new bonds. It can be challenging to even know where to start when trying to make new friends, so the Mayo Clinic provides some recommendations. One way is to attend community events. If you are a musician looking to bond with people over similar interests, maybe local open-mic nights or music festivals are the best places for you to make friends. It might take a bit of stepping outside of your comfort zone, but it’s a lot easier to get to know someone who you already have an established mutual interest with.
Had a crush on a girl and was about to ask her out but my friends talked me out of doing so (well mu anxiety played a part too). Everytime I was about to approach they would just say that she is currently focusing on career, she is religious and wont date anyone and will perhaps get into an arranged marriage.
After 2 years of being kind of friendzoned, I one day just went for it and just asked her out.
Turns out she had a bf. She just didnt made it public coz she didnt want her conservative parents finding out.
And guess what, that bf was one of my 'friends'. Everyone else knew about it. In fact all of them helped convince her to date him. She was initially hesitant coz of her conservative upbringing.
And they had been dating for about 2 months, meanwhile everyone knew I had a crush on her for over 2 years then (now it's a little over that 3 years).
Why just not tell me.... I felt like an absolute idiot when I found out
When I would go home thinking we were friends and the next day I'd meet them again for the first time as if we were strangers. I thought I was tripping.
One time I REALLLY wanted to go to Comic Con (it was the first Comic-con ever in my city) and so I invited them. But none of them showed any enthusiasm or initiative. They told me to buy the tickets so I did and then shouted at me for having done so.
Another time, 30 mins before class, my friend asked me to type out her essay since she didn't have a laptop. I was happy to help. 1 page down, I saw she hadn't even completed her essay. I just wanted to help so I typed whatever I could remember from my essay. She got an A, I got a B+. Not even a thanks. She gloated in front of me the entire time.
College was supposed to be fun. it wasn't
When I stopped drinking and realized that’s all we had holding our friendship together
Another tip for making new friends as an adult is getting out and volunteering. If you find an organization you are passionate about or want to get involved with, you can make a point to help out as much as possible. This way, you will be guaranteed to interact with others, and you can bond over your shared interest. Plus, you will always have something to talk about when working together, so you don’t have to worry about a lull in conversation. And it can be easier to extend an invitation to others without a fear of rejection if you ask a group of people you volunteer with to hang out. They will likely be thrilled to become friends with you anyway, but it’s easier to start out with a group of friends than to ask a single person to hang out one-on-one.
Huge TW here : When I went to report to the police that I was sexually assaulted at my friend's (and ex girlfriend) birthday party and that every single one of my "friends", including my ex, turned their backs at me, slutshamed me, and tried to make me regret my decision only because they were scared the police would be more worried about underage drinking and pot using than a 16 year old being sexually assaulted. Turned out that most of the male friends in that group were all toxic to their gfs and r worded and assaulted them. A very toxic and dangerous group to be in as a 16 year old girl.
Sounds childish but when they started playing online without me and they knew I was online. I last texted these friends on new years eve wishing them a happy new years, heard nothing back. Its been silence since.
We were so f*****g close man. Been in each other's weddings. Played everyday during the pandemic after work. In retrospect though....they are sh*tty human beings. Complete as*holes who treated people in Publix very poorly.
I've left the door open and it's been closed the whole time.
It's actually been a f*****g huge life lesson for me. 28 years old now and I keep my circle extremely small, and it's been working great. S**t sucks obviously but you find the joy on a quiet Friday night at home with your wife knowing your 3 friends you have actually give a f**k about you.
okay, so my friends are really pretty, I'm not gonna lie they look like models so when you look like models you naturally get hit on by a lot of guys, (and a new girl joined our friend group prior) one day when my friends were getting hit on and the new girl just says "oh i wish i was born ugly like you" and the others just laughed....I left that friend group and never looked back
You can also take up new hobbies in your community to start meeting new people. Joining a fitness group or taking a sewing class can be great ways to expand your circle. After becoming aquaintances and building a basis for your potential friendship, you can start reaching out to other individuals from these groups to invite them to events you’re planning on attending or to try the new coffee shop down the street after working out. Building a friendship starts with baby steps, but everybody needs and wants great friends. So if they are interested in building a bond with you, they will be more than happy to start spending some time together.
When I had a mental breakdown due to stress and PTSD and EVERYONE turned their backs on me.
had 3 friends
2 i liked and 1 i didnt really like at all
turns out they had a secret gc where they just called me slurs and talked about me behind my back
the guy i didnt like sent me screenshots of this and me and him have been friends 3 years now
This is no where near the worst thing that ever happened to me, but popped in my head tonight for some reason. I was in 8 th grade and was friends since Kindergarten with this girl Karen. We rode out bikes around all summer. We went to different schools and we ran into this boy she knew from school. Later she told me he said I was pretty. This made me happy. Very happy! A few hours later we run into another friend and Karen tells her how we met this boy and he said I was pretty. She then added, but he said she has fat legs.
If she had said that to me privately, or even said that to our other friend privately I would have accepted it, but really dropping that bomb in front of another friend was so embarrassing.
I did not have fat legs back then, no fat anywhere, but that’s not the point. Rode my bike home, soon went to high school and never hung out with her again.
I know the stories on this list can be hard to read, and I hope they are not triggering any painful memories from past friendships you have been a part of. But they might also serve as a reminder that you should never cling to a friendship that is not working out of fear or just because it’s a habit. If your friends do not value and respect you, there is no need to entertain them any longer. Keep upvoting the stories that hit home the most for you, and then feel free to share your personal stories down below of times you realized your so-called friends were anything but that. And if you need to read a more heartwarming story to read next as a palette cleanser, check out these adorable photos of unlikely animal friendships.
We had to be like 11/12 years old. The one time I was going to finally beat him in NBA 2K after consistent trash talk from him over the years, there was less than a minute left on the clock he said "wait let's play something else".
Looking back it was a real Bart Simpson/Milhouse dynamic of a friendship.
The moment my “friend” stole my life savings. I started thinking about it after and the more I thought about it he just kinda bullied me for years. Haven’t talked to him since and I don’t plan to anytime soon
When I finally got real friends who cared about me, I realized that the people I have been calling friends for years where just letting me hang with them for the convenience.
Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.