If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘snake,’ Urban Dictionary describes it as “a scamming backstabber.” Remember that “friendly” and “caring” person who only causes problems for you? THAT’S THEM! Snakes are people who will, for no reason, try and hurt you. All they do is plot against you and wait to see you fail. People who are close to you can do this remarkably well because the more you trust them, the easier it becomes for them to betray you. You SHOULDN’T trust anyone unconditionally.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had experiences with a friend that’s turned out to not be an actual friend. The tricky part is to identify them. But don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Here are the signs that will help you identify them:
1. They criticize you. ALL. THE. TIME.
A true friend encourages you when you need the push and calls you out when required, because constructive criticism is healthy and is needed to grow in life. But it has to come from a place of love and not jealousy. If they’re stingy with compliments and judge every move you make whether it’s getting into a relationship to not scoring well in a test, they’re a snake. Take it as a sign to leave them behind.
2. They’re only around when they need you
Life’s tough man, we get it. You can’t expect your friend to always be there for you, but you have to remember that friendship is a two-way street. Both sides must put forth an equal amount of effort. You shouldn’t be the only one checking up on your friend or being available to drive them places. If they’re not initiating conversations, being there to listen to you or if they’re ditching you at parties or canceling plans with you – AND it’s a repetitive pattern – you should probably look for a new (human) friend. If you feel that you’re being used – chances are that you are. Remember, reciprocation is key.
3. “Arreyyy mazak thaaa”
Teasing and banter are a part of life but public humiliation is not cool. Is your “friend” constantly spilling the tea about something? Does that something have to do with you? Are you the butt of the joke almost all the time? Do their “jokes” attack your reputation? Does your friend make fun of things that aren’t in your control? Like maybe, your height, or body, or complexion? Is most of their comedy at your expense? If you answered yes to any of these questions and your friend tells “harmlessly funny” jokes about you and then goes on to say, “I was only kidding” or complains about you “not having a sense of humor” listen to me when I tell you to CUT THEM OFF.
4. There’s always unhealthy competition
A good friendship relies on having each other’s backs and building each other up to be better than how you are already. Your friend should be appreciating your accomplishments and be genuinely happy for how far you’ve come. If they belittle your efforts or try to one-up you, you’ve got a problem. It shows your snake friend is a little too self-absorbed and views your relationship as a contest.
5. Blame game
Some of your friends might have the habit of playing the victim. These will be the people who run away from taking responsibility for their actions and react in a passive-aggressive manner when you point out their mistakes. They’re very defensive and the concept of accountability does not exist for them. They will refuse to consider your perspective while discussing problems. They will be uncompromising. If you realize this happening know that you don’t have to put up with it. You shouldn’t be the only person acting like an adult in a friendship. Dump that baby snake!
6. They FEED on drama
Gossip comes to them naturally. If your friend is talking to you about other people behind their back chances are they’re talking about you to other people behind your back too. If they are constantly talking bad about people and stirring up drama, spreading rumors, looking for petty things to argue about and fight over, these signs should all scream ‘SNAKE’ to you. You don’t want to be caught up in someone else’s mess or fight someone else’s battles.
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7. They’re jealous of your other friends
Your overly obsessive and needy friend wants to be the center of your world all the time, and that doesn’t exactly sound healthy, does it? Do they get pissed when you reply late or miss their calls? Or do they keep mentioning how they’re the best one among all your friends and care for you the most, while talking shit about your other friends? Yeah, that ain’t it.
8. There’s an obvious lack of respect
Friends who do not respect you or the boundaries that you set are not good friends. The limits of friendship are set by the friends themselves, and if you see your friends trying to cross lines that make you uncomfortable, do not give them a hall pass just because they’re your friend. If you don’t enforce your boundaries, your friends will decide that your boundaries are meaningless. If they hear you say no but keep on insisting to hug you, to take your pictures, or to persistently offer you a smoke, you have the right to put your foot down. The only people who get upset when you set boundaries are those who benefited from you having none.
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9. You fall out WAY too often
Things started out great and you two were really happy, but as time went by, something changed. Egos flared, petty fights started taking place and suddenly, you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. If you’re feeling that way, know that it’s not a true friendship – it’s a chore.
10. They drain and exhaust you
Sometimes, you can’t pinpoint exactly what’s wrong but there is something. You just feel uneasy around them. If you do, take it as a sign. Your body is good at picking up signals and bad vibes. Listen to your feelings and acknowledge them. Life is already very difficult as it is. You don’t need someone to further weigh you down. Pay attention to how they make you feel when you’re around them. Do you feel like you’re dreading going out to meet them? Or maybe you feel drained or unhappy after you meet them? Good friendships boost your immune system. But toxic friendships will drain you.
11. Something just doesn’t feel right
If you feel like all that your friend is doing is taking away from your life instead of adding to it, it’s time you reevaluate your friendship. And most importantly, TRUST YOUR GUT. It knows what your head hasn’t figured out yet. If you feel like something is wrong, it’s because it usually is.
Anyway, these were all the red flags that will help you identify the snake among your friends. The point in exposing a snake isn’t to ruin their life – it’s to better yours. You need to take care of your mental health and cut people out of your life who, instead of loving or supporting you, only drain you. Don’t feel bad for removing them out of your life. No one has the time to deal with immaturity, projection or passive behavior. And remember, an apology without change is just manipulation.
Have you encountered a snake friend before? Let us know what you did about them in the comments.
Cover image via A&B Entertainment