If someone says these phrases in a conversation you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart

In my three decades on this fair (yet troubled) planet of ours, I’ve stomped through the highs and lows of friendships.

Haven’t we all?

And here’s what I’ve noticed: not all friends are made equal. For real, who hasn’t crossed paths with those erm, flaky, friends?

You know the type! They nod along to your hopes and dreams, laugh at your jokes, but underneath it all something feels, well, off. Sometimes you cannot quite figure it out.

For starters, their support doesn’t feel real. It’s like they’ll lead you into pretty fun and exciting times, but any promises they make don’t hold true.

Yep, they swoop into your life only to vanish the minute life gets messy or tough.

And yet, through the disappointment, there’s a real life lesson in there. These fair-weather friends teach us to trust our instincts and guard ourselves fiercely.

In a world where loyalty and care can be as changeable as the weather, it’s up to us to be the constant force guiding our own path.

Here are some of the things someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart might drop in the chat.

1) “So, you’re a bit of an acquired taste, huh?”

Let’s kick things off with a comment that cuts deep. It goes a little something like this: “You’re an acquired taste.”

Now, this particular gem is the hallmark of a pal who might not be all that of a pal. And why’s that?

Well, with a comment like this, they’re tossing you one big old backhanded compliment.

They talk about you almost as if you’re something to tolerate and accept with time rather than straight up love. Ouchy!

And trust me, “Hey, you’re not immediately appealing, but if people stick around long enough, they might learn to kinda like you?” is not coming from the lips of someone who has your best interests at heart. Never.

Plus, it’s one heck of a way to rudely dull your shine.

Remember, you 100% deserve to surround yourself with people who appreciate you, quirks and all—not ones who make you feel like you’re trying out for their approval.

2) “Don’t you think you might be making a big deal out of this?”

So, you’re sitting there, confiding in someone really close to you.

You’re deep into pouring out your worries, except you end up being met with a dismissive: “Don’t you think you might be making a big deal out of this?”

It’s like they’re trying to get rid of your concerns as soon as they surface—without even properly hearing you or bothering to go deeper. It sucks, doesn’t it?

This phrase not only totally disregards your feelings, it also implies you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, and that you’re being unreasonable.

In my experience, I find that some folks say this because they’re straight up uncomfortable with emotions—the heavier ones—or, they’re a wee bit on the selfish side!

Whatever the reason, you might like to weigh it up as a sign that they do not have your best interests at heart.

3) “You’re pretty good at this for someone like you!”

Picture this scenario: you’re doing something, feeling pretty good about it.

Maybe you’ve brewed a whole batch of kombucha. It’s taken you weeks.

Perhaps you’ve finally mastered the climbing wall—at long last!

No matter how you shake it, if a person pipes up with: “You’re pretty good at this for someone like you!” I’d say there’s a huge chance they don’t have your best interests at heart.

Of course, this comment might just sound harmless—complimentary even. But I beg you to push a little deeper.

The real clincher is that little last bit: “for someone like you.”

In my book, this is a literal translation of: “I don’t expect much from you, because my expectations are so damn low.” It’s pretty nasty stuff.

I think we could do without any of these passive-aggressiveness remarks—who’s with me?

4) “I’d have a lot more respect for you if you did [this].”

Let me in on a secret: respect should never be held hostage. Hmm—what exactly do I mean by this?

If someone drops this nugget: “I’d have a lot more respect for you if you did [this].” I would definitely begin to reconsider things—as in, where you stand with them.

When someone says that, it’s like they’re withholding respect. It’s as if they’re saying, “Do what I want, and maybe I’ll hand over the respect.”

Instead, they’re focused on making you fit into their idea of who you should be, rather than who you actually show up as.

But in reality, respect shouldn’t come with strings attached! It isn’t some kind of a prize to be won by following someone else’s rules to a T.

Plus, this line is such a power move—whether you like it or not.

By saying they’ll respect you only if you live up to their standards, they’re trying to assert control over you and make you crave their validation—and this can ultimately spell out a problematic dynamic between the two of you.

It’s super important to remind yourself of this: you, friend, deserve someone who is all about seeing your value as a person, no matter what the circumstances.

5) “I don’t normally hang out with folks like you, but you’re ok.”

Okay, brace yourself: it’s time for the worst one of the batch!

It’s yet another classic compliment dressed up in backhanded garb—so cheekily disguised, but wait, you know better.

A line like, “I don’t normally hang out with folks like you, but you’re ok.” is no laughing matter.

Why? Because this particular individual is judging the hell out of you.

That’s correct. It’s almost as if they’re placing you in a totally distinct category, as if you’re some sort of novelty item in their social circle.

If someone genuinely and deeply cared about you as a human being, they would actually be thrilled to hang out regardless of what they deem to be your social status or background.

In all my life’s experience, real, non-fair weather friends don’t categorize or qualify their friendships based on some silly, superficial criteria. Nuh uh!

Rather, they embrace you for who you actually are—flaws, idiosyncrasies, quirks and all.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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