7 signs a friend secretly doesn’t want you to succeed in life

Navigating the choppy waters of friendships can sometimes feel like an epic challenge. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes, the people we think are cheering us on are actually hoping we stumble.

This is a difficult truth to swallow, but recognizing the signs of a friend who secretly doesn’t want you to succeed can make a world of difference in your life journey.

In this article, we’ll dive into seven telltale signs that may suggest your friend isn’t entirely on your team. And trust me, as the founder of Love Connection and having been through my fair share of tricky friendships, I know a thing or two about this subject.

1) They downplay your achievements

We’ve all had those moments when we’re beaming with pride about a recent accomplishment and can’t wait to share it with our friends. Excitement fills the air as we spill the details of our success.

But then, there’s that one friend who doesn’t quite match our enthusiasm. Instead of cheering alongside us, they subtly downplay our victory. They might say things like, “That’s great, but didn’t Sarah do something similar last year?” or “Well, it’s not like it was that big of a deal.”

This kind of reaction can be incredibly disheartening. It’s a classic sign that your friend might secretly not want you to succeed. They mask their discomfort with your success under the guise of keeping you grounded or being realistic.

2) They’re overly supportive

Now, this might sound a bit strange. After all, isn’t support what we want from our friends? Yes, but there’s a fine line between genuine support and what I like to call “smothering support”.

This is when a friend is so incredibly supportive that it starts to feel suffocating. They’re always there, always checking in, always offering help. It sounds great in theory, but it can actually be a sign that they don’t want you to succeed.

Why? Because by being overly supportive, they’re subtly undermining your ability to stand on your own two feet. They’re creating a dynamic where you’re dependent on them for everything. And this can hold you back from truly stepping into your own power and succeeding.

3) They’re always the victim

In my years of navigating the complexities of relationships, I’ve noticed a common thread among those who secretly don’t want their friends to succeed: They always see themselves as the victim.

These are the friends who seem to have a new crisis every week and are constantly seeking your sympathy and attention. While it’s natural to support a friend in need, a perpetual victim can drain your energy and distract you from your own successes.

In their world, they’re always the one being wronged, and this can create a negative cloud that follows you around. It’s an exhausting cycle that can leave you feeling guilty for pursuing your own success while they’re seemingly always struggling.

I delve into this kind of dynamic in my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship. It’s all about understanding and breaking free from these destructive patterns so that you can focus on your own growth.

4) They never applaud your courage

Every big success in life requires a healthy dose of courage. Whether it’s starting a new job, moving to a new city, or launching your own business, it takes guts to step out of your comfort zone.

But if you notice that your friend never acknowledges your bravery, it could be a sign that they don’t want you to succeed. They might change the subject or dismiss your fears as unnecessary or trivial. In doing so, they’re devaluing the courage it takes to chase your dreams.

I remember when I took the leap to start Love Connection. It was terrifying, and having my friends acknowledge that fear and cheer me on was invaluable.

In the words of the great Maya Angelou, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

5) They never ask about your dreams

someone isnt a real friend 7 signs a friend secretly doesn’t want you to succeed in life

We all have dreams, aspirations that we’re passionate about. And discussing them with our friends can be an exciting and heartwarming experience.

But what if there’s a friend who never asks about your dreams? They seem interested in every other aspect of your life, but when it comes to your aspirations, they’re silent.

This was something I experienced when I first started Love Connection. There were some friends who were genuinely interested in my journey and others who seemed to avoid the topic like the plague.

When a friend is genuinely happy for your success, they’ll want to hear about your dreams. They’ll ask questions, offer support, and be excited about your future. Anything less could be a sign they don’t want you to succeed.

6) They compare you to others

Comparison can be a destructive force, especially in friendships. If your friend is constantly comparing you to others, it’s a red flag they don’t want you to succeed.

They might make offhand comments like, “Well, Jane just got promoted too,” or “I heard that Mike’s business is really taking off.” These seemingly harmless comments can create a toxic atmosphere of competition and make you feel like your achievements aren’t enough.

I recall a friend who used to do this to me all the time. Every step forward I took was met with a comparison to someone else’s journey. Eventually, I realized this was their way of undermining my success.

As the wise Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Don’t let comparisons steal your joy. You’re on your own unique path, and it deserves to be celebrated.

For more insights into navigating friendships and relationships, follow me on my Facebook page. I frequently share articles and thoughts that can help you thrive in your personal connections.

7) They’re not there during your tough times

No one said the journey to success would be smooth sailing. There will be times when you stumble, when things don’t go as planned, and you need a shoulder to lean on. These are the moments that reveal who your true friends are.

If a friend is conspicuously absent during your difficult times, it could be a sign they’re not rooting for your success. They might be quick to share in the good times, but when the going gets tough, they’re nowhere to be found.

This is a hard pill to swallow. Realizing that a friend is only there for the highs and not the lows can be incredibly painful. But it’s better to face this truth head-on than to keep expecting support from someone who won’t provide it.

Wrapping it up

Friendships are like a rollercoaster, right? Loads of fun, but sometimes, you hit those unexpected twists and turns. Spotting a friend who’s secretly cheering for your failures might take some soul-searching, honesty, and a dash of courage to face the truth.

So, after diving into these seven sneaky signs, I hope you’re a bit more enlightened about your own crew. Remember, every friend serves a purpose: some lift you high, some show you your worth, and yeah, some are just here to teach you the tough lesson of letting go. 

I believe this video by Justin Brown resonates with what we’ve been discussing in this article. He explores the complexities of finding a life partner, reflecting on his personal experience after a failed date and the lessons he learned.

From understanding the importance of shared values to the significance of growth and mutual support in a relationship, he shares his top insights to help you navigate the journey of finding a compatible partner.

YouTube video

This journey of understanding friendships and relationships is not always straightforward. But with each step we take, we learn more about ourselves and those around us. And that’s a journey worth taking.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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