Most of us have had temporary friends at one or another point in our lives. While it’s perfectly normal, it’s also important to differentiate them from true friends so that you protect yourself from unrealistic friendship expectations.

How do you know if the people you hang out with are going to stick with you or whether they are just passers-by in your life?

Here are a few signs that betray temporary friends in your social circle:

1. You share the same social setting

Most temporary friendships arise when you share the same social setting with other people. For example, we often make temporary connections in the workplace or a college.

You probably had a schoolmate or a college buddy that you hanged out with every day when you were a student. But soon after the graduation, your paths parted and you hardly ever heard from them again.

It can be painful, especially if you are young. It can make you feel like you have no friends at all. But in reality, most of us form temporary connections with other people, and it’s perfectly normal. The point is to avoid fooling ourselves with too high friendship expectations.

2. When circumstances change, they disappear from your life

The main difference between a true and a temporary friend is that the second type is a part of your life as long as you share the same social setting. When you are no longer united by the same workplace or school, they disappear from your life.

You may enjoy the company of your co-worker, but as soon as you go for a career change, they don’t seem to want to hang out with you anymore. They say that they are busy or you live too far away and they can’t come. Eventually, they just stop calling or texting you.

3. Your conversations revolve around day-to-day happenings

A telling sign of a temporary friend is that you two hardly ever discuss anything personal or meaningful. Most of your conversations are about day-to-day happenings in school or at work.

A true friend who is going to stay by your side wants to know the real you, with all your dreams, fears, concerns, and aspirations. Someone who just finds your friendship convenient in current circumstances won’t be interested to get to know you on a deeper level.

4. They take advantage of you

When you are friends with your schoolmate or co-worker, it makes sense that much of what you discuss is focused on current tasks and assignments.

But the problem is that many people have the habit to exploit their colleagues and university friends for their own purposes. If you are a brighter student or more competent employee than your friend, you may notice that they often ask you for favors. And here you are, fixing mistakes in your friend’s report or finishing their assignments.

If it happens on a regular basis, it’s a huge red flag that you are dealing with a fake friend who has a temporary role in your life. Yes, some people are just wired this way – they prefer to turn to a convenient guy at work who can’t say no than do the job themselves.

5. You rarely meet outside the workplace or school

One more key sign of temporary friends is that you meet them only in the workplace or school/college. Yes, you may occasionally arrange something, but your friend doesn’t seem to be interested to hang out with you after lessons or work.

Remember that fake and temporary friendships are based on convenience while true friendships stem from a genuine connection with another person.

When you are really interested in someone, you want to get to know them deeply. So you will enjoy seeing them in different circumstances and social settings. You will want to know what they care and dream about.

Do you wonder if your co-worker is your friend or not? Ask yourself whether your conversations ever go further than small talk topics and office affairs. If they don’t, then he or she is probably just a temporary friend in your life.

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