20 Signs Someone Is Only Pretending to Care

Whether it’s to avoid hurting your feelings or if it’s part of a more elaborate plan to deceive you for benefits, people pretend for many reasons. The main theme with them, though, is that their actions never match the sugar-coated words that come out of their mouths. So that you don’t fall for someone like this, we’ve compiled 20 signs for you to look out for.


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The easiest way to identify that someone doesn’t really care about you is when you notice bits of selfishness about them. They tell you they care but don’t mind taking credit for something you did. They do this even when they know it’s important for your career or social life.

Never Reciprocating Efforts

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As Business Insider explains, self-centered people “usually don’t reciprocate the effort you put into the relationship.” They only care about themselves, never about you. Pretentious people will tell you they care but will never take anything out of their time or pockets to show you how much they care.

Rarely Initiating Contact

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Are you the one who’s always reaching out first to ask about how their week went or share updates about your life? If you have someone who doesn’t ever talk to you unless you initiate conversations with them, this person doesn’t care about the relationship as much as you do.

Showing Inconsistent Affection

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Does this person blow hot and cold? One day, they’re the most loving person you’ve ever met, and the next day, they seem like they don’t even acknowledge that you exist. It’s a sign that they don’t have their minds or hearts fully set on you.

Envious About Your Success

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Some people, instead of celebrating your success, become threatened by it. They make statements like “It should’ve been me” or “You know you don’t deserve it” without caring about how they diminish your achievement. Oxford Academic research reveals that envy is a sign of resentment. Pretentious friends fake support and find it difficult to hide envy.

Only Initiating Contact for Help

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Okay, maybe this person does initiate conversations, but only when they need your help with something. They ask you how your day has been and appear very friendly when they talk to you or chat you up. However, conversations they initiate always end with them needing something from you.

Offering Favors Conditionally

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You may see that this person always does favors for you or supports you only when they’re getting something in return. It’s a sign that they aren’t looking out for you from the bottom of their hearts or for your own well-being. They care only because it benefits them to care.

Superficial Listening

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When you talk about your problems or the things you enjoy, this person looks attentive and seems to be following your every word. But you notice that they never contribute to the conversation. Also, you ask a simple question concerning what you said, maybe immediately or some hours later, and he or she finds it difficult to recall the conversation.

Never Respecting Your Boundaries

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Stanford University explains that boundaries help “build trust, safety, and respect in relationships.” You set them up to let other people know where your physical, mental, and emotional limits are. Anyone who pretends to care about you will knowingly go past them, regardless of how it makes you feel.

Relating to Everyone the Same Way

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It’s easy to feel special when a man or woman you admire calls you “dear” or “pal.” You think this person sees you as someone close to them. However, when you notice that he or she calls everyone “dear” or “pal,” you should know that the word means little to them. It’s just a way of keeping people close without having true feelings of endearment.

Avoiding Commitment

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What if this person treats you like the love of his life, buying you flowers and making you feel good about yourself? But when it comes to getting into a fully committed relationship, there’s always an excuse. Understand that he doesn’t care about you or your relationship together as much as you do. It could be a sign that his mind is focused somewhere else.

Never Vulnerable With You

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Maybe you’ve noticed that you share more about your personal life with this person than this person does about their personal life with you. It may be due to trust issues or the simple fact that they don’t see you as a friend close enough to be vulnerable with. You’d want to be careful here, too, in case they intend to harm you with your personal information.

Always Making Promises

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It could be that this person chooses to make promises to do the things you want them to instead of actually doing them. They postpone actions with statements like “I’ll be right back to do it, I promise” anytime you request a favor from them. And, of course, they never fulfill these promises either.

Only Celebrating Your Success

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People who show fake care are also there only when everything’s rosy. They like to associate themselves with the good parts of your life, and you’re sure to always see them celebrate success with you. How about during times of failure, when you need the most support to get back on your feet? You see that this person is nowhere to be found.

Gossiping About You

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This person may seem like the best friend to talk to—he or she gives you the most comfort during conversations and makes you free enough to be vulnerable. But instead of being a safe confidant, they use your vulnerabilities to stain your reputation. They spread awful information about you behind your back, regardless of how false it is.

Agreeing With Everything You Say

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Genuineness is authenticity and nothing more. When you see someone who truly cares about you, this person disagrees with you if you’re wrong and takes you away from things that harm you, even when you enjoy doing them. Someone who doesn’t care will agree with all your bad decisions and watch you go into ruin.

Disrespecting Your Time

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They don’t mind if you wait under the sun, miss your favorite TV show, or miss a deadline at work just because you were waiting on them. It’s a sign that they’re too self-centered to care about your time and the personal things you wish to use it for.

Invalidating Your Feelings

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To them, you’re either “too sensitive” or you’re exaggerating things when you confront him or her about issues. As part of a way to gaslight you, they never acknowledge how their actions make you feel and don’t mind making it worse by flipping the blame on you instead.

Never Giving You Attention

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Maybe they ignore you altogether during conversations. They prefer being on their phones or watching television over listening to what you have to say. And this happens regardless of whether you’re just talking about your interests or trying to have discussions about problems in the relationship. If they don’t do this every time, at least know they don’t care for you at that moment.

Being Judgemental

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You also see that this person finds it easy to judge you for your actions and mistakes. They don’t consider how hard failure may be on you and will pile on more criticism to make you feel terrible about yourself. It’s more apparent (and worse) if you never get compliments from this person.

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