A TRUE friend supports you only when he believes that you are doing the right thing in your self-interest and welfare;
A FAKE friend supports you always, no matter what you do.
A TRUE friend respects you only when you have earned respect and act respectably;
A FAKE friend "respects" you regardless of your behavior - or misbehaviour.
A TRUE friend trusts you only as long as you prove yourself trustworthy, only while you do not put his trust to the test too often, and only on certain issues;
A FAKE friend "trusts" you with everything and always.
A TRUE friend puts to you a mirror in which you see REALITY and the TRUTH.
A FAKE friend puts to you a mirror in which you see your own reflection, yourself and nothing else besides.
A TRUE friend loves YOU in your friendship. He loves YOU even without your friendship.
A FAKE friend loves HIMSELF in your friendship - or loves the friendship itself, but never YOU.
With a TRUE friend you need never ask: "what is he getting out of this relationship?" for loving you is its own reward.
With a FAKE friend you must always ask "why is he still in this relationship?" for loving you is never enough of a reward.
Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East, as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, and international affairs.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.