Nearly a year and a half out of school, I still consider my high school friends my closest pals. However, fake friends pop up all the time, looking for any and all ways to infiltrate the good thing you and your friends may already have.

They're often hard to spot, mainly because they usually act like your best mate. It's not until you notice the little things, like that they always 'forget' to include you in plans, do you realise that they're actually a shitty person.

Here's a few ways to spot a fake friend.

1. They’re openly bitching about your other friends to you

It’s a sticky situation when someone starts to vent about someone else to you.

On one hand, they’re putting their trust in you that you're going to let them vent without snitching. That shouldn’t be taken for granted by any means.

But you also have to take into consideration how they’re talking about that person. Is it mean spirited? Does it come from a place of jealousy, or malice? Think about whether they have any means to openly bitch about that person, and whether or not they’d talk the same way about you behind your back.

There's nothing wrong with someone having a rant but when it becomes all they talk about or you start getting the feeling there's something deeper going on, you have to start thinking about whether this is the sort of person you want in your life.

2. They only hang out with you when it’s convenient for them

If you're the only one making plans, initiating conversations or putting the effort in, then something is wrong. Everyone is busy and sometimes it's perfectly normal for it to be difficult to organise something. But, when your 'friend' constantly forgets to invite you places with the group, doesn't text back unless they want something or makes a habit of bailing every time you've locked something in (without an apology or decent excuse) then it's probably not worth it.

Friendship is a two-way street and while you're sometimes going to have to pick up a bit of slack for the other person, they should do the same for you.

3. They make you feel like shit

They will make snide remarks about the things you love, spit out bitchy comments whenever they get a chance and question every decision you make and every goal you achieve. They will hold grudges against you over tiny things. Conversations with them will centre around the discussions of flaws (yours and others) until you feel like every part of you must have something wrong. When you are hurting they will make it about them and if you are sad, they will be sadder. It will be a competition that no one wins, least of all you.

Basically, if they're making you feel shit more often than not, it's probably time to ditch them.

Pointing out fake friends can be hard, and leaving them can be even harder, but sometimes, it’s the only option.