In a world that is so obsessed with looks and appearances, fake has become the new real. It is almost impossible to live your life without experiencing something fake. Perhaps the most devastating of all is fake friends. Almost everyone has at one point, or another had a fake friend. If you are unsure about your friends, here are some pointers on how to know if they are fake friends.

1. They only reach out to you when they need you.

This is the single most evident trait of a fake friend. People who only contact you when they need something from you are the worst friends you could ever have. Ironically, most of these people completely ignore you when you need their help. If your friends only talk to you when in need of assistance, that is a huge red flag.

2. They always make your conversations about them.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who always finds a way to make the conversation about them? It is one of the most frustrating situations that you can find yourself in. Fake friends can sometimes end up acting this way since, at the core of it, they are not particularly interested in you or what you have to say. It is always about them. This is one of the ways to detect a fake and selfish friend.

3. You give all the time in your friendship.

Friendship is a partnership, not slavery. Fake friends like to be the bosses and demand that you align your schedule to match theirs. If you frequently find that you are the one who has to adjust your life to please your ¨friend¨, or that you always have time for the friend, but they never have time for you, then you might as well break the friendship before it goes any further.

Friends should work together to build their relationship. If only one person makes all the effort, then the friendship is bound to crumble.

Knowing these signs, the big question that arises is how to deal with the fake friends. Below is some advice on ways to deal with such situations:

If you truly value the friendship, then it is best to talk to the person and to explain how you feel. While it may take a lot of guts to actually confront a friend in this manner, their reaction to the situation will be a great determinant of the status of your friendship. If they begin to put in more effort, then they might just be real friends. However, if the reaction is cold and hostile, it is best to cut ties with the person as they clearly do not value you or your opinions.

The most effective way to deal with fake friends is to simply have a few friends that you can rely on, rather than a bunch of people who only look for you when in need. A small social circle will give you a fulfilling life since all your friends will be as committed as you are to the friendship. A small circle also means fewer problems since you will avoid the fake friends who only look for you when in need.

Remember that your time is valuable. Stop spending it on people who do not value you and who only come to you for help. It is best to have just a few friends who honestly enjoy spending time with you and who are willing to help you just as much as you are willing to help them.

Ultimately, you should keep in mind that friendship is not slavery.