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Recognising if a Friendship is Worth Saving or Halting

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 28 Nov 2020 | comments*Discuss
Recognising Friendship Evaluating

Good friendships are vitally important to our lives. They provide support, can help to keep us grounded and can cheer us up. We are often drawn to people who share similar common values and interests. That’s not to say that we’ll always agree with our friends or that we’ll all have the same hobbies and interests necessarily but there will be certain commonalities that bind us together.

Trust and loyalty are two other important facets when it comes to friendship. Good friends are those whom we should feel we can tell our deepest secrets to without having to worry about anyone else finding out. In fact, we can often reveal things to our friends which we might never consider sharing with members of our family.

Loyalty is equally important. Good friends will always stand up for us and be there in both good and bad times. It doesn’t necessarily mean that friends will always back us 100%. For example, a good friend should always feel comfortable about telling us if they feel we’ve done or said something which they don’t agree with and, as a good friend to them too, we should feel able to be accept any constructive criticism or advice in the spirit in which it’s being offered. True friendship also means being there for our friends in both good times and bad.

Gauging a True Friendship

Most of us will have friends who, both individually and collectively, mean something to us in our lives. Some of them will be friends whom we associate with collectively as a part of a larger group of people whilst others will be unique to us and they will remain a totally separate entity from the rest of our friendships.

However we choose our friends, the important thing is that they offer us some sense of meaning to our lives and, hopefully, vice versa. But how do you gauge a friendship? Well, there are certain fundamental questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating friendships. They include:

  • Do you share any interests and do you have similar values and morals
  • When you’re together, do you have fun and do you feel appreciated and connected
  • Do you look forward to spending time with this person
  • Has your friendship stood the test of time both through good times and bad
  • Has any conflict or arguments with this friend been minimal

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of those questions, the chances are that you have a friend worth keeping.

How do I Recognise When a Friendship Isn’t Worth Saving?

You’ll all recognise the phrases “we just clicked straight away” or “we hit it off immediately” and you’ll all have certain friends whom you can say this about – i.e. people whom you were instantly drawn to the moment you first met who have then gone on to become good and long lasting friends.

Other friendships may be just as good but have been a lot slower to come to the boil. Therefore, you’ll all probably be able to relate to people whom you may not have particularly liked the first time you met or whom you gained a false impression about but, having got to know them better, they have still become true friends.

The important thing about friendships is that they don’t always occur instantly and you need to evaluate their potential over a period of time. Ways of identifying if a friendship is not worth saving include:

  • Where a person is constantly swinging the conversation back towards themselves and has no interest in what you have to say
  • Where a person simply uses you to vent their anger and frustration about their own lives
  • Where a person’s life has become such a dramatic ‘soap opera’ that anytime you spend with them, you know it’s going to be emotionally draining and offer you very little fun
  • Where a person is constantly either putting you down and/or criticising you in front of other people or in private
  • Where a person is solely driven to compete with you
  • Where a person betrays your trust

If you can relate to one or more of the above list, it might be time to evaluate whether or not that person is worth having in your life. Remember, friendships are there to enhance your life and bring true value and meaning to it, allowing you to gain a true sense of your own ‘place in the world’.

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I have this friend who's very, very special to me. She's had lots of ups and downs and she's happens to be married but separated. I've been knowing her for almost a year and my feelings for her are very strong. It's literally making me crazy because I never felt this way about anyone in my life before. Its funny how a woman can make a man crazy if she's as special as the one I'm talking about. I ask her questions repeatedly about things so that I always know what to expect. Also, I try to be as careful as possible of the way I treat her. I don't want to cling to her and don't want to feel something for her she's not ready for. She told me once that she valued our friendship weather good or bad. She told me lots of things but still sometimes I asked the same questions. I need to find a way to get rid of these romantic feelingsand need to stop asking questions. I feel like I'm risking losing her as a friend. Please give me some advice.
Livstock - 28-Nov-20 @ 11:56 AM
I have a friend, her name is Cass. We’ve been friends since 3rd grade and now we’re in high school ( grade 7 ) but she moved to a different school. It started off pretty badly we now have different time zones and because of that we kinda had a misunderstanding because she has been getting negative vibes from me but we made up. Kinda. And now she doesn’t start the conversation anymore, the chaotic energy we used to have in our conversations are gone, she doesn’t text me much anymore when before we would text each other every single day, and ik she’s been talking to someone else recently and I have no idea what’s happening to her life now its been days since we talked please help is this friendship still worth saving?
Hair.gel - 6-Oct-20 @ 5:22 PM
I have this friend, that we’ve known each other since kindergarten, but been “friends” since grade 2. Our relationship was kind of on and off friends, because she couldn’t really commit to being an actual friend. Now we’re older, but I still see the same problem. It’s bigger though, as she has negative thoughts and feelings about me, and doesn’t convey them. I found out through her mom. She was being EXTREMELY rude to me when we went out with friends, but in a quite way. Sometimes acting out is worse that saying nothing. But, I really live being with her, and spending time together because we just understand each other. I really do enjoy being with her. On top of that, in our friend group, we have one very possessive friend, who is trying to really break our friendship up in spite of her pettiness. It’s getting really hard to handle, and we all have to go back to school together in less than a month. What do I do? Is the friendship worth saving? I don’t know what to do. I’m torn. I really want to stand my ground in not being friends anymore , but I also really love and and value our friendship. Help please?
elliebellie2020 - 3-Sep-20 @ 6:39 PM
I have a best friend for two years our friendship kinda been on the rocks in the beginning of our friendship we been doing everything in our friendship I kept 3 things from her but she forgive me now I have kept some things from her I been start fights with her just because I want her attention my birthday was last week end she didn't call or text me on my birthday
Kendra Bryant - 23-Aug-20 @ 6:51 PM
My best friend betrayed me. We had arranged to do something big together for our last year on school and after she handed in the online paper of us doing that thing together she suddenly came to me and told me she was going to do it with someone else. She has been doing this for as long as we've been friends and she did apologize but I was very mad so I left her on read. This was a month ago. I want to fix this because she was my best friend but I always am the one who keeps mending things. I also was the one to mend it when she left me alone for an entire week of big events for which I needed her, which happened just a few months before this time. School starts again in a few days and I know she'll be best friends with her new partner while I'll be sitting alone. I just want to have this over with and kinda want to be friends again but I also don't want to be the one to fix this again?? Please help I don't know what to do
May - 15-Aug-20 @ 5:07 PM
Met this nice guy on facebook,he lives in the states and i live in Nigeria.I tell him everything,he comforts me when am down.We chat,video call 247,we were so close.He was a great friend.Then all of a sudden, he stopped video calling,stopped chatting,stopped checking up on me and whenever i dial his number,he doesnt pick.i dont know why the change but have called him to apologise if i wronged him.Seems his mind is made up already.i cry each time i think of him.Dont know what to do.
Nunu - 2-May-20 @ 12:48 PM
I have a friend of 12 years of togetherness. We love each other so much. I trusted her with my life so to say. Our friendship crossed the limit and boundary beyond anyone could understand. For anything and everything we would run to each other even the trivial things. We don't meet often bcz we stay far from each other but the bond of love we share is very strong when we meet. All through those years when we couldn't access to mobile we contact through emails and letters and when we got our cell phones every day we texts each other and video call one another without fail. Every spare time we would leave messages for one another. By the way we also fights alot and stop talking. I used to block her now and then and she used to ignore my texts and calls many times. But later on we forgive and forget everything as if nothing happens. But in the year 2020 Feb first week she met a man and became friend with him. She stopped at once communication with me when I asked her why she said "I love a man and I promise to take care of him and he too promise me the same to me". I cried o my God I don't know how much I cried. I tried for one full month to let her know the worth of our friendship and relationship and that she should not do like this. By the way I am deadly against her friendship with him bcz we are nuns catholic and she is a priest. Love and friendship between a nun and a priest is not normal and much more than that promise to be with each other. But everything I tried they both declared that they love each other and spend hours of chatting and video call each other every night and day. We nuns and priests are not supposed to have this kind of friendship and relationship especially to love eachother this way. It's dangerous for our religious life. But what she told me finally breaks my heart. She can't leave without him, she gives him happiness and change him alot. Even writing this mail I haven't give up on her though we actually don't talk to each other like before. She has ignore me and so I am in the process of ending this beautiful friendship with her. Actually somehow it already end for her it only me who gives contacting her on her part she stopped ever since she met him. Do you think I am doing the right thing in ending our friendship and relationship? I am not sure bcz I still love her, care for her and miss her every day till today. When I remember her my tears simply drop but I know that she has left me for him This is my story thank you for going through it please pray for me to accept the lost of this Friendship and friend.
Sweetie - 21-Mar-20 @ 10:47 AM
My best friend and I have had a rocky but strong relationship for almost five years now. It’s just that..I feel like I’m living a one sided friendship. I feel like I care more about her than she does for me. I feel like more of her therapist than her friend sometimes. I’m there for her when she’s crying about any of her problems, I cheer her up when she gets a worse grade then me, and I also congratulate her when she gets a better grade than me. But whenever I’m sad she doesn’t notice. Whenever I get a better grade than her she becomes depressed. She also seems to be obsessed with competing with me academic wise and comparing her grades with mine to see whether her grade is a success or a failure.Not only that but it seems like it’s always me that initiates our chats. I’ve said so much bad about her but despite that she’s the only one in my friends that supports and encourages me in whatever pursuits I have. She does cheers me when I’m sad when I do tell her about it(I have a hard time expressing my feelings). I want to keep being friends with her but I don’t know how I will if I share all this with her. I don’t know if she is a toxic friend or if I’m just being sensitive. I want to try to keep our friendship and tell her all this so she can improve herself but I don’t want to hurt her feelings because she lives a hard enough life as it is. What should I do? End our friendship because it wasn’t meant to be? Or be there for her and hope she’ll have listened to me?
Marie - 12-Jan-20 @ 5:04 AM
My friend and I have been best friends going into nine years, however in the last 2 to 3 years things have started to change. I went away to school, she didn’t, but we never had issues when I was away. In the last year in a half I lost someone who I was extremely close to and she wasn’t there. We went an entire summer not speaking. I was upset because she wasn’t there. More recently she invited me out with her group of friends to a club. Note: I have never been clubbing, she has. I gave her permission to go into the club hoping she would change her mind. However she did not, which left me wandering around a random city leaving me to call my parents to come get me. I know I have faults in each situation, but as my best friend you know my do’s and do not’s. I felt betrayed that she would leave me alone in an unknown place that she bought me. I’m tried of going back and forth and I accept my faults, but is this friendship worth saving when I’m not being met halfway?
Jill23 - 30-Oct-19 @ 1:43 AM
In my belief I only have 1 friend who has been there through everything (this is not about her). But then i have friends which i want to keep because they mean so much to me, but the friendship doesnt feel right. I feel I care about them waaay more then they care about me. Some friends are more of a 'if you dont talk to me again I wouldn't really mind' then you have those special few (for me it's like 4 or 5 people) who you would never want to see gone and it would hurt you to never be able to talk to them or to laugh and have fun with...what I'm saying is I feel like I should let go of those 4 or 5 friends who mean the world to me because I feel like they dont want me there as much as I want them to be with me (in going into year 11 after summer holidays)
Kayla - 12-Aug-19 @ 5:25 PM
Personal Advice: As a person who once behaved like that, I could tell you just let them go. It’s their way to tell you they don’t want you to be their best friends but they just deal with it very extremely and it hurt you very bad emotionally. They don’t worth you try so hard. Accept that true friends will stand the time test but rarely will we meet them. Friends come and go. Don’t kneel before any relationship. Nothing worth you do that and if you did, it would be destined to be a tragedy.
Emma - 3-Jun-19 @ 5:06 PM
A close friend of mine suddenly is seeming to avoid me.She was always with me during good and bad.Suddenly she has stopped hanging out with me and always says she is busy or has some excuse.But she seems to hang out with others.I am the first one to talk to her whether in person or text/phone and she isn't taking the effort to even talk anymore.I don't know if I should ask her what is wrong or wait for her to talk to me.
mk - 28-Oct-18 @ 3:34 PM
One of my best friends and I do not go to school together anymore. She was always a great friend to me. But all of a sudden she just hangs out with new people now and i just feel like i am not good enoigh to be her friend anymore. I do not know what to do. I am afriad to say something to her.
Av - 4-Jun-18 @ 8:39 PM
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