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Recognising if a Friendship is Worth Saving or Halting

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 12 Aug 2019 | 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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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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