Is Your Friendship Worth Saving?

Friendship can be an enriching experience. However, it can also seriously harm you if you don't realize when it's become a damaging relationship. Indeed, there are occasions when those close to you do you no good at all. In these instances, the best thing you can do is to walk away.
Is Your Friendship Worth Saving?

Last update: 01 January, 2021

Have you ever wondered if a friendship you have with someone is really positive and beneficial to you? Have you ever asked yourself if you’re being too picky or if that, in reality, that person’s behavior is actually toxic and harmful to you? It isn’t easy to accept that the time’s come to end an important relationship. This article will give you some key guidelines for assessing friendships. In fact, they’ll help you recognize whether or not your friendship is worth saving at all.

We’re social animals by nature. For this reason, establishing and maintaining meaningful and deep bonds like friendship can benefit you greatly. However, not all friendships are positive. Indeed, some friendships can seriously harm you.

However, despite this fact, this isn’t always easy to recognize, let alone act, when a friendship is damaging. Indeed, you might tend to maintain harmful friendships due to the sheer force of habit. Or perhaps because you’ve shared so many years of friendship, or even due to fear. Thus, you tend to go to extreme limits in justifying the friendship in order to avoid ending it. However, the following guidelines should help you decide if a friendship is worth saving or not.

Is your friendship worth saving?

Two friends shaking hands.

Is your friendship reciprocal?

Reciprocity is an essential element in any human relationship. When you bond with someone emotionally, it’s really important for there to be a give and take. If there isn’t, the relationship is unbalanced because one holds more power than the other.

Therefore, if you’re in a friendship where you’re the only one who invests their time, energy, and resources in the relationship, you need to take note. Of course, everyone has certain obligations and things to do, and it isn’t healthy to expect those around you to always be available. However, if you know someone who repeatedly demonstrates that your friendship isn’t a priority to them, you might need to reanalyze it.

Is your friend loyal?

As your circumstances and environments change, so do you. You might make many new connections. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect those that were in your life before.

There are those who stop caring about one relationship when another one comes along which seems more fitting and advantageous to them at the time. Then, when this relationship fails or their circumstances change, they go back to the one they abandoned. If you’re a victim of this type of behavior, set some limits.

Is your friend reliable?

All friendships are based on trust. In fact, trust is the pillar on which intimacy, mutual support, and confidence are built. However, if you discover that a friend has divulged your secrets to others, or that they’ve said bad things about you, or lied to you, that trust is irretrievably broken. So you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth keeping someone in your life that you can’t trust?

Is it a healthy relationship?

In order to find out if a relationship is worthwhile, you need to check if it’s a healthy friendship. Therefore, it needs to be free from any manipulation, coercion, and emotional blackmail. A good friend allows you freedom, respects your decisions, and doesn’t try to manipulate you.

Furthermore, a healthy relationship isn’t contaminated with jealousy. It’s a relationship in which both people rely on each other and each one supports and encourages the other in achieving their personal goals. If the other person tries to sabotage you, downplays your accomplishments, or tries to convince you that you’ll never achieve your goals, it’s best to walk away.

A man and woman talking.

Is your friendship still worth it?

If you realize that some of your friends don’t meet the above guidelines, spend a bit of time thinking about them. You need to be assertive and capable of expressing to them how you’re feeling. Furthermore, it’s okay to allow them the opportunity to change their behavior, as they might be totally unaware of the damage they’ve been causing.

However, if, after you’ve expressed your opinion, they still persist in their behavior, you need to prioritize your own health and well-being. In fact, you need to remember that you’re actually the reflection of the people you spend most of your time with. Therefore, you should be careful about who you choose to be around you.

It can be hard to end an old friendship. However, if you become aware of something damaging that you never noticed before, you shouldn’t feel guilty about looking after yourself.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Bucosky Yolde, M. (2018). Las relaciones de amistad, valores asociados y bienestar psicológico, en población adulta de CABA y el GBA. In X Congreso Internacional de Investigación y Práctica Profesional en Psicología XXV Jornadas de Investigación XIV Encuentro de Investigadores en Psicología del MERCOSUR. Facultad de Psicología-Universidad de Buenos Aires.
  • Porter, E. (1999). Mujeres y amistades: Pedagogías de la atención personal y las relaciones. Feminismos y pedagogías en la vida cotidiana. Madrid: Edición Morata, 66-86.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.