How to Determine if a Friendship Is Worth Salvaging

Long-term friends support each other through thick and thin.
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Friendships are important aspects of every person's life. A deep, meaningful connection with someone else can help define who you are. Friends usually provide support, companionship and enjoyment -- and sometimes conflict. If you are experiencing strife in a valued friendship, doubts about whether or not you should continue to be friends are to be expected. Look for signs of an enduring friendship--if they are there, the friendship is worth salvaging.

1 Shared Interests

Friendships evolve when two people share common interests. You and your friend may be on the same swimming team, share similar views on religion or be enrolled in the same dance program. A good friend supports the aspects of your life and your identity that are very important to you, notes Karen Karbo in her Psychology Today article “Friendship: The Laws of Attraction.” A good friend will also support you in things that you do not have in common, for example, going with you to watch your favorite actor in his latest film, even if she is terrified by scary movies.

2 Acts of Selflessness

Consider the things that your friend does for you, especially when he has nothing to gain in return. Your friend makes time to listen to you vent about the horrible day you’ve had, even if he needs to study for exams. He is there with a hug and a shoulder to cry on if there is a death in your family or when your parents are going through a divorce. Your friend does not put you down in front of others or in private in order to make you feel less than you are.

3 Trustworthy

Trust is necessary for any relationship to succeed. You should be able to trust your friend. She will not break your trust by exposing your secrets. You can rely on her to call or show up when she says she will. If you are working on a joint project, you know that your friend will do her part. You rely on your friend's opinion when you need to make certain choices, such as what to wear on your date on Friday. You are sure that she will not intentionally steer you wrong.

4 Willingness to Change

Consider how many times you have had disagreements with your friend where you did not see eye to eye, yet you and your friend worked things out by communicating concerns and issues and coming up with solutions, whether through compromise or agreeing to disagree. You and your friend are willing to alter your behaviors if that will make the other more comfortable. For example, if it bothers you when your friend calls you a funny name in front of others and you ask her to stop, she tries not to do it again.

Latoya Newman is a novelist who wrote and published her first novel in 2012. She has a background in education, research and counseling. She taught at the elementary level for eight years, and has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada.