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I think TLC broke down what a real friend is about best: “What about your friends?/Will they stand their ground?/Will they let you down again?/What about your friends, are they gonna be low down?/Will they ever be around…or will they turn their backs on you?”

No one imagines that the friend they confide in, hang out with on the regular, and even consider a sister, would turn their backs on a friendship, but when it does happen, it hurts. It’s almost like a bad breakup. If you and the ex-friend roll in a group, the friends you share become like kids stuck in a bitter divorce. If they want to hang out with you, your ex-friend doesn’t want to be around, and if you all do end up in the same place, you and the ex-homie don’t even speak. At some point, if you’ve known that individual for a long time, you wonder whether or not you should try and fight for your friendship (c’mon, losing those childhood friends over small stuff is stupid), or if you’ve got to do like Keyshia Cole said and “Let it Go.” Caught in a situation like this now? Here are a few factors that might help you make a decision about the future of your friendship.

How Important is This Friendship?

When you and a friend fall out, it can definitely be a stressful time. There’s unnecessary tension, a lot of confusion, and it’s going to take a minute for people to put their pride aside to work things out. While you’re dealing with all this you should ask yourself how much of a friend this “friend” really was. Were they always starting drama? Did they exhibit a lot of shady behavior? Or did they show you a lot of love and loyalty in the time that you were cool? Depending on what side of the fence they fall on, you can decide if the friendship is worth saving or if homegirl was doing too much for you anyway…

Are They Going Through Something Bigger Than Your Beef?

Sometimes the circumstances of life can put people in emotional states where they end up lashing out at the people who care about them most. Whether it’s a bad breakup, the death of someone close to them, a stressful job situation–if someone is going through it, they might unintentionally put you through it too. If they rarely exhibit the behavior that caused you to fall out, you might want to give them their space and time, but still try and let them know that you care. While things might not be the same later, once they get through their situation, they might regret their decisions and want to make things right. If they matter to you, it never hurts to leave that door open for the future, even if you don’t feel like being bothered with the drama for the moment.

If They’re Upset With You, Do You Know Why?

Nothing is probably worse than when you have a friend stop calling you, stop texting you, and just go M.I.A. when it comes to you for some big reason. And it gets 10 times worse when you have no clue what that reason is. A lot of people often flip out when they realize someone is mad at them, rather then trying to figure out what the real deal is. I think that before you call it quits, you should put forth the effort to figure out why your friend has become so upset and see if you can work things out. There isn’t a standard number of phone calls that you should make or a number of emails you should send, but if you’ve known that person forever, you might not want to give up so easily.

Are You Doing All the Work?

Are you the one doing all the calling and the only one trying to make contact? It’s cool to put forth a strong effort to show your friend you want to figure things out, but if they’re not doing a damn thing, you might want to start thinking about cutting your losses…The last thing I’m sure you want is a friend who thinks they’re doing you a favor by working things out with you and doesn’t seem as excited about reconciliation as you do.

Is This Individual ALWAYS Like This?

What fun is a friend who always blows up about the smallest things, gets upset, and then goes M.I.A. to get her point across? Friends who deserve an Academy Award for their theatrics are usually a lot of work, and if you’re down for that, then that’s cool. But if this friend and their behavior are becoming too much for you, it might be time to re-evaluate how much you really want them around. Because even if you work things out now, homegirl might spaz out again a few months from now, and who needs all that drama continuously?

Have You Looked At Things From All Sides?

It’s pretty easy to think your friend is overreacting about whatever you all are at odds about, but I’ve found that asking people their thoughts OUTSIDE the drama works to gain a better perspective. Whether that’s mom, a sister, or a boyfriend (who has good sense), looking for the bigger picture from an outside party might help you figure out if you’re tripping, if you you have the right to trip, and if working things out is the best option for you and this friend of yours.

Good luck!

What factors help you determine if your friendship is worth saving?

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