How to Know If You Should Fix a Broken Friendship

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Two friends laughing over lunch and coffee. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Friendships are crucial for a happy, fulfilled life. Friends provide support, love and an emotional connection that may be lacking elsewhere. However, arguments and misunderstandings between friends may lead to conflict. When deciding whether to fix a broken friendship, you must decide whether your friend is a positive figure in your life, and consider where the ultimate responsibility for the deterioration of your relationship lies.

Identify the Problem

Before you decide whether a friendship is worth saving, you need to give some thought to why you are in this position. It's normal for a friendship to go through rough patches. An argument, a misunderstanding or a betrayal may have a negative effect on the relationship. A friendship may fall apart if issues are not addressed. Most relationship problems boil down to a lack of communication, according to life coach Rebecca Bent in the article, "How to Fix a Friendship...And Why It's Worth It!" for the "Huffington Post. Perhaps your friend said something that hurt your feelings, but you didn't let her know. She didn't realize you were hurt, and you thought this meant she didn't care about you. In this scenario, both parties are to blame. Your friend should have considered whether her words would cause you hurt, and you should have been honest about how her words made you feel.

Think Whether Reconciliation Is Possible

In some situations, a friendship may be beyond repair. If your friend has done something that you view as unforgivable, such as coming on to your husband, spreading malicious gossip about you, or betraying a confidence, it may be unlikely that your friendship is fixable. Everybody has different boundaries, limits and deal-breakers. Consider what your limits are, and whether your friend has pushed them too far. Perhaps you are the one who has failed to behave as a good friend should. If you have tried to make amends and your ex-friend has made it clear that she is not interested, you need to respect her wishes and move on.

Think About What You Have to Lose

Consider what your friend brings to your life. A true friend values your happiness, respects your principles, and encourages you to be the best version of yourself that you can be, says Alex Lickerman, M.D., in the article, "What Makes a True Friend," for "Psychology Today." If you are certain that your friend does all this and more -- regardless of what issues you are facing in your relationship -- your friendship is worth fixing. On the other hand, if you feel happier, more content and more relaxed without your friend in your life, this is a clear sign that you should go your separate ways.

Ask for Advice

You may be so close to a situation, that it's difficult to think clearly about it. If you can't decide whether a friendship is worth saving, consider asking someone you trust for their opinion. Nobody can -- or should -- tell you what to do, but an outsider may be able to help you put things into perspective. Perhaps you are blaming your friend for the broken friendship, when you are in fact equally to responsible. Another close friend or relative may be able to help you face up to the truth of the matter, which will help you make the right decision.

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