Think of all your friends. Now, think of your time with them: what's it like? You may find that some friends sustain you and some drain you (or even a bit of each).

Here are three questions you should ask yourself about people you hang out with, to see if the balance is right.

Three girlfriends having fun. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Question 1: Is The Friendship Stable?

What's a stable friendship? The ones that keep going, no matter what.

You've had friends where sometimes you're in touch and together, and then suddenly they disappear, not returning messages or taking too long to do so.

Woman looking afar. Photo by Joel Naren on Unsplash

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If things aren't stable, you should ask your friend outright: "Hey, I haven't heard from you in a while. What's up?"

Question 2: Is The Friendship Positive?

You're a rockstar.

Do your friends make you feel good about yourself and your accomplishments? Do they share an interest in what you do? If yes, you're in a positive crew.

If your friends only seem to dwell on the negative when you're together, they might have a different idea of what your friendship is about — or maybe it's something else that has nothing to do with your friendship.

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Approach your friend and say: "Hey, it seems whenever we're together, I notice you're not always in the best mood. Is everything ok?"


What are the vibes like in a negative friendship?

Question 3: Is The Friendship Cooperative?

Are you and your friends doing things for each other? Listening to each other?

For example, you offer them a job search tip, and they give you one in return. Or you offer a time to get together, and they do the same the next time, without waiting too long.

Friends making love signs together. Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

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If it seems like a one way street, with you doing all the outreach and planning, then it might be time to ask for something in return (or distance yourself).

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Phoebe and Rachel from friends hugging each other

Friendships aren't always easy. And COVID-19 has put them to the test. While all your relationships won't be perfect, there should at least be a commitment with each person. Ask yourself, is it:

  • Stable?

  • Positive?

  • Cooperative?

If you checked all three, then it's a friendship in balance. If one or more aren't checked, think carefully:


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