Evaluating a Friendship
You can use the ABCs to help you evaluate any relationship. Let's imagine a situation in which a friend has started to change their behavior.
Instead of hanging out after school, watching movies and doing homework, your friend has been skipping classes and not returning your phone calls. When you talk to some other classmates, you learn that your friend has started hanging out with a group of kids who smoke marijuana during school hours and after school, and also drink frequently. You have known your friend since sixth grade, and the two of you often dreamed about going to college and getting good jobs.
One weekend, after several weekends of not speaking, your friend calls and invites you to a party at his or her house. You are worried about the kind of people who might be at the party, but eager to see your friend, you go anyway. Everything seems to be going smoothly, until your friend approaches, inviting you into the elite backroom to smoke marijuana with his or her other friends.
- Are you aware of all the risks? How can you respond?
- Is there balance in your friendship? Are you balancing your friendship with all the consequences?
- What are your choices? How might your friend react if you agreed to go? How about if you refused? What other options do you have?
- Is your friend being respectful? What qualities of a healthy relationship is your friend violating (withholding friendship, coercion, bribing, etc.)?
- Evaluate if this is a real friendship. Is it healthy? Is it worth remaining friends with this person if he or she continues these behaviors?
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