When was the last time you had a quarrel with a close friend or family member? Arguments with people dear to you are usually the most painful and personal. That’s the double edge sword of a good relationship. When you care deeply about someone, they possess the most potential to evoke in you, an intense response. But know this, the opposite of love is not hate, its indifference. So when you find yourself loathing that person close to you after an argument, know that those potent emotions stem from your close attachment to them, and that’s why you’re taking the disagreement so personally.

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It’s at these moments of conflict you find yourself at the crossroads of a relationship, deciding how to move on, whether to excommunicate this person from your life, or make peace. Here are a few pointers on how to go about it. Of course, relationships are immensely complicated. There is no one fool proof formula, but guidelines no doubt help you think about the situation more clearly.

What was the reason for the disagreement?

Fights are not always detrimental to a relationship. Occasionally, they are good. They confront certain issues that create opportunities for you to either become closer, or fail to deal with it and drift apart. The outcome is very dependent on how both parties respond.

What was the motive behind the argument? Would addressing it beneficial to you or to the friendship? If either one of you was pointing out a weakness or flaw with the right intention and desire to support, then realize that the friendship is worth saving. Only true friends are motivated to create conflict to help solve a problem they see in their friends. So when that happens, lay down that ego, acknowledge that the person cares for you and make sure she remains in your life.

Have they been truthful and honest?

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A healthy relationship is always rooted in trust; something that takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Without mutual honesty, there is no relationship. The difference between a stranger and a friend is this: In the event where you tell someone to hold your wallet, you’re fairly certain a friend would not run away with it. You hold expectations over a friend to mean what they say to you, and these assumptions are right to have. It’s the trust that creates the bond. And when that trust is broken, the bonds dissolves very quickly. If you’ve been betrayed, you feel the foundation of your relationship crumbling. You can no longer stand on it, you’re questioning the existence of it in the first place. That’s how traumatic a breach of your trust is, and it can be an almost sure fire way to end a friendship. In cases like these, a second chance may be wise to offer, but again, an incredibly subjective circumstance. Try flipping the situation around. If you were the guilty one, do you think you deserve a second chance to try to regain her trust? If you do, offer it. If not, it’s time to cut ties for good.

Are they valuing your friendship as much as you?

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It takes two to tango. And just one person putting in all the effort in a friendship is deleterious. Too heavy a burden will fall on one person. They’ll try to manage for a while, have a burn out, feel unreciprocated and then give up in frustration. So if you’re the one in that position, consider carefully if this person is worth the effort. After a certain time, stop making those efforts and see if she starts contributing. If not, and the relationship grinds to a halt without her acknowledging it, it’s best to move on. If you weren’t worth her time, she shouldn’t take up any more of yours.

 

In the end, it really is up to you whether to let go or hold on. And you could reach your conclusion with the most bizarre of reasons. But then again, there is value in every relationship you make. People are immensely divergent and you can always learn a thing or two from even the simplest of people. You never know what gems they will be able to share with you in life, so colour your life with friends from different backgrounds, and remember, the only way to have a good friend is to be one.

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