Friendship is a beautiful gift. No matter what stage of life you are going through, a solid friendship will only make it better. Studies repeatedly show that people with meaningful friends enjoy better well-being, both physically and mentally.

But just like everything in life, change is the only constant. Be it our perception, our bodies, or our friendship. It is a beautiful feeling to witness newer experiences and to overcome struggles. While you may have the same outlook towards your childhood friend, it may not be the same from their end.

Testing your Friendship can be a skeptical approach to interpersonal relationships. The amount of time, energy, and effort that you have invested in a friendship can make you turn a blind eye to the fact that your friend may not be vibrating on the same wavelength as you anymore.

When do you need to Test Your Long-term Friendship?

There are times when your trusted people act towards you in an unexpected way that catches you off guard, in a bad way. You feel hurt but willingly turn a blind eye thinking of it as a rare occurrence in your friendship.

But that same friend gives you another occurrence of unexpected behavior. While they may not be able to receive your call due to any reason, your heart starts to sink if they do not take the time to call you back on more than one occasions.

You are making a deliberate effort to take out time but your friend has started to make excuses lately. You wonder about your position on your friend’s priority list.

You feel angry but decide to let go thinking that your friend might be extremely busy and will revert back later on with his usual energy. But then you see your friend making a priority for other things. He is making all the time in the world for things except for you.

This is when you need to evaluate your friendship no matter how much nurture you have invested over the years. Sometimes, knowing the truth might feel bitter but it is better than forcing yourself to ignore the red flags in a relationship.

Reasons to Test Your Friendship

Verifying Trust and Dependability: – Human beings are not invincible, nobody is. No matter what stage of life you are in, there will be ups and downs and you need to have solid dependability during tough phases. At times when your friendship isn’t sailing like it used to, you may want to verify whether your friend would be dependable if a hard time arrives. Understanding whether you can count on a friend in your absence or with sensitive information can deepen the bond or highlight areas of concern.

Checking for Mutual Respect and Support: – One of the perks of friendship is empathy during challenging times. Now I am not asking you to put your friends in a difficult situation on purpose but it should be interesting to see how your long-time friend reacts when you require emotional support. If your friend still values you, he will not be dismissive of your feelings but will listen and offer support based on your needs.

Respecting the polar opposite perspective: – Friendship is born out of common interests and shared values. People, over some time, evolve, and that evolution may come with a change of opinions that may not align with yours. While friends don’t have to agree on everything, the foundational respect for each other’s opinions is crucial. Evaluating whether a friend respects your boundaries, opinions, and life choices can indicate the long-term viability of the friendship.

How to see whether you still have the back of your friend?

Now that you have known the reasons to test your friendship, it is time to test them using authentic scenarios that will reflect the dynamics of your friendship

Let’s say you have a long-term friend Alex with whom your friendship hasn’t been sailing smoothly for the last few months. You cross-checked Alex’s life and found that Alex doesn’t have a particular reason like work-related stress or personal crisis, which has triggered a change of attitude towards you along with a lack of respect in your friendship. Alex hasn’t been the same with you like he used to be before and you now want to test whether you still have the back of Alex. So let’s create a scenario that can highlight the true reflection of Alex’s priority towards you.

During a casual conversation with Alex, you express a fake concern about your career. You want to see how Alex reacts if he comes to know about your dilemma of about your career situation. You’re looking for a listening ear, some advice, and perhaps some encouragement to make the leap.

Alex’s Reaction:

  • Positive Response: Alex listens attentively, empathizes with your concerns, and offers thoughtful insights and encouragement. They express confidence in your abilities and support your decision to follow your passions, even if it means taking a leap of faith.
  • Negative Response: Alex seems disinterested or distracted, dismisses your concerns without offering any meaningful input, or criticizes your ambitions as unrealistic or impractical. They may not engage with your situation or offer support in any tangible way.

Evaluation: If Alex responded positively, showing genuine support and encouragement, it indicates that they still have your back and value your friendship. This reaffirms the strength of your bond and mutual trust.

However, if Alex reacts negatively or fails to provide the support and understanding you’re seeking, it may suggest a strain in your friendship or a lack of reciprocity in loyalty. This could signal the need for further discussion and reflection on the dynamics of your relationship.

Conversational Example of checking Friend’s Concern by faking a Career Crisis

Rocky: Hey Alex, how’s it going?

Alex: Hey Rocky, not bad, just the usual grind. What’s up with you?

Rocky: Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, you know? About my career and where I want to go from here.

Alex: Oh yeah? What’s been on your mind?

Rocky: I’ve been considering making a big change, maybe switching industries or even starting my own thing. It’s a big decision, you know?

Alex: Hmm, yeah, I guess so. It’s good to have options, I suppose.

Rocky: Yeah, it is. But it’s also pretty daunting, you know? I could really use some advice and support from a friend.

Alex: Yeah, totally. Well, whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You’re pretty resourceful like that.

Rocky: Thanks, Alex. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Alex: No problem, Rocky. Anyway, I gotta run, but catch you later, yeah?

Rocky: Yeah, sure. Take care, Alex.

Conclusion: – Rocky ponders on the conversation that he had with Alex but he just cannot shrug off how dismissive Alex was even when Rocky was asking for sincere advice related to one of the most important things of his life i.e. his career. Alex’s casual and dismissive demeanor suggests a lack of genuine investment in Rocky’s well-being. Rocky doesn’t get angry with Alex’s lack of concern, but he can’t shake off the feeling that their friendship might be reaching a breaking point.

Checking your Long Term Friend’s Response by Faking a Financial Crisis with an example

During a financial crisis, people expect certain things from their long-term friends. These include but are not limited to emotional support, a non-judgemental attitude, practical assistance, social support, confidentiality, and trust.

Let’s say you have a long-term friend named Jonathan with whom things haven’t been great for a long time. Jonathan has adopted a laid-back behavior towards you which doesn’t align with how a long-term friend typically does. You want to test Jonathan’s response and attitude towards your friendship by faking a financial crisis. Lets create a conversation built around Rocky and Jonathan around this scenario.

Rocky: Hey Jonathan, it feels like ages since we’ve really caught up. How’s everything been going with you?

Jonathan: Hey Rocky, yeah, it’s been a bit busy on my end too. Work’s been hectic, you know how it is. How about you?

Rocky: Honestly, things haven’t been great. I’ve been dealing with some unexpected financial troubles, and it’s been really stressing me out.

Jonathan: Oh man, that sucks to hear. What’s been going on?

Rocky: Well, you know how life can throw you curveballs sometimes. I’ve had some unexpected expenses come up, and it’s been a real struggle to keep up with everything. Bills are piling up, and it’s starting to feel overwhelming.

Jonathan: Yeah, I can imagine. Money problems are the worst. Have you thought about maybe cutting back on expenses or finding ways to increase your income?

Rocky: Of course, I’ve been trying to tighten my budget and explore some side hustles, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s like every time I think I’m getting ahead, something else comes up to set me back.

Jonathan: Hmm, yeah, that sounds tough. But hey, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You’re a smart guy, Rocky, and you’ve always been pretty resourceful.

Rocky: Thanks, Jonathan. I appreciate the vote of confidence. But you know, sometimes it’s not just about being smart or resourceful. Sometimes you just need a bit of support from your friends, you know?

Jonathan: Yeah, I get that. And hey, I’m always here if you need to talk or anything. But you know, Rocky, at the end of the day, you’re the only one who can really take control of your situation. You gotta be proactive and take charge of your finances.

Rocky: Right, I understand that. But sometimes it’s not just about taking control; it’s about having someone to lean on when things get tough. I guess I was just hoping for a bit more than just words of encouragement.

Jonathan: I hear you, Rocky. And I’m sorry if it feels like I’m not being supportive enough. But you know, life’s tough, and we all have our own problems to deal with. It’s not easy for any of us.

Rocky: Yeah, I get that. It’s just disappointing when you realize that the people you thought you could count on aren’t there for you when you need them the most.

Jonathan: Look, Rocky, I care about you, I really do. And I want to help however I can. But you gotta understand, I’ve got my own stuff going on too, you know?

Rocky: Yeah, I understand. Thanks for listening, Jonathan. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest.

Jonathan: Anytime, Rocky. Seriously, if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know.

Jonathan: Speaking of which, I’ve been dealing with some stress at work lately. It’s been really hectic, and I feel like I’m drowning in deadlines. But you know, enough about me. Let’s focus on you. How are you feeling about your financial situation now?

Conclusion: – As the conversation progresses, Rocky realizes that Jonathan is subtly trying to shift the focus away from his financial troubles and onto Jonathan’s problems. Despite Rocky’s attempts to express his struggles and seek support, Jonathan continues to downplay the severity of Rocky’s situation and redirect the conversation towards himself. Rocky acknowledges Jonathan’s lack of genuine concern and feels disappointed by his friend’s apparent indifference to his struggles.