Sometimes we all need a little reminder about how to be a good friend and how importance friendships are. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind — with work, kids, chores, etc. — that before you know it, weeks have gone by since you last spoke with your BFF. But don’t feel bad! You’re not alone. According to Lifeboat’s The State of Friendship in America Report 2013, “Three quarters of Americans are not truly satisfied with the state of their friendships,” and, “Twice as many Americans say they’d prefer deeper friendships over more friends.” These 10 tips on how to be a good friend are so simple yet the rewards are priceless.
1. It’s the Little Things
You don’t need to spend a bundle or plan a lavish party to let your friends know you care. Little things like picking up a book or trinket you think they’d like or showing up with their favorite chai latte are enough to make anyone feel special.
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2. Be a Good Listener
Especially when you haven’t seen each other in while, you may be bursting with news to share. Make a point of asking what’s going on in your friend’s life before you launch into the hilarious 20-minute story about losing your keys.
3. Make the Time
Time is precious and friends are often pretty far down the list after work, kids, spouse, parents, in-laws…. Like plants, it’s essential to nurture and tend your friendships or they’ll wither and die.
4. We All Need Someone to Lean On
Everyone goes through hard times and this has got to be one of best tips for how to be a good friend. Be that person your best pals can count on for support during the tough times.
5. Know When to Tell it Like it Is
Every now and then a reality check is in order. It’s often easier to tell people what you think they want to hear rather than the cold, hard truth. However, the cold, hard truth — if delivered with love — may be what’s really needed.
6. Know When Not To
And then there are those times when it’s okay to tell a little white lie. When you really know someone inside and out, you’ll know when a bit of sugar coating is in order.
7. Face Time
No, we don’t mean that Face Time. We mean actual old-school face time (lowercase). Groups are fun and when time is short social multi-tasking is a must but your bestie deserves to have your undivided attention every now and then.
8. The Good, the Band & the Ugly
We all have faults and when you know someone well, you often get an up-close view of them. It’s okay to let friends know if you don’t like certain things they do as long as you also let them know you love them anyway.
9. Be a Cheerleader
Don’t forget to remind your gal pals what’s so amazingly fantastic about them. Cheer them on and pay them lots of compliments just because.
10. Remember Milestones
Nothing’s worse than forgetting birthdays, anniversaries and other major life milestones. Keep a calendar with all of your friends’ important dates.