10 Ways to Be a Better Friend


Friendships have a major impact on your health and well-being, and good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship-but it’s not always easy to build or maintain friendships. Understand the importance of friendships in your life and what you can do to develop and nurture friendships.  Here are HFR‘s tips to being a better friend:

  •  Be there for Thick and Thin:  Tough times are an inevitable part of life.  We grow from our good and bad experiences and we all benefit greatly from those who stick by our sides when the going sometimes gets rough.  Even though tough times in a relationship are difficult to deal with, making it through these times makes a friendship stronger and deeper.  So don’t give up on your friends!
  • Be Honest:  This part of being a great friend can be the toughest. People don’t always want to hear the honest truth. But that’s what a great friend does. You tells it like it is—even when it might be hard to speak the truth.  Because no matter how your friend initially reacts, they will always appreciate that you were honest with them.
  • Be Encouraging:  Encouragement is one of the best things about having a great friend and being a great friend. No matter how down or stressed you feel, a great friend will remind you that you’re awesome, that you’re on the right path, and that you can do it. Great friends don’t stop encouraging you, even when you’ve completed a goal- they help you make it to the next one.
  • Balance Giving and Taking:  As with any relationship,  to be a great friend, you must learn to give (your time, your truth, your love), but you must also learn to accept what’s given in return.  Focus on keeping this balancing act going, so that you both feel respected and appreciated in the friendship.
  • Make an Effort:  There are times in life when you will feel like what you have going on is all consuming- but make an effort to be there for your friends, as much as you can.  If you want to be a great friend, you have to make an effort. And sometimes it’s the little things that matter most—the letters, the phone calls, the quick catch-up lunches. A great friend will put in the time to stay connected.
  • Respect Differences:  While some of the best relationships are built on mutual interests, to be a great friend must be able to respect the line where the similarities end and recognize that differences don’t have to stand in the way of a good relationship. In fact, some of the best relationships can come develop with those who are quite different. The key is respect.  You don’t have to agree with them, but always respect them.
  • Don’t take them for Granted:  No matter how long you’ve been friends or how solid your relationship is, know that a great friend will never, ever take that relationship for granted.  A great friend will make a point to treasure the relationship and will make it clear how much they value it.
  • Don’t Judge:  judgments will only put strain on the relationship. A great friend is willing to speak the truth, but he or she holds back from adding personal judgment to those words of wisdom. Avoid comparisons, because they are a surefire way to damage a good relationship.
  • Strive to focus on the Positive:  Though a great friend will be honest and truthful, they will also search for the good and focus on the positive elements of a friend’s life. No matter how negative a friend gets, it is important to redirect the focus back to the positive.  This will ultimately keep everything in perspective, long-term.
  • Be a Friend to Yourself:  The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one.  To be a great friend, you must also be your own friend. The foundation of any relationship is the relationship you have with yourself—so cultivate a good relationship within and, in doing so, you will become a better friend to others. Loving and appreciating yourself sets the tone for how you will love and appreciate others so put an effort into creating both internal and external relationships.

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