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How To Be Better Friends With Others

Are you looking for real friendship? Do you have a desire to build deeper, more meaningful connections? Learning how to be better friends with others is a worthy endeavor that will not only enhance your life, but also the lives of those around you.

In this guide, we’ll explore a variety of strategies and real-life scenarios to help you become a more supportive, understanding, and dependable friend.

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Learning Empathy and Active Listening

One of the foundations of strong friendships is empathy. To be a better friend, it’s necessary to practice active listening. For instance, when your friend shares a personal struggle, resist the urge to immediately offer solutions. Instead, listen attentively and validate their feelings. Imagine yourself in their shoes, and respond with empathy.

Let’s say your friend Alex, is going through a tough breakup. Instead of jumping in with advice, you might say, “I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you. I’m here to listen and support you in any way you need.”

Hence, instead of offering sympathy and unsolicited advice, lend your support along with an offer to help in any way your friend needs. Listen to what is being said and respond to it with caring and connection.

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Communicate Openly and Honestly

Effective communication is key to maintaining healthy friendships. Be honest and open with your friends, sharing your thoughts, feelings, and concerns while encouraging them to do the same. Honesty fosters trust and strengthens bonds.

An example of this is Sarah’s situation. Sarah has been frequently canceling plans with her friend, Amy. Instead of harboring resentment, Amy says, “I’ve noticed we’ve had to reschedule our plans a lot lately. Is everything okay? I value our time together and want to make sure we can still hang out.”

By offering genuine support and encouragement, Amy has opened the door for Sarah to discuss any issues affecting herself or their friendship. Being present and willingly participating in difficult conversations as well as easy discussions is a sign of true friendship. Relationships without honesty and a willingness to listen rarely last long.

Respect Boundaries

Respecting your friends’ boundaries is essential. Everyone has their limits and personal space. Be mindful of these boundaries, and don’t push your friends into uncomfortable situations. Show that you respect their autonomy and choices.

In the above scenario with Sarah and Amy, Amy knows to back off if Sarah isn’t ready to talk about her situation. But Amy will be sure that Sarah understands Amy is always ready to listen if Sarah does want to talk.

Another example of setting boundaries is Chris’s story. Chris recently declined an invitation to Carrie’s party because he needed some alone time with his busy girlfriend. Instead of insisting that Chris and his girlfriend attend the party, Carrie responded by saying, “I completely understand. We’ll catch up another time. Take all the time you need.”

Carrie’s response allowed Chris to enjoy much needed time with an important person in his life without feeling guilty. Chris will be ready to catch up with Carrie soon, knowing she won’t put pressure on him or make demands that he’s unable to meet.

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Offer Support in Times of Need

Being there for your friends when they need you the most is a hallmark of a great friendship. Offer your support without judgment whether it’s during challenging times or moments of celebration. Making time for friends in need, even when it’s not convenient, is a special and valuable gift.

For instance, if your friend loses her job, a comforting thing for you to say is, “I’m so sorry to hear about your job. If you want to talk, vent, or even just distract yourself, I’m here for you.” Of course, if your friend takes you up on your offer, be sure to follow through.

Celebrate Achievements Together

Don’t forget to celebrate your friends’ successes, no matter how big or small. Being genuinely happy for their achievements strengthens your bond and shows that you’re invested in their happiness. Suggest a night out to celebrate, give them a small and thoughtful gift, or arrange a special dinner for them at home.

For instance, your friend, Taylor, just graduated from college. To show her how much you care, you send a heartfelt message stating, “Congratulations on your graduation! I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished. Let’s celebrate by me treating you to dinner at your favorite restaurant!”

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Concluding How To Be Better Friends

Building stronger friendships is about nurturing trust, understanding, and mutual support. This practice ultimately enriches both your life and the lives of your friends with deeper, more meaningful connections.

However, becoming a better friend is an ongoing process that requires effort, empathy, and understanding. Practicing active listening, communicating openly, respecting boundaries, offering support without judgment, and celebrating achievements, allows you to build stronger and more fulfilling friendships. It is a rewarding experience that pays off with big benefits often lasting a lifetime.

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22 Comments

  1. These are all excellent tips for creating strong lasting friendships. Making new friends seems to be the hardest part of the journey for me. I’m a bit socially awkward, but typically once someone gets to really know me, we become friends.

  2. Making new friends is easy but being good to them is not easy. You have shared amazing tips regarding maintaining healthy friendships with both old and new friends.

    Thanks a bunch for this useful post.

  3. This is very good advice. I especially like how you talked about supporting without judgement. I think this is why one of my best friends and I remained close. We learned how to except each other how we are along with our ups and downs.

  4. It’s nice having friends! I agree that we must know how to show empathy and learn how to actively engage in communication to build good relationships with friends because through that we can show our genuine intentions with them.

  5. I appreciate how you talk about talking honestly with people in friendships. Communication is such an important part of good relationships!

  6. The boundaries suggestion! It’s SO essential. It’s frustrating the friends I have that don’t respect boundaries and it’s something that I definitely need to be more conscious of. It’s amazing too how the older I get the more respectful my friends are.

  7. I love the examples that you’ve provided … I feel like I’ve been in many of these scenarios and it helps to understand better ways to work through them!

  8. I love how you included real-life scenarios for each situation – it makes it much more relatable 🙂
    By the way, regarding practicing active listening, one of the best tips I’ve heard and adopted is asking the other person what they’re hoping to get from talking to you. A good question to ask would be “Do you need advice or support from me?” – and then you can act accordingly 🙂

  9. I so often get caught up in everything that is going on in my life I sometimes neglect being a good friend. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to nurture our relationships. Great tips in this article.

  10. Love the title of your site! This blog post would be a great one to share with teens and young adults. I see so many groups of “friends” (and even families) out having dinner together and yet they’re on their cell phones and not interacting. Loved the ideas you presented.

  11. My best friends are the ones who care about what’s bothering me, and I do the same for them. If someone only thinks about themselves and care to listen to anything I share, they’re not my favorite people.

  12. This was such a great post. And the celebrating achievments is such a good one. I’m one of those people that love on people publicly so if my friend accomplished something the whole world will know about it lol.

  13. I love these recommendations, they’re all so true! I have friends who are terrible at boundaries and it truly does make the friendship suffer. This is great guidance, thank you for sharing!

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