How to Be A Better Friend

Got Friends? How to Keep Them

( – If you’ve been around the block a time or two, you know by now that relationships evolve over time. Some relationships stand the test of time and distance, but most of them require a little elbow grease and TLC to keep them running smoothly. Science says that it is best to have 4 or 5 very good friends with whom you maintain relatively close relationships.

What can you do to stay closer and keep the flame of friendship alive?

Regular check-ins.

Make sure you try to call at least once every two weeks, if not more often. Everyone gets busy but letting too much time pass can put strain on an otherwise wonderful friendship. Put a reminder on your calendar if you need to. Send a quick text or email even more often if you have time.

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Show appreciation.

Send a card or some flowers for a special occasion. Make an extra phone call to thank your friend for a gift or even a good piece of advice. You’ll both get warm fuzzies when you show they matter to you.

Meet face-to-face.

Try to get together face-to-face, if geographically possible, at least once a month. Friend date! There is nothing about technology that can replace the closeness of a cup of coffee, dinner, and hugs and laughs with your BFF.

Be an active listener.

Don’t respond with simple one-liners like “that’s great” when a friend shares good news. Be an active part of the conversation by asking questions and appreciating the details. Sounds like a no-brainer, but in this world of distractions, it is really important to remember the details and get excited for them!

Let those disagreements go.

Address misunderstandings or disagreements gently and honestly. Make sure both sides of the situation are heard and understood and do what you need to do to patch things up and move on.

Accept your differences.

Having friends exactly like you would be boring. Two peas in a pod can feel good, but branching out to people who challenge your mind to open up is exciting and worthwhile. Accept your friends’ interests and tastes as her own and don’t try to change them. Embrace them for who they are and they’ll do the same for you.

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