How to Be a Good Friend: 4 Helpful Tips

While it’s an innate skill for some people, learning how to be a great friend won’t come naturally to everyone. Friendships are crucial for our overall happiness, but building and maintaining them can be challenging.

We want to help you learn how to be a good friend so you can foster healthy relationships within your community. Read on to learn more.

1. Listen First

Have you ever noticed that many people seem to enter conversations only with the intention of talking about themselves? While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to share, you should always make an effort to listen as well.

When your friend is speaking to you, try to absorb what they’re saying. Make eye contact and practice active listening techniques. You want to make your friend feel heard.

Being a good friend and building relationships is all about letting someone know that you’re listening.

2. Set (and Accept) Boundaries

Boundaries are crucial for any time of interpersonal relationship. Friendships are no exception.

When you set boundaries, you teach the other person how to interact with you. While boundaries may seem like walls, healthy boundaries are actually more like welcome mats and doorbells.

They let your friend know when and how they can enter your life.

You should also respect the other person’s boundaries. If someone isn’t feeling up to talking or if they need space, do your best not to take it as an insult. That person is setting a boundary with you, and that means that they value your relationship!

3. Offer Tokens of Appreciation

While gifts aren’t necessary for good and strong friendships, offering the occasional token of appreciation when it seems needed is a great way to solidify your relationship with your friend.

Unless it’s a birthday or holiday, keep gifts small. Large gifts may make people feel awkward or as though they have to return the favor.

You could make them a piece of art, make a friendship bracelet (look at for more info), or even buy a small trinket that reminds you of them.

Tokens of appreciation shouldn’t be grand gestures. They’re there to show your friend that you’re thinking of them.

4. Spend Quality Time Together

Make sure that you’re spending enough time with your friend. “Enough” will vary depending on the friendship (as will the type of quality time).

Some people are able to maintain their friendships even when they’re not sharing physical space. They may visit each other once per year or even talk on the phone or online. That’s still quality time.

Other people need more frequent quality time. You don’t have to spend a lot of time together. Even a walk or a “coffee date” every week or so is often enough to strengthen a friendship.

That’s How to Be a Good Friend

This is only a brief guide on how to be a good friend. Being a good friend isn’t the same for everyone. Remember that all friendships are different, so try to suit your needs and the needs of your friend rather than using a one-size-fits-all method.

Are you interested in more articles about building and maintaining relationships? Check out the rest of the site.