27 Small but Very Impactful Ways to Be a Better Friend
I used to hate when my parents didn’t like someone I thought was a friend. It’s like they could see right through them, but I was blinded for some reason. The people I wasn’t as close to, they seemed to like. I never understood this. Additionally, my mother used to always say, “you don’t have any friends”, or “I am your friend”, or “you will only have a handful of friends when you grow up”.
I thought she was being negative at a young age, but turns out, neither one of my parents missed the mark about who was a real friend to me or not.
They say friends are the family you get to choose. I love this quote so much because I've met some beautiful souls so far in my life. They have helped me develop into a strong person by just being a good friend to me. We aren't perfect, but we are there for one another. We make each other strong. We learn from one another's mistakes. Mama was right! You only get a handful of true friends that you can call framily (friends + family).
From watching strong friendships develop around me to building my own friendships, I’ve created a list of really small but highly impactful actions to show your friend(s) that you love them without going too far out of your way, spending too much or using much of your resources to prove it:
Words matter from the people who matter
Tell your friends you love them while they are still alive!
Tell your friend you are proud of them.
Tell him/her what you admire about their strengths.
Be an accountable friend. Apologize when needed.
Say “Thank you”. Don’t assume that the person knows that you're grateful. Speak it.
Listen without having an opinion.
Listen without interrupting.
Check on your strongest friends more often. Ask them about their day, business, children, etc. because the strongest friends won't often share much of their struggle. However, you will always hear it in their conversation.
Choose a better time to share your exciting news when your friend is experiencing life’s turbulence. It’s okay to share and celebrate your WINS too, but if your buddy is crying or angry, take time to listen.
Pick up the tab.
Send them Starbucks/favorite breakfast place coupons/gift cards for their morning routine when their week is tough.
Introduce them to others who can help them with their business goals.
Babysit for a night (only if you have the patience for kids, LOL)
Cook/have drinks and movies at the house.
Assist in ways you can help build up their weaknesses.
Send gratitude quotes, memes, images, when your friend is down.
Tell them the truth when they need to hear it. Be mindful of your approach though. Delivery is everything!
Say NO. Saying “yes”, especially when you need to say no time develops an unhealthy and unbalanced friendship. It will build unnecessary resentment.
If your friend doesn’t look good in something to wear, suggest something different for them. Again, delivery is everything!
Be empathetic. If you don't understand the why, try your best to understand how they feel and be compassionate.
Give space when needed.
Share their creations with the world.
Attend their event or tell other people about it.
Send information about subjects they take interests in.
Accept your differences without an emotional attachment to it, especially if it doesn’t attack your morals and values.
Allow your friend to act and think differently than you. After all, they are their own person with their personal preferences and opinions too.
Be objective. If you disagree, respectfully disagree and move on.
Friendships are very important. They help us manage stress, increase joy, strategize resolutions, and grow personally and professionally. True friends hold our deepest fears and our greatest strengths. Friends watch us fail and fall but never leave. They stick around through all of the breakups. They are there for the graduations, babies, and life adventures. Those relationships need to be nurtured just as much as we nurture the romantic relationships we enter.
It takes being a great friend to know a great friend. All of these suggestions show great character. They exude unconditional love, at the least. We tend to celebrate people when they die. Let's improve that. Let's celebrate people while we have them here and alive!
Feel free to add in the comments what you love to give and receive from a friend. It may help others who want to grow and nurture their friendships!