Here’s How To Be A Good Friend in 10 Ways

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” We all have heard this saying countless times. But does being a friend in need make you a “good friend?” If you’re wondering ‘how to be a good friend’ or what are the criteria that make you a ‘good friend’, continue reading. 

We will give you a comprehensive guide and tell you 10 ways to be a good friend in this ever-connected yet ‘each to their own’ world.

Is It Tough To Be A Good Friend?

For most of us, the criteria for a rock-solid friendship came from popular TV shows like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Office etc which show friendship bonds like no other.

At one point in time, everyone wanted a friendship like Joey and Chandler or Ted and Marshall (and Barney as well). On the more unusual side, there was Dwight and Jim. These friendships are the ones we grew up watching and at some point in time thought that is what friendship meant, and we all wanted friends like them. 

Making a real friend and more importantly, maintaining that friendship can be much more difficult than what we see on TV. 

With that being said, being a good friend isn’t always easy; it requires a lot of effort and nurturing from both sides. 

But that doesn’t have to mean that being a good friend has to be difficult. 

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10 Ways to be a Good Friend

Take a minute and think: what should a good friend be like to you? What does friendship mean to you? True friendship is sometimes as simple as being there for them and sometimes a lot more complicated and challenging than that.

 So, what should a true friend be like? What qualities do you need to possess to truly become a ‘real’ friend to someone? Let’s find out ways to be a better friend

1. Be a good listener

There is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Being a good listener shows a mutual sense of respect and indicates that you are being a good friend. There are a few things you can take care of

  • Do not interrupt when they are talking, especially if you have something contradicting to say.
  • Maintain an eye contact and a positive body language when they are talking to you
  • Understand the difference between hearing and listening. Try being a good listener and don’t rush to reply.
  • Just listening is not enough– acknowledge what they are saying and respond accordingly. 

Being a good listener is a good quality in life in general. However, in a friendship, it is one of the most important qualities you can possess and can keep friendships strong.

2. Make sure your communication is clear

It is okay if you’re not always available to meet or hang out with your friends but your friends don’t have to keep on guessing the reason for you saying ‘No’. 

We all have our ups and downs and sometimes we just want to be. So, rather than getting lost for days and being incommunicado, just communicate with your friends that you’re going through a phase where you would want to be left alone for some time. 

This eliminates the possibility of a guessing game for your friends and also helps you build better communication with them.

3. Be open and honest

It’s easy to be a ‘yes’ man, especially with your friends. But the important thing to understand is that everyone has their opinions and fundamental beliefs. 

They have their ideologies concerning the world around them. Sometimes they align with your own beliefs and ideologies and sometimes they don’t. And that is okay! 

If you believe that you are uncomfortable with some of their thought process or beliefs, rather than just arguing about it, just have an honest and open conversation with them. 

The more honest you are, the more deeper understanding you’ll build with them. In friendships, respectfully putting your point of view is more important than just being right. After all, honesty is the best policy. 

4. Never take a friend for granted

Never take friends or family for granted. Always remember: Your friends are real people with real feelings. They are not just another number on your social media profile. 

  • Value your friends and remember their importance in your busy life.
  • You need them just as much as they need you. Support them through thick and thin. 
  • Spend quality time with them. Every now and then, don’t forget to log off and have a nice cup of tea or a walk in the park with your friends to deepen the friendship.

The ‘hustle’ culture has taken this generation by storm keeping everyone busy. But in this busy schedule, it’s important to remember the value of these friendships.

5. Share your good AND bad moments with them

It’s always easy to share the fun and uplifting moments with your friends but it is equally important to share the bad ones as well. 

  • It’s important to share not only your achievements but your failures as well. 
  • According to a study, difficult conversations can bring clarity and strengthen your bond.
  • Openness about all aspects of life enhances mutual support.

When you’re sharing both good and bad moments, whether you’re talking to a girl or a guy, it’s important to be open and honest to build a deeper connection. Sharing these will sometimes force you to have difficult conversations which are generally avoided and help you get clarity on things that have been bothering you.

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6. Ask them what they NEED

Sometimes what we think someone might need may not be the same as what they actually need. If you’re worried about your friends and want to be there for them, ask them what they need. 

Asking them will also help YOU better understand how to be supportive in their tough times. In my opinion, this is a very rare trait but I cannot stress the importance of it. It is one of the qualities of a best friend that you must learn to adapt. 

Here's How To Be A Good Friend in 10 Ways

7. Utilize technology

If we think about it, we’re connected and closer to our friends than ever before. A simple text message, a video call or even as simple as sharing memes on social media counts as an effort. 

You might not realise but even simply sharing a meme daily can be your routine with that friend, a thing that keeps you connected. This is something very easy and you can definitely add it to your list of how to be a good friend.

8. Plan ahead

Everyone has their plates full and planning ahead helps everyone. Whether you’re planning a party or a trip with your friends, always plan ahead. If your schedule keeps you busy and you keep cancelling on your friends, then this will help you. 

  • Always plan events or trips in advance to accommodate busy schedules. 
  • Planning ahead ensures that your plans materialize and aren’t cancelled. It ensures that you actually end up meeting.
  • A reliable friend values their commitments and plans accordingly.
  • Proper planning helps maintain regular meet-ups and connections.

I have often found myself feeling lazy and cancelling plans at the last minute. After being on the receiving end of this recently, I realised how annoying it feels. Remember, a great friend does not cancel plans randomly. 

9. Be forgiving

There comes a point in time when one of your friends makes a mistake, be it huge or small. At this moment, it’s important to be willing to forgive and move past misunderstandings or disagreements to maintain a healthy friendship. This is a very important sign of a nurturing friendship.

Research suggests that forgiving someone can often make you feel better and heal. Forgiveness helps you heal. If you hold on to something for too long, it can bother you mentally. Forgiving can help close old wounds and make you feel lighter, both emotionally and mentally. 

“Forgiveness allows you to let go of pain and continue with a lighter heart.” 

No one is born mistake-proof and I’m sure somewhere along the way, you were also shown mercy.

10. Support their goals

No matter how small or big, be it personal or professional– support your friends’ goals. Encourage your friends to pursue their dreams and be their cheerleaders. Celebrate their successes and offer help when they face challenges. This builds a strong connection in the friendship and is always reciprocated. This is one of the most important qualities of a best friend.

So, there you have it – a guide on 10 ways to be a good friend. This should help you get started on understanding how to be a good friend and what makes a real friend 

Creating good friendships is a very important part of one’s life. It takes a lot of time, love, understanding and effort to create strong friendships and friends for life. We might think that only being there for a person makes us a good friend but that is far from the truth. Being a good friend is not only challenging but it also takes serious time and effort. 

Being a true friend is all about honesty, loyalty, support and forgiveness. Not just in friendship, these qualities help you a great deal in life as well. So cultivate them to build a nurturing and deeply rooted friendship and follow these ways to be a better friend.