How to be a good friend: 6 tips for healthier and happier friendships


Building and maintaining friendships takes effort. Get expert tips on how to be a good friend and establish a lasting relationship.

Who is a friend? The Collins Dictionary describes a friend as a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty. We may not acknowledge it often, but having a friends circle and establishing social connections may lead to better mental health and increased confidence. Being around great company can also inspire you to do better in life. But friendship is not a one-way street. So, everyone must know how to be a good friend.

Who is a good friend?

A good friend would be someone who is an effective support system and one who does not seek to please their friend alone. They are balanced and are willing to challenge their friendsโ€™ actions and beliefs when they are wrong and stand by them during rough times. They donโ€™t just seek a brief good time with others, but also invest their time and energy into building meaningful connections, says clinical psychologist Dr Kamna Chhibber.

Develop meaningful bond with your friend by applying these tips! Image courtesy: Freepik

How to be a good friend?

There are many ways you can become a good friend to someone. Try to practise some of these tips to be a better friend:

1. Be your authentic self

When we meet someone for the first time, we generally tend to put on a facade and display our good side. It is only when that friendship grows that we become comfortable in being vulnerable and show our true selves in front of our friends. True friendship only begins when we gather the courage to show who we truly are and then take that friendship forward. โ€œOpenly share your thoughts and opinions with your friends,โ€ says Dr Chhibber.

2. Always give constructive feedback

Sometimes when we give feedback to other people, our tone becomes rude and we start sounding extremely critical. Always bear in mind the fact that criticism is not taken in an equal way by everyone. If you have a sensitive friend, try to be sensitive about the words you let out to give feedback. In other words, always try and give constructive feedback. Be aware of the impact your words and actions can have on your friend, says the expert.

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3. Be there, always

Be there when your friend needs your support. Give advice which is fair and would help your friend in the long run. Our life can hit a rough patch at times. Being a loyal friend means that you are there for that person through thick and thin. As a good friend, it is your responsibility to help that person revive from dark phases of life.

4. Share your side of the story

Being a good friend is not just about practising active listening but also about becoming someone who willingly chooses to speak and share what is going on in your life. You should be able to develop that level of comfort where you both can share the happenings of your life.

how to be a good friend
Maintain friends for life takes hard work! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Stop making assumptions and just ask

It is always easy to judge someone when you do not know their true story. So, if you see a changed behaviour or unnatural patterns going on before you let your mind cook up assumptions, try to ask about the matter from your friend. This will deepen your bond with your friend.

6. Give each other the space to make mistakes

To err is human. We all know that is true. Perfection is a myth and to expect that from others will surely ruin your friendship. Neither you are perfect nor your friend can be. So, make room for mistakes, and allow each other to be flawed while you grow together. Growing above each otherโ€™s mistakes is the best way to deepen your bond.

What are the qualities of a good friend?

A good friend is someone who is:

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โ€ข Empathetic
โ€ข Supportive
โ€ข A good listener
โ€ข Non-judgmental
โ€ข Honest
โ€ข Open-minded
โ€ข Authentic
โ€ข Kind/compassionate

Like every relationship, friendships also need two to tango if you want to sustain them for a lifetime. Click here to know more about tips to maintain friendships!



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