You like to think of yourself as a good friend, but are you really? If you’re not sure, it’s time to think about what makes a true pal.
Step 1: Be willing to listen Always be willing to listen to what the other person is telling you, even if sometimes it’s boring or makes you uncomfortable.
Step 2: Don’t be judgmental Don’t be judgmental. Try to see your friend’s point of view. If you’re going to disagree, do it respectfully.
TIP: Don’t give advice without being asked, or first asking if your friend would like your counsel. Sometimes people just want to vent.
Step 3: Speak up That said, if your friend is doing something that is hurting her or someone else, you must speak up. Forcefully.
Step 4: Don’t interrupt Don’t interrupt your friend. Cutting someone off shows that you are more interested in what you want to say than what they are telling you.
Step 5: Be there when they need help Be there when they need help. Nothing ends a friendship faster than abandoning a friend in her time of need.
Step 6: Be thoughtful Be thoughtful. If you’re shopping and see a small item a buddy would like, buy it. Send cards just to let your friends know you value them.
Step 7: Don’t take your friends for granted Don’t take your friends for granted. If you hear yourself thinking, 'She’s my friend; she won’t mind,' stop and reconsider. It is precisely because she’s your friend that you shouldn’t take advantage of her.
FACT: Good friends may help you live longer—one study found subjects with a wide circle of friends outlived loners by 22%!