How to Be a Better Friend

Have you ever felt as though you were the only person making the effort to keep a friendship alive? I know that I have. I joke a lot about not needing friends, but as I get older I really started thinking about what it means to be a friend and a good one at that.

Do not set expectations for people.

What I mean by not setting expectations is simply that. We as humans try to rationalize “Well if I do this or that a certain way, this person will act the way I want them to.” Reality check: YOU CAN’T MAKE ANYONE DO ANYTHING YOU WANT THEM TO. I have done this so many times. Sometimes to the point of becoming upset with someone because they were not able to read my mind and do what I imagined they should do. HOW DARE THEY DON’T READ MY MIND! Now all jokes aside, don’t expect someone to be anyone but themselves. Expectations disappoint no one but the one who sets them. We literally set up this scenario in our head of how these friends/friendships should be and become angry, jealous, upset or envious of the way the friend is acting. Stop! You will absolutely sabotage a friendship that was meant as a blessing.

Accept that people are busy.

For anyone who goes to college, has a job, has kids, has a significant other, has a family, has fur kids (they are legit kids… let me tell you), etc. you know what I am talking about. We can all agree that a majority of us, after high school years, do not have much time for very many people. I know that sounds super shallow and horrible (welcome to America) but it’s reality. We become so busy with our own families and our own day to day schedule that fitting in coffee time with that friend that we haven’t seen in months seems impossible. It is normal to a certain degree.

If you want to see your friend, make it a priority to see your friend.

Like I mentioned, we are all busy with our schedules and blah, blah, blah. But let me ask you something: imagine your all-time favorite band, your favorite celebrity crush, your other friend who lives closer, your significant other, someone big in your life asked if you wanted to come to see them and spend time with them. What would you do? You would make it a priority to be there because it is important to you. YOU TAKE ACTION. Now, the friend who you hardly see, who lives just a couple of cities over, wants to catch up on life. What do you do? Do you take action? Or do you use excuses and ask for a rain check? Trust me, I have been on both sides of this scenario and neither makes me feel like a great person. When it comes down to it, if you want to spend time with a friend, no excuse in the book should stop you from making it happen. When you stop putting the expectation on your friend and putting it on yourself, then and only then can you be the friend that you would like to have.

Enjoy the time you do spend with your friends to the fullest.

When you do finally end up hanging out with your friend, enjoy just being present together. Some people focus on stuff to talk about like politics, celebrity gossip, the latest fashion, the latest gossip on so and so. STOP! You guys have spent how long away from each other. Focus on each other! Ask how the other is doing. What is new in THEIR life. Ask how you could be a better friend. Zoom in on the things that remind you of why you are friends. Don’t ever think that asking about personal things will make your friend feel less connected to you. Remember, you have been friends for this long, you made them a priority in your busy schedule and vice versa. Just be present in your time together and then watch your friendship flourish regardless of the busy schedules and time apart. To be important to someone else is one thing. For that person to show how important you are is ten times better!


Have you or someone you known struggled with what it means to be a better friend? Here are some tips on how to be a better friend.




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