How to Be a Better Friend: Tips and Tools

Making friends is engrained into our physiological makeup. “Belonging” is even included in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. You can probably remember making friends in the sandbox at preschool with no reservations, but since then, making, keeping, and being a good friend has become increasingly difficult. 

At the end of the day, people may not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel—daunting right? So how do you make a positive and lasting impression on those in your close social circle, and what does it mean to be a better friend? Here are five tips from us to help you be a better friend in whatever stage of life you are walking through.   

Be Genuine 

The world already has enough fake sugar, fake hair, and fake IDs; it does not need more fake people.

When you are meeting new people, or interacting with your friends, make a point to be genuinely interested in what they are telling you. If you are constantly looking for the perfect thing to say or the greatest piece of advice to offer back in a conversation, you are shortchanging the real reaction that you could give.

More often than not, people just need a listening ear, and a sure way to be a meaningful friend is to listen with a heart of empathy and non-judgement rather than trying to come up with a perfect nugget of wisdom. Being genuine also means staying true to your character, no matter who you are with. 

The best friends are consistent no matter what the situation they are in. If you feel that you have to act a certain way or change the things you like to be someone’s friend, they are probably not the best fit for your life; and that is OKAY. You deserve to be picky with your friends. After all, you become like the five people who you are closest to.    

Quality Over Quantity 

We all know that one person who seems to be “friends” with everyone and their cat. The quality of the friends in your life, and the friend you are, is much more important than the number of friends you have. Being a good friend takes time and effort. The average person knows over 600 people, but how well do you really know them?

The hit television show, Friends, follows the lives of six friends over several years. Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey and Ross stayed true to one another instead of trying to have swarms of friends. Focus on cultivating a handful of relationships that will stand the test of time through each season of your life. 

Quality over quantity truly is the name of the game when it comes to establishing a group of ride or die people in your life. Now, I’m are not saying that you should give all your effort to an exclusive group of people. Be kind and giving to all, but be careful not to spread yourself too thin. Lifelong friendships are rare, and if you have found someone who has been there through graduations, job changes, moves to new cities, marriage, kids, and the whole nine, count yourself very lucky.   

Be Encouraging 

Part of being a great friend is helping those around you realize and fulfill their potential. Being a source of motivation is a sure way to be a great friend. 

A quick and easy way to be encouraging is to send a meaningful quote to someone who could use a word of encouragement. Pinterest is a great place to find quotes, and we have also compiled 200 friendship quotes that would be great to use! 

Learning to build up your friends with genuine compliments is an important skill of great friends. Always make sure that the compliments that you are giving are true and genuine, after all, even a good compliment can get lost in a not-so-good delivery.   

Remember  

The best friends remember the details in your life. Whether it’s in the hard times or the good times, a true friend will remember the important events in your life. 

A sure way to be a great friend is to be attentive to what your friends are telling you. Anything from a text before a job interview, a meal when they are sick, or a compliment when they are feeling down. This will not only create a special place in their life for you, but also give you the confidence and self-worth that comes from giving to others. 

We get that you are busy, and a calendar full of birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and girls’ nights out can be hard to keep track of and prepare for, especially when you remember the morning of instead of in advance.

ZooWho is the tool you have been looking for when you have thought, “I wish I had more time.” You will never forget a birthday gift, a text message, a housewarming or a baby birth and always be able to put thought into the events that mean the most to those closest to you.

The quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships! Download ZooWho and be a better friend.