Making and keeping a friend can be difficult but it is possible. For our lives to be lived to the fullest and for us to experience the joy of having others in our lives, we need to work on how we show up in our relationships.

As much as we need to know what attributes we need in the people we consider friends, a more important question needs to be asked and that is. “Am I a good friend?” In this article, we will look at eight practical tips for how to be a good friend so that you too can thrive.

How to Be a Good Friend

For one to learn how to be a good friend, certain characteristics and behaviors need to be developed and fostered. Though not an exhaustive list, below are some components to consider:

Be available.

Being available in friendships means that you are available to spend time together, get to know each other, and have fun together.

No relationship can be built without both people involved being equally invested. Availability also means that you can be relied on whether in good or tough times. You will be there for your friends when they need your support.

Practice empathy and understanding.

Being empathetic means that whatever your friend might be going through, you can feel for them and respond accordingly. You do not minimize their situation or dismiss it. Understanding your friends means that you accept them for who they are not who you want them to be. You might not agree with some of their decisions, but you still offer understanding.

Be their cheerleader.

Being your friend’s cheerleader means that you can encourage them to be the best version of themselves and you are also there to celebrate their achievements, without envy or jealousy. You show that you genuinely want them to succeed, even if they get something first that you both wanted, you show up and celebrate.

Be trustworthy.

No relationship can function without trust. Being trustworthy means, you are dependable, you can be relied on, and you can also keep confidence.

Respect boundaries.

Learning to respect and honor your friend’s boundaries is a sure sign that you care for their well-being and respect their personal space. Never pressure your friend to do or share something they have indicated that they do not want to share. When you respect your friend’s boundaries, it is a sure way to ensure that they will respect yours.

Work on communication.

Communication is not easy in any relationship, but it can be worked on. However you communicate, make sure that you are not the only one who always shares your life and struggles. For a friendship to function equal attention needs to be given to both parties involved. This will mean that you are genuinely interested in what they share, and you give them space just as they do for you.

Learn to give and receive feedback.

One beautiful aspect of friendships is that we have people who can be honest with us about our blind spots. They have your best interest at heart so do not be defensive when they offer you constructive criticism. It is important as well for you to give feedback when needed so they too can grow and become more self-aware,

Practice forgiveness and compassion.

Your friend is not going to be perfect. When they do something wrong and try to make amends, practice forgiveness, and move on with compassion.

Next steps

For a variety of reasons, it can sometimes be difficult to put ourselves out there and build friendships. If this is you and you need help in this area, contact our offices for an appointment.

“Friends”, Courtesy of Ave Calvar,, Unsplash+ License; “Friends”, Courtesy of Felix Rostig,, CC0 License