Friends are important. They’re there for you, no matter what. They’re there to make you laugh. They’re there to let you cry. They’re there for nights out and nights in and cram sessions and outfit emergencies. They let you rant about boys and books and bars and beer. You can talk for hours and text all night long. And they will never complain. They make your life a little bit easier, and a lot more entertaining.
And its only right that we return the favor, treat them equally awesome in all areas of friendship. But even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Life is busy and staying touch is hard. And scheduling time in for her panic attacks as well as your own can get kind of tricky. Here are five easy ways to be a good friend.
1. Make time to chat. Like I said, life is busy. And whether you and your bestie live down the hall or across the country staying in touch is never easy. But if you don’t know what’s going on in her life how will you know when to start in on rules 2-5. Skype or Facebook message. Text or e-mail. Take a coffee break or do dinner. But make time to chat. She’ll appreciate that you care enough to care about her life.
2. Listen before you speak. It’s important to give advice but before you do that you need to know what’s going on. Okay fine, so maybe you know that the guy she’s crying over is so not worth her tears. But she obviously doesn’t think so. Find out why. Don’t speak over her and don’t give your opinion before she’s given hers. Know the situation, understand where she’s coming from, and then…
3. Tell the truth. Now that you know what’s going on, it’s time to talk. Whether she wants to know what you think of the new boy toy or which top to wear to dinner, be honest. It’s a cliché for a reason. She’ll appreciate your candidness, and she’ll know she can trust you. It’s simple, and to the point. It’s something everyone can do, and something everyone should do.
4. Make her laugh. We all have those days. You know, those days that make you want to curl up in a ball under the covers and never come out. And on those days when we feel like nothing is ever going to get better again, and the easiest thing a friend can do is make you realize that isn’t true. So tell a stupid joke. Or share your own embarrassing story. Make light of the uncomfortable situation. Just make her laugh. It’s a simple and easy way to make her realize things are going to be okay.
5. Know when to break out the chocolate. Or the chocolate martinis. But that’s just semantics. The point is that sometimes a girl needs to wallow. And you need to let her know its okay to do that. Whether she broke up with her boyfriend, failed a test, or is having family problems, breakout the Ben and Jerry’s and head on over. Watch old movies or listen to cheesy music or Facebook stalk all night long. It won’t solve her problems, but it will make her forget about them for a while.
This isn’t the stuff of brain surgeons. It doesn’t require crazy amounts of money, or endless planning. It just requires cutting a little time out of your week to be there when she needs you to be. Because really, that’s all a good friend is, don’t you think?