A great friendship is one that can make it through years of ups and downs, and come out stronger the other side. Not all friendships are perfect, but that’s not to say there aren’t certain unspoken rules that you’re expected to follow if you want your friendships to last into the foreseeable future.
Here are some of the top dos and don’ts for keeping your friendship happy and healthy from now on:
DO check up on them regularly. You want to show your friend that you care by asking them questions about themselves, especially if you know they’re feeling low.
DON’T talk badly about them behind their back. Imagine if you had to listen to every bad word anyone had ever said about you. Now think how your friend would feel if they heard some of the things you said about them. It’s a childish thing to do, and definitely not worth it.
DO act interested in their life. Even if you really can’t relate to what they’re going through, show some enthusiasm for what they have to say.
DON’T spread their secrets. A secret is a secret for a reason: it’s personal, and you shouldn’t misuse your honor of being your friend’s trusted secretkeeper by dishing out their private information without their permission.
DO listen, always. There’s nothing worse than reaching the peak of a good story, only to discover that the friend you’re telling it to has been sat on their phone for the past five minutes and hasn’t heard a word. Remember, communication works both ways in a friendship.
DON’T cause silly arguments. You’re not in high school anymore – it’s time to talk things out like mature adults instead of snapping at one another over petty things.
DO encourage them in all aspects of their life. You don’t have to agree with all of their decisions to offer them the support they need. Unless they’re contemplating something dangerous, you should always show enthusiasm for your friend’s ambitions.
DON’T bring up the past. If you have a long, bumpy friendship with somebody, keep the past where it belongs and don’t needlessly bring it up in conversation. It’s only going to remind you both of times you’d rather forget.
DO be honest, but not brutally so. If you’re giving your friend advice, make sure to start it with “I think” or “I believe” rather than acting as if what you say is a fact and not an opinion.
DON’T get jealous. There’s nothing worse than a jealous friend, so even if you’re secretly seething over your friend’s successes, don’t act on it. You need to learn to switch your mindset to feel only proudness for your friend’s achievements, even if you’d really love to be in their position.
DO keep things light. As much as best friends are on hand to help you deal with your life’s problems, moaning about them 24/7 is a big turn-off, and has the ability to put a downer on your friend’s whole day.