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How to Be a Better Friend (and Keeping Your Bestie Forever!)

Miss those sleepovers with your best friend? Feeling like you've lost touch? Learn how to be a better friend and build lasting connections.
by Chris Allmer | May 23 2024
How to Be a Better Friend (and Keeping Your Besties Forever!)

Remember sleepovers with your best friend, giggling under the covers, sharing secrets and dreams?

Now, years later… you have some serious tea to spill, but there’s no one to listen?

And apparently, it’s not just you.

Studies show a whopping 12% of Americans have zero close friends. That’s right, no one to grab a drink with after work, no one to vent about their boss, and no date rescue calls in the middle of the night. 

But we humans are wired for connection! We need those ride-or-die friendships that bring laughter, support, and that feeling of belonging.

And to help you to be a good friend and never lose your bestie, we have created the ultimate guide on how to be a better friend. 

In this article, we’ll help you become a better listener, a mastermind at planning epic adventures, and, basically, the best friend a person could ask for.

Why Are Good Friends Important?

Understanding the importance of good friends is the first step in learning how to be a better friend. Friends are like pillars in our lives, helping us grow and thrive in all sorts of ways.

A recent Pew Research Center survey even found that over 60% of Americans believe close friends are essential for a fulfilling life!

The Benefits of Good Friends

1. Emotional Support

Going through a tough time? True friends are there to listen without judgment, offer a pep talk, or maybe just a hug (because sometimes that’s all you need). And when you’re on top of the world, guess who’s celebrating with you? That’s right, your besties!

2. Perspective and Growth

Friends can challenge your ideas and push you to see things from a different perspective. Ever feel stuck in a rut? A good friend might be the one to drag you out (lovingly, of course) and try something new. They can be your biggest motivators to be the best version of yourself.

3. Physical Health

Seriously, studies show that strong friendships can lower stress, improve your heart health, and even help you live longer.

Here’s the science behind it: adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of all kinds of stuff, including feeling down (depression), high blood pressure, and even getting overweight (unhealthy BMI).

How to Be a Better Friend: An 8-Step Guide

Now that we’ve established the importance of good friends, let’s dive into actionable tips to become a friend-tastic superstar!

1. Be a Master Listener

This goes beyond simply hearing what someone says. Avoid distractions, make eye contact, and truly focus on understanding their feelings and experiences. Ask thoughtful questions and show genuine interest.

If you want to take your listening skills to the next level, check out “You’re Not Listening” by Kate Murphy. This insightful book dives deep into why we struggle to listen effectively and equips you with powerful techniques to become a better listener in all your relationships.

2. Be Supportive

Be there for your friends during tough times, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or a helping hand with a problem. But don’t forget to celebrate their successes too! A simple “I’m so proud of you!” can go a long way.

“Hatching Twitter” tells the story of the four men responsible for Twitter as we know it. It’s a tale of backstabbing, friendship and billions of dollars that chronicles the drama and defining decisions that made Twitter what it is today.

3. Give Time

To be a better friend, make quality time a priority. Plan activities you both enjoy, whether it’s grabbing coffee, going for a hike, or simply catching up over a phone call. Put away your phone and focus on being present in the moment.

If you want to transform the way you spend time with friends, read “The Art of Gathering” by Priya Parker, which offers unique insights into crafting meaningful experiences and fostering deeper connections with the people you care about.

4. Be Trustworthy

A friend you can count on is a treasure. Be there for commitments, keep your word, and be someone your friends can trust with their secrets and vulnerabilities.

To become a more reliable friend, check out “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey, which explores the critical role trust plays in all aspects of life, including friendships. Learn how to build and maintain trust and strengthen your friendships.

5. Communicate

Honest and open communication is key in any friendship. Be clear about your needs and feelings, and actively listen to your friend’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations, but approach them respectfully and understanding.

Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson provides a practical framework for navigating difficult discussions with friends. Learn how to be a better friend and communicate effectively, even when the stakes are high.

6. Forgive

Everyone makes mistakes. Holding onto grudges only hurts the friendship. Practice forgiveness and learn from conflicts to strengthen the bond.

Forgive” by Timothy Keller proposes personal and community healing through genuine, wholesome, and compassionate forgiveness.

7. Be Your Quirky Self

The best friendships are built on genuine connection. Embrace your individuality and let your true personality shine through.

Do you want to tap into your true self and build stronger connections? “Braving the Wilderness” by Brené Brown encourages you to embrace your vulnerability and authenticity to cultivate meaningful relationships.

8. Celebrate Your Differences

Friendships don’t require carbon-copy personalities. Appreciate your friends’ unique qualities and perspectives. This diversity enriches your life and fosters personal growth.

Friend of a Friend” by bestselling author David Burkus explores the power of hidden networks and the importance of diverse friendships. Learn how to be a better friend and embrace your differences.


How to be a Better Friend with Blinkist

Strong friendships are essential for a happy and fulfilling life. Following these eight steps, you can be a better friend, strengthen your existing bonds, and build new connections.

Remember, friendships are a two-way street. Invest time and effort into your friendships, and watch them blossom! And if you need more inspiration and tips, take a quick look at our collection of the 40(!) best friendship books curated by Blinkist.

Ready to take your friendships to the next level?

Blinkist can help! With Blinkist’s 7-day free trial, you can access summaries of thousands of nonfiction titles, including books on friendship, self-help, mental well-being and many more.

Get advice from experts, discover new perspectives, and learn how to be a better friend in no time.

Plus, with Blinkist Premium, you can share your account with a best friend, giving you both access for the price of one! It’s a win-win for your friendships and your wallet.

Start your free trial today and invest in the people who matter most!

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