How To Be a Better Friend | Ideas, Tips and Tricks
Your friends are an important part of your life whilst at university. Whether you have one or a few close friends and a small circle, or you have many friends, they provide you with that support network that you need to enjoy life to the full.
You laugh and have fun with your friends, go through some challenges together, and ultimately you are there to support each other!
Learning how to be a better friend is an important part of growing up. You might be the type to treat your friends with gifts from time to time to show them what they mean to you.
For some people it is just the knowledge that you are there whenever they need you, and a presence is sometimes just enough.
We’ve put together some ideas, tips and tricks on what it means to be a good friend and how to be better at friendship.
The Importance Of Being A Good Friend
Friendship goes both ways. If you are not a good friend and supportive when your friends need it most, why would they support you in your own time of crisis, or when facing a challenge?
This isn’t to say that you should only be a good friend to receive the same in return, being the best friend that you can be often means giving without the expectation of receiving something in return.
Being a good friend means that you are solid, you are there whenever you are needed through both the bad times and the good.
As we grow older our friendships develop, and people have less time for each other in person as they embrace new relationships, new careers, and they move to different places.
Some of the best friends you can have in life are those you might not see very regularly, or even talk to that often, but when you do you can slot right back into the way things were, and it feels like no time has passed at all!
The Benefits Of Good Friendships
Friendships have an impact on us that goes beyond just the time spent with someone one on one or with a group of friends.
We make friends at different points in our lives, with different meanings.
Some people have friends that they met in primary school, you meet people in high school, university, in your job, through friends, through living in student accommodation, and in the unlikeliest of places.
Are you wondering what the benefits of a good friendship are?
We’ve listed below examples so check them out!
Lower Your Stress Levels
At university students face stress pretty much every day.
A good support system of friends helps to lower your stress, even if it’s just having someone to blow off some steam with, to have a laugh, to vent about some things that have annoyed you during the day.
Good friends by your side can help to lower your blood pressure and heart rate when dealing with a challenging situation.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
Good friends offer you positivity and encouragement.
In-person connections with good friends, with positive conversations will help you to have greater confidence in yourself, to feel less lonely, and to understand what it means to have support and show support with positivity and not negativity.
Friendships Have Your Back At Times Of Struggle
Every person faces a different struggle, but we all have challenges at certain times.
Understanding which of your friends needs what, is a great way to be a good friend.
Being there for someone struggling with depression will look different to being there for someone who is going through a relationship break-up.
Understand what it looks like to be a good friend for each person.
Understanding When To Walk Away
Being a good friend doesn’t mean putting up with a toxic friendship because you think that’s what your friend needs or it’s just how it has always been for you.
Learning how to be a good friend also includes learning how to identify problematic relationships, and this includes understanding if and when you are being toxic.
Walking away from a toxic relationship of any kind and building good friendships will help you to have better mental health.
Remember Friendships Change
There are also some friendships that naturally fizzle out with no big drama or problem that ends the friendship. This is normal too.
Learning this throughout university will help you in later life, as there will be plenty of people you meet on your course and around town who are friends for a short period, but then you both move on to other things.
You might occasionally bump into each other for a stop and chat, it could be a friendship where you WhatsApp every now and then to wish them happy birthday or to see how they are.
In some cases, you might just never see them or talk to them again.
All of these things are completely normal so remember that!
Tips On How To Be A Better Friend
There are a few simple tips that you can take on board which will help you become a better friend, which we’ve listed below.
With our help you’ll be getting those bestie vibes in full force!
1. Be A Good Listener
Our first tip for how to be a better friend is to be an active listener.
Show that you are there for them, that you have understood what they are saying, but don’t interrupt or dominate the conversation.
Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us!
2. Check In On Your Friends
Even if you’ve not heard from a friend for a while, don’t wait for them to get in touch with you instead check in on them.
After all, you never know what someone is going through unless you ask.
3. Practice Honest Communication
You should try to always be open and honest when communicating with your friends.
Good friends always tell the truth to each other, even if it is a hard truth that the other person doesn’t want to hear.
3. Laugh As Often As You Can
Life is better when we’re laughing, isn’t it? The best times with your friends are full of laughter and shared jokes.
Make sure there are plenty of times like this and not just the hard, honest conversations.
4. Be Prepared To Intervene If Necessary
Alongside the good times, there might be tough times where you can see your friend is struggling with their mental health, or they might be on a self-destructive path.
Be prepared to intervene if it is for the sake of their health, even if they might not thank you in the first instance – this is what true friendship is all about!
How To Know When You’re Not Being A Good Friend?
The following are some examples of how you know you’re not a good friend to someone.
If any of these apply, they are things you should work on to become a better friend.
- Unable to keep secrets, diminishing trust between you
- Take advantage of your friends and their loyalty to you
- You never apologise when you are in the wrong
- Never reach out, even if it’s to send a message every now and then
- Never around when they need you
- Peer pressuring your friends into doing things
These are just a few ways in which you can learn how to be a better friend. Think about your friends and what they want and need from you.
Check in on them even if they haven’t checked on you, always be a supportive shoulder in tough times, and a fun friend in good times.
Investing in being a good friend is beneficial to your mental health, and it helps you to learn how to build relationships built on honesty and integrity.
We hope this has helped you in your quest to be a better friend – let us know what tips and tricks you have from your own experiences.