20 easy ways to be the *best* friend ever

Consider this your guide to being the greatest gal pal in the world this season. 

1. Be a shoulder to cry on.
It's important to be there for emotional support for your friends. Listen when they need to vent about that evil science teacher. Hold their hand and offer hugs after a really hard breakup. Help bring them back to their senses when they start overthinking. Something as small as a smile or a simple "you're gonna be fine" can make all the diff. On the other hand, if your friend is going through something too big for you or them to handle, know when to bring in the help of a trusted adult.

2. Be creative.
Having a good friend can make every day totally awesome, but that doesn't mean you can't think of fun things to make it even better. You don't need tons of money and time to spice up your friendship and show that you're thinking of them, a little creativity can go a long way. Is it their birthday? Decorate their locker with a funny birthday message and balloons. Surprise them with their favorite snack when they come over to your house. Think up a fun friend date like an indoor picnic or a disney movie marathon. 

3. Put your friends first.
Part of growing up is realizing it's not all about you. If your friend is having a bad day, send them a funny message or wait a day before rushing to tell them about how unfair your mom is being. If you know they've been freaking out about something, like a big test coming up, offer to help them study or ask them what you can do to help.

4.  Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty.
A good friend needs to be loyal. We've all had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a disloyal "friend." The one who hooked up with your crush when she knew how much you liked them or who constantly talks about you behind your back, especially if you've had a fight. Showing her that she can trust you and rely on you is v. important.

5. Remember the little things.
First things first: Please don't be the friend that forgot your BFF's birthday. But putting in the extra effort to remember little things about your friend can show that you really care. Take note of their favorite Starbucks order and bring it with you for your next study date. Know their favorite song so you can play it to cheer them up when they're having a rough day. Keeping track of all the smaller details of your BFF doesn't just show your friend how much you care, you'll end up getting to know them better which will automatically improve your friendship.

6. Admit when you're wrong. 
We all mess up sometimes because we're human and no one is perfect. We've all been a little selfish or said something mean to the people we care about. The most important thing you can do to make things right and restore trust with your friend is to be able to admit when you're wrong. It's a lot harder than it seems sometimes but know when to put your pride aside and own up to your mistakes. 

7. Let them know when you miss them.
When you've been friends with someone for a while, it's easy to get comfortable and end up taking them for granted. Let them know how you feel about them, don't just assume they already know. If you haven't seen them in a while, send a text letting them know you miss them and you're thinking about them. Friends need to hear these things, too, and letting your friends know how much you appreciate them will put a smile on their face every time.

8. Be the perfect wing(wo)man.
This may be *arguably* one of your most important friend duties! Get the ball rolling with the person your friend's been crushing on for forever. If you know the crush personally, invite them to your table at lunch or to hang out so your friend has to talk to them. Help them compose that scary first text message and be there to analyze the response. Remind them to close their mouth and stop staring when their crush walks past in the hall. You know, the basics. 

9.  Don't be afraid to tell hard truths.
Nobody needs a yes man (or girl). Always agreeing with your friend or going along with what they do even if they're wrong isn't good for you or them. It might be hard sometimes, but part of being a good friend is telling your friend what they *need* to hear, not just want they *want* to hear. This can be as simple as letting them know that that lipstick color is not for them or more serious like calling them out when they're doing something you know isn't right.

10. Know how to keep a secret.
If your friend tells you something in confidence, keep it to yourself. Even if you think the person you're telling is trustworthy, you never know how something might get out or get back to your friend. It takes a lot for someone to feel comfortble enough to open up and share their secrets, don't betray their trust by blabbing their personal business all around school. This goes for social media, too.

11. Hype them up.
Another *super* important friend duty. If your friend is looking particularly good that day, let them know! They just changed their profile picture? As a best friend, your like should be their first notification. That funny tweet they posted not getting the attention it deserves? You know your friend is a comedic genius so like and retweet. They aced that chemistry exam the whole class was freaking out about? Go best friend, that's my best friend! You get the idea. Basically, you should be competing with mom and grandma for the spot of #1 fan.

12. Share your closet.
Assuming you and your BFF wear the same size, your closet should be their closet. Whether it's those super cute shoes that you know will be perfect for their next date or your earrings that match their eyes. Sharing is caring, and your bestie will thank you for your generosity. Just set rules about returning and taking care of borrowed items to avoid drama.  

13. Be their healthy competition.
Don't try and one up your friends on every little thing. That can get annoying and hurt your friend's self esteem. But a little friendly competition can help you both grow and challenge you to do better than you thought you could. Try seeing who can get the highest grade on your next essay, who can study the longest without getting distracted or who can best stick to their healthy eating plan. Challenging each other to do better will end up helping you both improve.

14. Always stick to your word.
Nobody likes a flake. If you make a promise, you should always try your very best to keep your word. If for some reason you have to go back on something you promised to do, communicate with your friend and try to make a rain date. This not only builds trust and shows how dependable you are, but it shows that you value your friend's time.  

15. Respect boundaries.
When you make a really good friend, it's easy to become a *little* obssesed (a healthy obsession of course!).  You and your best friend can often become so close that you don't even worry about silly things like personal space and political correctness. This isn't always a bad thing since having someone that you can be completely comfortable and vulnerable with that isn't a family member is important. However, if your friend ever needs you to step back for a while or they feel uncomfortable with something you're doing, you absolutely have to respect it.

16. Don't be afraid to try new things.
It's so easy to get stuck doing the same things that you feel comfortable with. The same hangout spots, the same after-school clubs, the same clothes. Never be afraid to try something new. The best part of friendship is discovering new things and growing together. Always go to the mall after school? Try heading to the museum or the library with your bestie instead. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a healthy part of life and can make your friendship that much stronger. Besides, if you find out you don't like it you'll have lots of funny stories for years to come.

17. Keep in touch.
If you haven't seen your friend in a while, send them a quick text to let them know you're thinking of them. The friendship doesn't stop once you leave the school or camp or church. You won't always get to see each other in person, but if you make sure to keep in touch the next time you hang out will feel like you *never* even left! 

18. Tag them in funny posts.
Omg you know who would like that hilar dog post? Your BFF, of course! You never know how a simple funny meme or stupid joke could put a much needed smile on your bestie's face.

19. Be helpful.
If your friend has a problem with something you know you can handle, lend that helping hand. Make some time to be their study partner for the big math test. Be the Romeo to their Juliet when they need to run lines for their role in the school play. Not only is it simply the right thing to do, but your friend will always know they can count on you and be more likely to return the favor when you need it.

20. Take care of yourself.
This step seems kind of backwards doesn't it? You should be taking care of your friend! True, but you've always got to take care of yourself. If you're putting too much energy into other people and not enough into you, there's no way you'll be able to be your best self for your friend for anyone. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your friend is to step back and have some "me time."  

How do *you* practice being a better friend? Share below! 

by Cydnii Jones | 11/4/2018
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