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We all need good friends who love and support us, and the best way to have good friends is to be a good friend. A good friend is there for you, no matter what. They’re trustworthy, don’t judge you, and are kind and respectful. Check out below how you can be a good friend.

Be a good listener

Everyone needs to feel that they’re being listened to. If you try to understand a situation from your friend’s point of view and ask them questions to get a better sense of the problem or issue, you’re being a good friend.

You could also ask if they want your advice, or just need someone to talk to. You know for yourself how frustrating it can be if you’re just looking to vent and someone is jumping in with “Oh have you thought of this, you could try this.”

"I think a good friend is someone you feel you can trust and tell things to. Someone who will support you through both thick and thin and who is going to listen."

– Skye

oprah nodding

Make an effort

A good friendship requires both sides to put in effort. If you don’t live near each other, you can still show that you’re there for each other by keeping in touch through social media, emails, texts and calls.

keep in touch

Ask for what you need

While it can feel strange to ask a friend straight out for something that you need, such as support during a tough time, most people like to know exactly what they can do to help you, rather than have to guess. Then they’ll be able to offer you the kind of support that’s genuinely helpful. In the same way, your friends will be grateful if you just ask them what they need from you.

"I think a good friend is someone who backs you no matter what, someone who always chooses to support you and your dreams and thoughts. Support, however, isn't always saying, ‘Yeah, you can do it!’ People need to know that it's also saying, ‘Hey, maybe doing that isn't the best idea. It's rude/dangerous/bad and could lead you down a negative path... Why don't we do something else?’ Support makes for a good friend, in good and bad times."

– Mat

Get it out in the open

You can make a big difference by letting your friends know how important they are to you. Friends who express their feelings to each other build strong friendships. If there is an issue in the friendship, try to be open about it so you can work on resolving it together.

"Remember you're both human. People do make mistakes and squabble, and that's alright as long as you remember you're still friends."

– Riley

Be informed

If a friend has a medical or mental health issue, you might want to learn more about what they’ve been diagnosed with. Your being interested in what they’re going through shows that you care, and that you plan to stick around, no matter what.

Be your own best friend

Be your own best friend by being aware of your good qualities, treating yourself with kindness, and watching what you say to yourself (your self-talk). Read more about positive self-talk here.

What can I do now?