These simple things make it easy to be a better friend and don’t cost a thing.
In a time when work is crazy, we have a million things on our to-do list and we can barely take care of our own basics needs (sounds depressing), friendships can often take a back seat.
But, maintaining friendships are not only essential for our relationship with that person, they’re also so good for our souls. Having friends that just totally get you, that you can rely on when things are tough, or someone you can vent to after a bad day.
They bring us joy and connection and are a crucial aspect to the human experience. And here’s the deal, friends don’t ask for much. You don’t need to go out of your way and make some grand gesture to keep your friendships in a good place.
Most of the time, people just want to be heard and feel included. I mean, that right there feels amazing to me!
Here are a few simple ways to be a better friend that are totally free, and even if you’re super busy, you can squeeze them into your life.
5 Ways to Be a Better Friend that Are Totally Free
Check In Regularly
Make a point to check in with your friends regularly. That could be a phone call, a text or an email. Everyone prefers different things—I have some friendships where we talk on the phone regularly, and some where we text less frequently. You’ll know what feels right for a particular relationship.
Life with kids and a job can inevitably get busy, but whenever I get a chance to catch up with a friend, even for just a few minutes, it gives me a new sense of joy and ease.
When a friend is telling you a story or a problem, really listen. I know it’s so easy to get distracted and try to do multiple things at once, but for the sake of your friendship, just listen!
Really hearing and understanding a friend is essential to building a lasting relationship. They’ll know that you care about them and are trustworthy and that goes a long way.
This goes for conversations in person and on the phone! Just pause for a minute and listen, whatever you’re doing can wait.
Tell Them You’re Grateful
As I get older, I’ve really come to realize just how amazing my friends are and how good they make me feel. What a blessing! Telling friends how grateful you are for their friendship leaves everyone feeling good.
This doesn’t have to be over the top—a simple text saying, “I’m grateful you’re in my life!” Will make them feel good and also let you fall deeper into those feelings of gratitude and peace.
Remember the era of girl bosses that felt so competitive? I’m glad we’ve changed the tune because celebrating others for their accomplishments both big and little feels so much better for everyone.
And, what an amazing feeling to have a friend tell you that they’re proud of you, or to have them celebrate your latest promotion or arrival of your new baby. The older I get, the more I realize we really should be celebrating all the small stuff too because it all matters.
Show Up When Times Are Rough
When someone gets sick or goes through a breakup or divorce, has a miscarriage or loses a loved one, it can be hard to know exactly what to do or say. So instead of showing up for our friend, we hid because we’re uncomfortable.
I think we’ve all been in that position, but whenever I feel this way, I always think, “how would I want someone to show up for me?,” and that’s usually just being there. I realize that they might not have the perfect words, but hearing from a friend and not feeling isolated and alone is exactly what they often need.
Best of all, all of these are totally free—cool, right?