6 Ways to Instantly Be a Better Friend

It's one thing to feel like you no longer have as much in common with a friend, or a certain person or situation has put space between you two—but are there little things within your control that may be contributing to your disconnect?

There are a handful of simple actions you can take immediately that will have a major impact on your friendship.

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(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)

Keep reading for six ways to instantly be a better friend:

1. Put More Effort Into Texting

Are you consistently called out for taking forever to reply to texts, or for ignoring them altogether? No one says you need to sit by your phone and respond immediately to everyone who sends a message your way, but acting carelessly toward people you care about sends them a message that they're just not worth your time. Step things up a bit and put more effort into your replies.

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(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)

 

2. Be a Better Listener

Are you constantly called out for being on the phone while out to lunch with your friends? Do you regularly find yourself scrolling Instagram while someone's trying to have a serious conversation with you? Do friends have to insist that you pay attention? Choosing your phone over your friends makes a statement about your priorities, and your friends aren't at the top.

 

3. Don't Flake Without a Serious Reason

Nothing's worse than getting all geared up for a fun hangout, only to find out that someone canceled at the last minute because they "just don't feel like going out tonight" or, even worse, they bail by just not letting you know at all! Don't make plans unless you can actually stick to them—and if you plan to stick to them, follow through. Think about how you'd feel being on the other end.

 

4. Always Keep a Secret (Unless It's Crucial That Someone Else Knows)

We can't deny that it's fun to share someone's secret with someone else, but guess what? That's not what a real friend does. And the more you spread other people's gossip, the less you'll be told. Be the reliable vault that you'd want to find in others. And if someone tells you something that is incredibly serious and you think calls for professional help, tell a trusting adult—don't go running your mouth to the school.

Two girls sharing a secret

(via Shutterstock)

 

5. Pick Your Battles

Do you find yourself getting mad at your friends over every little thing? That's surely not a way to keep them around! If you feel like they've been super flaky, then it's fair to call them out, but if they simply didn't let you borrow their favorite top, get over it. Nitpicking over every little thing will make you seem like a drama queen, so play it cool for the most part and accept that no one is perfect. That way, on the rare occasion you do get mad, it will make a stronger point.

Hanna and Jess arguing in Girls

(Girls via HBO)

 

6. Don't Be Territorial

If you're constantly telling your friends who they can and can't hang out with, it's only going to drive them away. As hard as it is sometimes to see your friends spending time with someone other than you, nobody wants to feel like they're on a leash. Play it cool, even if it kills you inside that they're hanging out with so-and-so. The more mellow you handle things, the more people will want you around.

 

These rules don't apply if you feel like you're in a toxic friendship. Follow my lead HERE and kiss that poisonous relationship to the curb.