Irene Levine knows a thing, or ten, about being a great friend.
She’s authored books and tons of articles on the subject she’s become the expert for – including her new book: Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend. And, we’re thrilled to talk with her this Friday on our BlogTalkRadio radio show – 2:00-2:30pm EST this Friday at BlogTalkRadio.com/Girlfriendology – Listen in!
She shared this article on tips how to be a better friend – in fact, how to be a BFF – Best Friend forever:
TEN TIPS TO BE A BEST FRIEND FOREVER
By Irene Levine
What does it take to be a best friend forever (BFF)? Whether you are 6 or 66 years old, the same rules apply for forming and keeping lasting, meaningful friendships. The following top 10 tips to be a BFF were gleaned from insights culled from more than 16,000 essays submitted in the No nonsense® Between Friends Contest. For more information, visit www.nononsense.com.
- The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth. Whether your friend has spinach in her teeth or a cheating boyfriend, an authentic best friend doesn’t take the easy way out. A real best friend dishes out the unvarnished truth, recognizing that when it comes to best friends, tact is less important than honesty. But, be prepared to receive it, too.
- Give What You Take. We’ve all heard the tales of one-sided friendships. It’s not fair for one friend to bear the burden of perpetually orchestrating plans. And never keep a friend waiting. Best friends recognize they are equals in their responsibilities and need for respect. Strive for an equally balanced, give and take friendship.
- Keeping Secrets. If you harbor big secrets, such as financial worries, a health scare or a marriage crisis, it’s important to share your worries with your best friend. Don’t expect to be a BFF for long if you choose to hide life-changing events from those who want to be there for you.
- Accept Your Friend for Who She is, Not Who You Want Her to Be. Embrace a best friend for the gift of who she is. Don’t expect a BFF who loves modern furniture to leap at the chance to join an antique hunting expedition. Understand it’s okay to be different than your best friend and cherish the unique aspects she brings to the friendship.
- Be There. Being a great best friend is knowing when it’s best just to listen. Often the mark of a good friend is one who is silently present.
- Bask In Her Success. There’s no room for competitive jealousy with friends. Show her you are sincerely happy for accomplishments and even celebrate her good luck.
- Show Up. Respond to invitations, calls, emails and texts. Be there for the small moments and the big events. Involvement in the day-to-day minutiae of each other’s lives keeps friendships on track. Attend to the friendship and make it flourish.
- Quote Scarlett. Friendships, like marriage, have natural cycles of ups and downs and a best friend is mindful that tomorrow is another day.
- Say “Thank You.” Don’t take the friendship for granted. Take time to say thanks, send cards and give hugs.
- Fish or Cut Bait. A true friend is there for you when you need her and has your best interests at heart. Be honest and know when it’s time to cut a toxic friendship loose. Lend your best friend skills to someone else deserving.
Irene S. Levine, PhD is a clinical psychologist and award-winning freelance journalist and author. Her writing—focused on health, lifestyles, travel and relationships— has appeared in scores of newspapers (including the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, New York Times, Newsday, and USA Today) and national magazines (such as AARP Bulletin, Better Homes and Gardens, Bottom Line Health, Health, Ladies Home Journal, Prevention, and Reader’s Digest).
Today, 95% of American women are familiar with No nonsense®, and 31 million wear the brand. No nonsense®’s ranking in the top 25 of Women’s Wear Daily’s Top 100 brands most recognized by female consumers is testimony to the brand’s enduring relationship with the American woman. Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, No nonsense® is a division of Kayser-Roth Corporation, a leading manufacturer of branded, licensed, and private label legwear and apparel in the U.S. Visit www.nononsense.com for more information and click on the “No nonsense® Between Friends Contest” link.
What are YOUR tips for having a Best Friend FOREVER?! Please share in the comments. Thanks!
Here are more Girlfriendology blogs on being a better friend:
- The Friendship Circle – a group of blogs based on inspiring female friendship (one by Irene Levine)
- Daily Inspiration: What is a Friend – With input from our friend and friend expert, Irene Levine
- Podcast Interview with Dr. Irene Levine
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