1. Never texting your friends first. Maybe you don’t want to bother your friends. Maybe you get nervous sending the first message. But you don’t want your friends to feel like you only bother talking to them when they initiate the conversation. You need to take the lead every once in a while. You need to put in an equal amount of work. Otherwise, they’re going to wonder if you even enjoy talking to them. They’re going to start to feel like the friendship is one-sided.
2. Never initiating plans. Maybe you don’t go out much. Maybe the only time you really leave the house is when someone else invites you places. But if you’re never the one who is setting plans, your friends might feel like they’re being left out. They might feel like they’re pulling all of the weight in your friendship. They might feel like they’re giving you more than they’re getting in return. Every once in a while, try to initiate the plans, even if all that means is inviting them over for pizza.
3. Never checking in. Even though you might be going through a tough time right now, you’re not the only one. Your friends need love and attention, too. They want to know that you’ve been thinking of them. They want to know that you care about their problems. You don’t want to wait until they ask you how you’ve been doing to bounce back the question. Make sure you check in on them every once in a while. Make sure they’re doing okay.
4. Never offering your help. It’s not enough to tell your friends you’re there if they need anything because most people will never reach out. You need to be a bit more specific. Offer to drive your friends the next time you hang out. Offer to buy them dessert so they don’t have to pick up the check themselves. Offer to help them study for a test or prepare for an interview or pack boxes when they move. Remind them that they can rely on you. Remind them you’re serious about being there when they need you.
5. Never apologizing. When you’re wrong, make sure you take responsibility for your actions. Make sure you own up to what you’ve done wrong and deliver a genuine apology. You don’t want to make your friends feel even worse than they do already. Show them you care about their feelings. Express your regrets over what you’ve done to upset them — and make it clear you’ll never hurt them again.
6. Never agreeing to hang out. Maybe you’ve been swamped with work. Maybe you aren’t a fan of leaving the house. But if you turn down invitations out every single time, you’re going to stop getting invited places. If you love your friends and appreciate your friends, try to see them every once in a while. Try to spend some time face-to-face instead of always talking over a screen. It will strengthen your friendship. It will deepen your bond.