1. Call, text, or email a friend that you’ve been meaning to talk to and simply tell them, “I love you” or “I miss you.”
2. Visit or send flowers to a friend who is sick or just needs some TLC lately.
3. Tell your friends the truth but always do it from a place of love. Remember this little gem, “Love without truth is abandonment. Truth without love is cruelty.”
4. Listen to your friends when they just need to vent. Don’t try and fix it unless they ask. Just listen.
5. Be respectful when their choices for themselves are not always what you want for them.
6. If their choices are harming them, confront them with compassion.
7. Be genuinely happy for them when something good happens to them.
8. Show up when they need you whether it’s to a birthday get-together or an important event for work.
9. Don’t talk shit about them when they’re not around. Rule of thumb: Would you say what you’re about to say if they were sitting next to you?
10. Send a card or hand-written letter just because you love and appreciate them. (If you do this, you are automatically up for friend of the year.)
11. When criticizing, make sure it’s done constructively.
12. Sympathize with their weaknesses. Remember that you are not perfect and they have to put up with your shortcomings.
13. Don’t ever try to steal their thunder or spotlight. One-upping is tacky.
14. Get them out of their comfort zone in a way that won’t make them hate you for all eternity. (Because they’ll probably hate you in the moment.)
15. When they need to cry, provide your shoulder.
16. Always respect their feelings even if you don’t quite understand them.
17. Don’t tag them in pictures or posts on social media that you know they’ll be uncomfortable with.
18. Keep their secrets. Honestly, it is not hard keeping your mouth shut. You know what’s hard? Gaining people’s confidence once it’s lost.
19. Don’t treat your friends like possessions. Sometimes, you have to let them do their thing without you.
20. Don’t ever make a pass at their ex (without their permission). Ever.
21. Take care of yourself, communicate your needs and wants to your friends, and remember that they are not mind-readers.