1. Tell them the fugliest of truths
It’s rough to see your friend slowly wheeling away from you in the carriage of love, but it’s worse to see them crashing and burning in the fire of an apathetic lover. Understanding your friend’s point of view is vital to these situations. Take the time to listen to their whole story, but don’t let them build paragraphs from one word texts by reading into them. Know that what they’re seeing is a fist-full of hope for a love-induced lobotomy they’re dreaming in. It’s easy to be a horrible friend. It’s easy to say, “Yeah! They’re just busy. They’ll call you back. Well maybe you could send another text?” or, “They don’t know what they’re missing. They miss you. They totally like you.” or, “How about you call his sister and send him a care package? That way when he gets home he’ll REALLY want to see you.”
The best advice to give a friend when you can see that sand slipping through their fingers is, “They don’t act like they like you anymore. You know you’re better than that. It’s time to move on, and I support any destructive rebound ideas you have.”
It might hurt their feelings and make them resent you for your honesty, but where would your honor be if you were lying to them? Never let your friend look like a pathetic loser behind their back. Tell them their being pathetic to their faces, and have their backs when they stand up for themselves.
2. Pick them up
On the worst day of my life, I was hit by a car, bit by a dog, I found out my boyfriend cheated on me with a girl that looked like a pelican, got hot glue in my eye, tripped and fell on my face in an intersection, was punched in the face by my 6 year old sister, a dog ran into my moving car (it was okay), and my favorite shoes broke. My morale was lower than the burning hell-hole, and I was having a party deplorable self-pity when my friends came to the rescue.
My friends didn’t care that I was a snot pit in the back of their car, because they were convinced that we were going to have a good night.
As a good friend, sometimes you need to throw everything to the ground and run to the rescue. Ignore your problems for a night and listen to your friend. Be weird and laugh until you blow milk out of your nose. Being a good friend requires you to be strong when your friends are weak, and spontaneous enough to get their minds off of their problems.
3. GROUP CHAT
The best of friends can miss an entire year of your life, and walk back into it without skipping a beat, but the best-best of friends still send you texts mid day saying “lol just sitting on the toilet thinking of you!” The group chat feature on a phone might seem like one of the worst cults to get yourself into, but if you have 5 friends in a group chat, you’ll never be alone.
4. Talk them up
There is nothing better than a friend who tells people how awesome you are when you’re not around. Being a good friend involves being secure enough to let someone else get credit and attention when they deserve it. You are a combination of the people you surround yourself with, and if you think your friends are awesome, and you tell other people how cool they are, there’s a good chance you’re going to make more friends. When you’re at a social gathering without your friend and somebody asks where they are, the answer should be, “Oh, yeah. He/She couldn’t come because he/she was busy finding an algorithm that will crack the code to the stock market. Yeah, he/she’s THAT good.”
This isn’t just advice for friendship (even though it’s quintessential), it’s advice for life. People make mental notes about you that say, “DO NOT TRUST” when they hear you trash talk your friends.
Because nobody said, “I want to be friends with someone that says horrible things about me.”
5. Don’t date them
Your friends are not your significant other, they are teammates, they are your wingmen, they are your siblings, they are annoying and entertaining and you’re going to want to kill them sometimes, but you love them. Your friend does not need to be your significant other, so don’t be offended when they do things out of self interest. You already have to deal with listening to each other’s dating and relationship problems, so don’t add feelings into the mix and get mad when they didn’t read your mind and they didn’t text you back fast enough. Treat them like your siblings, just tell them they’re pissing you off and move on.
6. Let them be ridiculous
Taco Bell at 2am is a sacred journey that only the best of friends can appreciate. Being absolutely ridiculous is a must when it comes to friendship. No judgment passed when it comes to that late night hook up followed by a phone call saying, “I need Dell Taco Bell STAT.” Trudge along, get that chicken quesadilla and baja blast you know you love so much, and hash out all the ridiculous events of the night while sitting cross legged in the car with the heater on full blast. Those are the moments that make friendship real, not the moments you’re tagged in on Facebook.