Friendships are more than just about having fun and making fond memories. They are about creating an emotional connection, mutually supporting each other, and showing genuine care. Healthy relationships, including friendships, are one of the best predictors of happiness. In fact, they even impact our physical health. So, you can see why showing friendship is an important part of life.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? Well, there is a lot of truth to it. The people we surround ourselves with can greatly impact the course of our lives. That’s why showing friendship is so important. It’s not just about having someone to grab drinks with on a Friday night; it’s about having a support system who will be there through thick and thin.
Showing your appreciation for friends is powerful. Not only does it make them feel special, but it also solidifies the foundation of your relationship. Sure, you can text them a heart emoji or say “thanks, dude” after they lend a helping hand, but there are many more ways of letting them know they’re your ride-or-die.
13 tips for showing friendship
But how do you let your friends know you care? In this post, we look at 13 tips for showing friendship and how you can implement them.
1. Actively listen.
Active listening is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship, and it’s vital for showing friendship. When you are talking with friends, put down your phone or laptop and give them your full attention. Free up any distractions so that you can focus on what they have to say without interrupting. When you give someone your full attention, they feel heard and valued. We have all been in a situation where it’s clear that someone isn’t listening, and it’s definitely not conducive to building a connection.
2. Be supportive.
Supporting your friends through both the good and bad times is one of the best ways to show them your friendship. Empathizing with them and offering a shoulder to cry on during times of need can make all the difference. Being supportive isn’t just limited to the tough times, though. It can be as simple as sending them a good luck message before a job interview or cheering them on during a game.
3. Have fun together.
Having fun with your friends is a great way to bring joy and laughter into your lives. It allows you to bond with each other and make memories that can further strengthen your connection. From going on hikes together to having a picnic in the park or even just playing a game of cards, having fun with your friends is an essential part of showing friendship. Remember that the definition of “fun” differs for everyone, so there isn’t a standard rule of what works.
4. Show your appreciation.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and it’s no different with friends. Take the time to express your appreciation for who they are as a person and the positivity they bring to your life. This could be as simple as saying ‘thank you’ for listening to you or buying them a little gift to show your appreciation for helping you through a tough time. It can be easy to forget to show appreciation for those close to us, but it plays an important role in making people feel valued.
5. Remember special occasions.
Celebrate your friend’s birthdays, achievements, and milestones to let them know they are valued and cherished. A thoughtful card or making time to celebrate with them can go a long way toward strengthening your relationship. Even something as small as remembering the date they are starting a new job shows that you care and are thinking of them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Whoever said, “It’s the thought that counts,” was onto something.
6. Be trustworthy.
Being trustworthy is a key building block of any friendship. It lays the foundation that allows you to open up and confide in each other. Show your friends that you can be reliable by always keeping your word, not gossiping about them, and honoring any confidences you share. It’s important to bear in mind that trust takes time to build, but it can be shattered in an instant, and a ‘friendship’ without trust isn’t a true friendship. So, make sure that you are always committed to building and protecting that trust.
7. Respect their boundaries.
Respecting your friend’s boundaries is an important part of showing them friendship and letting them know you care about their well-being. It shows that you aren’t taking them for granted and that you have their best interest at heart. This could range from understanding if they don’t want to talk about certain topics or respecting when they need their own space. By respecting someone’s boundaries, you will foster a positive environment where both of you feel safe and respected.
8. Celebrate their successes.
Celebrating the success of your friends is a great way to show them that you truly want the best for them as they move through life. Whether it’s getting a promotion, passing their driving test, or winning an award, showing your excitement for their accomplishments and cheering them on is a great way to show friendship. It lets them know you are proud of them and have their back. After all, if you can’t celebrate your friends’ successes, who will?
9. Acts of kindness.
showing friendship through kindness is a great way to make someone’s day. It could be as simple as picking up their favorite snack when you go to the store or offering a helping hand if they are moving house. It might not seem like much, but small acts of kindness can speak volumes when it comes to showing friendship. Kindness can make a person feel loved and appreciated, which is something that all of us need.
10. Apologizing and forgiving.
Apologizing when you’ve done wrong and forgiving others show true strength of character. It isn’t always easy to apologize, and forgiving someone who has hurt you can be even harder. However, if you do want to continue your friendship, it’s important to own up to any wrongdoings and forgive each other. Taking time and effort to overcome hurt feelings can show that you truly value the friendship. However, it’s worth noting that if someone has betrayed or disrespected you, it’s up to you whether you want to forgive them or not—it might not always be possible or worth it, depending on the situation.
11. Accept them for who they are.
At the end of the day, it’s important to accept your friends for who they are at their core. Acceptance is something that all of us strive for, at least to some degree. We have evolved to be social creatures who thrive when we are accepted by the people around us. The kind of acceptance that cultivates friendship goes beyond just tolerating someone. It is actively recognizing their unique qualities and traits that make them special and embracing them for who they are.
12. Follow through on your word.
Show your friends they can count on you by being reliable and following through on your commitments. Being dependable helps to build trust—it shows that you care and are taking their needs into consideration. If you cancel plans last minute or don’t show up when you said you would, it sends a message to your friends that you don’t value their time. On the other hand, making an effort to show up on time and keep your promises shows that you value their friendship and you prioritize them.
13. Remember small details.
Take note of small details about your friends that will make them feel special. For instance, if they have a favorite TV show or movie genre, make a mental note so that you can bring it up in conversation. This will make them feel appreciated and show that you pay attention to the details. If you’re genuinely interested in someone’s life, this should happen naturally to an extent. However, it’s worth noting that having a good memory for details does go a long way in showing your friends you care.
Showing friendship dynamics
Showing friendship isn’t about smothering someone with attention or going overboard to make them feel special. It’s about taking small steps that show your friends you value and appreciate them.
Any healthy, fulfilling connection requires a balance of independence and togetherness. Different friendships sit at different points of that spectrum, depending on the individuals involved, the nature of the friendship, and the context in which it exists.
Every friendship has a unique dynamic, and finding a balance that works for both of you is important. Some friends message every day and see each other on a regular basis, while others will catch up every now and again. Some friendships are built on deep conversations, while others are based on shared hobbies.
As long as both of you feel comfortable and respected, there is no right or wrong way of showing friendship. Sometimes it might take a little experimentation to find the right dynamic, but true friendships are worth time and effort.
Friendships are fluid
It’s important to remember that friendships are fluid. As two people go through changes in life, their friendship dynamic will also change. If one of you starts a new course or job, you may have less time to see each other for a period of time. If one of you gets married or has a baby, you may need to adjust your expectations and find a new way of showing friendship.
It’s all about adapting and finding the right balance that works for both of you. Don’t compare your friendships to those of others—just focus on what works for you, and remember that friendships change as people grow and move through different stages of life.
It’s natural for friendships to ebb and flow—they aren’t always a linear journey. As we grow and develop as individuals, so do our friendships. Think back to the person you were ten years ago. The chances are, you’re a very different person now.
However, sometimes you might outgrow a friendship. If this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the friendship was wrong or unhealthy. You simply might just develop different needs, interests, and priorities that might not align with your friends. Part of living a happy life is recognizing when it’s time to let go of someone or something—this doesn’t mean you have failed. It can actually be a mature and healthy step in the right direction.
At the end of the day, we have limited time and attention to give, so it’s important to release relationships that are no longer mutually beneficial in order to make room for those that are. That said, some friendships last a lifetime, and it’s beautiful when that happens. At the end of the day, if your friendship is meant to last, it will.
Final thoughts on showing friendship
Friendships are key to our happiness and mental well-being, and showing friendship can take many forms. While these tips will help make it easier, developing great friendships often includes trial and error. There’s no exact roadmap for being a great friend; it comes down to principles. For example, core principles that underlie strong friendships include kindness, compassion, respect, trust, and loyalty.
Ultimately, there’s no replacement for having meaningful friendships. To be able to openly share feelings and thoughts with someone who accepts you is special. Feeling seen, heard, and understood by another person is a gift. Never underestimate the power of a good friend.
The 13 tips for showing friendship we covered in this article are designed to help you get the most out of your friendships. Whether you’re just getting to know someone or have been friends for years, these tips can give you ideas on how to best show your friends you care. Now put your phone away and show your friends some love!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our post about signs of love for friends.