By Anna Borges
“Loving your friends doesn’t mean liking them all the time.”
Kate Bubacz / BuzzFeed News
Be honest with yourself about whether you’re talking too much.
“I realized I was talking too much in most of my friendships. I am now making an effort to shut up and listen to my friends more. I feel like I’ve connected more with my friends, and that our time together is more balanced.”
Universal Pictures / Via reddit.com
Don’t be dismissive of things your friend wants to talk about, even if you’re not exactly interested.
“Whether it’s stress, a new hobby, an issue at work, always listen to them. Nothing is ever ‘too small’ to talk about if your friend is talking about it. Listen to understand, not to respond.”
@wujugirls / Via pictame.com
Regularly check in with yourself about how you feel about the friendship *and* what kind of friend you’re being.
Once you do a bit of reflection, it should be obvious what changes or improvements need to be made, Andrea Bonior, clinical psychologist and author of Psychology: Essential Thinkers, Classic Theories, and How They Inform Your World tells BuzzFeed Health.
These are some good questions to start with: Do you feel like the friendship is balanced? Do you look forward to spending time with this person? Do you feel like you can be yourself around them? Have you expressed appreciation for this person and their friendship lately? Do you know what’s going on in their life? Would you want to be friends with yourself based on how you act in this friendship?
And if you have a feeling you haven’t been the greatest friend lately, say something.
Obviously you’ll also want to work to change your behavior, but acknowledging it is a great way to validate any feelings your friend might be dealing with but have kept to themselves, says Bonior.
When you do it, make sure it’s not just about how bad and guilty you feel, because that’ll probably compel your friend to reassure you/make it about you instead of them. Try something like, “Hey, I feel like I’ve really relied on you a …read more