Here’s how to be a better friend

Fact: Good friendships are one of the best things life has to offer. Maybe you have that sister-like ride-or-die, or maybe you’re part of a high-energy team that makes you laugh every time you’re together. No matter what your friendships may be, we’ve got some 10/10 tips for making your bestie bonds thrive, and we’re going to break down two key tips to give you *everything* you need to know about being a better friend

1. No emotional dumping


What is emotional dumping?
Emotional dumping essentially means laying everything you might be going through on your BFF’s shoulders. It takes many forms — texting her in all caps, “NEED TO FACETIME RN” with no explanation, calling her at random after dinner sobbing, or giving her the full list of why you’re mad at your cousin over lunch.

why is it bad
One of the great things about having a friend is having someone to talk to when you’re going through something. However, we often forget that our friends have their own things going on too. Maybe they just had a chem test that didn’t go their way. Maybe she’s having a disagreement with her mother and isn’t able to shoulder your problems in addition to her own. When emotional dumping is left unchecked, it can create tension and pent-up conflict in your relationship.

Simple solution:
In order to avoid unnecessary breakdowns, it is best to pause before you send the SMS, make a call or let all your emotions run free. Instead of the all-caps message, consider this: “Hey, I didn’t have a great time at the tutoring center today. Can you talk later tonight?” If you’ve had a rough week and just need to vent, instead of jumping right in at the lunch table, start with some small talk and then culminate in something like, “I’ve had a pretty rough week with my cousin, do you think we could schedule a vent session? It doesn’t have to be right now, but maybe sometime before the end of the week?” By doing this, you’ve given your girlfriend an easy way to either say, “The floor is yours, take it all off your chest” or “You know you, I didn’t sleep very well last night. Can we talk about it on Thursday?”

2. No Unsolicited Advice

@best regards_bri

What is unsolicited advice?
Unsolicited advice is exactly what it sounds like—giving advice without being asked. For example, your best friend just came up annoyed that her crush completely ignored her in English today, and you respond with, “Honestly, if I were you, I’d take that as a sign he’s not interested.” Eek , probably not what she was hoping to hear.

why is it bad
As seen in the exchange above, advice can sometimes come out a lot harsher than you might have intended and make your BFF feel worse about their sting. Another problem with unsolicited advice is the possibility that your friend might not want advice at all. As we learned in Tip #1, friends can be great outlets for venting your feelings. Your best friend could have just taken her frustration off her chest and moved on, but now she’s wondering if her crush really likes her. Even if you don’t want to complicate things, sometimes advice can make things worse instead of clarifying.

Simple solution:
Always get your consent before giving your advice. If your best friend says she wants to talk, ask how you can be there for her. “Do you want me to just listen, or do you want my two cents?” Another option is to wait for the green light. It looks like your ride-or-die will end their departure with “Any advice?” or “What are your thoughts?” Also, when sharing, remember to support your friend. Deviate from advice that creates more drama or contains negative opinions. If you don’t know what to say, be honest and tell her that. It’s better to be honest and supportive than to give hasty advice that doesn’t come from the right place.

Check out these other Squad-inspired reads:
👯‍♀️ Dear Carol, I have to change schools and I don’t want to leave my friends
👯‍♀️ Tell us about your best friend and we’ll give you a TV show to watch
👯‍♀️ Dear Carol, how do I make friends when I’m new in town?

Going through friendship problems? We’ve all been through that.
Write us your experiences and maybe you will get an answer!

Slider image @tariana_mariah via Instagram | Top pic @olivia.olusanya via Instagram | GIF about Giphy

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