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How to Be a Good Friend

8 Mistakes Every Best Friend Should Avoid

The ins and outs of being a good friend are fairly straightforward, but the "BFF" title comes with a range of responsibilities. You're kind, you're supportive, and you're empathetic, but is that enough? There are key elements of every relationship that deserve extra attention, so to help you avoid any awkward friendship slipups, we're highlighting the major blunders to avoid. To be the best BFF you can be, steer clear of these eight friendship faux pas:

  1. Forget major events. Everyone forgets a birthday at some point, but do whatever you can to remember those special occasions in her life. When she tells you about a big work project or a fun date that's coming up, mark it down on your calender so you can make a point to reach out. A simple text, a card — whatever it is, she's sure to appreciate that small effort.
  2. Comment on her insecurities. Whether it's "I look fat" or "my nail beds suck," don't indulge her moments of insecurity. When she says something negative about herself, skip the response and steer the conversation elsewhere. Chiming in will only feed into her issues, and whether you agree with her or not, no answer is the right one.
  3. Bash other friends. A good rule of thumb: if it feels like you're gossiping, you probably are. And if you're talking about another friend behind her back, who's to say you won't do the same to her? Even if you're just opening up to her because you know she'll understand where you're coming from, it's still not a good idea — gossip doesn't look good on anyone.
  4. Make fun of her family. It doesn't matter how close you are to her family — you should never, ever say something bad about one of her relatives. She may like to joke about her annoying younger brother or that crazy, reckless aunt you met over the holidays, but that doesn't mean you should feel free to join in. Cracking one-liners about her family will only upset her, so nod and laugh rather than adding to the conversation.

Read on for more friendship mistakes to avoid.

  1. Put down her values. You should feel comfortable enough to engage in a civil debate about politics or religion with your friends, but if you can avoid it, you probably should. Even if she's really open about her beliefs and seems to welcome the dialogue, you never know if there's more to her value system, so be considerate and don't let those touchy topics put distance between you.
  2. Date her ex. Every relationship is different, but when in doubt, steer clear of anyone she's dated in the past. She may have moved on and started a relationship with someone else, but that's an awkward situation you'd rather avoid.
  3. Be the queen of PDA. It's great that you're really into your guy, but do you need to be all over him in front of your friends? A little bit of PDA is fine every once in a while, but you don't want to make her uncomfortable when she's hanging out with you as a couple.
  4. Let her coordinate all the plans. Is she the go-to person when it comes to mapping out each and every event? That's probably because she partly enjoys the planning process, but chances are, she's hoping you'll put in some effort every once in a while. Next time she mentions wanting to see you, offer to take the reins and organize the get-together yourself.
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