6 Ways To Be A Better Friend

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Thanks to social media, we know exactly what our friends are doing at any given moment. And with our ever-busier schedules, it can be oh so easy to just double-tap a friend’s photo or reply to her Instagram story and call it a day. But you’re doing yourself and your friends a disservice if you only interact online. Friendships take work, just like any other relationship. Here, experts weigh in on how to be a better pal.

BFF Guide

"It's really easy to see a friend we love (or any friend, for that matter) and completely unload. To be frank, a lot of us simply don't have a ton of real friendships. Another lovely side effect of technology is we are connected to hundreds and thousands of people online as acquaintances, so our true friendships feel diluted among all the superficial relationships we've cultivated.

Therefore it's all too easy to want to dish and dish and dish about our emotional health and our daily goings-on and anything else on our mind without taking the time to listen to our friends. We crave deep connection so badly that it's hard to stop ourselves! So, in order to be a good friend, let them have the time to shine in your friendship as well."

—Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching

"Be aware of your friends' milestones and congratulate them—with a phone call! Instagram and Facebook congrats are for acquaintances. Communication equates to love and stronger relationships."

—Rori Sassoon, premier matchmaker and CEO of Platinum Poire

"Technology is reflective of how surface-level many friendships have become. When you connect with friends, avoid asking questions like, 'How are you?' Most Americans are conditioned to say, 'I'm doing good or I'm fine,' even when the sky is falling in on them. Ask more open-ended questions such as, 'What has it been like for you lately?'"

Natasha Oates, licensed professional counselor and keynote speaker

"While technology has its pros, it should never completely replace in-person connection. So many factors of communication are left out of the fold when it comes to technology, such as body language, tone, physical touch and so much more. In-person connection leaves less room for misunderstandings and conflict and much more room for bonding and heartfelt discussion. It takes us out of our comfort zones and forces us to be more vulnerable with another human being—and vulnerability is the foundation for deep relationships. So don't let technology totally consume your friendships. Instead, let it be a booster."

—Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching

"Technology makes it ever so easy to stack yourself up against the competition also vying for a friend's attention. Don't let yourself go there. Your friend is going to have other friends outside of your friendship, and that does not and should not threaten your bond. I will admit, it can be tough when you are being shown pictures of said friend happy and healthy with others who aren't yourself, but instead of letting it threaten you, cultivate feelings of positivity that they are happy. Let it inspire you to be a better friend whenever you guys are together. Just like you don't compare your dog to someone else's dog, don't compare your friendship to others, either. Focus on your own bond and nothing else!"

—Kali Rogers, founder of Blush Online Life Coaching

"Remember things that are important. People love to talk about themselves and love it when others remember things important to them. Ask about those things next time you see them. It can be things like family, pets, vacations, whatever is important to that person. Names are especially important. Remember names of people important in their lives. If you have trouble remembering, write down a few notes about the friend and have a quick look at them before you meet them."

Harvey Deutschendorf, emotional intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker