The dos and don'ts of being a good friend

Author: Canadian Living


The dos and don'ts of being a good friend

It's a fact: women are hard-wired to make friends, keep these friends close and to nurture their friendships for life. But all relationships take work, and there isn't a woman alive who hasn't lost a good friend over something – usually after months or years of resentment that could have been avoided.

But we hate losing our friends no matter how sour things get. So how do you avoid the resentment trap before it begins? Identifying common conflict grounds is a great place to start. Here's an essential guide to good friendship dos and don'ts for you – and your friends! 

Do stay aware of your friend's feelings and ask if something doesn't seem right.  Don't bug her too much and insist on knowing what's wrong – everyone deserves some privacy.

Do keep an eye on each other when you're both out on the town. Don't feel you must stay glued together all night – you're not her bodyguard.

Do respect her newest health and fitness craze and support her efforts. Don't start jogging with her at 4 a.m. if you hate it – she can stay on track with or without your participation.

Do whatever she asks of you to help with her wedding day. Don't catch yourself doing all the grunt work while she spends her time at the spa.

Do listen to her gripe about her husband or boyfriend. Don't add to her list of negative things to say about him – it's possible she'll hold this against you.

Do give your honest opinion about her new outfit if she asks – she'll know if you're lying. Don't remind her what you think when she wears it again.

Do celebrate her victories over a glass of wine. Don't party with her until last call and miss all your morning meetings.

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More great friendship tips
Do help her screen potential beaus from an online dating service. Don't make it your part-time job to find her the right match.

Do cherish and be caring toward her new baby. Don't become the emergency babysitter every Thursday night if you don't want to.

Do let her date your brother. Don't get involved.

Do take time to do something nice if she's been off sick for a week. Don't do all her laundry while she watches TV. 

Do bring a thoughtful housewarming gift to her new home. Don't scan her home on your return visit to see where she's placed it.

Do go on a blind date she set up for you. Don't go twice if it's painful.

Do lend her your favourite piece of jewellery, but set a date for when you want it back. Don't put up with forgetfulness when she's borrowed something important to you. 

Do drop everything when she calls sobbing over the phone. Don't put your life on hold for the fifth time that week.

Do be her wing woman if her favourite band comes to town. Don't be the taxi so she can have a wild time while you check your watch every hour.

Do acknowledge when she's complimented you, your family or your home. Don't downplay the compliment – it says her opinion doesn't matter to you.

Read more: Top reasons you need a best friend.

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The dos and don'ts of being a good friend