Support Others

Being a good friend

Relationships are a huge part of what gets us through life.
Here are some tips to help build safe relationships and reconnect to those you love.

Illustration of a cup of tea

Here are some ways to be a great friend today. 

  • Truly listen. One of the best gifts we can give others is our undivided attention. Sometimes, we may be more focused on thinking about saying something clever while someone is talking to us, instead of truly listening to that person. Make eye contact and stay focused on them. Truly listen, and the other person will feel more connected to you.
  • Validate. Show that you understand the other person’s feelings or opinions by validating them, instead of making judgements. Examples are, “I can understand how you feel,” “This must be hard for you,” or “You’re doing really well.”  
  • Sometimes it’s a relief to smile and be light-hearted with a friend. One of the best ways to build great relationships is to share positivity with others. Smiling, openness and light-heartedness can go a long way in making others feel good and at ease when they’re with us.
  • Try “I” statements, instead of “You should.” Clarify by saying, “I felt this when you did this,” instead of “You should ____.” Blaming friends rarely helps the situation, as they can feel attacked when we blame and attack back, or, they may quietly be resentful. “I felt this when you did this” helps people understand where we’re coming from without blame.
  • If someone has been through something difficult, let them know you are there if they want to talk. Depending on what has happened to your friend they may or may not want to talk about it. Tell them you are there to support them but that they don’t have to talk about it if they don’t want to. Tell them you will help them find the support they need through awesome websites like Em.
  • Try and understand their point of view. Who we are is the result of many factors including our experiences, the people we’re surrounded by, where we grew up, how we’re brought up and more. Try to understand a person’s point of view through the context of their situation, history and sense of self. Once we see that so many things affect who we become, we’ll understand there’s no one right way to think, feel or be, which will help us to accept our friends and the way they are.