How To Be An Attentive Friend
Start writing a post

How To Be An Attentive Friend

The little things matter

How To Be An Attentive Friend
Chris Bennier

Relationships are complicated. It can be hard to keep up with it all on top of school, work and life in general. Sometimes you can feel yourself drifting apart from a close friend. If you can't really figure out why, then it might be time to examine the habits of yourself, and your pal. Just like any other relationship, being friends is a two-way street. You both have to put in the time and effort to make it work. Although friendships all function differently, here are a few general things you'll want to make sure you and your friend are doing for each other.

1. Follow Up

Did your friend have a big presentation today? Ask them about it. Are they having relationship problems? Check in occasionally. You don't have to keep tabs on everything, but try and keep track of the big stuff.

2. Cancel with grace

If you have to cancel plans, try and offer up alternative plans for a different time. If you can't come up with something on the spot, try and get back to them as soon as possible. Don't just leave it at "we can hang out some other time."

3. Ask how they're doing

It's simple, but easy to forget. As someone who absolutely lovestalking about herself, I can sometimes forget to see how my buddy is doing.

4. Respect their complaints

Sometimes people need to blow off some steam by complaining. If they have a ten page paper to do, now is not the time to bring up your fifteen page paper. Complaining competitions are no fun, and it can make your friend feel as though their problems aren't worthy of your time.

6. Show interest in their interests

I can tell when someone is not interested in what I have to say. Granted, I probably talk about makeup way too much, but that's because I love it. My friend is a giant Zelda nerd. Even though neither of us know much about the other's respective hobby, we can still get excited for each other, like when the Nintendo Switch came out, or when I finally got my new eyeshadow palette.

7. Support their interests

An extension of point six, support your friends in their endeavors. Go to that poetry reading. Attend that choir concert. Like that Instagram post of their art. Sure, you might not "get" poetry. Perhaps you don't absolutely love choir music. That shouldn't stop you from supporting you friend.

8. Pay them back

This is a big one. No one likes the guy who takes loans and never pays them back. It becomes especially awkward with friends. On the one hand, you don't want to seem too pushy, but on the other hand, you kind of want your money back.

9. Criticize with care

Don't be the one who always offers unsolicited criticisms. Unless it is seriously affecting you or someone else, it probably isn't helpful.

10. Treat them like a priority

You don't have to do it 100% of the time. That's not realistic. However, you probably shouldn't bail on your friend regularly when something cooler pops up.

11. Pay attention

All of these points basically boil down to one thing: be attentive. Being present in a relationship may seem pretty basic but it's always a lot harder to put these habits into practice. Of course situations will vary; there is no formula for the perfect friendship. However, we could all benefit from being more aware and purposeful in all the relationships of our lives.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments