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The Summit Counseling Center
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How to be a Good Friend

Brittany Glaser

Friends hiking through the hills of Los AngelesFriends are important. Especially when you are in your pre-teenage and teenage years friendships can become a vital social connection and place to safety figure out who you want to become.

  1. Listen and empathize—Ask about what is going on in the other person’s life and listen when they share. It’s important to try and empathize with that person by imagining how they might feel from a compassionate place.
  2. Create boundaries—Be willing to say no at times. Listen to yourself and know what you are and aren’t comfortable with in friendships. For example, if a friend wants you to hang out but you know that you need some time on your own or need to study then it’s ok to say no!
  3. Respect their boundaries—If a friend says no to you or tells you they can’t do something, let them!
  4. Give as much as you take—Be willing to spend time and give to the friendship but try and balance how much you give and take in the relationship. If you are leaning to one side in that, then it’s ok to talk about that with your friend.
  5. Saying sorry—It’s ok to mess up. It’s a part of being human and in relationships. Being a good friend means owning those moments and being willing to say sorry.

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