If you want to have a good friendship, you need to be a good friend.
By Emma Bishop
You and your best friend are on the same wavelength.
But it’s easy to let work, family, social media, and Netflix create some distance between the two of you.
Whether your bestie is going through a breakup or other hardships or you just want to show her how much you care, here are seven different ways to show your best friend some love:
1. Help them with a dreaded chore
Gifts like potted plants and jewelry are fine, but the gift of your time surpasses them all.
If you Google “best friend gifts,” you get 163,000,000 hits in less than a second.
Save the concerts tickets and ornaments for birthdays and holidays.
Instead, offer to help with something overwhelming that she hates to do.
Some people don’t know where to get started when it comes to cleaning their house or reorganizing that pesky storage room.
Also, if you have a green thumb, help them plant a flower garden.
If your bestie has a problem maintaining that garden, fill it with succulents and plants that don’t need much care.
2. Make them dinner
If your BFF is overwhelmed with work or daily chores or simply feels under the weather, make a meal and take it over to her and her family.
By bringing her a plate, you’ll be taking one more thing off her plate.
If cooking’s not your forte, have a catered meal delivered.
3. Listen to them
While you’re cleaning out the garden, attic, or kitchen together, take the time to share each other’s feelings.
Active, empathetic listening is a proven relationship booster.
We all need someone to listen to our rants.
Your best friend is going to know when you’re not really listening.
Your eyes will glaze over and you will say “uh huh” without really responding to what she’s saying.
But with empathetic listening, you’re engaged in what she’s saying and it will show.
That means absorbing each word and how she says it.
When you react, let her know you understood what she said and follow up with questions.
That’s how she knows you weren’t checked out while she was venting.
It’s also how you let her know she is emotionally safe with you.
4. Create an endorphin high together
This might seem weird, but singing, dancing, and grooming are all proven to increase social bonds.
But, it’s not just those activities.
Researchers say anything that gives you and your best friend an endorphin hit will strengthen your bond.
So, go running or skydiving or see a scary movie together.
5. Take their kids for the weekend
If your friend seems stressed out, she may just need some alone time.
If she’s got young kids, treat her to an afternoon at the spa and it will rejuvenate her.
A weekend getaway with her spouse may help her reboot and face challenges that may be weighing on her.
6. Show some tough love
If you’re used to giving it to your BFF straight, you’re the best kind of friend there is.
A study published in Psychological Science shows some people try to make their friends feel negative emotions – with the belief that it will ultimately help them.
It’s scary to hurt someone’s feelings.
But, if there’s an obvious reason why your best friend is having a hard time with something and you know it’s something that might make her upset, you might still take the risk and tell her for her own good.
Only the best of friends are willing to tell the cold, hard truth.
Showing her tough love could, in the end, make her life better.
7. Go on a road trip
The old movie Thelma and Louise immortalized the best friend road trip.
Two girlfriends blaze an illegal path of glory across the desert (and they meet a young Brad Pitt).
It goes without saying that you should leave the law-breaking part of Hollywood, but you and your BFF can hit the road.
Whether it’s a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, cross-country, or an East Coast jaunt, spending that one-on-one time on adventures is the recipe for showing your best friend lots of love.
It comes with an added bonus – plenty of #bestfriend Instagram pics!
Your best friend plays a bigger role in your life than you realize.
Researchers understand that strong connections with family and friends are both essential for a healthy life.
And research shows that the older you get, friends may be more important than family.
And when you’re a senior citizen, it’s your bond with your best friend that may keep you kicking for decades to come.
Emma Bishop is a writer who focuses on friendship, relationships, and love. For more of her friendship content, visit her author profile on Unwritten.