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15 Signs You’re Actually An Amazing Friend

Even Taylor Swift would want you in her squad.

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1. Sometimes you lie.

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One main misconception about friendship is that it's a no-lying-whatsoever zone, Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., friendship and relationship expert and creator of The Friendship Blog, tells BuzzFeed Life. Obviously, you shouldn't lie about the big things, but that doesn't mean you should always say exactly what you're thinking.

"Sometimes you can couch things in a white lie and that's okay," says Levine. A good rule of thumb is judging whether or not the thing you want to comment on can be changed. Telling your friend they have bad breath is a good heads up, but saying their new haircut is too short helps no one.

2. You do little things for your friends just for the hell of it.

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"People underestimate how important little things are all the time, but that's what makes up a friendship — a series of little gestures," Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of The Friendship Fix, tells BuzzFeed Life. "It's the difference between knowing that they like a certain candy versus actually occasionally buying them that candy." Even something as simple as messaging them on Facebook about a silly memory over liking their posts can make your friend's day.

3. You're on time more often than not.

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Being chronically late might not FEEL like a big deal, but it can actually have an impact on your friendship, according to Levine. "It shows that you think your time is more precious than your friend's and that can really grate on the other person," she says. So make an effort.

4. You work through your fights the same way you would with a romantic partner.

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Open communication about what's working and what's not in a friendship is just as important as it is in a romantic relationship, so Bonior suggests talking through issues as they come up and resisting the temptation to be passive aggressive or to wait for things to blow over on their own.

"Fights are at their most dangerous when they're actually not overt," she says. "If somebody did something that really hurt you, be open with your feelings and use 'I' statements. It's an old trick from couples therapy, but it applies to friends, too."

5. You are genuinely excited and proud of your friends' accomplishments.

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There's no bigger sign that you are seriously rooting for your friends' happiness than if you lose your shit whenever they do well, says Levine. And everyone deserves friends who support them like that.

6. You admit when you're jealous instead of letting it eat at you.

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Being jealous sucks and is embarrassing to admit, but it's so natural in friendships that sometimes, it really helps when you talk about it, especially if it's something that affects how you behave around them, says Bonior.

Say you've been stuck in job hunting purgatory for six months and meanwhile, your friend just got a promotion at their awesome job. Obviously, it's possible to be simultaneously excited and really effing jealous. Instead of letting it fester, Bonior says it's helpful to give your friend a heads up with something like: "Hey, just so you know, I'm having a bit of a hard time. My job search is giving me hell, so I might come off like I'm not super happy for you, but I really am."

7. You don't expect your friends to initiate and choose the plans all the time.

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It's totally fine if part of the dynamic of your friendship is that one person loves taking the lead on when and where you guys hang out. But if your friends ask for your input and your go-to answer is, "I dunno, whatever you want to do," you're not really carrying your weight. "Make sure there's a balance in who is initiating and planning things," says Levine.

8. You don't say, "Let me know if you need anything," when they're going through tough stuff.

Your heart is definitely in the right place when you make yourself available this way, but what you might not realize is that saying this puts the burden on your friend when they're already going through a hard time, says Bonior. You probably know from personal experience that it can be so hard to ask for help.

Instead, offer as specific help as possible. Things like, "I'm going to the grocery store, can I pick you up anything?" or "Do you want to come over and really get your mind off things with a Netflix binge with me?"

BUT WHAT IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO HELP? So real. Then you ask, as specifically as you can, what you can do. Some questions Bonior suggests that might help: How can I help you best? Would it help for you to be able to talk about this? Should I wait to bring this up first? Do you need me be a distraction? Would you rather me share my similar experiences?

9. You roll with the fluctuations in your friendships.

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There are going to be times when you're closer with your friends and there are going to be times when you drift apart — and that's very, very normal and nothing to beat yourself up over. And nothing to get upset with your friends about. "Friendships don't necessarily sustain themselves at the same intensity all the time," says Levine. "There will be times when you guys are very busy or involved with other friends or work or hobbies. Allow each other room."

10. You don't expect your friend to be your therapist.

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Good friends stick with each other through the tough stuff and listen when you need support, no doubt about that. Sometimes you can cross a line by putting too much pressure on a friend to have all the answers and to listen to all your problems, says Levine. "If you're continually having one crisis after another, not doing as much listening as you are speaking, and ruminating on the same subject and stories over and over again, you could be fatiguing your friends," she says. "You need to differentiate between things a friend can help you with and something you might need to work out on your own or with professional mental health help."

11. You know the important stuff, but don't freak out if your friends have secrets from you.

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Being friends =/= having an all-access pass to your friends' personal lives, so don't feel entitled or take it personally if they have some things they don't share with you. "Different people have different sense of privacy in terms of what they want to share and of how intimate they want to get," says Levine.

12. You don't expect your friends to hate people who you hate.

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Yeah, a beautiful part of your friendship might be hating all the same people, but actively expecting your friends to automatically blacklist people out of loyalty is another level. "The last thing you want to do is put your friend in a position where they're forced to make a decision between you and another person," says Levine. So if your friend starts hanging with people who annoy you, it's your job as a good friend to be respectful.

Don't worry, though, that doesn't mean you have to actually like them. Just accept that your friend does.

13. You're not a serial friend poacher.

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Everyone knows how shitty it can feel to introduce two friends, only to watch them hit it off spectacularly and hang out without you. Knowing that, it can really help to be mindful of how you go about hanging out with people your friends introduced you to. Most important rule: Don't do it behind their back. "It's worse to find out that your two friends are getting together and felt the need to hide it from you," says Levine. Doing that makes it a THING.

Instead, thank your friend for introducing you to such a chill person, tell them you're going to be hanging out, and make plans for the three of you to do something together in the future, too. Oh, and try not to do it all the time. "Being a serial friend poacher can become a real problem," says Levine. It's just making your friend feel needlessly left out.

14. You're vulnerable with your friends.

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"The difference between people who know each other well versus people who are truly close is the intimacy that comes from actually being aware of what a person's vulnerabilities are," says Bonior. "That means you know what they're scared of, what their biggest hopes are, what would make them the most embarrassed, or what they're most ashamed of. Close friends tend to know that and protect that."

A lot of this is putting in time and attention, but the most important thing you can do is let yourself be vulnerable, too. "It's never going to feel that good for a person to get up and be vulnerable if you haven't also made yourself a little vulnerable," says Bonior. "If you really want to go to that extra level of emotional intimacy, it is about being able to open up something about yourself."

15. You treat your friendship like a living, breathing thing — because it is.

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"You can't expect friendships to sustain themselves on their own," says Levine. "It's true that with a very good friend, you should be able to pick up after not seeing each other, but friendships don't necessarily last forever, and the ones that are important to you, you need to nurture by spending time with the person and effort."

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