Real talk: Strong friendships aren't just about hitting it off and loving each other — they also take care and attention, especially if you want them to last for the long haul.
1. Be honest with yourself about whether you're talking too much.
2. Don't be dismissive of things your friend wants to talk about, even if you're not exactly interested.
3. Regularly check in with yourself about how you feel about the friendship *and* what kind of friend you're being.
4. And if you have a feeling you haven't been the greatest friend lately, say something.
5. Give each other space.
6. Speak your mind when something is bothering you. Just make sure to do it tactfully.
7. Don't let a big fight end an otherwise strong friendship.
8. Remember that you don't have the right to tell your friends how they should feel about you.
9. Let friends vent without offering advice or opinions.
10. Make real effort to stay in touch, even in small ways.
11. If one of you is always the one to reach out or make plans, check in that everyone feels good about that — and if not, try to make it more ~balanced~.
12. If you're busy, fold the person into your schedule or do mundane things together just so you can spend a little extra time together.
13. Don't gossip about them or tell their secrets — even to other close friends you can trust.
14. Let little disagreements go.
15. Understand that loving your friends doesn't mean liking them all the time.
16. Be honest about your jealousy, but don't make it your friend's burden.
17. Give a hug when you don't know what to say.
18. Be understanding of your friend's life and other commitments.
19. Commit to accepting your friend's flaws because, listen, you have some too.
20. Actually do the things you talk about doing instead of just doing the same thing all the time.
21. Pay attention to patterns in past friendships to see how you can improve in your current ones.
22. Be the kind of friend you want to have.
This post has been edited to replace one picture with another.