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14 Little Ways To Be A Better Friend In 2019

Taking personality tests together is the new friendship bracelets.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what made their friendships better in 2018. Here are some of their responses:

1. Take some personality tests so you can really understand what makes each other tick:

"My best friend and I are VERY different people, and something that has given us an incredibly deep understanding of each other are personality tests like Myers-Briggs and Enneagram! Knowing why your friends act the way they do/what upsets them/how to love them well is so crucial in maintaining strong bonds. You should try it!!"


2. Allow yourself to be more honest and open about your feelings:

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

"I started trying to be more honest with my friends. Not in an asshole way, but in a kind and often in a more vulnerable way. I made sure to tell them how much I cared about them and how much I appreciated the time we spent together. And I chose my words in our conversations more carefully and thoughtfully than I had in the past, trying to really make what I said count. I now feel like I’m really connecting with the people I care about, and that’s huge."


3. Try going on a friendship-affirming vacation:

Photo by Kendra Kamp on Unsplash

"My BFF and I went on vacation together. We live many states away from each other and it's hard to connect sometimes. We planned a ladies trip and had the best time. Since then, we've each been making more of an effort to call, text, and FaceTime each other. Seeing each other on vacation just reminded us of why we've been friends for 23 years and why we're so important to each other. I feel closer to her than ever, and I'm so grateful."


4. Figure out how to be more up-front about your mental health needs:

"I needed to be way more clear with my cries for help in regards to my mental health. Expecting my friends to understand some cryptic messages as me needing legitimate help is unreasonable. It was difficult to make that change because I'm not at all used to admitting when I'm in a bad spot, but it's helped me immensely and kept me from getting frustrated because 'No one is helping me when I need it'. It helps my friends know what I need them to do for me as well, so they don't feel so helpless. I used to end up isolating myself for days/weeks at a time, but now I know that I can really lean into them instead."


5. Substitute text messages with phone calls:

Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

"Calling instead of texting! Both my best friend and I are terrible at texting and since we live in different continents, we weren’t communicating as much as before and because of that, we started to drift apart. But, recently we called each other for the first time in years and it was a game changer! We spoke for three hours nonstop and now we’re closer than ever, speaking over the phone at least once a week."


6. And find regular pockets of time in your schedule to make those calls:

"My best friend and I both work 9-to-5 jobs and have crazy busy schedules, but have found that calling each other on the way home from work (we both live 45 minutes away from our jobs) makes traffic bearable and keeps us in the know of what’s going on in our hectic days."


7. Or, better yet, FaceTime each other:

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

"FaceTime. It’s such a simple and convenient solution to long-distance friendships. My BFF and I both moved out of state from our hometowns at the same time and it’s both our first time moving out from our parents’ homes. We’re both in new cities, but a monthly FaceTime call has proven our friendship is still as strong as ever, despite our distance."


8. Discover how great it is to truly support and build each other up:

@the_rewm / Via

"My best friend and I both really found feminism this year. True feminism, in which we support each other’s choices and relationships and hard times and don’t bring other women down. I think just framing each other up as smart, talented, beautiful, funny, interesting, complex women helped us form an even stronger bond than we had before."


9. When a friend tells you they need something, write it down:

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

"Whenever my friend has a bad day and asks me for a hug the next day, I put it on my calendar and hug them."


10. Plan a regular activity together, like going to the gym:

Andresr / Getty Images

"My work friends and I exercise together regularly (we have the same gym membership through work). We make it more fun for each other, and we have a rule: no work talk when exercising together. Our friendship is stronger, and we're able to take a mental break and just enjoy the company/workout!"


11. Establish an understanding that life happens and your friendship can endure gaps in communication:

Twitter: @abidickson01

"We've been a tight knit group of four since college, over 10 years ago. As we are buying houses, starting families, and climbing career ladders, we don't have time to talk a lot or see each other much. We text without expecting responses, and live by the saying: my friendship has no expiration date."


12. Truly learn how to forgive and forget:

Antonioguillem / Getty Images

"After a fight, do not continue it after by texting and bringing it up again."


13. Cut out the toxic friendships so you can devote more energy to the healthy ones:

"Honestly, the biggest change that I made to help friendships was to stop giving a crap about the toxic ones in the past and the ones currently that don't want to really hang out with me. This year, I've learned to stop chasing the friends that don't enjoy being friends with me as much as I do them. I am focusing my energy and effort toward being the best me and the friends that are truly my friends."


14. And most importantly, just try a little bit of patience:

Peopleimages / Getty Images

"Being more understanding of each other. Just having that tiny bit of empathy when someone has to cancel plans last minute because of anxiety or depression (or, in my case, a strike of narcolepsy) goes a long way. It removed all the pressure from my friendships and I knew they were here for me and I for them."


Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

As we head into the new year, we're talking about all the ways to make your life and the world around you a little bit better. Read more Do Better 2019 content here.