Just like every relationship, friendships take a lot of work, especially as adults. As we get older, our responsibilities pile up, and sometimes, we slip and forget about our besties along the way. It’s always a good idea to examine our own behavior to make sure we're not forgetting about those who matter most. Read on for some signs you need to be a better friend.
1. You forget milestones.
We’re not saying you need to throw your friends big birthday bashes every year, but, at the very least, you should give them a call (if you can’t physically be with them on their big day); the same goes for anniversaries, promotions, and other major accomplishments.
2. You only reach out when you need a favor.
Ugh, so shady. Friendship is about give and take. A good friend will be there for you when you truly need someone, but you have to return the favor. Girl, we know life is tough, but it’s not all about you.
3. You always direct the conversation back to yourself.
Again, a good friendship is an exchange, not a monologue. Take the time to ask how your friend’s doing and really listen. If you find yourself thinking of ways to relate her problems or her stories back to you, check yourself. We know that some people show empathy by letting the other person know that they aren’t alone in how they feel, but there’s a difference between empathy and narcissism.
4. You don’t return texts or pick up calls.
Do you honestly think that when you tell someone you forgot to respond or you didn’t see the missed call, they still believe you? How long do you go without checking your phone? Thought so. And yeah, sometimes you’re really that busy, but to use it as an excuse every single time you want to avoid someone is just pathetic.
5. You don’t respect his or her boundaries.
Sometimes, when you want to help or motivate someone, you assume you know what’s best for him or her. But you have to remember that when your friend says no, it’s a no—even if, in reality, it’s what’s "good" for him or her. That’s not your call. All you can do is keep being supportive.
6. You criticize them too much.
There’s brutal honesty and there’s cruelty. When you care for someone, you find ways to be genuine without feeling the need to tear him or her down. "I’m just being honest," or "Opinion ko lang naman 'to" are awful justifications; some people need a little sugar, and as a friend, you should oblige.
7. You’re distracted when you hang out.
Put your damn phone down. Facebook will still be there after your catch-up sesh.
8. You don’t get excited when something good happens to them.
The question is, why the hell not? Is it jealousy? Are you feeling competitive? We know you can’t help how you feel, but you can certainly control what you do. If you’re never happy when something awesome happens to your BFF, figure out why, and adjust your behavior accordingly. Your friend deserves better.
9. You cancel plans when something “better” comes up.
Remember that scene from FRIENDS when Joey cancelled his dinner plans with Phoebe because he had a date and therefore, there was the possibility of sex? Well, Phoebe said it best: "When we make plans, I expect you to show up. I can’t just be a way to kill time until you meet someone better. Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but this is for life!" TRUTH.
10. You don’t let him or her change.
Life happens. People change. And that’s a good thing. You can’t force a friend to be the same person she was when you met in high school. If she wants to change, she should be allowed to. Keep cheering her on, and don’t hold her back.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.