Friends and friendships are important part of growing up. Having a good network of friends helps you stay connected and feel like part of your community.  Frienships are great when things are going well but life can feel pretty miserable and stressful when things are not going so well.  Knowing how to maintain a friendship is important and the tips on this page will be useful. Childline has produced useful advice on making friends so visit their website. 

Keys for Good Friendships

Showing a genuine interest in what's going on in your life, what you have to say, and how you think and feel.

Accepting you for who you are.

Listening to you attentively without judging you, telling you how to think or feel, or trying to change the subject.

Feeling comfortable sharing things about themselves with you.

Reciprocity, support, boundaries, affection, ease, vulnerability, predictability, trustworthiness, honesty, dependability, loyalty, empathy, non-judgemental attitude, and being a good listener.

Group of friends laughing

Qualities of a good friendship

A good friendship should have the following qualities:

Stable, longstanding bond.

Positive, Cooperative and helpful.

Involves trust, requires openness to our friends’ ways of seeing things.

Requires concern for our friends’ well-being.

Teaches you about yourself and challenges you to be better.

Encourages you to keep going when times get tough and celebrates your successes with you.

A positive impact on your health.

Managing Arguments:

Challenges will arise during friendships. It is important to learn what to do and how to deal with issues. Visit Childline for further help. If you have a disagreement with a friend, you must remember to: 

  • Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you wouldn’t want a picture posted or comment made online or face to face, then think twice about posting or saying anything that might embarrass, upset or annoy someone else.
  • It’s ok to have a difference of opinion but treat each other with respect and dignity when talking about differences.
  • Remember that just because someone might look happy, they might be having a hard time at home, school/college or in their personal life. Be kind, always.
  • If you have said or done something which has caused offence or upset, start with an apology. We all make mistakes from time to time, so forgive yourself then ask for forgiveness from the person who is upset.
  • Friendships take effort to build and maintain on both parts. Make time for the people you care about. Try to connect with friends face to face rather than always on social media. Let your friends know that you are there for them and you care about them.
  • Remember true friends will respect your opinion and preferences. Friends shouldn’t push or bully one another into doing things they are not comfortable to do. If you are feeling peer pressure to do something you don’t want to do, tell a parent/carer, teacher or other trusted adult.

Worried about a friend

Being part of a friendship group helps your mental health. In some cases your friend may be struggle and you can support them by using the resources on Young Minds or : 

  • Encourage them to tell a parent/carer, teacher, trusted adult or professional helpline.
  • Encourage them to get information or advice from this website.
  • If your friend is unwilling to tell an adult and you are still worried, make sure you tell an adult.
  • Let your friend know you are there for them. No one will expect you to ‘fix’ the problems or have the answers, but being kind, accepting that your friend might not be their usual self, and not expecting too much from them, are some helpful things you can do.

Help and Support 

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