We often talk about how difficult it is to make friends, but keeping them can often be equally tough. Life comes at you fast sometimes, and maintaining friendships can fall down the list of priorities. Friends are important for our mental health, however, so we pulled together a list of 10 tips to keep the friends you do have.

Make Time for Them

A friendship can’t exist forever without each of you making time for the other. There will likely be seasons of life that mean you see them less often, but eventually you’re going to have to prioritize your friendships again.

Abide by Boundaries

If a friend doesn’t want to talk about certain topics with you, you’ll likely need to back off if you want to keep them around. This can be a tough one, but it’s not a great idea to always be butting heads with those closest to you.

Be the One to Reach Out

It’s nice to know you’re valued. The same is true for your friends. If they’re always the ones reaching out to you to hang out, they may feel like you’re not very interested in the friendship.

Listen Well

You can’t always be the one to talk every time you’re in the same room together. This is similar to the last point, too. Friendships aren’t just a one-way street.

Don’t Just Gripe

Your friends want to hear about more than the negatives in life. If you’re only using friends as sounding boards for the bad in your life, they may struggle to hang out with you day in and day out. That’s not to say you can’t share the tough times, but rather that you might want to share the positives too.

Take Criticism Well

Friends won’t agree with you 100% of the time. Learn to take criticisms well or you’re going to have a tough time keeping friends around.


It’s hard to keep a friendship alive without trust. If you feel like you can’t trust a friend, it might be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

Be Honest

Be honest about how you feel. Be honest about yourself. Lying to your close friends is just not a good way to keep them around, even if you’re lying about your feelings.

Kindness Goes a Long Way

This one should hopefully be pretty self-explanatory. Even if you speak fluent sarcasm, remember to actually do nice things for your friends.

Be Ready to Laugh

Be ready to laugh at yourself or at the situations life throws at the both of you. Humor is a great way to get you through that stuff.