THE BLOG
11/08/2013 02:03 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

10 Friendship Rules to Live By

Over the years, I've learned a few things about friendship. Here are my top 10 friendship rules to live by:

1. Make friends consciously.
Don't passively drift into a group whose values you're not sure about.

2. Recognize that conflict is part of friendship.
Don't let resentments build up -- bring them up gently to avoid blowouts down the line.

3. Don't treat her as you'd like to be treated. Treat her as SHE would like to be treated.
We don't all feel comforted or appreciated by the same behaviors.

4. Give little (encouraging text messages) and give big (a surprise party).

5. Be supportive 90 percent of the time, but don't shy away from telling your friend a difficult truth once in a while.

6. Listen to the difficult truths about yourself when a friend points them out.

Don't get defensive -- this is your chance to really learn about yourself.

7. Accept that you will sometimes envy your friends, be annoyed by them, be bored by them.
What a small price to pay for all their benefits.

8. Improve yourself, and you will be improving your friends, too.
Friends are a big influence on your health, habits and aspirations -- and vice-versa.

9. Social media should only enhance your connections.
It shouldn't cut into time with close friends.

10. Celebrate your Friendiversary.
Been friends for five, ten, 15 years or more? Raise your glasses to long-term friendship!