• Keeping Friends

National Women’s Friendship Month: 25 Ways to Make Yourself a ‘Keeper’

Published: September 19, 2011 | Last Updated: October 16, 2021 By | 14 Replies Continue Reading

In celebration of National Women’s Friendship Month, here are 25 Ways to Make Yourself a Keeper

More than a decade ago, Kappa Delta Sorority created Friendship Day and then turned it into a month-long celebration of friendship called, National Women’s Friendship Month. The month of September also marks the anniversary of the publication of my book, Best
Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend
so I hope you’ll celebrate with me.

In the book, there is a list of ways in which you can become a “keeper” (adapted in part below). Can you help me update and add to the list? What are the qualities of someone who is a “keeper” in your book? Post a comment below.

As a thank you, I would love to send two posters their choice of either a personally inscribed copy of my print book or a copy of the e-book (the choice is up to them). I will select the two readers who add the best suggestion in the comments section on or before September 30, 2011. You can post as many times as you like.

The list offers some reminders of the ways in which each of us can strengthen these vital ties by being a better friend.

25 Ways to Make Yourself a Keeper

  1. If you make a promise, live up to that promise.
  2. Be punctual, dependable, and reliable.
  3. Show up when she needs you.
  4. Be yourself. Who else can you be?
  5. Accept that you are human and make mistakes. Apologize if you have said or done something wrong.
  6. Accept that she is human and may make mistakes. Offer forgiveness.
  7. Try not to moan too much.
  8. Don’t be guilty of giving out too much information (TMI) about yourself too soon.
  9. Be loyal and trustworthy. Resist the urge to gossip or spread rumors about your friend.
  10. Be a good listener, tune in to what your friend is saying, and try not to interrupt.
  11. Let your friend know you are interested in her and make sure everything isn’t about you.
  12. Give her enough space so she doesn’t feel boxed in.
  13. Accept that you won’t always be on the same page because you are two different people.
  14. Be willing to make sacrifices and compromise.
  15. Be a comfort blanket but don’t smother her.
  16. Remember if she detests olives in her salad or anchovies on her pizza.
  17. Resist saying “I told you so” even if you did.
  18. If she has three sick kids, offer to help out.
  19. Don’t sleep with her boyfriend or be overly flirtatious with her husband.
  20. Share her successes and find ways to celebrate them.
  21. Don’t brag too much when she’s feeling down.
  22. Don’t let too much time elapse between get-togethers.
  23. Don’t be shy about letting her know when her behavior is endangering her health or is likely to have other adverse consequences.
  24. Don’t harp and constantly remind her of her bad habits.
  25. Let her know how much you value her friendship. 

In friendship, Irene

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  1. National Women’s Friendship Month: 25 Ways to Make Yourself a ‘Keeper’ | She's Got Papers | September 17, 2015
  1. Anonymous says:

    Stick around! Celebrate the good times, and be there through the hard times. I just started the process of divorcing my husband which, I found, gives you a clear picture of who your true friends are. Real friends show their support.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A friend expresses gratitude.
    I helped a friend with a project. I enjoyed doing it. My friend made it clear she was sincerely grateful for my time and attention. The sincerity was more important to me than the exact ways she let me know.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s good to be invited to participate, but a pleasant friend does not insist on it. A friend accepts when you decline.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think that surprises are important. Going along with number three, “show up when she needs you,” I would say that a good friend should show up even when they are not asked. I am not saying that you should intrude on her privacy or come when you are not welcome, but sometimes your friend may not ask you to come when you really should be there for her. One example of this happened to me when my best friend’s grandmother was sick. She called me upset, and I could tell that she needed me. Although she did not specifically ask me to come over, I told her that I was coming. I left my house right away, and I went to her house across town. I didn’t have to say much; I just needed to be there for her in her time of need. I think that by surprising her with my willingness to come to her rescue I showed her that her friendship really matters to me. Unlike her other friends in a world of technology who texted her cellphone or commented on her Facebook wall, I was able to be with her in person, and I think that this matters most of all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Refrain from taking calls and texting when you get together unless absolutely unavoidable. Don’t give the impression the activity on your cell is more important than the person you’re with.

  6. Anonymous says:

    of kindness and generosity. Don’t take your friend’s time for granted. And don’t ask for favors you wouldn’t be willing to return.

  7. Liz says:

    Be reasonable in your expectations. Try to consider what is going on in her life (new mother, death of loved one, job, etc.) before expecting too much of her or of yourself. Don’t expect any one person to be your everything.

  8. Anonymous says:

    See her children through rose colored glasses. Be happy for their accomplishments and understanding of their shortcomings. It creates a safe space to discuss their struggles without fear of judgements.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Be happy for her when something good happens in her life.

  10. Liz says:

    Whenever possible, include her on your guest list for parties, outings, get togethers. Even if you know that she is going through a rough time & probably won’t come, it is always nice to be asked.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Know that what your friend does for you often indicates what matters to her. Observe, and do things that make her happy, too. If she always remembers your birthday with some token of affection, do the same for her, even if it doesn’t matter to you. If she offers to help clean up the kitchen after having dinner at your house, do the same when you’re at her house, even if you declined her help.

  12. GoldenTressKJ says:

    That’s a pretty good list – hard to add to! I would say… Be honest (not to be confused with ‘insensitive’). I have noticed the friends that have made a big impact on me are very honest about the good and bad. I always know they are telling me the truth, and I can trust their advice. Sometimes it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but they were very caring in the way they brought things up, plus I always knew that it meant they wouldn’t sugar-coat things just to make me feel better and I always know where I stand with them. That’s what stuck out to me about them. Maybe that’s just me though!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Remember and acknowledge the important dates in her life. Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, but also other dates where she may need your support, like the anniversary of the death of a loved one, and send a card or egreeting!

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