This list of rules will continue to grow as this newsletter explores different aspects of friendship. Check back for updates!
To read the story behind each rule, simply click on the blue link.
Friends need to respect each other’s differences.
Unfortunately, bullying isn’t limited to the schoolyard; it can happen to adults as well.
It’s especially tough to make friends when you’re depressed. Go easy on yourself and take one day at a time.
When friends ask for favors, you are not obliged to say yes all the time.
Motherhood creates challenges for female relationships. But even mothers need to make time for friendships.
Friendships are voluntary relationships that should be mutually satisfying.
We can trust good friends with our secrets.
If a friend is consistently behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s good to discuss it openly.
It’s always painful and difficult getting over getting dumped by a friend. These difficulties are compounded when you have to see the person daily at school, work, or around the neighborhood.
It can be unsettling when a close friend disappoints you without explanation. Sometimes, the only path to keeping the friendship is forgiveness.
Real conversations between friends require a balanced exchange and good listening skills.
Whether or not to tell someone that she is your best friend is a personal decision. But it might have the advantage of bringing you closer.
Close friendships depend on the ability of two people to communicate openly and honestly.
Friendships at work, while rewarding, often come with perils; approach them cautiously
Over time, connections between close friends become tangled like vines, impacting relationships with other friends and family.
Don’t fall prey to the myth that everyone already has their friends. Friendships are dynamic.
Teenage friends often drift apart as people grow and their interests change.
It’s common to have a friend who seems flaky and irresponsible. There are warning signs to watch out for that suggest it’s them, not you.
Having a flaky friend can drive you to your wit’s end. But if the friendship is worth saving, there are many strategies to help make it less upsetting and more tolerable.
Friendships made during vacations can be easy and sincere, yet many of them evaporate just as easily after travelers return home.
Being overly anxious can impede making and keeping friends but anxiety can be treated.
Good friendships are worth celebrating and acknowledging.
Saying no when you don’t want to say yes is better than stewing and building up feelings of resentment.
Recognizing a friendship problem is the first step in resolving it.
Friendship doesn’t have to include providing free professional services.
A smile can make strangers happy and open the door to a possible friendship.
Men can make new friends at any stage of life if they make it a priority.
Friendships should enhance our lives. If they are unsatisfying, opening yourself up to more rewarding relationships is prudent.
It’s especially painful to recover from a one-sided friendship breakup.
For various reasons, men are often hesitant or don’t know how to form new relationships. But with a little effort, new and close friendships can be forged.
When a friendship ends abruptly, we may be at a loss to understand the reasons.
One-sided breakups of online friendships often leave many unanswered questions.
When it comes to counting friends, quality is more important than quantity.
Child or adult bullying is unacceptable and has to be taken seriously.
Many friends, including close ones, feel uncomfortable discussing topics like money, religion, politics, and sex.
If you keep your expectations in check, it can be rewarding to seek out old friends.
Good friendships are a two-way street.
Feeling embarrassed about having no or few friends can pose a barrier to making new ones.
Black hole friendships are inherently unsatisfying.
Friends need to use common sense in determining whether it’s disloyal or insensitive to befriend a friend’s “enemy.”
It’s hard to get over the loss of a friendship with a neighbor because you’re reminded of the loss each time you see her or her home.
When friendships are hot and cold, they can be unsettling and unsatisfying. Since you can’t change someone else, you may need to change your expectations.
If a friend disappoints you, try to propose a simple solution.
Things are not always what they appear to be in friendship and life.
If a friendship makes you feel uncomfortable, you need to step back and trust your intuition.
Friends are the family we choose.
If you are truly desirous of making new friendships, you must put in the effort and work at it.
Whether you are bringing emotional baggage to a new relationship, it's usually better to disclose slowly, allowing for trust to build before sharing TMI (too much information).
It’s easier to maintain a circle of friends as a teenager or young adult but these group friendships often peter out as women’s lives veer in different directions.
Not every friend can be invited to every party. If they are true friends, they’ll understand that.
If you are seeking new friends, be open-minded and don’t limit yourself to your peers.