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1. Make a conscious decision to listen. Meet a friend for lunch, a glass of wine – whatever – and, before you arrive, decided it's going to be "her night." Let her talk about herself all night long. We all need that now and again.

2. When a friend's in crisis, try and think of what you can do to give them the tiniest bit of comfort – for them – NOT fix their problems, not advise them, ... just something that, no matter how miserable they are, will bring them a tiny smile. Treat them to a massage. Take them a Boston Chicken dinner. Suggest a bubble bath and an hour of Patsy Cline for the evening.

3. Totally surprise a friend. Buy her a pair of beautiful shoes – for the hell of it. Offer to organize and host her birthday party. Call her and tell her that you're taking her kids for an afternoon or evening – immediately – and that you won't take no for an answer.

— More at Girlfriendology (dot) com/blog/3393/be-a-better-friend-five-great-ways-to-be-a-great-friend/#more-3393

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