All of us need friends. But to gain a friend we must become one. Here are some ideas on how you can be a good friend:

  • Focus outside yourself. Although it’s tempting to talk about yourself, try to focus on what others have to say. People love to talk about themselves, and amazing things happen when you ask questions and listen.

  • Say what you mean and mean what you say. Before you ask how someone is doing or attempt to serve up a compliment, make sure you mean it. Others know when you are being insincere (see 2 Cor. 1:12).

  • Look for the good. People’s faults are often more noticeable than their positive traits. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about someone, try to replace those thoughts with good ones.

  • Stand up for truth. It is important that we stand for what we know is right through our actions, words, and deeds. If we do not compromise our standards, others will know we won’t expect them to compromise theirs.

  • Serve. The more we serve, the more we love. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “The compassion of Christlike friends deeply touches and changes our lives” (“Valued Companions,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 32).

  • Remember the Golden Rule. As simple as it may seem, it really works to do unto others as you would have others do unto you (see Matt. 7:12). Show others that you love them by being respectful and kind to them.

  • Keep a Christlike view.We should learn to love others as Jesus Christ loves us. Remember, “a friend loveth at all times” (Prov. 17:17).

Illustration by Scott Snow

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  • Kristi McLane is a member of the BYU 61st Ward, Brigham Young University Second Stake.