To make your friends happy, you need to be a good friend to them. It requires giving others your time, compassion, patience and encouragement. Having a sense of humor and sharing it with your friends will also go a long way toward creating strong friendships based on camaraderie and fun. If you value your friendships and want to develop them, make an active decision to do so. Friendships don't just happen; they need nurturing and attention, just like any other relationship. If you come to your friends with an open heart and a spirit of generosity, you'll more than likely get both in return.
Show your friends you're reliable and trustworthy. If you say you'll meet them at a certain time, arrive promptly. If they tell you something in confidence, keep it to yourself. People earn trust over time. Once you receive it, cherish it and protect it.
Listen attentively to your friends. Whether you're having a lighthearted chat or a serious conversation, focus on the other person. Refrain from sending text messages, talking on your cell phone or generally being distracted while you're in the company of friends. Show them they have your attention by periodically restating what they've said and asking follow-up questions.
Cheer your friends up when they're disappointed, upset or blue. Pledge to spend 10 minutes or more a day lifting someone's spirits, advise Danny Cox and John Hoover, authors of "Seize the Day." You'll help make your friends happier and probably find happiness yourself along the way.
Support your friends' goals and passions. Let them know they're capable of anything they decide to do. "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambition. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great," wrote author Mark Twain. Help your friends realize and claim the power they have to create happiness and success in their lives.
Experience new and exciting things with your friends and share adventures. Explore a new part of town together, plan a backpacking trip or just try out a new restaurant or cuisine with your pals. Your friends will appreciate your enthusiasm and your willingness to take risks---both big and small---with them.
Express gratitude to your friends for being in your life. Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate them. "When we are grateful, we exude happiness, and that makes us magnets that draw people toward us. They want to be around that exuberant energy," says M.J. Ryan, author of "Attitudes of Gratitude." Take some time today to tell your friends what they mean to you or give them a small gift as a token of your gratitude and affection.