If you love Pixar, chances are Toy Story is on your top favorite movies list. The iconic storyline and theme song demonstrate the importance of friendship. Even when “you’ve got troubles,” true friends stick to your side.

With COVID-19 spreading throughout the country, school starting, and stress levels rising, your friends need you the most right now. Here are three ways you can be a better friend during the pandemic and show others that you care.

Be Loyal

Loyalty has been deemed the number one quality that Americans look for in close friends, according to a 2013 report. It is a commitment to another, and it is a byproduct of loving someone. There are so many ways you can show loyalty to your friends. Here are a few ideas:

  • When they are in need, help them.
  • Show support during the good and the bad.
  • Keep their secrets.
  • Don’t make your friendships conditional (i.e., the “I’ll do this for you if you do this for me” mentality).
  • Make honesty your number one priority.

Communicate Well

There is no question as to why communication has been chosen as one of the most sought-after soft skills among employers. Good communication is crucial in any type of relationship, professional or personal. It allows one to effectively understand and be understood by others.

At times, the topic may be awkward or uncomfortable, but if you practice communication skills, what could be a negative conversation could instead be a positive one. Because face-to-face interactions are limited, you cannot rely on body language when speaking to your friends. Here are some other tips to follow when communicating with others:

  • Really listen. (Don’t surf the web or scroll on social media when speaking to your friend on the phone.)
  • Check your tone. (Tone is crucial when the person on the other end cannot see your face!)
  • If you need to criticize, be constructive, and choose the right time to do so.
  • Take responsibility for your actions.
  • Apologize openly.

Reach Out 

Because of COVID-19, many people are craving social interaction. If there is a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, send them a text, FaceTime them, or invite them to a social distancing picnic at Mabury Park. While simple, these efforts will show you care and help you be a better friend.

Show others you care by upholding the qualities of a true friend. Demonstrate loyalty, communicate well, and check in with others periodically. Doing so will help you become a better friend, and your friendships will grow stronger every day!