Great friendships are built on solid relationships. While there is no such thing as a perfect friend, anyone can still be that one person that everyone would want to have in life. So how can you be the best friend for the people you care about? Here are some ways to building and nurturing friendships that last a lifetime.

Manage your expectations. One of the ways to be a good friend is to accept people for who they are. You may be able to have an influence on someone at some level, but it would be unrealistic and unfair to think that you can change or shape a person’s life the way you want to. The more you set unrealistic expectations, the more you set yourself up for disappointments. Accepting a person for who he or she is means recognizing and embracing the imperfections.

Be present – in good and in bad times. One of the many ways to be a great friend is to be there for someone on life’s highs and lows. Be genuinely happy in celebrating the good things that happen with your friends. And when things go bad, be among the first to console them.

Spend quality time with your friends. It would be easy to let your mind wander when you have a lot of things on your plate. Being a great friend could be as simple as being present in the moments you spend with them. Listen, observe for non-verbal cues, and be genuinely interested on what is going on with your friends.

Treasure the trust. Guard your friends’ secrets well. Betraying confidences can ruin good friendships. Friends usually tell you things they would not otherwise reveal to just about anyone. Make sure that you appreciate the confidence and honor it.

Be honest. Honesty is important in friendships. But there are times when telling the truth may be uncomfortable, especially if it can potentially hurt a friend. However, the truth may just what your friends need to grow or gain more self-knowledge. Tell the truth as objectively and constructively as you can.

Pay attention. Pay attention to what your friend may or may not be telling you. Listen and observe without judging regardless of your personal feelings about the subject. Sometimes friends just want to vent their feelings. Listen to what they have to say and avoid making judgments.

Keep in touch. Make time to get in touch regardless of how hectic life may get at your end. Find ways to communicate or spend time together. Let your friend know that you will always be there even if things get busy.