Friendship Irene Levine, Best Friend, friendship blogAre you the kind of friend who’s a Keeper? A friend that is there for your friends? Do you have ‘keeper’ friends?’

September is a special month around Girlfriendology – it’s International Women’s Friendship Month (aka: #FriendshipMonth) and we’re celebrating with 30 great guest blogs filled with fabulous girlfriend advice and wisdom. Today we have great girlfriend advice from guest blogger IRENE S. LEVINE, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend.

LISTEN TO this interview with Irene tomorrow on our last day of Friendship Month 2011 on our show. (And listen in to this previous interview with Irene – she’s been a great friend to Girlfriendology!)

In our BlogTalkRadio interview, Irene, aka “The Friendship Doctor,” covers some of the ways you can make yourself a “keeper” and strengthen some of the most important relationships in your life. She’ll also provide advice about how to get over some of the predictable hurdles.

The list offers some reminders of the ways in which each of us can strengthen these vital ties by being a better friend.

No relationship goes smoothly 100 percent of the time.

Even relationships between spouses and lovers encounter bumps along the road. So it’s not surprising that our friendships, too, require ongoing nurturance.

It’s easy to complain about our friends – what they didn’t do, what they should have done, what they didn’t say, or what they should have said. Some complaints may be entirely valid but friendships require some rigorous self-appraisal as well: Do you ever think about whether you are the kind of friend that you would like to have?

In my book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, there is a list of ways in which you can become a “keeper” (adapted in part below). Can you help me update and add to the list? What are the qualities of someone who is a “keeper” in your book? Post a comment below.

25 Ways to Make Yourself a Keeper Friend

  1. If you make a promise, live up to that promise.
  2. Be punctual, dependable, and reliable.
  3. Show up when she needs you.
  4. Be yourself. Who else can you be?
  5. Accept that you are human and make mistakes. Apologize if you have said or done something wrong.
  6. Accept that she is human and may make mistakes. Offer forgiveness.
  7. Try not to moan too much.
  8. Don’t be guilty of giving out too much information (TMI) about yourself too soon.
  9. Be loyal and trustworthy. Resist the urge to gossip or spread rumors about your friend.
  10. Be a good listener, tune in to what your friend is saying, and try not to interrupt.
  11. Let your friend know you are interested in her and make sure everything isn’t about you.
  12. Give her enough space so she doesn’t feel boxed in.
  13. Accept that you won’t always be on the same page because you are two different people.
  14. Be willing to make sacrifices and compromise.
  15. Be a comfort blanket but don’t smother her.
  16. Remember if she detests olives in her salad or anchovies on her pizza.
  17. Resist saying “I told you so” even if you did.
  18. If she has three sick kids, offer to help out.
  19. Don’t sleep with her boyfriend or be overly flirtatious with her husband.
  20. Share her successes and find ways to celebrate them.
  21. Don’t brag too much when she’s feeling down.
  22. Don’t let too much time elapse between get-togethers.
  23. Don’t be shy about letting her know when her behavior is endangering her health or is likely to have other adverse consequences.
  24. Don’t harp and constantly remind her of her bad habits.
  25. Let her know how much you value her friendship.

IRENE S. LEVINE, PhD is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. As a friendship and relationship expert, she provides information and advice to readers, blogging for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. She created The Friendship Blog, which is read by people from around the globe, and authored the book, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend (Overlook Press, 2009). Trained as a psychologist, Irene holds a faculty appointment as a professor at the New York University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry.

What are the qualities of someone who is a “keeper” in your book? Are you a ‘keeper’ kind of friend? Share in comments below!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month (#Friendship Month) and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …