No one is ever going to be as hard on themselves as you and your own mind, and in the vast majority of cases, other people's view of you will likely be eminently more positive than you think.

However, whether you've been AWOL from your friendship group so far this year and want to come back with a bang, or else your best friend has been struggling recently and you want to help, then continue reading to learn how you can be a better friend.

Celebrate Their Successes

Perhaps you've had this particular friend since high school that you've recently lost touch with, maybe because one or both of you have been too preoccupied with work?

Whether your friend has chosen to pursue the same career pathway as yourself, or indeed something entirely more glamorous and well-paid, it's important that, from now on, to always verbally and physically celebrate their successes and keep any notion of the green-eyed monster firmly at bay.

Choose Personalized Gifts

When it comes round to your friend's birthday, or the holiday season, it's time to think outside the box when it comes to choosing the right present to celebrate them and your friendship as a whole.

Brushing up on your birthday gifting etiquette, for example, is an excellent way of making sure you balance the right level of sentiment, usefulness, and overall attractiveness of the gift you choose.

Make Sure Your Relationship Isn't Centered Around Alcohol

Obviously, and even more so if you've not seen your friend or group of friends in some time, it'll be a lot easier to get back into the friendship flow with alcohol in a bustling pub or club rather than a peaceful catch-up over a coffee.

However, moving forward, it's absolutely essential not to let your relationship be entirely and purely based around drinking and partying and to never shy away from more serious conversations should the situation call for it.

Be Self-Aware

Particularly if you have periods where you struggle with your emotional health and well-being, it can often be difficult to find the energy to have that hour-long phone call to discuss a friend's problems when you're dealing with your own.

However, even though the best possible advice for anyone is to take care of their own mental health needs before anyone else, remember that other people have their own issues they need help with, too, so you should never compare your own tribulations to theirs.

Regular Casual Contact

Finally, if you're one of those types of people who put off replying to a long email from a friend who lives far away or you keep meaning to reply to a text message inviting you to a birthday party and end up forgetting, then it's time to try and do better.

Specifically, from now on, as soon as you have a chance to reply, do it and maintain more regular contact with friends on a more casual, “just to say” basis, rather than disappearing for weeks at a time and then having to send an essay.