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Your best advice on lasting relationships of all kinds

Francesco Carta fotografo
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Have you ever gotten a piece of advice that really resonated with you? Maybe it came from a trusted friend or hit you at exactly the right time. Good advice helps us navigate relationships – one of the hardest and most beautiful parts of being human.

Earlier this year, we shared life advice from Dear Life Kit experts and asked for the best advice you had ever received. Here are some of the best tips from our audience for keeping your relationships happy and healthy.

These submissions have been edited for length and clarity.


My college pastor once told me, "Don't send flowers when someone dies, send flowers when they are alive." That advice has always stuck with me. It reminds me to show my gratitude in the here and now. — Bethany Anderson

You need to be a good friend to have a good friend. — Julie Rose

Leave the party while it's still fun. Too many of us feel the need to stay too long in relationships that we know deep down were never meant to go the distance. — Jan Ketcham

Ask for help. I've learned that it keeps me from trying to be an army of one. And people like to help one another, it makes them feel appreciated and seen for their gifts and talents. — Sara Smith

How someone treats you tells you more about who they are than about who you are. How you respond tells them more about who you are than about who they are.— Nona Kahn

Right before we got on a plane and moved to the Philippines (from Macon, Georgia), my favorite auntie told me, "You're not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and that's OK, don't worry about it. Your weirdos will find you." I was 8 years old, and I have never forgotten it. It hasn't always been easy, but in the end, I have always found my weirdos. — Beth McGraw

My friends showed me affection I will never forget in the form of a sexy purple dress. We were on vacation in the Caribbean, and a rainy day sent us away from the beach and towards a resort boutique. One of my girlfriends pulled a gorgeous, very slinky eggplant-colored sleeveless dress off the rack. It had a deep v-neck, low back and was adorned with rhinestones. She held it up to me and said, "Try this one." I laughed, knowing my history of high-necked shirts and long-sleeve sweaters, but took it into the dressing room anyway.

I pulled the dress over my head, then sheepishly came out and twirled once around for my friends. I expected peals of laughter, but instead, my girlfriends gasped.

They all said, "Buy that dress." I was sure they were kidding, but they circled me and showered me with love, assuring me that even though I'd never dared imagine I could pull off such a thing, with this dress, I could. One by one, they convinced me that even though I'd always felt like the ugliest duckling, they saw a swan draped in purple silk.

I bought the dress. I wore it to dinner later that night (greeted with applause from my friends when I walked into the room). It still hangs in my closet today as a reminder of what it feels like to be loved by friends who see you as beautiful when you can not see it yourself.– Meagan Fratiello


Responses have been edited by Julia Carney and Clare Marie Schneider.

We'd love to hear from you. Email us at LifeKit@npr.org. Listen to Life Kit onApple Podcasts andSpotify, or sign up for ournewsletter.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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