8 Tips to Help Your Trio Friendship Thrive

A friendship group of three is super strong, but it takes special care to keep it going.

Published February 20, 2024
Group of young happy people friends having fun

Why settle for one best friend when you can have two? A trio friendship has some incredible benefits (there's always someone there when you want to hang out or chat, and showing up at a party as a group of three is just and awesome feeling). Still, a three-person friend group also has some unique challenges. Making this type of friendship work long-term is all about good communication and taking each others' perspectives. We've got some real world tips to help.

Spend Time One-on-One

Young diverse friends having fun outdoor

It's not always practical to hang out with three people, and it's important for a strong trio friendship that it's okay to hang out one-on-one too. If hanging out in twos is normal for your friendship, it's less likely that someone will end up feeling left out. Plus, you can build your individual bonds and make the whole friendship stronger.

Have Each Other's Backs

It's tempting to discuss drama involving the third person if you're hanging out with one of your three best friends. After all, you always have your third friend in common. The thing is, talking about someone can easily end up being hurtful or gossipy, so avoid it if you can. Instead, have each other's backs and only say good things about the third person when they aren't there.

Think About Everything Three Ways

A lot of misunderstandings in trio friendships happen when people don't consider all three sides. We're all really good at knowing our own perspective, and we can usually work to take a second one. In a friendship with three people, you need to take each perspective, and that takes a conscious choice. If you're making a big decision or even planning an afternoon hang-out, make a point of thinking about how each person feels.

Quick Tip

To practice perspective-taking, think about what you know about the person's background and personality. Then look at a situation and consider how they might feel. If you're not sure, it's always good to ask them.

Stay Neutral When There's a Fight

Listen, we're all human, and there are bound to be some disagreements. Whether it's about what to order for take-out or an emotional misunderstanding, the third person will have a better time navigating the drama if they stay neutral. You can listen to both sides, but resist supporting one if you can. Your friends will understand, and when they patch things up, you'll be good with both of them.

Watch for Signs Someone Feel Excluded

When you have a trio of best friends, one person can sometimes feel left out. It doesn't matter whether you think you're actually leaving them out; it's about making sure everyone feels included. When someone feels excluded, they might seem sad or angry. They might even try to join in less often so they don't have to feel rejected. If you sense one of your friends is acting a little off, make sure you put extra effort into including them in your trio.

Get Really Good at Listening

Happy multiracial friends leaning on each other at beach

One great thing about a trio friendship is that there's always someone there to listen, but it also means you do less talking than in a two-person friendship. You'll be doing twice the listening (which is actually great for your communication skills as a human). If one of your friends is talking, try to really tune in to what they're saying and how they feel.

Quick Tip

To show you're listening, rephrase and repeat a little of what the other person said. This is called "active listening," and it can really help when you're dealing with a sticky emotional topic like someone feeling jealous or trying to get over a breakup.

Say What You Need in Your Trio Friendship

Clear communication is key in any relationship, and it's even more crucial in a friendship group of three. Practice saying what you want and need from each other so you can avoid miscommunications and conflict. It's not always easy, but it's always worth doing.

Related: 35 Curious Things to Talk About With Friends When You Think You Know Everything

Make Statements That Celebrate Your Bond

Commenting on what makes your friendship great can also make it stronger. You're showing gratitude for what you have and stopping for a sec to appreciate it out loud. That makes your friends feel valued, and in a trio friendship, that's extra important. Think of these like affirmations for your friend group:

  • "I love us."
  • "We're the three musketeers."
  • "How lucky am I to have two best friends?"
  • "We've got the power of three."
Quick Tip

You can also make statements like these as trio friend captions for Instagram when you post pictures of the three of you together. It shows the world (and each of you) just how much your friendship matters.

A Trio of Best Friends Is Worth the Effort

Being in a trio of best friends sometimes take a little extra effort, but it always pays off. After all, you've got two besties to hang out with, two people to listen when you're heartbroken, and two people to laugh at your jokes.

8 Tips to Help Your Trio Friendship Thrive