How to be a Better Friend to Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., You probably know your friend from A.D. 2000, when you two were freshman roommates at the Beekman Hotel. You probably knew him before he was a public figure when you were both just trying to get by in New York City. You probably know him as the guy who is closest to the infamous Trump family name. You probably know him as the younger brother of Jared, Trump’s eldest son, and the president’s oldest son. You probably know him as the one who is willing to have a beer with President Donald Trump, and the one who has spent the better part of the last year as the face of the Trump White House. You probably know him as the one who has enjoyed karaoke nights with the president and the one who is the first person the president calls when he needs to talk.

And if you’re like most Americans, then you probably know Don Jr. Well, we’re guessing you don’t know Donald Jr. as a good friend. You probably know him as the guy who has been very public in his dislike for his brother-in-law and the one who has spent the last two and a half months serving as the face of the Trump administration. You probably know him as the younger brother of the president, and you probably know him as a person who doesn’t want to be friends with your brother-in-law.

Don’t be so quick to judge

We get that you don’t want to spend the next Donald Trump Jr two and a half months listening to Don Jr. vouch for his Republican father. But he’s not your brother-in-law. He’s your friend. And he’s your friend just like you are his friend. You’re not his lawyer, his accountant, or his physician. You don’t have to take care of him. You don’t have to make sure he has a job. You don’t even have to make sure he has enough money for his lifestyle. You just have to be there for your friend when he needs it and not put pressure on him to do things he doesn’t want to do for your own good.

Don’t be so quick to defend

When you see your friend getting attacked online or in the media, it’s natural to defend him. You may say things like, “This is ridiculous!” or “That’s not true!” Or you may try to downplay the situation by saying that “everyone’s talking about him.” That’s all well and good, but when you don’t want to talk about it, it shows. By staying quiet, you are in fact showing that you are guilty of the same thing your friend is: not defending your friend when he deserves it. You’re also letting this administration off the hook for everything they’ve done wrong by not saying anything. You’re letting them off the hook for Russia, for whatever reason, and you’re letting them off the hook for Don Jr.’s behavior as well.

Know when to say when

The fact that you don’t want to talk about it shows, and you know it. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be quiet. You can still communicate with your friend and let him know what you think about the situation. However, you must use the right timing. You can’t just text him any old time during the day, because you want to be considerate of your job and your family. You also can’t keep text messaging him late at night, when you know he’s likely Donald Trump Jr sleeping. You must say something when you can actually attend to it in person.

Help out where you can

Besides not saying anything at all, you can also try to help out your friend where you can. You can ask him for money, or for a job, or for a favor. You can even offer to do favors for him in exchange for him helping you out. You can always exchange Facebook statuses or Instagram photos with your friend, and then send him a private message after the fact. These small acts of kindness show your friend that you care, and they will help him feel less alone in this troubling situation.

Always have a back button

Don Jr. has spent the better part of the last two months being the face of the Trump administration, and he’s done so while dealing with serious legal issues. There was a point in time when all of this was just a news story, and Don Jr. was just a guy named Don Jr. You might remember him as the guy who bought a membership to the Trump Tower gym because he was too cheap to pay for access to the real thing. We get it, Don Jr. The gym was nice, but the real deal was much better.


When you have a friend who is the president’s son, it’s natural to want to protect them. You don’t have to like your friend to do that, and you shouldn’t. Friends are meant to be friends, and protecting your friend’s image and standing in the White House is necessary, but not helpful. Helping out your friend is also helpful, but you don’t have to do everything you can. Friends are like cars, you don’t always have to drive them. But when you do, you’re doing them a big favor.

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