How to be Smarter: People are either telling you about their problems because they want solutions, or they want sympathy. No one who wants a list of ways to fix it (solutions) will be happy with just a hug (sympathy), and no one who wants ice cream with sprinkles (sympathy) will be happy with a membership to an online dating website (solution). Knowing what people are actually asking for is key to being a valued friend. How to be Prettier: These are on sale, they are purple, and they are peep-toe. Yes, please. Perfect pretty purple peep-toes.
How to be (less) Awkward: When people offer you unlimited food and/or drinks, only eat or drink as much as if you were paying for it yourself. This is especially true on first dates and business meetings, and a little less true when it is your parents visiting you on Parent's Weekend.