Last Thursday, June 8, 2017, was National Best Friends Day. It takes a lot to be a best friend, but everything comes naturally when you connect with someone who’s meant to be that person in your life.
Over the years, I’ve used the term “best friend” very loosely. I had a bad habit of opening up and trusting the wrong people, making me believe that there was no one who deserved to be called my “best friend.” Now that I’m older and (maybe just a little bit) wiser, I understand what it’s like to be a best friend and to have a best friend.
I believe that it’s more important to be a best friend than it is to have one. There are many characteristics that can make a best friend. Here are some that I believe can make you the best of the best.
Listen to what they have to say, but more importantly, listen to the things they don’t say. No matter how close you and your best friend are, there will always be some things that are hard to talk about. When they do open up and talk to you, you don’t always have to know what to say, but instead, just listen to them.
Be the person they know they can depend on, no matter what. We all tend to isolate ourselves, even from those who we love and care about the most, especially when we go through tough times or when we’re ashamed of something. It takes a real and genuine best friend to be there when they need you the most.
This is one of the hardest things to do. There will be times where you want to be real with them, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings or take your words the wrong way… But you still need to be real. It’s because of my best friends who are always real with me – those who call me out on things I shouldn’t be doing, give me reality checks when my mind and my heart aren’t aligned, and those who tell me I’m being stupid – that I’m able to grow as a person.
Accept them for who they are. Don’t try to change them just because they have different qualities that you’re not used to. Everyone has their own quirks, it’s what makes them, them. Learn to love them without conditions.
Remind them of how much they mean to you.
You may think that you don’t need to say it, and that’s true – you’re not obligated to tell them, but it’s always nice to hear how much someone appreciates you. Even if it’s with something small, like if they were to pick up the tab at dinner, a little “thank you” can go a long way.
My best friends are far from perfect, but that’s why I love them. They really are the best of the best. I’m so grateful for each of them and how they’ve impacted my life.
Who are your best friends?