What Makes a Best Friend?

Good Friends

Hannah Wallis

Good Friends

How can you pinpoint exactly what a perfect best friend is?  There is no perfect best friend out there because we are all individuals consisting of different personalities and opinions.  A friend of mine, Sophie Marsh, shared her opinions of what a best friend is and I was very intrigued with her philosophy.  Marsh said, “ I don’t really like the term best friend; I think it’s better to look at people as friends worth saving.”  This new idea of the term best friend sparks my interest because I find it very valid.  Your dearest friends are the ones that are worth saving, they are the “best” people for you because they make you be “best” version of yourself.

You have to love yourself before you can treat your friend with respect.  You have to understand what values are important to you and stick by them, the friends worth saving are the ones that have similar values as yourself.  Learn how to be your own “best friend” first, lift yourself up, embrace your flaws and cherish your strengths.  You can’t devote valuable, hearty, indulgent time with others if you aren’t satisfied with yourself as an independent individual.  A good friend is a strong person that stands up for what she believes in and makes you a better person by critiquing you in a positive way, pointing out your strengths, and making you feel good about the decisions you make through life.  Be true to your own identity while carrying on a relationship with your friends.

We all need a little bit of guidance in our lives while creating our own paths, and sometimes we choose the wrong individuals to help us.  Marsh brought up a good point when she said; “It is just crazy how often we hurt because we hold the wrong kinds of people in our hearts.”  To realize you are in this situation, you have to ask yourself if you are being true to your own identity, and ultimately you have to ask yourself if you are truly happy.  Middle and high school consist of some of the best memories with friends and also the worst. The petty drama is still there, don’t get me wrong, but we are able to really dig deep into ourselves and find our identities.  In these years however, most of us are so caught up in the crazy, pathetic drama that goes on, and somehow we are warped into thinking that being friends with this certain person will make us feel better about ourselves because of her stereotypical attributes.  When interviewing an adult, Kim Folan, she gave me her perspective of what she believes a best friend is: “A person who loves you for who you are and doesn’t try to make you somebody else.” It really is quite simple… no matter who the person is, what their reputation is, what their past consists of…if an individual praises your identity and makes you feel like the best version of yourself than that individual is someone worth saving.

You don’t learn to be a “best friend.”  The connection is either there or not, you two click or you don’t.  Although there are ways that can make your friendship great!  First of all, you can’t keep secrets; if you keep secrets you are proving to your friend that there is no trust.  To understand and fully know someone, you absolutely have to be able to trust him or her.  Relationships are mainly based on trusting one another.  Second, be open with your friend, friends are suppose to be vulnerable to one another, it’s healthy and ads depth to the relationship.  Open up about each area of your life with them and make them feel like the active role they truly play in your life.  Staying loyal to your friend is another big factor in the relationship, stick up for your friend when need be, defend your friend.  Being caring and understanding is probably one of the best traits you can have as a best friend.  People want that comfort sometimes and for an individual to know they have that comfort just makes them feel better and have a lighter, happier, comforted mood about their life.  Learn how to be a good listener, that is key to being an understanding friend.  Best friends are accepting of you and your flaws. Friends don’t expect perfection. When you aren’t at your best, they will be understanding rather than critical. Your friend should want what’s best for you and you should have the same mutual feeling.  You should admire your friend and all the parts that make them the individual they are and you should feel “the best of yourself” when around your friend.  So, ask yourself, are these the feelings you have toward yourself and towards the close friends in your life?  It is never to late to start a new relationship with someone, don’t be ashamed if your “best friends” truly aren’t best friends, find and grasp your own identity and find someone with a personality that compliments yours, this process is called learning, its normal and healthy if those wheels are turning in your head and you are suddenly evaluating your relationships.  Just remember, love and stay true to yourself.