Great friendships are priceless, they can lift your spirits, make you laugh, and they are there for you when you need someone to talk to. Every one needs to have at least one great friend they can trust and rely on, an awesome BFF!
Friends make you feel comfortable with yourself, so you don’t need to act like something you’re not. Your friends know your shortcomings and love you anyway. You are perhaps the “best version” of yourself when you’re with your friend.
As Mother Theresa said, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”
So what does a healthy friendship look like and how do you maintain a friendship so that it lasts a lifetime?
- Be your own best friend first. Learn how to respect yourself. Decide what boundaries are important to you and respect them. Understand what values are important to you, and stick by them. Seek out others who honor those values.
- Remember the Golden Rule – treat others the way you would like to be treated. Do not treat them above or below you, treat them like an equal.
- Realize that nobody’s perfect, everybody has quirks and flaws, and accepting each other’s flaws is key to a good friendship. Do not judge your friend.
- Respect each other’s opinions. Your friends are allowed to have a different opinion to you, which is what makes us all individuals.
- Realize that even the best of friends can’t be together 24/7. Develop other interests and don’t be jealous when your friend has other hobbies or other friends.
- Communication is really important, your friend can’t read your mind. If something is affecting your friendship, tell her.
- Be a good listener when she needs to talk.
- Be trustworthy. If a friend tells you a secret, make sure to keep it. Never tell someone a secret your friend wanted you to keep. Don’t even leak it out to someone you think you can trust. A secret is a secret.
- Keep your word. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Follow through with it. You know what they say, actions speak louder than words.
- Don’t talk behind your friend’s back. Gossip is toxic and can ruin even the best of friendships.
- Best friends will have disagreements and even argue from time to time. This is not the end of the world, arguing in a healthy way can actually makes friendships stronger as you express what you both need to say and it is an opportunity to learn more about the other person.
- Know that you’ll probably go through rough patches. Bear in mind though that sometimes you will have to give your BFF some space so that they can have time alone. Being a best friend means understanding when a little bit of time alone is a good thing.
Ask yourself these questions and hopefully, you have the same answers as I do.
Can you talk about your feelings with this person? YES
Does your friend accept you as you are? YES
Do you enjoy her company most of the time? YES
Does this person seem to understand you? YES
Is this person really what you want in a friend? YES
Does this person say good things about you? YES
Does this person ever try to make you feel bad about yourself? NO
Is your friend jealous or possessive of you? NO
Does your friend pressure you to do things you do not feel comfortable about doing? NO
Best friends are the most valuable friends you have, but they can’t help or support you in every aspect of your life. Do not expect them to always be there, or expect them to say the things you want to hear. If you set expectations for your best friends that are too high, it will only leave you disappointed if these expectations are not met. This comes back to being your own best friend and taking care of yourself.
Remember to laugh, listen and be kind!