In my 22, nearly 23 years, I have experienced some shady shit. I won't even sugarcoat! Over time, I have had to assess my many friendships and determine the qualities to look for in a best friend that will most likely ensure the longevity and health of these connections.
I have a few very close friendships - these girls are my ride-or-dies. These friendships came after many, many years of getting burned + betrayed by girls that I thought had my back through thick + thin. Looking back, many of them showed their true colors and I ignored it, but few were harder to "discover". Here's what I found:
THEY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER, RELATIONSHIP + MORE
Even if you choose something that's a longshot, true friends stick beside you when you go through the motions of career paths, relationships and much more. They encourage you, give you gentle advice and love you through it!
THEY LET YOU VENT IN TOUGH TIMES
This is what friends are for! True friends listen, encourage your venting and don't complain about your venting! Even if you're being irrational, friends understand your rage and can see the sliver of reason that is driving it.
THEY GET YOU / UNDERSTAND YOU
Like #2 listed above, friends get you and see the tender soul that's underneath your facade. Friends protect, defend and support all that you are!
THEY DON'T DITCH YOUR PLANS
Oh boy... I can't tell you how many times "friends" ditched me with some silly excuse, then completely ignored the severity of the impact of their actions. Friends have guilt about a last minute change of plans and notify at least several hours in advance, except in a state of emergency.
Have some manners, girl!
THEY KEEP YOU COMPANY EVEN WITHOUT WORDS
One of my favorite things to do with my best friend is FaceTiming into the wee hours of the night! Sometimes, we're both so busy that we can't hold a conversation, but we both feel better with each others' company - so we sit in silence with the keyboards clicking away!
This is a must-have trait among my girlfriends. I've had girls say awful, fat-shaming comments - on occasion about me specifically, when they had claimed to be an advocate for all shapes + sizes! You bet I kicked those ladies to the curb. Now, #BODYPOSITIVE is #1 and I'm more aware of the friends I choose.
THEY CHALLENGE YOU
In other words, they are different from you! While it can be challenging if they're a total opposite, having a different belief system and upbringing than your best friends can be super enlightening! They should always challenge you - your beliefs, your choices and your fave kind of music.
One of my best girlfriends is a faithful Christian who grew up with a pastor for a father and many siblings. I was adopted into a super liberal, atheist family as the only child. We challenge each other and often have fabulous conversations about feminism and how foolish of a construct gender is... oh, and how sex is NOT gender. ;)
THEY THINK YOU'RE FUNNY
Got the giggles? My friends better! Humor is a big aspect of my life and making jokes is the way that I deal with disappointment and sadness. It's a bonus if my friends think I'm funny (I especially dig it if they understand my humor and sarcasm), but they at least have to have a good sense of humor + love to laugh!
THEY'RE PRESENT + INVOLVED
Not only do I believe that friends should be liking your Instagram pictures or reading your blog (hey, no joke! I always do!), they should be present in your life + interested in what's going on. Perhaps they forget to text you for a few days (I'm guilty of that), but they show that they care in little ways.
THEY PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR LIFE
I'm not saying they need to memorize your new love interest's name (that you've been on just two dates with), or even all your siblings' names, but paying attention to your interests and your latest struggles/accomplishments is nice. Who wants a friend that is uninvolved and distant?
THEY HAVE A GOOD MORAL COMPASS
Whether or not the moral compass is identical to yours, choosing friends who have a good head on their shoulders and values guided by education and compassion is key. I won't mess with people who aren't GOOD people.
What do you look for in a best friend?