What are some of your favorite memories with your best friend? Having a best friend adds so many wonderful things to our lives. They provide us with care, support, confidence, and happiness.
As a society, we’ve gotten better at making separations between best friends and other types of friends. There are certain things that they do for each other that makes them a little more special. Here are 8 of them.
1. Make the bad times a little better
Have you ever gone through something really sad, frustrating, or embarrassing, with your best friend by your side? Did they make the experience a little more bearable?
Research shows that simply having a best friend through the bad times can have a positive effect on your brain. It turns out, best friends can buffer a negative experience by preventing a huge increase in stress and decrease in self-worth (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center 2011).
So, if your best friend is going through something negative, make sure to remind them how much you care and that you’re available if they need to talk. Just being there can help them overcome the experience in a tremendous way.
2. Be real with each other
If you want honest feedback about something, do you feel comfortable turning to your best friend? Hopefully you do, and you know that they will be honest with you, even when it’s hard for you to hear it.
A lot of times, we confuse supporting one another with agreeing with each other all the time. In actuality, supporting each other means that you care about them and stand up for them, but not that you always agree (Kirby 2020). You have their best interest at heart, and make sure to tell them what you really think when they ask your opinion.
3. Know when to step back
Even though best friends are typically not afraid to be honest, they also know when it might not be their place to offer an opinion. According to therapist Miriam Kirmayer from Psychology Today, honesty in friendship is key, but when it’s warranted or voluntary (Kirmayer 2019).
This means a few things: Best friends don’t constantly criticize each other out of the blue. Usually, they are asked by other person for an opinion. In addition, best friends don’t typically push each other to share things they don’t want to. If you see your best friend often, you may know that they are upset, but if they don’t want to talk about it, it’s important to respect their boundaries and step back.
4. Encourage personal growth
Think about your best friends. Do you bring out the best in each other? Encourage each other to try new things?
The support that best friends provide for each other is unconditional and comforting (Kirby 2020). And that support alone is enough to help people take chances they wouldn’t normally take, try new things, believe in themselves, and explore who they are as individuals, because they know that no matter what, their best friend will be by their side.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult because it comes with so many uncertainties, but best friends can help ease each other’s minds and push each other to be their best selves.
5. Make each other happy
Have you been happier since meeting your best friend? You aren’t alone.
A 2017 study shows that especially during teenage years, strong close friendships can not only increase your self-worth, but can also help decrease signs of depression and anxiety as you move into young adulthood (Narr et al. 2017). This means that best friends can quite literally make each other happier and more self confident! How great is that?
6. Defend each other when no one is looking
You should always be able to count on your best friend to have your back, whether or not you are around to see it.
Best friends trust each other so much, and a lot of that comes from having confidence that they will never backstab one another. When it comes to gossip, a best friend would not only stop rumors but defend you from all the potential lies being spread around. A best friend would not only disengage from talking bad about you, but actively have your back if they find themselves among people who are.
7. Stay loyal to each other
One of the most important parts of being a best friend is loyalty. You can interpret this in so many different ways, depending on a specific situation, but at the root of loyalty is showing up when they need you, physically or emotionally.
Best friends can show their loyalty by being there for each other through the good times and bad. Not only do they comfort each other through their low, but they are there to celebrate the great times in their life as well. To be loyal, best friends can also check in on each other routinely or step in to help when the other needs it. Just show them you care.
8. Give each other a second chance
At the end of the day, a best friendship is a long-lasting relationship between people. And all people make mistakes.
With that said, know that even among best friends, there might be times where you fight, cross a boundary, or unintentionally upset each other. It’s important that if two people really are best friends, they recognize each other’s perspectives and work towards mending any breaks in the relationship (Kirmayer 2019).
There are of course, times where you may feel it’s best to end the friendship. But when this is not the case, remember to be empathetic with your best friend, apologize sincerely, be accountable for your actions, and work together to better the friendship (Kirmayer 2019).
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the things best friends do for each other. Did anything remind you of you and your best friend? Let us know. Thanks for reading!
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Adams RE, Santo JB, Bukowski WM (2011). “The Presence of a Best Friend Buffers the Effects of Negative Experiences”. Psychology Faculty Publications. 37. https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/psychfacpub/37.
- Kirby S (2020). “The Importance of Having Supportive Friendships”. Better Help.
- Kirmayer M (2019). “This is the Secret to Close Friendships”. Psychology Today. Casual to Close.
- Narr RK, Allen JP, Tan JS, Loeb EL (2017). “Close Friendship Strength and Broader Peer Group Desirability as Differential Predictors of Adult Mental Health”. Child Development. Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.