10 Qualities I Look For In A Best Friend and How You Can Embody Them
Finding Your Girl Tribe
Since I was in the 6th grade I desired deep and meaningful friendships with other girls! It’s something deep in my core that brings me some of the biggest joy in my life. I think women have been the biggest ministers to me when it comes to my faith with Jesus and encouraging me in my dreams! I can remember back when I had my first true best friend and how she quickly passed the “friend zone” and quickly became like family! With the circle of life ever present I have gone through my different groups of girlfriends wth every stage of life thus far; middle school, high school, college, and now currently after college at 26 years old. With every stage I have made deep, intimate, and true friendships! Best friends have come and gone but with every cycle of friends one thing remained the same and that is a “soul sister bond.”
10 Best Friend Truths and Myths About The Ultimate Best Friend
Most of my very best friends throughout my life have all had a kindred spirit to my own, which made us feel like family and not just a friend which is why they became my “best friend.” I want to unveil some truths about what a best friend can look like and call out some lies that people believe about best friends!!! You ready?! Let’s uncover your much needed qualities in a best friend!
“She Must Think The Same Way I Do”-LIE!
Nothing could be truer and I honestly didn’t find this out till 2018 when I met one of my very best friend’s Nina Brock. If you follow me closely you know that Nina is my best friend here in Los Angeles. Although Nina and I laugh together and talk about EVERYTHING, when we first met I think we both struggled to understand the other. Most of my best friend’s in the past have been as bubbly and talkative as me but Nina was more reserved, a quieter spirit, and hard for me to read. I wasn’t even sure she liked me (how insecure does that sound but it’s true) until I literally asked her! I realized really quickly that I needed to earn her trust because a friendship with her would be deep, vulnerable, and open which is exactly what I love about a friendship. It took time and it took me continuing to pursue her as friend and peel back her shy layers! And now we are two peas and a pod.
A Giving Heart-TRUTH!
My newest best friend here in LA has one of the biggest, selfless, and generous hearts I’ve ever seen! And it’s the small stuff people. My friend Jilian noticed I needed help taking my puppy outside when I was trying to get ready for the bachelorette the other night (I host it at my apartment and around 8 girls come over.) It sounds so simple but she took the initiative to take Kara out for me so I could focus on getting the food prepared and gearing up the show. This was so thoughtful, generous of her time, and she did it to love and serve me. She does dozens of things like that all the time that remind me of how special she is.
A Back and Forth Equal Conversationalist: TRUTH! Nothing is worse than a friend who hogs the conversation! I struggle with this! It’s so disheartening when you are interested in a new friend but yet they seem way more interested in talking themselves up than asking about YOU! If you’re that friend let me help you out. The best thing to do when learning about a new friend for the first time is to ask tons of questions. Ask them from a genuine place because you CARE. I had this happen recently where I felt like a friend wasn’t really interested in my story or learning about me rather than telling me about themselves because of how they responded when I did try and have the floor. Some people get nervous and over talk…my hand is up for this one! I can absolutely do this because I hate small talk or awkward silences but sometimes you have to live in the awkward to give space for the other person to come out of their shell.
BE THE INITIATIOR: TRUTH! I’m putting this one in all caps because this is tip is my JAM! I’m an initiator when it comes to my friends and sometimes it’s exhausting when you feel like you don’t get it back. Every blue moon one of my friendships becomes equal in this and I’m so incredibly thankful that I won't be exhausted from making most of the effort! When you’re insecure about whether another friend likes you, don’t doubt, take action and intimate! A lot of times people want to befriend you they just need you to make the first move. Be the bigger person and ask them to coffee, to brunch, to come over and watch a movie. Whatever it is! They will deep down be so over the moon and excited that you asked.
BE A LISTENER: TRUTH! Nothing is worse than a friend who is thinking about the next thing she’s gonna say and leaving you feel unheard. I’ve been there! I’ve probably even been that person a time or two and it’s not a quality I want to embody. It’s so important to listen and I’ve learned that over the years. Sometimes you’ve earned the place in a friend’s life to challenge them but I believe it has to be earned and you can’t start doing that day one! You should listen to a friend’s story, thoughts, and opinions and make sure they feel understood even if you don’t agree. Agreeing and being a good listener are two very different things. Sometimes that’s the best way to love someone. Not always to share your opinion but to make them feel connected too and loved. Being a loving friends should always be more important than anything else.
6. WE ARE IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE SO WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS: LIE! I have fallen into this thinking time and time again. I’ve even subconsciously distanced myself from really good friends because we were in different stages of life (ex. Single vs. Married) and it’s satan trying to break you us apart!!! I’m serious. I’ve seriously struggled with connecting to some of my very good single friends because of this. It doesn’t mean there isn’t truth in it; it’s hard to connect over certain things but I don’t think the relationship has to be severed because of it. I think what you do to have fun with those friends just changes and you have to adjust.
7. “SHE MOVED AWAY AND I”M TERRIBLE AT LONG DISTANCE”-LIE! You don’t have to be! I remember after college I had so many girlfriends move away/I immediately moved to NYC (halfway across the country from Texas) and I was worried what my friendships with my best friends would look like. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t lose sight of those friendships and it was a priority to keep in contact regularly with my friends. I learned two things: 1) Be the initiator and make the phone call! Your friends will thank you for being the purser because not everyone is good with phone calls. 2) It’s ok if you go awhile without speaking! I learned this last year. I have a best friend I haven’t spoken to in 6 months and we go about 5-6 months before hopping on the phone. And that’s ok! It' doesn’t mean our friendship is over or less than, it means it’s changed yet we still want to be in each other’s lives.
8. “I ONLY WANT BEST FRIENDS NOT SURFACE LEVEL FRIENDSHIPS” LIE! This thought process is something I believed for a long time! Just because you aren’t best friends doesn’t mean God didn’t put that friendship in your life for a season and for a reason. That’s the truth ladies! When I lived in NYC I had no strong friendships with women and only a few surface level friendships. Did that discourage me and keep me locked up in my apartment to binge watch Grey’s Anatomy? Umm…some days. For the most part I continued pursuing those surface level friendships even though I knew we didn’t click the way I wanted too. When you’re feeling alone in life sometimes even just a cup of coffee with another human being is all you need to remember God hasn’t forsaken you and that you’re not alone. Don’t discount these smaller friendships. You might even be in their lives to love them and be the same thing for them!
9) “SHE MUST HAVE THINGS IN COMMON WITH ME” TRUTH AND LIE! Ok, I know what you’re thinking, “How can this be a lie?” Don’t get me wrong I need common ground just as much as the next girl and it does matter but it’s not everything. I used to be very particular about my friendships checking off these boxes in my head of what I needed or wanted in a friend. This thinking is good in a lot of ways because it helps you seek out strong friendships but can also alienate strong friendships that you wouldn’t have guessed! Sometimes you end up connecting with a friend that you don’t have much in common with over time. It takes awhile to find the thing that connects you and being patient in that pursuit is so important. I’ve been surprised at the friendships God’s put in my life that I probably wouldn’t have chose for myself but that’s why he’s a good God and so much more wise than I’'ll ever be.
10) SHE MUST LIKE MY MAN! TRUTH SISTA! Amen, Amen, Amen. The worst thing that can happen is when a friend starts talking bad about your husband or boyfriend. Now this becomes a difficult one to navigate if you’ve been talking poorly about your guy or your guy has acted poorly. I catch myself sometimes going on the “vent train” about Chris and I always feel convicted. If you’re a friend who hears negative things about your friend’s guy, my advice to you is to listen and understand but don’t start immediately jumping on the hate train. It may seem like the loving thing to do for your friend but unlitmatley it isn’t. Unless she’s in a dangerous situation of some kind, I would be careful you don’t water seeds of frustration and anger that you’re friend already has towards her man. I would point her towards forgiveness, grace, and what she can control in her part of the relationship.
PHEW!!!! That was a lot of writing. It’s 7:00 am and my pup has waited patiently to go on a walk. I hope y’all enjoyed reading this post and learned a thing or two about how what characteristics make up a best friend and how you can be the BEST at it too!
Love You, Lauren…