5 Questions That Will Help You Know If You’ve Found Your Best Friend
And why your answers matter.
I haven’t seen my best friend in over a year due to the pandemic. We chat on the phone almost every week, but it’s not the same. Technology is sometimes her nemesis, so Zoom calls or video chats haven’t been possible. I miss her.
I’d been searching for a friend like Gail for my entire life. I’m lucky to have had her sharing my world for more than a decade now.
Sure I’ve had lots of close friends growing up and later from various places of employment. But none of them come close to my friendship with Gail. She’s taught me what being real best friends actually means and how to keep our friendship growing.
Soon we will both have our COVID vaccinations and we’ll be enjoying each other’s company again. I’m looking forward to sipping some of her sweet tea on her porch while we discuss the past year and our futures.
Here are the six questions that will give you the answers to whether or not you have your best friend too.
1. Does spending time with her feel like work?
I am my most relaxed self around my best friend. Gail expects nothing from me but honest friendship. All the costumes and masks I wear — simply due to my own imagined expectations that others have of me — fall away. I don’t need any of these disguises when I’m with Gail.
I can simply be me.
That doesn’t mean we never disagree. It simply means we can disagree while respecting each other’s opinions, thoughts, and perspectives. And we enjoy each other’s company because we don’t hold any expectations for one another.
If it feels like work, you haven’t found your best friend. True friendship is effortless.
2. Do you consistently act a certain way around her?
Let’s face it, we can all be different people every day of the week. Our moods and circumstances can sometimes dictate how we’ll act and respond to others on any given day. Gail accepts me for who I am regardless of all that.
Whether I’m on cloud nine because I just had an article picked up by a new publisher, or I’m hating on everyone in the world because I’m overwhelmed with everything, Gail allows me to express whatever is in my heart without judging me. And I do the exact same for her.
“Authenticity is the only avenue through which true connection can form.” — Brianna Weist
If you don’t feel comfortable being around your friend any time you’re not at your happiest, your best friend is still out there waiting for you. Best friends accept your authenticity at all times — it’s not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
If your interaction with this person is only comfortable within specific circumstances and dependent on how you act and what you talk about, then this person is not your best friend.
3. Is the fear of jealousy keeping you from sharing your happy moments with her?
Real friends allow you to grow. They don’t expect you to show up as the same exact person over and over again. They encourage you to grow into a better version of yourself as many times as necessary. They support your personal journey.
There’s no room for jealousy between best friends. If sharing your new promotion causes your friend to warn you of the dreaded extra responsibility you’ll have, or why moving from hourly to salary will suck, or any other jealousy-induced reason you shouldn’t be celebrating, it’s time to look elsewhere for your bestie.
Best friends allow each other room to grow.
There’s no need or room for jealousy within true friendship because you’re too happy for each other’s milestones, personal progress, and life journey.
4. Do you admire her for her differences?
There are many differences between Gail and me. She’s twenty years older than I am and is done raising her kids while I still have young adults living with me at home. Gail’s retired and loves to cook and experiment in her garden. And although I like to cook and dig in my flower beds, Gail takes cooking and gardening to expert levels.
Gail is the best cook! I’ve always thought she could run her own restaurant or create a cooking empire with a YouTube channel and various cookbooks and cookware. She’s a genius when it comes to good food and creative recipes.
I’m exceedingly happy with myself when I follow a recipe and the majority of my family eats my results without complaint.
All of this is to say that we live very different lives. Yet regardless of our many differences, I could never replace her with someone else. Gail wishes me the best in whatever I decide to do. She’s my enthusiastic cheerleader whether she fully understands — or agrees with — why I’m doing something or not doing something.
There are many people who will love you for your brilliant ideas, creative endeavors, and witty banter. But what about the other stuff? You know, your tendency to overthink things, your insistence on listening to bluegrass during every car ride anywhere, or your laugh that’s more of a cackle than a giggle.
Best friends admire one another for what they have in common as well as their differences. A best friend shows you unconditional love.
5. Does she only call when she needs something?
Ever have a friend who only calls when they need something from you? Or want your help with something?
I’m not saying Gail and I don’t ever ask each other for help or advice or a shoulder to cry on. We do. I’m talking about one of those ‘friends’ who only reach out when they need something.
You know who I’m talking about. The person who just popped into your mind when you read the paragraph below the #5 question. The person whose ringtone causes you to close your eyes (or roll them) and take a deep breath before answering with an attempted cheerful voice.
Gail and I help each other with many things. But we also hang out to do nothing but enjoy each other’s company.
Best friends value each other’s time and space. Respect is necessary for a real friendship to endure and grow.
Life is better with a best friend. Answering the questions above will help you determine whether or not you need to keep looking for your bestie. If you’ve found the one person who will stick with you through it all, your friendship will have the following characteristics.
- Being together is effortless.
- Authenticity is encouraged, supported, and valued by you both.
- You celebrate each other’s decisions, milestones, and journeys.
- You respect your differences as much as your similarities.
- You value each other’s time and personal life.
- You enjoy each other’s company — no strings attached.