I was watching a competition-based reality television show the other night and was taken-back by how much the term ‘best friend’ was thrown around as if it were the newest and latest catch phrase. Were these contestants truly best friends or was it more of a media ploy to convince the viewing audience of the high level of compassion and commitment they have with one another? Either way, I came to the realization that individuals are starting to misrepresent what it truly means to be best friends.
For most of us we either have a large number of friends with very few close friends, or we have fewer friends of which most are close. Yet, there is always that one friend that we consider our best friend, best bud, bestie, or closest girlfriend; one for whom we share the strongest possible kind of friendship. We know this individual as someone who walk into our world when the rest of the world walks out – leaving footprints on our heart. They are like a four-leave clover – hard to find and lucky to have. When it hurts to look back and you are scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and this person will always be there. Most importantly they enjoy quality time with you, share ideas with you, respect your differences, and stick up for you when no one else will.
According to the dictionary, each term has its own unique definition. The word “Best” means to be superlative to good; the highest degree of good or excellence – one that exceeds all others. Furthermore, the term “friend” means to have a relationship or association with someone else; a companionship. A “friend” is someone who has demonstrated the following values on a consistent basis:
- The tendency to desire what is best for the other
- Sympathy and empathy
- Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
- Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
- Enjoyment of each others company
- Trust in one another
- Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
- The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
- It is very important to have honesty, trust, sympathy, respect and helpfulness in friendship.
However, when these two terms are combined to form the word “best friend”, the meaning turns into one of the most powerful gifts anyone could ever receive. I hope you receive such a gift- someone you appreciate for who he/she is and for whom you don’t to be perfect. Most importantly – PLEASE DO NOT EVER COMPARE THAT FRIEND WITH ANY OTHER (even if you are a contestant on a reality show).
Take a moment and think of this special person in your life and appreciate them for what they represent in you…because chances are you are this type of friend to someone else!