There’s a lot of discussion about what it means to have awful friendships. And naturally, I agree with all the attention. It is necessary to highlight the terrible effects of bullying, mean girls, and peer pressure to young women everywhere.
…But what about healthy friendships? The ones that make you want to dramatically get down on your knees and scream into the heavens, thanking them for bringing such a strange little human into your life? Shouldn’t we focus on those friendships — and make sure they are performing as best as they can?
Well that just gave me the warm and fuzzies. Yeah, let’s focus on those!
It’s time to make sure our friendships are as healthy as they can be, because these are the relationships that help shape us into the strong and independent women we are today. Here are seven qualities of truly successful friendships.
1. They laugh at each others jokes
Even if they really aren’t that funny.
Good friends share the same quirky senses of humor. It’s what helps your bond stay so strong! Plus, laughing at your friend — even when the joke was a bit off key — is still always funny to you. She’s hilarious, you can’t help it! And overall, both of you want each other to be happy — and what’s better than getting a good laugh?
2. They are not competitive
Friends don’t size each other up. There’s no racing to achieve the next milestone first, there’s no comparing, and there’s no disappointment when one friend falls behind. Instead, best friends cheer each other on no matter where they are in life. They celebrate when things go really well, and comfort each other when they don’t. There is no twinge of excitement in one if the other trips along the way. They want to be successful together — so they strive to help each other out as much as possible.
3. They value honesty
There’s really no beating around the bush with best friends. There’s also no brutal honesty to the point of abuse. Instead, friends share their thoughts and feelings in a kind fashion. They’re sensitive to their buddy’s feelings while explaining their message clearly. If there’s a disagreement, they talk it out in person. They make sure to communicate as openly and honestly as possible, because they know that’s how real friendships last.
4. They stick up for each other
These friends aren’t the two-faced kind. If anyone bashes their friend, they’re ready to roll. Of course they aren’t blind to their bestie’s faults — we all have them — but it’s not cool for anyone else to point them out! Real friends stick up for each other in public, no matter who they’re with. They are each other’s ride or die, and that’s all there is to it.
5. They are invested
Best friends have met each other’s families, significant others, and colleagues. They know all about each other’s jobs, and what stresses them out and why. When one tells a story, there is hardly any background information to explain, because the other already knows the context. They are invested. This is what makes these friendships so special – because both parties’ interests are aligned. They’re all in.
6. They normalize each other’s experiences
Best friends don’t judge each other. Instead, they validate each other. A best friend doesn’t cringe when the other admits to a reckless mistake or an embarrassing story. That would be kind of rude. And super hurtful. Instead, they make sure their friend knows that whatever they’re going through, it’s OK. They’re not crazy. The world won’t end. It’s normal. This sort of friendship is our sanctuary – it’s where we go to feel safe. The world makes us feel like we’re going out of our minds every single day, but these types of friendships make us feel sane again.
7. They accept each other
Quirks and all. Best friends don’t wish their friend would stop doing this or start doing that – they just know that they are who they are, and they accept them completely. Nobody is perfect, and in fact, these girls appreciate each other for their faults. It makes them human. It makes them interesting. Asking their friend to be anyone other than themselves doesn’t even cross their mind. They wholeheartedly embrace each other with open arms, and cherish the day these two little weirdos managed to find each other in this great big world.