Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, we are all connected to more people everyday than our childhood selves could have ever imagined. With nothing but a few simple keystrokes and a single mouse click, we can share something with hundreds (if not thousands) of people that we at some point decided were worthy of being our ‘friends’.
Despite the seeming onslaught of online friendship we all seem to be blessed with, there are always a select few from that group that stand on a proverbial pedestal in our mind. These chosen ones are our best friends. Some have held that ranking seemingly forever, while others are currently making a strong case to be more than just the flavor of the month.
While we all can undoubtedly identify the ‘besties’ in our lives, do we genuinely receive the same honor in each of their books? You may instinctively answer “yes” based on how they are around you, but in a world where faking is commonplace, your best friend’s performance may simply be Oscar-worthy.
It’s time to put your friending skills under a microscope to see whether or not you qualify as best friend material.
Start with a perfect 10 out of 10 points. For each of these 5 categories rate yourself 0, -1, or -2. Give yourself a 0 if you embody that trait perfectly, a -1 if you could use some improvement, and a -2 if you need some serious work.
One of the most fundamental qualities to being a best friend is the ability to effectively listen. Whether they’ve had a horrible day and need to unload their problems on trusted ears, or they can’t wait to share some incredible news, a best friend is there to listen. And I mean genuinely listen.
It’s one thing to be sitting across from them or on the other end of the phone while they talk, but it’s another thing to be actually processing and responding to what they say.
When people talk to you, do you often find yourself focused on what you’ll say next, or even worse drifting into your imagination? How about when the subject matter they are talking about isn’t either drama-filled or of interest to you? If you answered yes, your best friend score is off to a bad start.
2. No Competition
We are all goal-oriented individuals looking to accomplish particular things within our lives. Our best friends are of no exception to this, and as their best friend you should genuinely be rooting for their success as you are for your own.
When your bestie gets a promotion, books a vacation, or goes on a great date how do you feel inside? Forget how you outwardly react, and focus on what goes on inside of you.
Do you genuinely feel joy for what they have experienced? Or do you immediately twist it to either how it impacts you or how it matches up to your current situation? If your best friend’s success is something you internally compete with, it’s time to deduct more points from your score.
We all are faced with times of need. Whether we’ve just lost our job, our car won’t start, or we need to give our partner some space, a best friend should be the optimal person to turn to. They may not always be able to provide the needed solution, but they are happily going to do whatever they can to help you attain it.
If your friend were to be faced with a stalled vehicle for example, would you: A) say “that sucks”, or B) actually do something to help them out?
We can’t always be there, nor should we always have to be (always be aware of when you may be being used), but our initial response to a friend’s cry for genuine help is a good sign of our friend-ability. Deduct points as you see fit.
While formal gift giving may not be an integral part of all relationships, we all at some point or another give something to a best friend. Whether it be a birthday gift, or even something small we know they need while at the grocery store, giving and receiving is a natural part of life.
When it comes to giving something to a best friend, what tends to go through your mind? Is it the cost, whether or not they deserve it, or if it feels like a chore to get? Or is it a genuine excitement of how much they are going to love and appreciate receiving it?
A wonderful part of true friendship is getting to know one another in ways that the general public does not. Do you cherish that connection and give to it occasionally, knowing that very few can do so as effectively? If not, deduct a few more points.
5. Time Apart
Even the best of friends spend the majority of their lives apart from one another. At times that can be only for a few days, while at others it can be for months while one is particularly busy with another aspect of their lives.
What differentiates best friendship is that no length of time terminates or even drastically changes the closeness, love, and appreciation that you have for one another.
When reuniting with a best friend after an extended period of time does it feel like an obligation to catch up? Or does it feel just as cozy as when you once spent two weeks together on vacation? Deduct points based on the comfort you do or don’t experience.
Out of 10, what score are you left with? Unless you’re one of the few still holding your head up high with a 10, we’ve all got some work to do.
Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.