On National Best Friends Day
Here’s a special edition of Friendship Rules to commemorate National Best Friends Day, which is celebrated on June 8th each year.
We couldn’t ignore National Best Friends Day, introduced in Congress in 1935, to raise awareness of the importance of friendship in our lives.
Indeed, friends are one of life’s great pleasures. Friends lift us up when we are down, understand our faults and contradictions, allow us to open up, and respect our need to close down, too.
With a friend, we can dare to be ourselves without fear or recrimination.
What it Means to Have or Be a Best Friend
What is a best friend, really?
It’s someone we can trust, feel close to, depend on, and respect. We can have many friends but not as many BEST friends…and that’s because best friends earn that place in our heart since all these wonderful feelings are reciprocated.
Can someone have more than one best friend?
Yes! Some people are blessed to find a small circle of friends that meet these criteria.
Does everyone need a best friend?
Not necessarily. People are imperfect and so are our friendships. At different times in life and under certain circumstances, we may not have a best friend, per se, but rather a number of close and special friends that we connect with for different reasons.
Although we may not consider them “best friends,” they are dependable, loyal friends who help us feel understood and supported.
Are best friends our best friends forever?
Not always. People and their lives change over time, and thus, so do friends. The best friend we had in elementary school may not be the same best friend we have when we get married, raise our children, or become widowed.
Should you tell someone they are your best friend?
Telling someone they are your best friend is a personal decision and a way of expressing how meaningful the friendship feels to you. And yet, even though we’re now adults, the “proclamation” might make us feel vulnerable and unsure, transporting us back to our awkward adolescent days.
On the other hand, it certainly can be expressed, and the results could be a delightful surprise to both sides of the friendship.
Take a look at the letter below, which asks a question about best friends.
Throughout my life, I’ve never had a true 'best friend,’ one who is with me through the good and bad times, too.
Three years ago, I became friendly with another woman my age, but we didn't see much of one another. However, we both signed up for the same course and bonded pretty quickly over those nine months. We slowly began to trust each other and started getting together on weekends.
I consider her my best friend, especially as she was there for me (unlike most of my other friends) when I was undergoing medical treatment, and I was there for her when she was having trouble with her partner.
I guess my fear is that she’ll turn around and say another mutual friend she is close to is her best friend, although the other friend has a habit of just ignoring her for no reason.
Should I tell her she’s my best friend and ask her if I’m hers?
Given that you never felt as close to someone as you do to this best friend, it’s natural that you would have a bit of anxiety about the friendship and whether it will last.
So far, it sounds like your friend has done nothing to compromise your trust. And if she is likable, it makes sense that she would have other friendships, too.
Whether or not to tell someone that she is your best friend is a personal decision.
If you’re doing it to express how much this person means to you, we think that’s a nice thing to do.
You can say something like: “Your friendship means so much to me,” or “I’m so lucky to have you in my life,” or even, “I’ve never had a best friend like you.”
However, if you’re doing this as a test of her friendship or because you want her to say the same thing to you, you may be disappointed if she doesn’t respond in kind. It might make you feel better and not as vulnerable to know that many people have more than one best friend.
Our best advice? Rather than focusing on labeling the friendship, live it day by day by being the best friend you can be.
Irene & Sheryl
Whether or not to tell someone that she is your best friend is a personal decision. But it might have the advantage of bringing you closer.
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