It starts as early as childhood in fact childhood friendships start your learning process. Early friendships play a vital role because they occur while key developmental changes are taking place. They help teach us some of those important life skills but also shape our life “narrative.” Close friends support you through thick and thin. To take the most advantage of your closest relationships, put effort into your closest friendships. Although being friendly can get you more friends, you don’t need hundreds to help you through life. You simply need the ones who will be there to pick up your phone anytime of the day. Friends can help you define your priorities. People tend to pick friends who are similar to them. This fact falls under the general proximity rule of close relationships, in that like tends to attract like. Because we fall prey so easily into this similarity trap, it is important to try to stretch yourself to learn from some of those opposites. Knowing this can help you grow by expanding your range of friends and trying out some new points of view.
A best friend is someone you don’t have to fill in the blanks with. You can cut to the chase and get right to the meat of any discussion because all the background information has already been stored away.
- Unconditional support
Best friends have seen us at our best and worst, and they love us either way. It’s important to have someone in your life you feel totally at ease with. Someone you can be yourself with and let your guard down.
- Self-Esteem BoostHaving someone in your life who thinks you are important — someone who wants your opinion on things and who values your company — makes us feel wanted, boosting self-esteem.
One of our most basic fears is being alone in life. Whether your best friend is around the corner or in another time zone, just knowing they are there provides comfort. If you find yourself feeling isolated, whether physically or emotionally, pick up the phone and call your closest friend(s)l. Both of you will feel better for it.
- Honest opinions
Best friends will also be totally honest with us. They know you well and are able to tell it like it is. So thank your best friend the next time they look you in the eye, shake their head and suggests you rethink a possibly silly decision. They got your best interests at heart.
- A fresh perspective
We are all individuals, with different experiences and opinions, but having a best friend to share things with can help you learn new things about yourself. The things they share with us can open your eyes to new ideas and ways to think about the world around you. By bringing a fresh perspective to a problem, things have a better chance of changing.
- Life lessons
When a close friend does something you disagree with, you’re more likely to confront them and discuss what has upset you than if it’s a person you aren’t as familiar with. Getting through this with a close friend helps to prepare you for other times in life where you will need to face a difficult situation.
Loyalty means never having to worry about someone spilling your secrets or talking about you behind your back. Best friends equal built-in trust. Most likely, you’ve spent years building your bond, which just gets stronger over time. A loyal friend will be on your team no matter what. They will be honest with you, but won’t betray you.
- Personal growth
Having a best friend means sharing experiences. Sometimes, when we get stuck in our own routines, it’s nice to hear about what other people are doing. Often we can live vicariously through our close friends and learn about things we may not have thought about doing.
- The best sounding board
One of the greatest things about having a best friend is being able to share everything. They are the ones to whom we tell things we wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else — our greatest fears and biggest mistakes. Being able to share these intimate details about your life helps to normalize whatever has happened.