Best friends are like school or exercise: they make you better. It's not like they march into your life and start pointing out things that are wrong and diminishing you. That would be a toxic, horrible friend that you should cut out immediately. No, a best friend is different. A best friend always has your best interests at heart, except for maybe when on hungover Sundays they suggest dipping fries in chocolate sundaes, when your physical health clearly is of no mind to them. (Although your mental health seems to be their primary concern. Best friends can't protect all kinds of health all the time, they're just human too!)
A best friend is like your favorite book. It nourishes you and enriches you and makes you feel less alone when you're facing dark days. Except that a best friend is not a book. A best friend is a person who sends you funny texts all day; who screenshots outfit choices and asks you your opinion; who holds your hand when there's turbulence on the plan; who farts in public and you immediately recognize the look in their eye when they do; who comes with you to the doctor when you're sick and scared; who knows all your parents and aunts and uncles and cousins by name; who tells you frivolous secrets that no one else knows and listens to yours. A best friend is a lot of things, and a best friend can make you a better person too. Here's how:
1. They Make You A Better Communicator
Best friends are best for a reason. They're not party pals or fair weather friends. They're those special ones who are there through thick and thin, and who will definitely annoy you or upset you or you will annoy or upset them at some point, because in all good relationships there's conflict. No best friend is a "yes" man, and your opinions will differ from time to time. In good relationships also, conflict is resolved with communication. And when a friend is a lifer, you have to communicate openly and honestly with them in order to move past conflict, so your best friend will inevitably make you a better communicator.
2. They Teach You About Loyalty
Sometimes the world is big and bad and sh*tty and people hurt you. Your best friend, however, teaches you that loyalty is real. With their unconditional love and affection, your best friend will make you a better person by giving you that little glimmer of hope that people can be kind and good to you, always reminding you not to go to that dark place where it feels like the world is against you.
3. They Make You Feel Confident And Loved
No matter how bad your day or week or month or year is, tell me you don't feel like a million bucks after a rosé with your bestie? You can't, can you? Your best friend gives you the confidence to be you, to be bold, and to shrug off the haters. Best friends, like parents and significant others, can provide the kind of personal affirmation you need when your own belief in yourself and your own capabilities is lagging.
4. They Challenge Your Shortcomings
Besties aren't always there just to tell you how fabulous you are. When you're being awful, they'll tell you. As much as a best friend loves you, it's their duty to give you unbiased advice. Which actually proves how much they love you. Anyone will tell you what you want to hear, but only the very best friends are brave enough to hold up a mirror and say "Are you sure this is how you want to behave?" Because when you're being unnecessarily mean or self centered and hurting people who love you, your best friend should be there to call you out on it.
5. They Dare You To Try Harder
When you're afraid of something — for instance, going for a new job or trying a new workout regime or asking someone on a date — whatever it is, your best friend will always push you to succeed. Best friends don't let you be lazy. They know how wonderful you are and will always dare you to try harder and be an even better version of you. Best friends pull each other up, they don't tear each other down, and your best friend will always be rooting for you, and inspiring you to be the best you you can possibly be.
6. They Make Your Days Brighter Just By Being In Them
Other than all the personal enrichment above, your friends make you a better person just by being there. Having your best friend around makes you sunnier and happier, and what better bonus is there than that? You're a better person just because someone you love is in your life, and there's really no better reason to immediately call/text/hug your bestie right this very instant.
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