Developing a strong friendship can be very challenging. Most people have to reach adulthood before they find someone they consider to be their best friend. It’s not because there aren’t enough great people out there, but because most people are afraid to show their absolute true colors to others. When you find someone who has seen everything from your quirks and flaws to your pure heart, hold onto them. But there are so many other determining factors that prove you have found your best friend for life.
1. They cheer you on.
I’m not saying they need to have pom-poms and the whole cheerleader get-up, but they should always be in your corner encouraging you to do well in life. Your closest friends should know your struggles, downfalls, goals, and success stories. They should be the first person to say, “You got this” when you tell them your future plans or that you’re struggling. What’s more, they should be genuinely there for you when it doesn’t go as planned. Have someone who can cheer you on when you soar and catch you when you fall.
2. They know and love your flaws.
Everybody knows no one’s perfect, but friends embrace all the weird things about you. They make every ounce of effort to understand your anxieties, they embrace the fact that you get a little forward with people when you drink or that you talk really loudly all the time. They know how beautiful you are on the inside and respect you enough to know you’re different. Your friendship may not equally balance, but they’re aware of every part of you from the good to the bad and ugly.
3. Nothing is off-limits, even if it’s embarrassing.
Whether it’s crying over breakups, stalking people for the hell of it, singing in the car to Shania Twain, or confessing your deepest inner thoughts, nothing should be off-limits with your bestie. You should be able to be authentic with each other without the fear of shame or judgement.
4. They call you out on your BS.
If you have found someone who can call you out on your behavior or intervene when you truly need it, you have a real one. While most people prefer to sit back and let you learn (your BFF should still do that too), they know when they need to step in and say something. True friends will tell you if you should leave that ex alone, or when they think you’re making a huge career mistake. It’s not because they don’t want you to be happy — it’s because they care for you deeply and might see something you don’t. Hence they’ll be unapologetically honest with you, 100% of the time.
5. There’s mutual trust.
In life, we always need at least one person we can talk to about anything, especially deep secrets. It may sound childish, but even as adults we have some things to get off our chests and can only tell a few people about it knowing they won’t breathe a word. Your best friend should be one of those people. Trust is important in any serious relationship, especially in friendships. And it should always be mutual.
6. They put forth an effort regardless of what’s going on in their life.
Being an adult means that you understand that sometimes life can get in the way of your friendships. But a true friend will always continue to make an effort regardless of what’s going on. A true friend will also take ownership if the other party feels neglected. And if you’re the one who’s been too busy, your friend will never make you feel guilty about that. Instead, they’ll understand and support you. They’ll always be there for you.
7. They love you for you.
This is probably one of the most important things in any friendship. Best friends should never change you, judge you or force you to do anything you don’t want to do. They love you for you and they will never try to intervene with your life unless it’s for your own safety and benefit. They just want what’s best for you and love the unfiltered, unedited version of you not many get to see — and they’re always happy you’re in their life!
Sadly, true friends are rare in this day and age. So having someone you consider to be a true friend is something special you should never take for granted. If you have one, hang onto them tightly and vocalize how much they mean to you. They’re the ultimate gift you should value, so don’t be afraid to let them know as often as you can. You’re so lucky to have each other!