What does it mean to have a friendship? What does this word mean to you? We often make friends in this life, but sometimes those friends turn into becoming a best friend that you can turn to for any means of support. Even when your best friend needs your support and often times they do not realize it at that time, you reach out to them to try and comfort them in ways you have done in the past. It is unfortunate then, when they take it the wrong way and your best friend you’re trying to comfort takes offense to what you felt was trying to comfort them in a way to show them what they truly have been blessed with in their life.
Then this best friend uses this against you to backstab you in words that she writes that is directed towards you and you know actually what they are talking about. What is your reaction going to be towards this best friend? This is one example of what a best friend can do to you.
Another example of a best friend hurting you and leaving you in question of what you did that she or he wrote a letter and tells you never to contact them again. You are left wondering “what did I say or do to make this person write this letter?” You’re left wondering “where did I go wrong in our friendship that caused this to come about?”
Let me take a step back and explain what it means to be a friend in the first place then I will build upon at least 8 traits that a best friend should have, why it is important to have these qualities in a best friend and why it is important in our life that we often make them best friends. What is a friend to you?
In the Merriam Webster Dictionary it describes a friend as, “One attached to another by affection or esteem – She’s my best friend” (Merriam Webster, 2018). What does this mean? That as human beings we attach ourselves to certain people that we have a closeness to. Someone that we can relate our darkest secrets to that we know that they will keep them to themselves and never reveal them to anyone else. A friend is not like your spouse that you live and breathe with on a daily basis. A friend is one that you have closeness to like a brother or sister but deeper than those siblings’ ties.
I often wonder what we think of the Savior Jesus Christ as being to us. Do we look at him as a friend that we can trust our secrets to that he will guide us out of darkness when we have fallen into the pit of no return? My answer to this is Yes, I do see him as a friend that we can turn to. I hope that is with you as well. We should be able to count on our best friend always being there in times that we need them the most. They pull us out of the dark despair and bring us into the light of Christ that we as their best friend will not take offense when reaching out to us by saying what is on their mind. We need to listen with an open heart to what they are saying to us. They are our best friend that we have always been able to turn to in time of needs.
Often times we are blind to our own self worth. In these times we need to learn to lean on our best friends to help us pull through these troubled times. We should never feel like they coming at us with a two edge sword. Your best friend always feels your pain you are going through. They have been there in the past in your darkest days as you endured trials as a teen going through adolescence. They may be going through the same things you are going through, but they are dealing with their own demons and yet, they seem to always reach out when they feel we need it most. This is truly what a best friend is. One that is always there, one that will in time find forgiveness in their hearts for all the wrongs they caused you, ones that no matter how much you have hurt them, by putting a knife in their back with hurtful words, they deep down forgive you because their love for friendship means more to them than anything in this world. There are two stories that I want to share with you. One is personally tied to me and the other one is one I read on Facebook that three high school girls became best friends and two had become hateful towards the other girl. They had a fall out but the one girl thought they had worked through their differences but she found out the hard way how the two deceived her and took her life.
My Life Time Best Friend From Middle School
I am going back to my middle school days. At the time my parents moved our family out to Oregon where I would begin my last year of grade school and enter my first year of middle school. Moving to a new town you have to start all over to rebuild a friendship with the kids that you go to school with. I was not one who could make friends very easily. I was very quiet and mostly kept to myself. We lived out of town in the country where our parents rented a bean shack. It was not much of a home to speak of but to me it was home. This is where I would make contact with the person that would later in my life become best friends. We would write to each other on a weekly basis and when she came out to college we spent time together going to Yellowstone National Park and doing what best friends do best: spending time together. Even after we went our separate ways we stayed in contact with each other, sharing our life with one another. Before I go on I need to tell how we met the first time and then where our friendship really took off.
It was an early morning and I was getting ready to catch the bus to go school. This person I will call Samantha, lived three houses down from us on the same road in the country. She was a little older than I was but I can remember this day like it was yesterday. I got on the bus first and as the bus move closer to her house the bus started to get full. As we approached her house and she got on the bus, she tried to find a seat but nobody would let her sit with them. I scooted over and offered my seat to her. That was my first encounter with Samantha. We only spoke briefly that day, but my older sister would babysit her cousin a couple of times. We moved from the country road out on Compton Lane in a trailer house that my parents purchased and that was where we started to plant our roots.
My dad was injured due to my stubbornness of not going out to help unload his tool chest. He was laid up from work because he broke his arm. He finally got another job and we moved again which would not be our final move. Again adjusting to a new school was hard on me but I did what I could to make it work out. It would be at this time while attending a young adult dance that was put on by one of our wards in the local area at the time I decided to attend.
I traveled to the dance and I knew several people there by face recognition but that is all I could tell you. To my surprise I looked across the dance floor and I recognized one face in particular that I knew for sure. I didn’t know that she had joined the church. I worked my way over to where she was standing and introduced myself to her. We stood and talked and she let me know who was there and that she and her cousin had joined the church. Well from that point on began our long friendship that we built over years of communicating by letters sharing everything that was going on. Like I said we even spent time doing things together when she came out to college.
We stayed in touch with each other over the years. Even after I went on a mission and she went on a mission for our church. Even after I got married we stayed in touch with each other. That is how much our friendship meant to each other. She was there when I was going through the roughest time in my marriage and ended up going through a divorce with my first wife.
You know how they say not to express your true feelings to your best friend? Well I finally realized that through all our writing and time we spent together I wanted to move our friendship to the next level. I wrote Samantha a letter expressing my deepest feelings for her. What I got in return was not what I was expecting and the letter she sent back in response left me to wonder what I said to have her cut all ties to our friendship. I was a good friend, I listened to her words and never made any attempt to contact her for years. When Facebook was started up you could contact anyone and everyone on there. I decided to try and look up Samantha for the first time and when I found her and tried to make small talk with her she disappeared off of Facebook. I knew then that it wasn’t the time to try and mend what friendship we had, that I had broken it from a simple letter expressing my true feeling towards her. It wasn’t until 2014 when my wife and I had moved to Nampa, Idaho that I decided to look up Samantha again. To my surprise she made me friends and we began to speak to each other again. I still to this day walk on ice with what I say to her posts and I talk with her. Her friendship means the world to me and I have forgiven her for the past. It was me who was in the wrong in the first place. I never should have expressed my true feelings to her. Samantha explained why she sent the letter to me: she listened to her older sister who told her to cut all ties to me.
I don’t care why she did what she did. I am grateful to have her friendship back into my life. She has brought great joy and peace into my life. To see and hear what she is doing makes me feel good inside. She has her dark days that she has had to overcome in her life since we parted ways.
But she has come out on top because of the gospel of Jesus Christ in her life and testimony that she has gained in her own trials she has gone through. We share our daily post on our feeds what we are doing. We do not text as we did when we first became friends and this is okay with me. Like I said it’s good to have Samantha back in my life as we begin to mend a broken friendship that I never wanted to break in the first place.
This is what true friendship is, forgiving one another for wrongs you have done in the past. Not to hold a grudge against the other for something so small. Friends like this only come once in a lifetime. Especially one like ours was and is. Not as close as I hoped that our friendship would be, but I’m ok with this because I am grateful to have her in my life again and on speaking terms. The second story I’d like to share with you, before I share what 8 qualities a best friend should have, ended in tragedy for these three friends.
Three Girlfriends Who Were Best Friends
This second story is found here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Skylar_Neese. I hope that our friendship does not end up like this girl’s did, with her two best friends that she trusted her life with, who would go above and beyond for her two friends no matter what the cost may be. Are we willing to follow our best friend to plot and kill the other best friend over some small disagreement that you all have had? Just think about these two stories and how much your friendship means to you. May we find other ways to forgive our friends than this way of doing it. I found that one person defines 8 characteristics of best friends and another article explains 12 qualities that a best friend should have. I will only share 8 out the 20 that I found online that a friend should have to be qualified as a best friend.
8 Qualities or Characteristics a Best Friend Should Have
This is where your friend has the uncanny ability to read your mind before the words pop out of your mouth. Just by glancing at each other, you can know what each other is thinking.
Whether you’re about to jump off Mount Everest and leap into the adventure of a life time, your friend is there to give you their real opinion. While we might think that what they say may be a bit harsh or may be in the danger zone or may even disagree with us at times, your best friend won’t hide their views, especially if they think it is for your best interest. It’s like I tell my friends that I will not sugar coat it for you, I will speak my mind and you take or leave it, it is your choice to do with whatever advice that I speak to you.
According to Argintar (2014), “She’a true-blue friend; the kind that won’t talk behind your back when there’s an issue between the two of you, but she can come to you about it, instead.
You will commiserate over the silliest things together that you both find humorous, even though the two of you love being around each other’s company.”
It has never been a chore to have her over, you’ll never feel like neither of you have to entertain one another when you are over at each other’s place. You are always looking for plans how to do things together. This is how you both know the other is the real deal.
We need to feel like we are accepted into this world by someone close to us. This is why we accept best friends as one of these people into our life. Around this person you can be abnormal without trying to explain yourself to them. You can be your weird, goofy self around your best friend. You won’t feel like running in the other direction.
Argintar (2014) says, ”She’s got her own bizarre set of hobbies, too, and that’s why you both work so well together” (p. 1).
The secrets, fears, and deep thoughts are some of those that a best friend will only share with you. They have their trust in you that whatever they tell you stays with you always. You know whatever you tell your best friend will always stay in the vault. This information will never be used against you or ever try to hurt you in any way.
Who better to lift you up when you are at your lowest in your life? Your bestie is who thinks that you’re awesome and is there to lift your spirit up when you are down. Your best friend is your personal cheerleader, they are there to remind you of the great things you have to offer the world around you, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your self worth to yourself. We need to focus on the positive attributes that make you shine. Like my older sister tells me all the time to think on the positive things that you have accomplished in your life and not all the negative. The negative is what weighs us down on life’s highway. A friend is always there to remind us of the positive, the good things we have in our life we can offer others around us.
A true best friend will always have your back! No matter what is said they will always be there to help you carry the load. This is why we have the Savior Jesus Christ as our best friend. He has always been there carrying the load for us, ever since he carried his own cross to be crucified. When he went into the Garden of Gethsemane, He took upon himself the sins of the world. He has had our back ever since that time. Our Creator has had our our back from the time we were born into this world until we pass on to the next life. All we have to do is knock and it shall be opened unto us. Our burdens will be lifted from us, all we have do is ask for their help as we do to our best friend upon this earth. We have the choice to accept what they have to say or pass the message on like it was never spoken. It is up to us how we handle the situation placed before us. Just as our creator and Christ has given us freedom to make our choices upon this earth. Friedam (2015) said, “You know that when you need your friend to be there for you, they are present without fail” (p. 2). As James Taylor and Carol King sing:
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there
Yes I will
You’ve got a friend
Argintar (2014) says, “She won’t always agree with you (Who does?), but she’ll always welcome your cares and will see to it that you get back up.”
You always do or say anything and she will not behave any differently towards you, like when you find out something that your best friend did in high school and response to this is “That kind of genius, though.” We all have mistakes we make or do something stupid, or may say things we do not mean to, in the times that we are hurting the most. We often read into things that are not there, we don’t understand our best friend’s true feelings or try to understand them, or we do understand them and try to express our feelings about the subject that our best friend is dealing with at the time and they misread what we are trying share with them and blow it out of proportion. Then they go off and backstab them and make the situation even worse than what really could or should have been if we had only taken time to think about what has been said. It is having respect for the other person’s feelings and stepping back and looking at the whole picture to what your best friend is trying to do in the situation you are in.
These are just 8 of the 20 qualities or characteristics that should be found in a best friend. A best friend is that person who will stick with you through thick and thin situations. They may speak their peace or mind but it’s up to us how we receive their words of encouragement that will break the camel’s back on our best friends friendship. Like I personally tell my friends, when they ask for advice I will give my advice to them. “I am going to give my two cents into your situation, take or leave it. It is up to you what you do with what I have to say on this matter.” I will be up front and speak my mind on the matter and they live with what I have to say or they can take and leave on the side of road and move on but those are my final words.
Who would we be without our friends by our side? From an early age, friends teach us the ropes, gives us the building blocks to learn how to give, love, and face life’s up and downs. Fagan (2012) said, “We often take for granted how precious a thing it is to be best friend, how many people can’t freely use that term, how many have never experienced that very particular kind of love” (p. 1). Jesus Christ taught us by his personal example how we can have love for a friend. He showed us time and time again through his disciples and those whom he came in contact with what a true friend was. How many of us get the chance to have a bond of best friend with love that is untouchable, that nothing will ever separate what we have built over a life time together? Are we willing to allow a simple disagreement come between this friendship that we worked so hard to build over a lifetime of blood sweat and tears? Is it worth that much to throw away a friendship that you have taken so long build upon a trust for each other?
So many wait for a cue from their most beloved friend to be able to tack on the profound, terrifying modifier of “best.” who wants to be the person who prematurely proclaims the other their one-and-only-best-friend, when they were not ready to take that leap themselves? It’s the “I love you” platonic relationships, and to be able to declare that with someone is privilege not bestowed upon everyone. (Fagan, 2012, p. 1)
I am grateful that I was able to mend my friendship with Samantha because this means the world to me. I have lost too many best friends without getting to share my true self with them. The person that Christ taught me to be when I first came this earth. That my mother bestowed upon me as a child of God. As true Christian upon this earth how grateful I am for those friends I have had and have today in my life, that I’m able to let myself shine through the dark clouds above to share with them who I am. That I’m free to feel safe with those friends I have I can share my secrets with them and know they are safe with them. To have this honor to have this chance in this life to find a best friend like this is a true honor to be able to put “best” in front of friends. I challenge each of you that read this blog that you take time and mend the wound between your best friends today, that you have peace in your hearts and joy that you can mend the wounds between you. You cannot ask for someone better than having a best friend to turn to.
Argintar, L. (2014). 12 qualities the person you call your best friend should be. Retrieved from https://www.elitedaily.com/women/12-qualities-the-person-you-call-your-bestie-should-have
Fagon, C. (2012). What it means to be best friend. Retrieve from https://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2012/08/what-it-means-to-be-a-best-friend/
Friedman, S. (2015). The 8 defining characteristic of a best friend. Retrieved from https://www.goodnet.org/articles/8-defining-characteristics-best-friend