The 8 Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend

Everyone with a bestie will recognize these ever-important traits of what it means to be a true friend.

Jul 30, 2015

Your best friend has your back - literally! [Shutterstock]

Who would we be without our friends? From an early age, friends teach us the ropes, giving us the building blocks to learn how to give, love and face life’s ups and downs. The United Nations recognizes the importance of friendship and proclaimed July 30 as International Friendship Day, highlighting friendships as a way to bridge differences and bring about more peace in the world. Take a moment to celebrate your friends both near and far by exploring the eight defining characteristics of what being and having a best friend really means. 

1. TELEPATHY

Your best friend has the uncanny ability to read your mind before the words pop out of your mouth. Just by exchanging a glance, you both know exactly what the other is thinking. 

2. HONESTY

Whether you have a piece of broccoli stuck in your teeth or you are about to embark on a major life decision, your best friend is there to give you their real opinion. While sometimes it can seem a bit harsh or they may even disagree with your choices, your best friend won't hide their views – especially if they think it's in your best interest. 

3. HUMOR

Rolling on the floor laughing till your stomach hurts doesn't happen with just anyone. Best friends know exactly what will trigger a belly-aching laugh, and between the personal jokes and shared experiences, your bestie knows how to tickle your funny bone. 

Your best friend thinks you're hilarious. [Shutterstock]

4. EMPATHY

Your best friend can actually feel what you are going through - because they have been there before. Or, they simply relate to you on such a deep level that they can profoundly understand what you are experiencing.

5. GENEROSITY

Giving is something that comes naturally between best friends, with each person willing to share what they have with the other. A true friendship has boundaries, but abundance is key. No tabs are kept on who gives and who receives, creating a flow of sharing and caring between you both.  

6. TRUST

Secrets, fears and deep thoughts are just some of the things you freely share with your best friend - because you know that what you say remains in the vault. Your best friend would never use your private information against you or to hurt you in any way.

One of the people you trust most in your life. [Shutterstock]

7. ENCOURAGEMENT

Your bestie thinks that you are awesome and is there to give you a boost when you are feeling low. As your personal cheerleader, your best friend reminds you of how many great things you have to offer the world, always focusing on your positive attributes that make you shine. 

8. STEADFASTNESS

Your best friend has your back! No matter the situation, you know that when you need your friend to be there for you, they are present without fail. As James Taylor and Carole 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 

Shoshana radiates doing good, driven by a love for people and community. Among many topics, she writes about friendship, creativity and healthy living.

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