Few of us give our best friends the kind of credit they deserve for the special role they play in our lives. By definition, a bestie is there for you unconditionally, which makes it easy to take for granted the fact that they’re, well, always there. And while we totally support you showing your appreciation for your BFF with a DIY gift or with a well-deserved care package any day of the year, we happen to be words people — and we want to be sure that you’re spreading the love to your friend verbally.
1. “I feel like I don’t know enough about what’s happening with your ________________. Can you tell me more?” You can fill in that blank with almost anything: new relationship, job, parents, half marathon training, you name it. While we often understand what’s going on in our friends’ lives on a superficial level, it’s rare that we give each other the floor to talk freely about any one subject at length. Pour your bestie a glass of wine and ask her for a deep dive on something that’s important to her.
2. “You’ve got this!” It’s hard to admit even to our closest pals if we’re struggling with or overwhelmed by something, but it’s often our BFFs that we look to (silently!) for encouragement. Your friend may not share her stress with you openly, so resolve to pay more attention to her cues so you can find opportunities to gently remind her of what a rock star she is.
3. “You’re really great at ______________” or “I really respect you for ________________.” A compliment on your bestie’s new shoes might roll off your tongue easily, and you may toss around “Love ya!”s like confetti, but more specific, meaningful praise comes a lot less naturally for most of us. In the coming year, get a little reflective about your friend’s many admirable qualities — then, actually admire her.
4. “You’ve taught me ______________________.” We all bring a little something special into each other’s lives. Whether your friend has taught you about the value of hard work or has inspired you to make bolder fashion choices, she deserves to know it. Chances are, she doesn’t even realize what her example has meant to you.
5. “Let’s do whatever you want to do tonight.” The trick to saying this effectively is actually meaning it. Don’t use this as a throwaway line simply because you don’t care about the plan or can’t be bothered to make a decision. Instead, choose a night when you might actually have a preference, and then forget it entirely. Let your BFF call the shots and follow her willingly and happily.
6. “I need to be honest with you about something.” Anyone who’s maintained a friendship for years on end knows that this bestie business is more than just sunshine and ice cream cones. Tough conversations are sometimes necessary, and the real test of a relationship is what happens when you get to the other side of them. Resolve to stop avoiding challenging discussions with your BFF. She deserves to know if you’re questioning her new S.O. or if you feel like she’s been disrespecting your friendship recently. That whole theory about honesty being the best policy isn’t just for elementary schoolers.
7. “You’re right.” The tables have turned, and your bestie has come to you with a conversation that makes you both uncomfortable. Instead of getting defensive right off the bat, consider how much of what she’s saying could really be true. Sometimes, a friend can serve as just the mirror you need.
8. “I support whatever you decide.” We obviously don’t recommend saying this unless you really mean it. Don’t support a new relationship if you’re worried that bae is a bad seed, and don’t stand by silently if you see your friend taking on self-destructive tendencies. That being said, we’re willing to bet that you’ll notice your friend doing a lot more things that are worthy of your support if you simply start paying attention. Abandon judgement and affirm your faith in whatever she chooses to do!
9. “I’m sorry.” We could all learn to say this when you actually mean it, to pretty much everyone in our lives. Start with your friends!
10. “I’m really grateful we met.” Best friends can start to feel like family when you’ve known them long enough, but what really separates them from your relatives is the fact that it was really just a matter of luck and circumstances that led you to find each other. Reflect on that for a minute (crazy, right?) and take opportunities whenever you can to share that gratitude with your BFF.
(Photo via Getty)