I don’t need a certain number of friends,
just a number of friends I can be certain of.
Some of my best friends are family, some I’ve known since I was a kid, and others are newer friendships that continue to grow stronger by the day. Although they are all very different, every one of them is extraordinary. I wouldn’t be who I am today without these people in my life. And despite the fact that I know this, I often take my best friends for granted. I forget to thank them, for almost everything. So here’s my attempt at setting the record straight:
- “Thank you for making so many ordinary moments, extraordinary.” – Yes, sometimes the most ordinary things can be made extraordinary, just by doing them with the right people.
- “Thank you for always giving me the extra push I need.” – A best friend is someone who will inspire you to be who you always knew you could be. Keep this in mind. Anyone who helps you make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through kindness, commitment and teamwork, is a keeper.
- “Thank you for telling me the truth.” – Remember, being honest might not always get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones. Too many of us prefer gentle lies to hard truths. But make no mistake, in the end it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. Best friends tell each other the truth, always.
- “Thank you for talking things out with me.” – Lots of problems in the world would disappear if we talked to each other instead of about each other. So always communicate clearly with those closest to you, even when it’s uncomfortable and uneasy.
- “Thank you for meeting me halfway.” – Best friends ultimately meet in the middle. When there’s a disagreement, they work out a solution that works for both parties – a compromise, rather than a need for the other person to change or completely give in.
- “Thank you for not getting in the way of the other important parts of my life.” – A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your happiness, your other important relationships, your dreams, or your dignity.
- “Thank you for being compassionate.” – Let their kindness and compassion remind you to pay it forward. Always give those around you the “break” that you hope the world will give you on your own “bad day” and you will never, ever regret it.
- “Thank you for thinking of me as often as you do.” – Make little gestures daily to show your best friends you care. Knowing that a person you often think of has you on their mind too means a lot.
- “Thank you for the compliments.” – It’s nice to be complimented, isn’t it? Do not miss a chance – not one single, tiny opportunity – to tell someone you care about how wonderful they are and how beautiful they are, inside and out.
- “Thank you for making time for me.” – When you are important to another person, they will always find a way to make time for you – no excuses, no lies, and no broken promises.
- “Thank you for your full presence.” – The best gift you can give someone you care about is the purity of your full attention. That’s what best friends do for each other every time they’re together. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
- “Thank you for knowing when something is wrong with me.” – An incredible thing happens when we pay close attention to each other. We help each other heal, sometimes before we even hurt. A person who truly knows and loves you – a best friend – is someone who sees the pain in your eyes while everyone else still believes the smile on your face.
- “Thank you for making the extra effort to understand me.” – It’s much easier to judge people than it is to understand them; understanding takes extra kindness and patience. And this “extra” is always worth it.
- “Thank you for not acting, judging, or treating me like you know me better than I know myself.” – Nuff said.
- “Thank you for being willing to be wrong.” – Sometimes we must choose to be wrong, not because we really are wrong, but because we value our relationship more than our pride.
- “Thank you for supporting my decisions.” – Don’t listen to those who tell you exactly what to do. Listen to those special few who encourage you to do what you already know in your heart is right.
- “Thank you for being loyal, even when we are apart.” – Best friends don’t grow apart, even when they are apart.
- “Thank you for being there through good times and bad.” – The people who stick by you at your worst, deserve to enjoy being with you at your best. In fact, the best thing about the toughest days of your life is that you get to see who your true friends really are. The people truly worthy of “best friend” status are the ones that help you through hard times, and laugh with you after the hard times pass. (Read The Friendship Factor.)
- “Thank you for knowing that I can’t always be strong.” – Sometimes we must let a friend down because we can’t hold them up. But “I can’t carry you” doesn’t mean, “I don’t love you.” It may simply mean, “I’m struggling too.”
- “Thank you for facing problems with me.” – Best friends are those who make your problems their problems too, just so you don’t have to go through them alone. Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look for someone who will face them with you.
- “Thank you for going out of your way for me, even when it’s not convenient.” – You never want to waste your time with someone who only wants you around when it’s convenient for them. Because that’s not what true friendship is all about.
- “Thank you for actually wanting to be there for me.” – True friendship is never burdened with stressful promises and obligations. What best friends do for each other should be done because they care and because they want to do them. Period.
- “Thank you for walking the talk.” – When we characterize people by their actions, we are never fooled by their words. Best friends don’t just talk the talk, they walk it out.
- “Thank you for believing in me.” – It’s amazing how far you are willing to go when someone believes in you.
- “Thank you for encouraging me when I stumble.” – Return the favor when you’re able too. We have enough critics. Be an encourager. One sincere word of encouragement after failure is worth more than a day of praise after success. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone special. Take time to care. Let your words heal, and not wound.
- “Thank you for using caring words.” – You can measure the happiness of any close relationship by the number of scars that each member carries on their tongues and inner cheeks, formed over many years of biting back angry and insensitive words.
- “Thank you for accepting me just the way I am.” – A best friend is someone who truly knows you, and loves you just the same. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
- “Thank you for making me feel comfortable in my skin.” – This is such an important reminder. Be the type of person who makes everyone you come across feel perfectly OK and comfortable with being exactly who they are. (Marc and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- “Thank you for simply enjoying my company.” – Lots of relationships fail because we spend more time pointing out each other’s mistakes and not enough time enjoying each other’s company.
- “Thank you for valuing my time.” – Anyone who is best friend material will value your time. Period. Never waste your time on someone who doesn’t value it.
- “Thank you for showing me that you are grateful to have me in your life.” – Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.
- “Thank you for supporting me in making myself a priority.” – Remember, putting yourself first does not mean being “selfish” – it means being self-aware. It means not forgetting to love yourself, too.
- “Thank you for sincerely loving me.” – Nothing changes the world for the better like one person deciding to love another, no matter what. Today, invest your love in someone special, and thank those special friends who invest their love in you.
- “Thank you for helping me love myself more too.” – What you give to another person is really what you give to yourself. When you treat people you care about with love, you learn that you’re lovable too.
- “Thank you for all the little things you do that make a big difference.” – Pay attention to the little things, because when you really miss someone, you miss the little things the most, like just laughing together.
- “Thank you for being patient and forgiving when I step on your toes.” – No matter how honest and kind you try to be, you will occasionally step on the toes of the people closest to you. And this is precisely why patience and forgiveness are so vital. Patience is the ability to let your light shine on those you love, even after your fuse has blown. And forgiveness is knowing deep down that they didn’t mean to blow your fuse in the first place.
- “Thank you for not holding my unchangeable past against me.” – Sometimes happiness in relationships amounts to making peace with something that can’t be fixed. Sometimes you let it go, and sometimes you hold it broken. It amounts to forgiveness in any case.
- “Thank you for not expecting our relationship to always be easy.” – Healthy relationships don’t just happen; they take time, patience and two people who truly want to work together to create something meaningful and lasting.
- “Thank you for giving me the solitude and space I need.” – Remember, it’s healthy to spend time alone sometimes. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.
- “And most of all, thank you for being YOU.”
What would you add to the list? What do you want to thank your best friends for? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Photo by: Chiara Vitellozzi