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
Denise Martin says
I want to thank my two best friends, Judy and Shawn, for knowing and loving the REAL me. I want to thank them for always walking in when the rest of the world walks out on me. I am so thankful to have them in my life.
I really love these reminders. I so agree with you! So many of these are the things that have maintained my friendship with my best friend. I really need to thank her more often. She knows I care, but I don’t say it enough.
Marsha Lee says
A timely reminder for me that I do have some great lifelong friendships I need to pay more attention to. Next time speak with them I will thank them for sticking by my side through thick and thin, and for always picking up the phone when I need a listening ear.
Also, you mentioned one of my most beloved books and authors, The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. And that reminded me to order your book too. Just ordered two – one for me and one for my daughter. 🙂
Thank you for continuing to push my life and relationships in the right direction.
A friend can change our lives and make it more beautiful then we ever imagine it could be. I found one of them, and I thank God for bringing her to me and I love her so much.
Thanks for the wonderful reminders Angel and Marc. You both are very cool and helpful.
Chad Haynes says
You guys are getting so predictable…
Great article after great article after great article… it’s just so expected now. Maybe try disappointing me some time? Ha! 😉
Gratitude goes a long way with friendships.
Everybody wants a happier relationship! These points are excellent reminders. Kudos to you Angel!
Matt Palka says
Thank you so much for your superb work. It is indeed time to say “thank you” to some of my best friends. Like you, I often forget to tell them just how much they mean to me.
God Girl Goth says
Lovely. It is possible to find people like this. If you’re being treated less than this, keep looking and praying for these friends. They are priceless and their presence will forever change your life for the better.
Thank you for always entertaining us with important reminders.
While you are in this train of thought, select one friend and write down all the specific reasons you are thankful for them. Go visit this person and read your letter to them out loud and then give it to them. This experience will have a profound impact on your life and their life.
As a bonus, this is scientifically proven to boost your happiness and can have lingering effects even several months later.
kirsten long says
What a lovely reminder about how important friends are – and thanks to my friends for the simple joy of sharing a happy evening/ weekend together.
I love that my best friends always find the joy and the laughter in any situation… 🙂
This post hit home for me for a different reason. My sister and I have always been the best of friends but recently we have stopped talking. She said some pretty hurtful things and told me she is tired of our relationship being one-sided and that she doesn’t need the negativity in her life. I truly feel that I am a positive person. Truly. Honestly. Deeply. Her saying that has caused me to second guess myself, wondering if what she says is true. Am I not giving her everything a sister and a friend need? Did I do something to deserve this? If I did, I am truly sorry and I told her so. I don’t want to go along without her in my life (I do think this will blow over but the hurt feelings will remain) and it hurts me that she is OK with shutting me out of her life.
#19 made me realize that being a friend doesn’t mean that you must drop everything and everyone in your life to do for this person. It’s OK to say I love you, I’ll be there for you but right now, I have to be there for this other person who also means the world to me. #36 made me realize that being a good friend doesn’t mean that you will never, ever do something/say something that the other person doesn’t agree with/like. It’s OK to step on toes, it’s OK to have different opinions. I hope she knows that deep down, I never intended to hurt her feelings. I have told her this and she refuses to believe that no ill will was intended. I know this has gone on too long and it is very cryptic but it helps to write it out. I am a recent follower of your blog and I love it. I love the ideas you write about and your posts always seem to hit home with me. Thank you!
I have a best friend and we’ve been sisters (in our hearts) for almost 6 yrs. I consider our friendship as one of the greatest blessings I received and will be forever thankful.
Today, I bought her a cellphone holder that matches mine but I’m still contemplating when should I give it to her. Maybe on her birthday or next week? I dunno.
I really like this post. It touched my heart in so many ways. It made me cry but in a good way. 🙂 I realized a lot of things after reading it. I don’t have a lot of friends but I have a dear friend of mine that never fails to make me smile and laugh. And she’s been a good friend to me ever since. I’ve done things for her that expresses how much I’m thankful for her friendship. A friend to me is someone who appreciates you, supports you, cheers you up and inspires you. And also a good listener. When you found someone who accept you just the way you are and still be there through your darkest days. That person is a keeper. One thing I’m thankful for her is that she never stop caring during the times that I withdraw and shut down. She never stop caring and everything that she does reassures me that I am appreciated. In any kind of relationship whether it’s platonic or romantic, it’s important that both of you value each other.
I’ve always liked this one from one of your other blog posts:
“Don’t ever forget your worth. Spend time with those who value you… You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another.”
Such a lovely post and all so true! I guess you almost take your best friend for granted sometimes, I will definitely be saying ‘thank you’ more often now! -Abi 🙂
Thank you for reminding me to thank my best friend for being so amazing. I’m going to write her a thoughtful letter today. 🙂
David Rapp says
Not only is this a great reminder to be thankful and express gratitude for our friends, but a great mirror to look in and ask: “Am I doing these things for my best friends?”
Isaac Berglind says
There are so many things we tend to take for granted in life- thanks for this post. Being successful is of such high importance in this day and age, and sometimes it causes us to look past the other important factors in life. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now without my friends, or have nearly as many joyful moments in my life.
Thank u very much for this. Time to thank my best friends for a few things.
When I read this I thought of my partner not of my best friends, which I guess means he truly is my best friend, which when I think about it I already knew. 🙂
To friends I’ve lost – thank you for the brief time you gave me. And thank you for walking away, to prevent me from fighting to keep you in my life on your terms. And thank you for keeping your needs at the forefront and your need to win every battle always at the ready, so I knew just where I stood. Maybe you just can’t help it; it’s just the way you are. Anyway, some battles can never be won, and there’s no need. #4 #5 #7 #11 #13 #14 #15 and #30 – were in too short supply.
This article reminds me how few people really meet all those qualifications, and that I must be ever more patient, compassionate, selective and resilient – and try very hard to change all those ‘thank you’s’ into ‘I musts:’ talk things out, meet halfway, be compassionate, give my full presence, make the extra effort, not judge, be willing to admit when I’m wrong … learn never to regret growth and change … never regret standing up for myself … and expect and demand every one of these things from the people I choose to love. And I forgive, from far away, those lost friends from the past, with no hope for reconciliation, but enormous hope for new ones in the future.
Abdallah salum massoud says
🙂 Hi, thanks all of you in my life, cause nobody is perfect. Thanks to my best friend especially. Our relationship is awesome and comfortable cause of our love that depends on two people who are understanding and compassionate.
Too often we forget the importance of true friendship. Too often we forget to thanks our friends for what they do for us. Too often we take their friendship for granted. We should instead thank them every possible time.. thank you for reminding us to do so 🙂
I think this is a great post and I’m trying to re-work it as to “how to keep a best friend.” Because you see, I have no best friend. And I don’t understand why. My friendships are very diverse but shallow. No one sticks around. I realize I have to think what my part is on this but it is hard.
I really loved this article so much. One of the best things about all the ‘personal development’ work I have done over the years is learning to develop sincere gratitude for all the things in my life that I take for granted. We can be pretty ungrateful, not because we are horrible people, but because we are just so used to certain things being in our lives. This is particularly true of relationships. I think these were great suggestions. Sometimes I think people want to say some of these things but don’t want to appear ‘mushy.’ Expressing emotion can be difficult sometimes but if we can get over that, our life can be much more enriching.
Sylvia Metos says
After a tough few days, it was so refreshing to be reminded about being thankful to our friends. I recently moved into a new apartment. There’s NO way that I could have done so without a little help (actually a lot) from my friends!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Sebastian Daniels says
Thanks for this list. I put it on bookmarks bar because I think it will be a helpful reminder in the future. I think it is so important to do all of these things for friends because if you don’t continue to put time into a relationship then it dies. Never take things for granted because soon it might all be over.
I have few friends, but the ones I have are very good friends. I try to be thankful and express it often, but I know sometimes I’m not always a good friend back. One friend in particular is such a kind and giving person. I fear losing his friendship because I always seem to be on the receiving end, and I don’t want him to someday feel that I am taking advantage of him. When I try to do something for him, somehow it always backfires, or gets brushed aside. I don’t know what to do. I told him already that I want to do nice things for him too, and his reply is that I do. I don’t know what it is that I do though. When asked, he just says he enjoys my company. It sounds like a strange thing to worry about, but my friendships are very important to me and I have always grieved for any friendship I have lost. Am I sabotaging a good thing?
Richard Phinneas says
I was JUST talking about this today! It must have pointed me to this blog just to read this… I think it is so important to ensure that those who we love the most always know how we feel. Being a man means being tough and not showing how we feel, especially to our best friends, but if we care enough to ask this guy to be our best man, and to trust he’s got my back, then I should be able to trust him with my emotions too. Just because we’re men doesn’t mean we don’t have any, and just because society doesn’t like thinking we’re soft doesn’t mean we can’t take moments to be sure we have shown them we’re grateful they are in our lives.
Angel Chernoff says
@Lonny: I love your “gratitude visit” – such an important reminder. Thank you.
@Shannon: Thank you for sharing a piece of your story with us. Honestly, remember that people do things because of them, not you. Be kind, apologize if you think it makes sense, and then leave it to your friend. If she cares about you, she will come around. Best of luck to you.
@Apple: “In any kind of relationship whether it’s platonic or romantic, it’s important that both of you value each other.” – You got that right! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Glad you resonated with this post.
@David Rapp: As always, a great thought. Thank you.
@Argo: Exactly. As David also suggested, all of these points can be applied to future relationships as well. I like the way you’re thinking.
@kelli: Agreed. Sometimes the things we are scared to tell the people we love end up being our biggest regrets.
@Stan: Based on feedback from your friend, I’d say keep doing what you’re doing – being a kind, sincere friend.
@All: Thank you, as always, for taking a moment to share a thought or two with us. 🙂
I don’t have a friend … must be good.
I don’t have a best friend … must be wonderful.
Appreciate the friends you have .. best or ordinary. Truth is they are all wonderful people.
Peter Townsend says
Thank you, for being silent with me. Sometimes, we need no words to understand us; just a look into your eyes or a slight touch of your hand is enough to give me the feeling, that I’m not alone, that you are here for me, that you will be here for me. Ever!
The Queen of Dreaming says
This is probably the most amazing post I’ve ever read, you made me think, laugh and cry and now the only thing I want to do is jump on a train and go at my best friend holiday house because we argued before her leaving. Thanks for this, really!
deepak mali says
The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Your blog makes me want to be a better person everyday and I just want to say thank you for everything you do for me and for others
I’d like to thank my cousin/bestie because she is always there for me and she cheers me up when I’m down. Thank you bestie! Love Ya