Why I Don’t Use The Term “Best Friend”

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Hey everyone!

Hope you’re all getting over your beginning of the week blues.

Yesterday felt so productive! I was running around nonstop since 7AM!

I also watched a webinar by Melyssa Griffin on how to up your Pinterest game as a blogger. It was SO eye-opening and it has me thinking much deeper on different aspects of my blog now, which is good and scary at the same time actually.

I’ll get over it though.

I’ve really been trying to figure out a good morning routine for myself and so far things are getting ironed out on their own. Sometimes it’s hard though because I feel like I’m literally building my own routine from the ground up.

I’m not in school, I don’t work (aside from my blog which, let me tell ya, can EASILY be a full time job) and so it’s hard to make a routine because it feels like I’m making a routine out of thin air.

I’ll share my morning routine once I finally pin it all down. My goal right now is to wake up at 6AM… We’re not there yet.

Any tips?? It’d be much apreesh.

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Today I’m talking about the use of the term “best friend” and why it’s pretty much never been my thing at all.

Now before I start, don’t read this and think that I don’t think people should have best friends. I think many people have besties and it works for them and they handle life just fine and we all go our merry ways.

This post is ONLY talking about MY experience with friendships. That’s it. I’m not bashing the world of friendships. Just saying.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a couple months now because I know some people who have best friends and when they say the words “best friend” often enough in front of me to describe other people in their lives, it makes me think long and hard about it.

Why? I’ll try to explain.

I had friends growing up, even though I was a total indoor cat, but I didn’t keep those friends throughout my academic life. It’s a bit of a downer, not keeping your friends your whole life like other people I know who still talk to friends from ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. [I have ONE friend I still talk to from elementary but she also lives in London ): ]

By the time I reached college age, I had fallen out of so many friend groups throughout the years that I just gave up and decided that many strong, strong friendships in my life aren’t going to last. Sad. I know.

Ironically, once I decided this, I had no problem holding on to the friends I made in college. Many fell away from me, yes, but most of them I keep in touch with to this day. It’s great!

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Now… I’ll explain why I don’t like the term “best friend” in two parts.

THE IMPACT OF THE WORDS THEMSELVES

Perhaps you’ve been in this scenario:

Let’s imagine you’re with a friend, a friend you consider a good friend, and this friend starts talking about another friend they have, and they say, “Yeah my best friend is in town this weekend.” or “One of my best friends met up with me the other day.” or something of the sort.

The first natural thought I have in response to this is: “This person has a friendship ‘rank’ or ‘hierarchy’ in their mind
so where am I placed?”

I think it’s natural to wonder where you fit in to someone else’s hierarchy of friends if they’re speaking of it this way to you.

I don’t like saying “best friend” because I wouldn’t want to put the person I’m talking to in a position where they’re asking themselves where they fit into my social life and whether or not they’re playing a special part.

I also just don’t rank my friends. It just seems like a difficult task.

Maybe that’s weird. I’m just being honest.

 

THE EXPECTATIONS

I’m not a person who likes to place high expectations on my friends, and that’s because any time I HAVE done so, I ended up disappointed in some way, which is fine, but I also embodied the problem and took it as a personal hit.

Not good.

Putting a person in the highest rank of your friendship pyramid is somewhat putting an expectation on them to perform at a high standard, no? If not, then that’s great that you can balance it. I absolutely cannot.

But here’s the thing that works for me, if none of my friends are being labeled as my best friend, there’s no expectation in place at all. Then I get to spare myself a LOT of grief, not that I won’t be disappointed still, but it’ll feel like less of a personal slap to the face.

But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 23 years of life so far, it’s this:

People WILL disappoint you. And that’s completely OKAY.

Yes. You read that right. Many people in your life, at some point or another, are going to do things that disappoint you. Depending on what they do, you can react accordingly, which also depends on how strong the bond is that you’ve cultivated and developed with that person.

I have a handful of people in my life whom I consider my really, really good friends. These are friends who I can talk to about pretty much anything. They will drop EVERYTHING to talk through stuff with me if I’m having issues. And I would do the same for them! It’s a really amazing thing!

However, that doesn’t mean they’re not human, and human beings aren’t perfect. They make blunders (fave word of the year). And the blunders are disappointing.

And I make blunders too! We all do!

Sometimes I’ll have good friends who I don’t talk to for a while. I might even shoot them a text here and there and they won’t respond. But without the responsibility of being labeled as my “best friend”, you can not talk to me for 5 years and I’ll still welcome you back into my life when you decide to come back.

The ONE crucial thing I truly look for when determining who in my life is a good friend is

RESPECT

If you don’t respect me, and we don’t share that mutual respect for each other, I’m out. What’s the point in spending time with someone if they don’t respect who you are or the things you stand for?

In all honesty, I just get turned off by friends who don’t respect my feelings, or values, or the way I run my show.

I’m not saying anyone has to AGREE with it all, they just have to RESPECT you.

There’s a difference, trust.

There’s way less drama in my life with this mindset in place. Because it’s simple, if someone disrespects me, and that mutual respect we had is broken, then I cut the whole thing off like an arm with leprosy.

That’s it. No drama.

And then if/when that mutual respect can be restored later, I hop back on the friendship train with that person.

Simple. As. That.

Real talk though, life is just too short for drama.

It’s much better to just flow smoothly through life and have good friends. Hang around good vibes. If someone floats out of your life, let them. If they want to float back in, don’t have any expectations and life will be smooth sailing.


What do you think about having best friends and the concept of calling someone a BFF? Like it? Don’t?
I’d like to know what you all think!


I’m off to go reconstruct my entire Pinterest page rn.

Wish me massive luck.

See ya!

XX Gitana

  • Great post, G! Let me just say, you are totally wise beyond your years! I totally agree that the title adds some sort of unneeded hierarchy (& have felt hurt around other people when they referred to others as their “best” friend). That said, I do consider Erik my best friend, and in a sense, that hierarchy does play since he is my number 1, and NO ONE will ever come before him. You are 100% correct that respect is the utmost important quality and it MUST be reciprocated. No matter what. That is the most important piece of the foundation of any friendship or relationship.

    Good luck with the Pinterest boards – I’ll give it a stalk

    PS – if you need some inspo for your morning routine, here you go 😉

    xx Shannon

    • Gitana Deneff

      Thanks for reading my post and for all your support!
      And I totes understand putting Erik in the hierarchy. It just makes sense!
      I LOVE American Psycho. Please tell me you’ve read the book!
      And yes yes yes. Respect is #1.
      xx Gitana

  • Deanna

    Hey Gitana,
    I think we’ve actually spoken about this before. I have only had one best friend in my life. We never broke up or ended the relationship. I love her, truly and completely. I miss her. She lives only an hour from me and I think if I tried I could rebuild the relationship, but it’s too painful. She was my best friend. You are right, there are expectations. I don’t think she can ever be my best friend again, and that relationship we tried to fight for, is now solely reflected in her and I liking each other’s pics on Instagram. It’s sad, but I think the relationship we can offer each other is not one of besties and it makes me not want to pursue a general friendship. I miss her, but I don’t think I’ll ever have her the way we were again. I understand the bond and now never want to build any friendship where I expect too much. I also do not use the word anymore and agree with you!

    • Gitana Deneff

      Hey Deanna! Thanks for reading this. And I’m really sorry to hear about that. :/
      Part of why I wanted to write this is because I think that at one point in my life, I used to WANT a best friend SOOO BAD and it was hard for me to make friends let alone hold on to them because they would do something disrespectful and I wouldn’t be able to be friends with them again. So I just gave up on the whole idea.
      And then the idea of ranking friends or having that ONE friend you spend a majority of your time with just didn’t appeal to me. So I just don’t use the word at all. I feel like it’s condescending to whoever I’m speaking with who isn’t that “best friend”, whether that’s my intention or not, you know?
      And yeah, having to much expectations over people just builds more stress in my life and I just can’t have that.
      I hope everything is going well! :*

      xx Gitana

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