Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” – Helen Keller

My mom used to tell me there is a big difference between acquaintances and true friends. I like to say there is a difference between the people who are good-hangs and our ride or die partners for life.

The ride or dies get us through the tough times and are there to celebrate our best moments. We laugh and we cry, quite frequently at the same time.

When I was a kid, we used to call our very closest pal our BFF, for Best Friend Forever. That was back when we only had one best friend and nobody else could come between the two. Ever! Unless one of you moved away, liked the other’s boyfriend, or decided they needed to upgrade their position within the social hierarchy—all legit reasons.

If, for any reason, our BFF position became available there would be an open enrollment period where other gals could apply for the highly coveted role. Of course, a shadowing period was required before any official announcement could be made regarding the change in status.

Today, we call them besties, implying more than one best friend exists. We have learned best friends change throughout the different phases of our lives, and that there is no reason to limit ourselves to just one.

RELATED: What if I’m Just Not Meant to Have Ride or Die Friends?

This week I took some time to take inventory of my relationships including my best buds. It is important to me that my friends are supportive of me and I support them right back.

Here are some things I like to think about when considering how to be the best, best friend ever.

1. Boost Their Confidence

One very easy thing you can do immediately to help your girlfriends is to boost their confidence. It’s not difficult, and you can do it immediately. Just give your friends some compliments. Both men and women love to hear their hair looks nice, you dig their shoes, or that they are sporting a nice smile.

I don’t wait to be impressed by someone before offering adulation. I go out into the world purposefully intending to find things to compliment others on. It spreads light and joy into the world and in turn surrounds me with gratitude.

Compliments are a shot of dopamine because people are often too busy focusing on the negative in their lives instead of the good things the universe is throwing their way.

Selfishly, if my best friends are filled with joy than I am more apt to get some of that back.

We are our sisters’ keepers. Make sure your friends know you think they are amazing.

RELATED: Friendship is Easy With You

2. Give and Accept Support

There are a couple of ways to offer support. The easiest to check off the “being a good friend” list is to simply listen to their struggles and repeat phrases like, “I know, girl. You should not have to deal with that. That is horrible. I’m so sorry.” It may sound as if I am asking you to be insincere. I am not. Our friends just need us to sit next to them and listen as they unload.

That’s how you treat most of your friends, but for the ride or die levels, we need to step it up a bit. We need to support them by actually doing things to help them out.

A BFF may do any of the following:

  • Pick up her kids when she’s in a bind–even if you are sort of in a bind, too.
  • Go see that movie you aren’t really into just because your bud wants to see it.
  • Meet her at the gym after her workout with some juice or a protein shake.
  • Buy every single thing her kid is selling.
  • Facebook stalk the dude she’s into and get CIA-level deets to make sure she’s safe.

Do not forget to encourage her to accept help, as well. While you are at it, maybe ask for and receive a little help yourself, friend.

3. Share Ideas For Managing Stress

Has your best friend ever turned into a manic lunatic making random accusations against her daughter’s school friends? Are you sometimes unsure if either she has not slept in a couple of days or if her drinking is more serious than you thought?

Best friend code says you let it go for a week or so but then step in if she is unable to get herself together.

Take your girlfriends to yoga, meditation, or a kickboxing class. How about walking the trail or going to one of those trampoline courts that are supposedly for kids? They are so much fun. Take a kid or two with you, then ditch them and have a good time with your gal pals.

There are so many healthy outlets and ways to deal with stress. Close friends can see when we need to let off some steam before we can.

RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it

4. Get Honest

Having someone who can be flat-out honest with me is monumental. It means the world for somebody to tell me like it is even when they know I’ll be annoyed.

Once one of my guy friends told me I had to “trim a couple.” That did not sit well. I am certainly not endorsing that type of candor. We are women, and we all know where the lines are, right?

Call each other out when you see things straying off course. A more realistic example is, “Hey. Why are you being so mean right now? What is going on?” BFFs understand our pals are just trying to ensure we are being the best versions of ourselves.

5. Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

Be there to encourage your friends throughout all their endeavors. Whether they are risking it all and swinging for the bleachers on a new business venture or trying to lay off the vino for a minute. Make sure they know you are right beside them and are proud of the work they are doing and the choices they are making.

Having a no-wine Monday? OK, me too.

Perhaps you have noticed they need to loosen up a bit. Go dancing. It’s Prince night at the clubdrag their butt out and have some fun together. Bring the rest of the crew and whoop it up. Think out of the box and get out of your comfort zone. Together.

I believe it is very important for us to continually push past our fears toward personal growth. This includes how we have fun. It brings a greater sense of purpose, lowered cortisol levels, better immune function, and more efficient sleep.

RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

6. Practice Acceptance

Finally, I would like to discuss acceptance. I know it sometimes feels like you and your bestie share the same brain, but the truth is no two people on this planet are the same. We all think and react differently so it is crucial to have your friendship exist inside a judgment-free friendzone.

Be accepting of your friends and be open and willing to hear what they have to say about their choices and beliefs. Even if we do not agree with everything. When we listen without prejudice we are able to learn new ways of looking at our own beliefs while gaining clarity and conviction.

Previously published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Brooke Collins

Brooke Collins is a professionally-trained Wellness Coach living in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Her passion is working with women who are overwhelmed and helping them get clear on their priorities by making them accountable. This holistic approach allows her to target the mind, body, and spirit so they are in-sync and able to become the best version of themselves.

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

When You Need a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends having coffee

We have all seen them—the posts about the door always open, the coffee always on, telling us someone is always there when we need support. I have lived with depression my entire life. From being a nervous child with a couple of ticks to a middle-aged woman with recurrent major depressive and generalized Anxiety disorder diagnoses. Antidepressants, therapy, writing, and friends are my treatments. The first three are easy, my doctor prescribes antidepressants, I make appointments with a therapist, and I write when I feel the need. RELATED: Happy People Can Be Depressed, Too The fourth is hard. As I...

Keep Reading

Give Me Friends to Do Everyday Life With

In: Friendship
Two women at a sporting stadium, color photo

She sees me coming. A small wave from her house window and a silent invitation to come on over for our morning coffee. An unsaid invitation to connect with someone who gets the joys and challenges of being a mother. A quick, small, and valued break from life and stress and my house messes has become the perfect way to start the morning. A neighbor who has become a dear friend. Prior to this encounter, alarm clocks were ringing, breakfast was made, backpacks were packed, and shoes were missing. School mornings are rough. Motherhood is rough. The world around us...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendship Is Tested

In: Friendship
Two women friends hugging

Sometimes our own experiences can be hard on our friends, especially when those experiences have to do with fertility and pregnancy. My friend and I met when our children were six months old at a mom’s group Christmas party. She was the only other mom there without a partner, her husband having refused to attend in favor of playing video games in the silence of an empty home just like mine. Her son was a day younger than my daughter. Although she was almost 10 years older than me, we became fast friends, bonding over the loneliness that is staying...

Keep Reading

Give Me Friends Who Aren’t Keeping Up with the Joneses

In: Friendship, Living
Woman standing outside, color photo

Following trends is nothing new. Long before Kitsch curls and Lululemon belt bags, there were perms and, well, the original fanny packs. There’s been a constant, circulating rotation of must-buys for us to feel cool or relevant. And we women have been especially pressured to think we need these things to be accepted and part of the elusive village. Keeping up with the Joneses (or Kardashians for that matter) has just never been my thing. There are plenty of reasons why I’ll never be called a trendy girl: I can’t afford to be one. I lack the stylish eye required....

Keep Reading

Lifelong Friends Are Golden

In: Friendship, Living
Smiling group of women friends

They know all your secrets. They can name your old elementary and high school crushes, your most embarrassing moments, your biggest regrets. They know the one you love and the ones that got away. They celebrate your greatest achievements and empathize with your wish-you-could-do-overs. You don’t have to be wordy in texts, phone calls, or conversations—you get one another. Weeks, months, and sometimes even years may pass, and you pick up right where you left off. Laughter with your crew is like none other—unrefined, unrestrained, childhood bliss relived. RELATED: Good, Long Distance Friendship is Hard But So Worth it You’ve...

Keep Reading

Thank You for Being a Friend Who Grieves Beside Me

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends with arms around each other photographed from behind

My loss has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure, and I honestly don’t know if I would be here without you and your love and support. To cry with you and to you. To sit with you in silence or filled with so many words. To feel you holding me literally and emotionally with your gentle and loving arms. RELATED: I’m the Friend With the Dead Mom To understand and witness that my loss is a loss to you too, and to feel that importance of my friendship and life to you. To randomly break...

Keep Reading

As Our Children Get Older, Friends with Young Kids Are Such a Beautiful Gift

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Woman with two young girls, color photo

When I walk into our neighborhood pool these days, I’m often greeted by a small, usually wet, 4-year-old. Her face lights up and she runs toward me, wrapping her arms around my legs, and looking up at me from behind turquoise goggles. We bonded a few months ago when I decorated her wrist with an assortment of rainbow-colored, rubber bracelets and filled her a plate of marshmallows and strawberries. Now she draws pictures for me, jumps to me in the shallow end, and runs toward me if she spots me somewhere.   Sometimes her mom, who is a dear friend...

Keep Reading

Friend, It’s Okay to Say No

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Woman holding coffee cup sitting by window and relaxing

Last week I hosted a sleepover birthday party for six girls. Six 5-year-olds descended on our house, invited by me in a weak moment of expansiveness and generosity to my 5-year-old’s birthday wishes. I fed them pizza and ice cream cake. They demanded candy. They staged a disco party. They stayed awake past midnight. Almost everyone cried at some point. The next morning—after serving six waffles with whipped cream, not with butter, why don’t you have strawberries?—I felt exhausted and annoyed at myself for taking this on. It was unequivocally a terrible idea. I should’ve known it was too much....

Keep Reading

“Wear It Anyway, You Never Know When You’ll Get Another Chance.”

In: Cancer, Friendship, Living
Two women holding up dresses, color photo

“It’s way too fancy,” I told my husband. “I’d be overdressed.” My new outfit was a beauty—white and lacy, perfect for a summer cocktail party, but too much for a school function on a Tuesday evening. In the back of my head, though, I heard my friend’s voice. Wear it anyway. You never know when you’ll get another chance. The last time I saw Shalean, I was bloated from chemo drugs, and both of us wondered if it would be the last time we’d see each other. My prognosis was bad: triple negative breast cancer, already spread to my lymph...

Keep Reading