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15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

15 Signs To Show You Have Found Your BFF

With age, your BFF becomes your most trusted and treasured friend. You not only appreciate each others similarities, but also each others differences. You know way too much about each other but love each other even more, and time has done nothing to put a dampener on your friendship; you’re both just as crazy, as silly and have just as much fun as ever. You don’t know what your life would be without them. From lost loves to lost jobs, you’re there for each other, and nothing or no one will taint that wonderful bond!

So here’s to BFF’s, and here’s to what makes you guys so great!

1.  You don’t have to be perfect

You're Perfect

    The best friend who takes you as you are, no questions asked, is the greatest! You don’t have to have everything together, or even know where you’re going to nab that first class buddy. They respect your journey, whatever that may be, and will happily travel alongside you. Travel companion for life!

    2.  You don’t have to walk on eggshells

    Overreaction

      Respecting your friend and being considerate of their feelings shows great love and care, but if you’re always having to tread carefully, afraid of their [over]reaction, or mind what you say lest you anger the beast, then you won’t be able to build anything real. Not only is this boring, but means you can’t be honest with each other and that’s a sure fire way to lead to a superficial friendship.

      3.   You don’t have to be identical

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      Differences and Similarities

        You don’t have to always agree or you may not always see eye to eye, but that’s actually a great thing. You love each other’s differences just as much as your similarities! Plus it’s the differences that keep things fun and interesting.

        4.  You have each others back

        Got your back

          When someone has wronged your bestie in any way, you’re right there, prepared to kick-ass! You know how great your best friend is so are prepared to take down anyone who fails to treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Not to worry, they’re sure to see the light soon! And when all has been, ahem… taken care of, you’re right there to comfort your friend and remind them how wonderful they are!

          5.  You lift each other up

          You Lift Me Up

            The beauty of a true friendship is that no matter what is going on in each others life, no one feels superior to, or better than, the other. Instead you go out of your way to lift each other up. Thinking you’re better or superior to your friend is a sure way to kill any friendship. Regardless of what is going on in their life, they are still the awesome person you met all those many moons ago.

            6.  You can laugh about things

            Laughing

              One of the best ingredients for a long-lasting friendship is laughter. Not only will it help to keep both of you young, but it works to unite you over things that would’ve otherwise broken you. Being able to laugh off things shows you don’t take yourselves too seriously, you’re relaxed and comfortable in each others company, and are able to enjoy and deal with the downright craziness in this topsy-turvy world; all while sporting Cheshire cat grins!

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              7.  You become stronger during adversity

              Here for you

                When the load gets too heavy for you to carry, your BFF is right there! Through the good, bad and downright unfair, they are there for you! There’s no greater test of friendship than when someone is faced with unfortunate circumstances, or events that are complete back breakers. However, coming out of anything tough, with your best friend at your side, you guys will be unbreakable!

                8. Your family loves them

                Family

                  They are practically part of the family! Your siblings treat them like one of their own, and you’re almost certain that your parents like them better than you! But that’s okay with you. You wouldn’t change that bond for the world. Especially since your family pretty much hates everyone else!

                  9. You get each others weirdness

                  Weirdness

                    You both do weird-weird so well, it’s the norm for you. Others don’t seem to get you, and people are just freaked out by how weird you both are, that you often have to suppress the weirdness. But when you two get together, it’s all good! There, in your safe and weird environment you two get it all out. And you know what, being weird has never felt so awesome!

                    10. You know when something’s up

                    Something's Up

                      You’re best friend has gotten quite good at telling when you’re all out of sorts. It’s almost scary! They’ve sussed it out, and all the lying and covering up in the world does nothing to hide the reality that you aren’t yourself. So quit faking!

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                      11. You are genuinely happy for each other

                      Happy

                        You are each others biggest fan, and the ultimate cheerleaders when something amazing happens for either of you. You’re right there celebrating when they succeed, and they’re proudly telling others of your achievements and successes. Simply put, you’ve got being happy for one another down to a fine art.

                        12. They push you to be more, and to be better

                        Believe

                          They’re like a personal trainer: they want the best from you and believe you can do it! They’ll urge you on, push and pull you to be the best version of you they know you can be. Their belief in you is infectious. How can you not believe in yourself the way they do?

                          13. You are comfortable with silence

                          Comfortable Silence

                            You can be with each other in total silence and be having the time of your lives. To everyone else, you may look as though you’ve had some kind of falling out, but you both know it’s just because you’re so comfortable around each other, you have no need to fill otherwise uncomfortable silences with noise. Plus, this a great episode so…

                            14. Your lips are sealed

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                            Sealed

                              You know you can trust your BFF with anything, and it will go no further. They are a volt when it comes to those things you’ve shared with them, and you, too, are a safe haven for their… unmentionables. No amount of prying, prodding or trickery will get you to reveal the things you two talk about in confidence, so everyone might as well just stop asking.

                              15. You make time for each other

                              Getting Together

                                Work, studies and family commitments are just some of the things that take away from time spent with your BFF, but you try and make it a point to schedule some time to see each other as much as possible. Sure, you may talk daily, even for a few minutes, just so you can catch up, but when you do get together, it’s simply the best! You talk and laugh for hours, getting silly and reminiscing about the good times, whilst having the time of your lives.

                                And when you part, you’re reminded why they are, your BFF!

                                Featured photo credit: Grace and Frankie/Melissa Moseley for Netflix via blogs.indiewire.com

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                                Patricia C. Osei-Oppong

                                Writer, Poet, Marketer

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                                Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                                How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                                How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                                Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

                                In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                                Step right up, don’t be shy!

                                Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

                                The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

                                Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

                                Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
                                So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

                                A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

                                Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

                                Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

                                When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

                                Culturally Conditioned

                                We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

                                I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

                                The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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                                Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

                                Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

                                Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

                                1. Broadens Your Network

                                After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

                                2. Improves Your Communication Skills

                                I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

                                Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

                                3. Continually Learning

                                So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

                                Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

                                4. Increases Self Confidence

                                Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

                                Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

                                So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

                                How to Talk to Strangers

                                Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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                                1. Say Hello

                                Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

                                Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

                                Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

                                2. Ask About Them

                                Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

                                You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

                                As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

                                3. Just Do It

                                One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

                                When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

                                Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

                                4. Don’t Take It Personal

                                One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

                                When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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                                5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

                                I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

                                One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

                                6. Detach

                                A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

                                Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

                                7. Share Your Stories

                                Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

                                To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

                                So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

                                8. Give a Compliment

                                Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

                                When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

                                9. Relax Your Body Language

                                If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

                                When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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                                If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

                                10. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

                                Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

                                After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

                                The Bottom Line

                                As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

                                There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

                                Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

                                Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

                                More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

                                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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