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15 Traits Of A High-Quality Best Friend

15 Traits Of A High-Quality Best Friend

Friends – how many of us have them? I have a lot of contacts in my phone, but there are only a small handful of people I consider my friends. They’re the ones that stuck with me as I transitioned from corporate shill to antihero, the ones who picked up the phone when I lost everything and desperately grasped for normalcy. I don’t call anyone my bff unless they meet these criteria.

1. A best friend listens to you.

ron harry hermione bff lifehack versability
    …so I said, “Rectum? Damn near killed him!!!”

    It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve said the same asinine thing – a true best friend never tires of hearing your ridiculous stories. Your best friend is one who listens to your work gossip, even if he or she doesn’t understand it.

    2. A best friend always has your back.

    Lethal Weapon lifehack versability
      Stop, or my mom will shoot…

      Some people act friendly to you, but when the chips are down, they turn their back. A high-quality best friend is always there. If you walk into a Hell’s Angels clubhouse to explain motorcycles are for pussies, your best friend is waiting outside with the engine running.

      3. A best friend accepts you at your worst.

      ren stimpy lifehack versability
        It’s log – log. It’s big. It’s heavy. It’s wood. Log. Log. Better than bad; it’s good…

        Ever wonder if your friends are real? You’ll find out when you do something bad. Fake friends can’t deal with your vices, addictions or bad decisions. A real best friend loves you when you’re in the gutter with your middle finger in the air.

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        4. A best friend loves you.

        JD Turk lifehack versability
          I love you like a fat kid loves cake…

          I have to admit, I have a few bromances – they’re those guys I hug a little longer, make an uncomfortable amount of eye contact with at parties, and have licked for a variety of reasons. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for these people because they’re high-quality best friends.

          5. A best friend can talk about personal things.

          sheldon leonard friends lifehack
            Some secret handshakes are complicated; some are simplistic…

            The most substantial and sincere friendships you have are with people you can talk openly with about all your personal business. High-quality best friends can take a conversation from breakfast to work to your diarrhea without batting an eye.

            6. A best friend knows how to make you smile.

            will carlton bff lifehack versability
              It is unusual to see black folk living in such expensive digs…

              We all have certain triggers that make us smile or laugh. Friends have inside jokes – best friends reference those shared moments anytime you’re down to make sure you have a smile on your face.

              7. A best friend gives an honest opinion.

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              Tina Amy Lifehack Versability
                CAT FIGHT!!! 

                Any stranger can be polite – as a decent human being, you should be polite to people as a default setting. What makes a high-quality best friend is their authentic voice. They’ll tell you when you look a hot mess instead of smiling to your face and telling everyone else.

                8. A best friend sticks by your side.

                stan kyle bff lifehack versability
                  It’s a new world, Charlie Brown…

                  You’ll go through some crazy things in life. I’ve found people start to avoid you when you become too much of an inconvenience. Anyone who’s ever been through a major medical condition can tell you acquaintances sign a card, friends visit you in the hospital, and best friends sit with you while you sleep.

                  9. A best friend helps you even when he or she doesn’t agree.

                  Jay Silent Bob Lifehack Versability
                    Ride the pony, Bob…Ride it all night long…

                    Whistleblowing taught me a lot about relationships. A lot of my friends and family didn’t agree with my decision to butt heads with the man, especially in such a public manner. My high-quality best friends were the ones who accepted me and my life decisions, whether they agreed or not.

                    10. A best friend encourages you.

                    troy abed bff lifehack versability
                      Say it with your chest…

                      We have those people in our lives who want to outdo, outshine or down us. It’s OK to be competitive, but people who don’t have your best interests at heart aren’t your friends. An actual best friend encourages you in your endeavors.

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                      11. A best friend knows your secrets.

                      Cheech Chong BFF Versability Lifehack
                        I’ve seen bigger…

                        Co-workers, classmates and clients all have their places in our lives. We share time, space and experiences with these people. Your actual friends have been there when you’ve done things you don’t necessarily broadcast to the public. A solid best friend knows all your dirty little secrets, and keeps them that way.

                        12. A best friend traverses time and space.

                        bill ted lifehack versability

                          My president is black…soon Keanu Reeves will be in charge…

                          I spent the last week crashing on the couch of one of my high-quality best friends. We hadn’t seen each other in three years and talked maybe two or three times in that period. There are a lot of reasons for the original distance, and when I showed up on her doorstep, none of those reasons mattered; we hung out as though it was just yesterday we last saw each other.

                          13. A best friend is dependable.

                          Bert Ernie Lifehack Versabiliy
                            Bert…are we…more than just friends?

                            A high-quality best friend is one you can count on. My best friends know what they can expect from me, and I know what I can expect from them. We don’t cross each other’s boundaries, and we go out of our way to accommodate each other.

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                            14. A best friend never judges you.

                            Farley Spade Lifehack Versability
                              We lost the wrong one…

                              Everyone hates being judged when it’s bad, but we all judge people. A high-quality best friend already judged you a long time ago when you met, so they have no need to do it ever again.

                              15. A best friend celebrates your success.

                              Matt Damon Ben Affleck Friends Lifehack Versability

                                Sometimes I’m the Robin – sometimes Ben is…

                                One of these days, you’re going to succeed at something in life – that’s when the haters come out the woodworks. Some people you thought were your friends turn out not to be. Your high-quality best friends are the ones who celebrate with you, rather than let their envy get the best of them.

                                A friend bails you out of jail, but a best friend is in the cell next to you. Quality always comes before quantity, and in order to find quality best friends, you need to be a high-quality best friend yourself. Be the change you wish to see in the world, and go make quality friends.

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                                Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                                You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                                This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                                According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                                Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                                There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                                How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                                When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                                Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                                1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                                One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                                The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                                Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                                2. Be Honest

                                A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                                If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                                On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                                Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                                3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                                Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                                If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                                4. Succeed at Something

                                When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                                Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                                5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                                Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                                Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                                If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                                If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                                Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                                6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                                Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                                You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                                On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                                You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                                7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                                Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                                Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                                Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                                When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                                Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                                In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                                Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                                It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                                Final Thoughts

                                When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                                The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                                Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                                Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                                Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                                More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                                Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                                [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                                [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                                [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                                [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                                [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                                [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                                [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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