Advertising
Advertising

20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Been Best Friends For A Decade Would Understand

20 Amazing Things Only People Who Have Been Best Friends For A Decade Would Understand

Several years ago, I brought the guy I was dating with me to my oldest friend’s wedding. The fact that he was more nervous about meeting her than he was about meeting my straight-laced, Italian Catholic parents speaks volumes about the depth of our friendship. After eight hours of traveling, several cups of bad airport coffee, and four packets of Biscoff cookies, my friend and I launched ourselves at each other and, foregoing formal greetings, we started talking. We didn’t stop until she and her fiancé left us at the door to our hotel room. Once inside, my boyfriend dropped his bags, turned to me, and said, “I have absolutely no idea what just happened. Can you translate?” Anyone who’s had the privilege of nurturing a friendship for more than a decade has probably enacted a scene like the one I just described and can relate to the fact that no one around you can understand the language you’re speaking because nearly every sentence you utter begins with some variation of the phrase “Do you remember that time when…?” You’ve laughed together, cried together, eaten approximately 10 million pounds of pizza, ice-cream, and Oreos together, and you’ve probably known each other since you were running around the lawn with no clothes on. Here are twenty amazing things only people who’ve been friends for at least a decade can understand.

1. You’ve developed a complex secret language

Whether code names for your sixth grade crush or naming your least favorite teachers after unlikable characters in the Harry Potter series so as to discuss them in comfortable anonymity, the ludicrous lexicon you’ve perfected for communicating with each other leaves people around you shaking their heads in bafflement. While such secret signaling lends itself well to strengthening the bonds of friendship, half the time you just want to make sure no one discovers your plot to achieve world domination. Because you were always going to conquer the world…if you could just pass Algebra.

2. You call one another’s parents Mom and Dad

This is inevitable given that you’re still trying to work out whether or not you were separated at birth and you grew up spending so many weekends at each other’s houses that you still have a spare toothbrush in the guest bathroom and a pair of Power Rangers boxers from 1995 that you’ve been meaning to remember to take home.

3. You see nothing wrong with standing in the bathroom doorway to carry on a chat while the other of you is having a pee

This is particularly true of long-time female friends.No one knows why, but somehow dissecting your latest awkward sexual encounter over bodily functions just doesn’t feel like an invasion of privacy.

Advertising

4. You’ve gone through all of your “firsts” together

Name it, you’ve been through it: first date, first training bra, first car, first “real” significant other, first hangover, first baby…but when the person you were best friends with when you lost your first tooth is still around for your first colonoscopy, it’s pretty clear neither of you is going to jump ship in this relationship any time soon.

5. You still remember the nonsense songs you sang in school, and you sing them to one another’s children

Nothing says continuity like bouncing your best friend’s newborn on your knee to the tune of “Miss Susie had a Steamboat.” Those songs are only immortable because your friendship is.

6. You remember playing dolls as if it were yesterday, so how are you holding your best friend’s first-born child?

Things like starting a family have occurred so seamlessly and so apparently overnight that you feel a little disoriented when you realize just how much time has passed, and you don’t recall how you’ve gotten here. But all that matters is that your best friend is here too.

7. You’ve had at least one serious discussion in which you can sense he/she has a conversational grenade to drop on your head, and you just take matters into your own hands and pull the pin, because you know what’s coming anyway

When I finally decided to tell one of my best friends that I was in love with him, because I’d been dragging the secret around like an extra leg, he stopped me mid-sentence, pulled me into a hug, and said gently, “I know. And I think you know I know.” “I knew you knew,” I answered, “but I didn’t want you to know I knew you knew.” Thirteen years later, he still finds this hysterical. (I’m slowly coming to see the humor in the situation. Give me another decade).

Advertising

8. You’ve been mistaken for siblings

You’ve known each other for so long that you’ve developed similar speech patterns and body language, and you might even look alike (though this might have something to do with the fact that you have a standing agreement to treat each other’s closets like the clearance rack at Express). For whatever reason, this is the highest compliment anyone can pay your friendship.

9. You’re often mistaken for significant others, or a married couple

I’ve experienced this numerous times with both my best girl friend and guy friend respectively. Like the above example, we also consider this a testament to our comfort level. Depending on our moods, my girl friend and I will sometimes neglect to correct the mistake; my guy friend and I have gotten bored with the cliché assumption that we’re a couple, but to be fair, the fact that I had a blatantly obvious crush on him in high school does lend credence to the theory.

10. You have, like married couples, a “the day we met” story

You’re lucky if you manage to tell it all the way through though, because you’re usually laughing too hysterically by the end to finish your sentences. Fortunately for you…

11. You finish each other’s sentences (and probably sandwiches too)

Under the rules of conventional conversation etiquette, this would be classified as interrupting. For you and your bff, it’s just the natural result of your brains operating on the same intellectual frequency for most of your lives.

Advertising

12. You’ve shared so many secrets that at this point, breaking up would be a liability

You just have too much classified information. Besides, someone needs to sift through your computer’s hard drive if you die and make sure the masterpiece you’ve been slaving over is posthumously published, or delete the “Big Bang Theory” fanfiction you secretly write on Saturday nights. Either way, there are some things you just don’t need falling into the wrong hands.

13. You have no problem giving each other unsolicited advice

Because, let’s face it, they know they need to hear what you have to say, even if they’re afraid to ask, so why waste precious talk time on the formalities? (Besides, your phone battery is about to die, and this is important).

14. You remember “passing notes” in class. On actual paper

21st century technology might have made cryptic communication easier when you can just text beneath your desk, but it takes the fun out of surreptitiously sliding a piece of paper across the aisle with your shoe. (And trying it again in detention after you get caught). Today’s teenagers just don’t know what they’re missing.

15. You made each other best friend mixtapes. On actual cassettes

And you still have them. You no longer have a device in your house that will play them, but that’s beside the point. Sentimental value, people.

Advertising

16. You have absolutely no boundaries. (See number 3)

You hold hands, you walk arm in arm, you undress in front of each other, you cuddle.You’ve seen one another’s bodies in various stages of development, from baby fat to body hair, so there’s no point hiding anything. Personal space? What personal space?

17. You grieve over the loss of each other’s family pets as if they were your own

When your friendship lasts longer than the life of the average dog or cat, this is unavoidable, and when you get the call from your best friend, you let them cry, and cry along with them, because you remember all the Saturday mornings when you woke up in their bed after a sleepover to the smell of bacon and the sensation of Snuggles perched serenely on your head like an absurd cat hat.

18. You can’t go public with any news without telling each other first

You’re pregnant. You got a new job. You changed your hair color. You slept with Tom Hiddleston. However miniscule or mind-blowingly awesome, if you dare as much as tweet about it before telling each other first, there will be Hell to pay.

19. You still call each other just to say “I love you.”

Because you were friends before “texting” ever entered urban slang, and nothing brightens your day like your best friend’s voice.

20. You’ve actually kept the pact you made on the playground to be best friends forever

It’s one thing to Pinky Swear in elementary school to be each other’s Bridesmaids, but when you’re actually standing on the altar beside your best friend, and you realise the guy she’s pledging her love to isn’t a Ken Doll, you realise just how far you’ve come.

Featured photo credit: PinkyYoung hipster best friends having fun posing in urban area – Concept of youth and friendship with alternative lifestyle Swear by cherylholt via Pixabay via shutterstock.com

More by this author

picture of colorful blue plastic spoons 6 Simple Life Lessons To Be Learned From Spoon Theory image of a girl relaxing in a hotel reading magazines Five Ways Reading Improves Your Life 10 Things Only Book Nerds Can Appreciate Book cover of Emma (1815) by Jane Austen 10 Quotes From Jane Austen’s Emma That Can Teach Us About Life image of a girl working on a Macbook 5 Tips I’ve Learned About Being A Successful Freelancer

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next