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7 Things Only Best Friends Would Understand

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7 Things Only Best Friends Would Understand

Best friends often make life way more fun than it should be (let’s face it, things become pretty bleak when there’s nobody around to laugh at your terrible jokes). There’s nothing quite like having someone around who totally understands you and won’t judge you (or will judge you, depending on the situation). They’re brutally honest, interesting even after they’ve recited the same story to you a thousand times, and are aware of all the little inside jokes that crack both of you up no matter how many times you say them. Thanks to this close connection there’s a bunch of things that you’d only understand if you’re someone’s best friend, and I’ve listed a chunk of them below.

1. The look of abject horror on your best friend’s face when they see someone they hate.

7bestfriends#1

    Everybody hates somebody (insert laugh track here)! So it’s nice when your best friend is there to nod their head and say, “don’t worry man, I know exactly how you feel.” It’s even better if they proceed to join you in glaring at said hated person.

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    2. That hysterical expression you both make when you see the person who has been the brunt of your inside jokes for the past several years.

    7bestfriends#2

      In my small little group of best friends we’ve been dragging along an inside joke that’s lasted for several years, and it’s all based around one particular (unintentionally) hysterical person. When we see him, we can barely control ourselves.

      3. The fear and trepidation you both feel when arriving at a party that’s either full of creeps or people you don’t know.

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      7bestfriends#3

        So your best friend thought it’d be a good idea to drive out into the middle of nowhere and go to a party hosted by an acquaintance he knew in his freshmen English class a couple years back. You arrive and neither of you see anybody you know. Simultaneously, everyone in the party turns to glare at you suspiciously as you waltz in. You’re thankful you have a buddy because at this point you and your best friend might as well be (mentally) holding hands.

        4. If you’re of the opposite sex, having people think one of you friendzoned the other.

        4

          Having a best friend of the opposite sex is often a bit of an ordeal, as you’ll get people saying that you’re perfect for each other or assuming that one of you secretly has a crush on the other. In reality, you’re as platonic as can be and would much rather go out and be each other’s wingman/wingwoman than to do anything freaky together! That being said…

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          5. Planning to marry your best friend in case all of your plans fall through.

          7bestfriends#5

            Hey, you may not actually love your best friend in anything more than a “let’s drink beers and talk about Doctor Who” way, but it’s always nice to have a “we’ll marry each other when we’re 40” plan in place in the case that for some strange reason you’re both still alone!

            6. Downing a lot of alcohol together before dealing with people you aren’t comfortable with.

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            6-3

              Everyone’s been in this situation before. You’re in your dingy little college apartment, vodka in one hand, whiskey in the other. Your best friend looks at you with an “eh, might as well” expression, and you both proceed to down as much as you can before the annoying acquaintance people show up at your doorstep. After a few minutes of sharing bottles and patting each other on the back, you’re finally ready to treat the incoming outsiders as if they were family (no matter how much this may freak them out).

              7. Feeling like you’ve just talked yesterday, when in reality you haven’t seen each other in months or years.

              7

                This is the mark of a true best friend! I often had friends go away in college for programs abroad only to pick up right where we left off when they got back. Same with my high school best friends: our relationships are almost exactly how they used to be, despite the fact that we’ve all been separated for multiple years due to college. You really can’t ask for more!

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                Featured photo credit: pics_268/MorgueFile via mrg.bz

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                Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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                10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                • honest
                • reliable
                • competent
                • kind and compassionate
                • capable of taking the blame
                • able to persevere
                • modest and humble
                • pacific and can control anger.

                The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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                But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                Abigail Van Buren

                3. How does this person take the blame?

                Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                5. Read their emails.

                Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                • Too many question marks can show anger
                • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                6. Watch out for the show offs.

                Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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                Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                8. Their empathy score is high.

                Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                Stendhal

                 10. Avoid toxic people.

                These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                • Envy or jealousy
                • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                • Complaining about their own lack of success
                • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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