Flip through any women’s magazine and you will likely see a “How to tell if your boyfriend is the one” quiz. I remember always being seriously bummed out by those (I didn’t have a boyfriend until much, much…much later). What I could have used instead was a magical quiz that would tell me if my friend was “the one.” Could I upgrade her from simple “friend” to BFF? After all, that last F is a big deal! It doesn’t involve putting a ring on it, but it means we are in it until the end, right? But what if your friend isn’t right for you after all? Just like we can date people who will turn out to be incompatible with us, some friends can turn out to be not so good for us either.
The trouble is, when you’re in the wrong friendship, it isn’t always easy to tell. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to see if it’s time to rethink that BFF title:
1. Can I be myself?
When you’re around your friend, do you find yourself putting extra effort into things like your appearance, the way you act, or the things you talk about? We’ve all wanted to impress somebody. Don’t worry, that’s totally OK! It’s just a way we look for acceptance, and it’s natural to try and find common ground with others in order to connect with them. Plus, hanging out with new people can open you up to new things. Just ask yourself if you are doing these things because YOU have a genuine interest in them. Good friends enrich your life, and they usually don’t change it completely. The best friends accept you as is, no returns.
2. Am I just a sidekick?
A good friendship should feel like you are part of a dynamic duo. You both have different super powers but each of you should be able to save the day. However, I have definitely felt like just a sidekick—a supporting actress, a mascot to an all-star team. Some of this can be just part of our own insecurity (we ALL have a little), but other times it can be the result of feeling you are not taken seriously. Does your friend always make the decisions? Do they listen to you when you disagree? It’s all about being heard, understood, and respected. Everyone deserves that!
3. Can I trust them?
Trust is about letting your guard down and if you can’t do that, a friendship can get really old, really fast. Fortunately, there are ways to tell if you can trust your friend before you confide in them. Ask yourself how they treat their other friends. Are they generally honest? Do they cheat or steal? Do they talk about other people behind their backs? If they treat others a certain way, expect the same treatment at one time or another. It’s that simple. If after reading this you feel like your friend might not be a great fit for you, remember that someone else will be. It may be hard to believe but there are people out there who will take you as you are, flaws and all. Your friendship is a true gift. Make sure it goes to someone who deserves it.