Friendship is one of those topics that is very individual, no two people understand or practice friendship in exactly the same way, so when we ask “What is a true Best Friend” there will be slight differences depending who you ask. The gender of the person will have a major effect on defining friendship as male friendship and female friendship are very different indeed.
What Is a Best Friend?
A best friend is that individual who is more important to you than any other of the people that you call friends. They are someone you do fun things with. If you have something good happen in your life then they are probably the one person you will share the news first. When you want to go out somewhere and want company, who do you call? Your best friend!
Probably it is when things are not going well that a best friend will be the most visible. They will be the one that has your back. They will keep their promise and this will be reciprocated by you. Your best friend will not be leaving you to follow behind; they will ensure that you go through things together, side by side. When you make good comrades you will know it. It becomes very clear what connection you have.
A Famous Best Friend.
26 years before Abraham Lincoln took his oath that made him the 16th United States President, things were not going well for Lincoln. He had very little money and needed to ask credit from a storekeeper named Joshua Speed. Instead of giving him credit Speed invited this stranger to share his one room. Which Lincoln immediately accepted! The two men became the best of friends and in at least two periods where Lincoln was suicidal, it was Speed who helped him through those bad times, remaining friends for life.
The two friends disagreed strongly over slavery but still managed to retain their relationship despite this large political divide. Lincoln offered Speed several positions in government when he became president but Speed refused to take advantage of the friendship. Speed’s brother did become the Attorney General though.
So we can see from this famous friendship that Best friends are there for each other, through the worst times, even though some of their fundamental beliefs are at odds with one another. They put these differences aside for the sake of friendship.
It does also bring to attention one fear that those in Male friendship have and that is that being close to another man can lead to suspicions of homosexuality. This is perhaps why men are less likely to share feelings than female friends.
How to Identify What Is a True Best Friend?
A best friend will be someone who offers support and encouragement to you when you have ideas and projects that seem crazy to other people. They will trust your instinct and back you up. A best friend will make you feel confident and being with them will induce happiness. Good comrades will be someone who actually listens to you carefully, they don’t half pay attention in the way that some others do. If you have a best friend they will be someone who you communicate honestly with, you do not feel the need to modify your speech. They will also speak honestly with you. Good comrades will be honest and will never gossip about you.
Qualities of a Best Friend:
- Accepting of your lifestyle choices;
- Will remain friends even if one acquires wealth and position (Lincoln & Speed);
- They are low maintenance, you do not have to constantly be together;
- They don’t judge you;
- They are loyal to your friendship;
- They have an element of respect for you, no matter what others think;
- You can trust them 100%, without having to even think about it.
Some Statistics About Friendship.
Some new research by polling organisation YouGov that was focused on friendship produced some interesting data.
Millennials (born 1980-94) often report feelings of loneliness. Far more than Gen X (1965-79) or Baby Boomers (1944-64).
Millennials – 30% of them are always or frequently lonely;
Gen X – 20% of them say the same;
Baby Boomers – 15% of them say the same.
So it seems that friendship is dying out slowly. Other studies undertaken has suggested the Social media, and the Internet generally have had a detrimental effect on true friendship.
This has led to 20% of Millennials having no friends at all.
31% of Americans claim that they find it hard to make any friends. They often give the reason as Shyness (53%), Around 27% of those that find it hard to make friends say they don’t need friends, and 26% of them say they have no hobbies or interests that make friendship possible.
So, how do people actually make friends these days?
Through work – 76%
Neighbors – 61%
Church or Spiritual Group – 44%
Informal Ways (Bar. Cafe etc) – 38%
What is a true best friend? – Is it a Long term friend?
62% of Americans say that they are still close friends with one friend from high-school;
54% are friends from their childhood;
34% are still friends with those they knew in college.
There have been studies that look at the difference between all-male friendships and all-female friendships. The studies have concluded that they are very different, with female friendships more based on sharing emotions, and male friendships based ion shared activities. We have all seen cases of poker buddies or golf partners as being close friends. They define male friendships as being more “Transactional” such as joint projects to swapping favors.
There is also a clear difference between male friendship in different classes. Working-class men more frequently share tools or work on renovation projects together, while middle-class buddies will take part in leisure activities together.
So, in summary, it is clear that female best friends are more about emotions than men. Male best friends are more about more functional relationships. Maybe you have different views on this and the article has prompted you to analyse your relationship with your good comrades.