Every friendship follows a set of golden rules
Your best friend is someone that you know you can count on for everything. Whether you've known them from childhood or you just recently developed a friendship because you instantly clicked, you consider yourself lucky to have them. So, how did you get to the point that this person went from friend to part of the family? Chances are, your friendship thrives because the two of you have some unspoken rules that you adhere to. While these rules can vary from friendship to friendship, there are some pretty standard ones that most friends follow whether they do it intentionally or not.
Golden Rule #1 Real friendships offer support to one another
A golden rule of any friendship is to be supportive of one another. If your best friend is nervous about the first day at her new job, give her a pep talk. It can something as little as saying, “you got this,” or you can go the extra mile and pepper the house with sticky notes containing words of encouragement. No matter what you do, your best friend will know that you will always be their biggest cheerleader and if they fail, you will always be there to pick them up off the floor.
Golden Rule #2 You both really listen to what the other is saying
So many people today are constantly distracted by their phones, TV shows or the magnitude of other things that seem to grab our attention. Rarely do people look up from these distractions and really focus on what someone is saying to them. This often results in miscommunication as well as the speaker feeling unfulfilled by the conversation because they can tell the other person wasn't that interested in what they were saying. As best friends, the two of you make an effort to be present when you are together by putting aside the daily distractions and really listening to every word being said. You know that when your best friend responds to you, it won't be with an "uh huh" or "okay." It will be an honest and well thought out response that adds value to the conversation.
Golden Rule #3 You aren't judgmental with each other
The world can be a judgmental place, so every friendship should have a golden rule about showing you care without passing judgment onto your friend. Perhaps your friend went out to the bar and had a little too much fun, resulting in a night of drunken decisions. As their best friend, it is your duty to make them feel less embarrassed about their actions. It's okay to express concerns for the things that they are probably blaming on too much tequila, but don't try to make them feel any worse than the hangover and their own regret already has.
Golden Rule #4 You are always patient with one another
Are there little things your best friend does that make you feel like you might lose your patience at any given time? Are they the type of friend that needs you to tell them an event starts fifteen to thirty minutes earlier than it actually does so that there is a better chance that the will show up on time? Everyone has annoying habits but as best friends, you agree to be as patient as possible with one another. Besides, no one is perfect and you probably have your own annoying habits that your best friend puts up with, too. Either way, you both know if one of you is on the verge of a breakdown over those annoying habits, all you have to do is talk it out.
Golden Rule #5 You don't let mood swings ruin your friendship
One of the best things about having an unbreakable friendship is knowing that you can completely be yourself around your best friend. You don’t have to worry about them not being able to handle your wide range of emotions because they totally get you. If you have an intense mood swing that has you going from extremely hyper to feeling a little bummed out, they won’t make you feel silly or crazy because they understand you well enough to know what happened. Plus, if they were concerned about you, they wouldn’t hesitate to confront you.
Golden Rule #6 You always cheer each other up
Most people agree that a golden rule in any friendship is to never let each other wallow in self-pity or sadness. You both agree to be there for each other should something happen to upset one of you. Did she recently get dumped by her long-time boyfriend? Bring over some wine and a pint (or 4) of Ben & Jerry's, watch some of her favorite movies and find ways to help her through it. No matter what happens, the two of you will go to great lengths to make the other feel better!
Golden Rule #7 You never try to change one another
Being best friends probably happened because the two of you just clicked for one reason or another and it means that you accept each other for who you are. You've accepted her flaws and she has accepted yours, and you both agree that neither needs to change anything about who they are. Feeling accepted is an important part of a thriving friendship. If one of you doesn't feel like they can be themselves when you are together, there is a pretty good chance that your friendship won't last.
Golden Rule #8 You always have one another’s back
The beauty of having a best friend that you can rely on is knowing that they will always stand up for you if someone is trying to tear you down. They won't let anyone say terrible things behind your back and if someone tries to get in your face, your best friend will be right there in their face. You might not always agree with one another, but your respect each other's opinions and beliefs, so you will do whatever you can to help them achieve their goals and dreams.
Golden Rule #9 You both agree to try new things together
Having a best friend is like having an automatic travel buddy or explorer built into your friendship. You know that if your significant other or family member doesn't want to try something new with you, that you can always rely on your best friend to be up for an adventure. Maybe you want to visit a country you've never been to before, but your significant other doesn't want to take the time off work or can't afford to go. You know if you ask your best friend, they will start packing their bags and planning your trip immediately. Maybe you want to try Thai food for the first time but none of your other friends want to. All you have to do is call up your best friend because you know they are up for anything.
Golden Rule #10 You are always there for each other in times of crisis
The world can be a pretty relentless and scary place at times. Things happen that we are not prepared for whether it be a family emergency or the loss of your job. Being best friends means being there for one another in times of crises. Even if you haven't seen each other for a few months or haven't spoken for a while, you know that your best friend will drop everything to help you through whatever tough time the universe has bestowed upon you.
Golden Rule #11 You always make time for each other
Maintain your friendship by making an effort to see each other. You may have conflicting schedules but the key to a lasting friendship is making sure that you make an effort to spend time together and catch up on all the things going on in your life. Get together once every week or every other week to cook dinner together and discuss the changes in their day to day life, no matter how big or how small. If you are in a long distance friendship, a good rule to go by is to switch off visiting each other. Even if you can only make it happen once or twice a year, spending some time together face to face will have a positive impact on your friendship.
Golden Rule #12 You can trust each other to tell the truth
A friendship that lasts is built on the golden rule of honesty. You know that you can always trust your best friend to be honest with you and vice versa. That being said, neither wants to be responsible for being the bearer of bad news or hurting one another, but you and your best friend can rely on each other to break the news as gently as possible.
Golden Rule #13 Know what the other needs
As best friends, it is your duty to know what your friend needs, even if they are not quite sure what that is. If they are sad, you know what to do to cheer them up. If they are nervous, you know how to calm them down.
Golden Rule #14 You understand each other on a whole new level
Your best friend knows what makes you tick. The two of you know all of the little elements that makes you who you are. Knowing those things means neither of you has to be afraid to speak your mind or worry about expressing why you feel a certain way. People probably hate it when the two of you are on the same team because you are able to communicate a thought or feeling without having to say a word. The two of you only need a hand gesture or a look to know that the other is thinking.
Golden Rule #15 You always make an effort to stay in touch with one another
The most important golden rule of any friendship is always making an effort to stay in touch with one another. Life gets complicated, messy, and busy so it can be difficult to make time to talk every day. Make it a priority to check in with one another every few weeks or even once a month if that is all your schedule will allow. Even if the two of you aren’t able to talk as often or as consistently as you’d like, neither of you will get mad because you understand that even though you don’t talk every day, you can count on each other to be there when it matters.
Count your blessings
Even if you don't follow these exact rules, you and your bestie probably have similar tactics you take when it comes to helping your friendship thrive. In the grand scheme of things you both will see the best in one another and be there for each other through the good times and the bad.