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The Importance of a Best Friend

Megan Mulroy, LPC, NCC

When I was 20 years old, I was lucky enough to be given a random roommate named Alli who became my best friend. Alli and I have been through thick and thin, and I don’t know what I would do without her. Friendships are so important to our mental health and having a strong and close bond with one woman has helped me grow and has given me so much. Like a romantic relationship, Alli and I work really hard to maintain our friendship, and not every day is easy. Based on the past eight years of our relationship, here are some of the reasons why having a best friend is beneficial. 

I Get to Be Myself: When I’m with my best friend, I get to be 100% myself. There is nothing off limits because she’s seen it all. She’s privy to the hidden parts of myself that I often feel ashamed of, and she also gets to witness the parts of myself that I am proud of and love engaging with. There’s something really special about being able to shed my skin around someone who I know will love me unconditionally. 

I Am Held Accountable: When I need to be gassed up, Alli is not my first call. This is because I know Alli is going to tell me the truth and hold me accountable. When I’ve messed up, she’ll tell me. Even when I desperately want her to agree with me or validate a bad behavior, I can count on Alli to remind me of what I value and if I haven’t acted accordingly. By not just telling me what I want to hear, she helps me to become a better person and a better therapist.  

 We Can Lean on Each Other: I can count on Alli to be there when I need her most and she can count on me to do the same. Alli has been there for me on my lowest days.  Working through traumatic experiences knowing that we were there for each other the entire time brought us even closer and gave us a new perspective on our friendship.  Being there for each other during our tough times is one of the most important jobs in our friendship and even helps grow our bond tighter. 

I Get to Feel Any Type of Way: As someone who struggles with conflict and confrontation, I will often shy away from expressing anger or bringing up something that bothers me. With a best friend, I get to express any kind of emotion I need to, and I know Alli will still be there. Because of the mutual respect we have for one another, I know that Alli wants to hear when I’m upset with her, and she wants me to know the same so we can rectify the issue and move forward.  This helps me set boundaries and push myself to have healthy confrontations in other relationships- including in session with clients!

 I Get to Laugh and Cry: One of the simplest pleasures of having a best friend is having belly laughs that make your abs hurt the next day. We could be doing nothing and still find something to make us laugh. Whether we’re reliving old memories or making new ones, when I’m with Alli, I know that we’re going to be in stiches. On the flip side, I know that crying and being sad with her is just as fine. 

It took me 20 years to find Alli, and I am so lucky for the random roommate gods to have given her to me. However, making friends can be really challenging, and working with a therapist is a great way to build the confidence and skills necessary to finding your BFF or maintaining its relationship.  Contact Symmetry Counseling today to meet with one of our counselors that can help you! 

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