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15 December 2013

A "Best Friend" Test: Are You Really my Best Friend or just a Friend or just an Acquaintance?

We have seen movies about best friends and most of us can relate. We recognize our close relationship with our best friends in popular movies. In some cases, others wish they had best friends like the ones in movies and television shows.  Men want to be like Frodo and Sam in “Lord of the Ring.” Women want to be like Carrie Bradshaw and Miranda Hobbes in “Sex and the City,” and so on.

We have many friends and even more acquaintances and, gulp, frenemies.  At times, we call acquaintances as friends for the sake of convenience. After all, we do not want to hurt people’s feelings. Nobody says, “Oh by the way, this is my friend John, and my acquaintance Jim.” Poor Jim, especially if Jim foolishly assumes he is a friend of yours.  Awkward!  Nowadays, we have “Facebook Friends,” which is another kettle of fish (metaphor intended).


I notice that the safest way to introduce your friends is to call them as “co-workers,” “former classmates or colleagues.”  This way, you put them in a big “safe” umbrella term, and so you will not be forced to identify your “real friends,” your mere “acquaintance,” and your dreaded “frenemies."


Still, what makes a friend just a friend? What tasks must a friend do in order to be elevated as “our best friend?” I think it is a case-to-case basis. One example is the case between one of my best friends and me. I call him friend A. Together, we both bring out the Downton Abbey in us. We become reserve and just have a cup of tea and talk as if Maggie Smith or Anthony Hopkins would just pay a visit and announce important news.  With another friend, friend B, we behave like eccentric and over the top characters from a Woody Allen movie. 

Certain friends highlight one aspect of our personality so sometimes we should not really be jealous if one friend invites us in one event, but he invites another for another.  If I invite friend B where I take friend A, it will be like inviting an adult film star to a fundraising dinner of the “Say-Yes-to-Celibacy-Before Marriage Society.”   If I invite friend A to where I take friend B, it will be like inviting a Christian gospel singer to a Metallica concert.

Despite the differences between friend A and B, I consider both as best friends.  If you want to know if someone is “best friend” material, below is a list of questions just to give you an idea.  This is not “the official best friend test” but just a guideline. After all, we are all different and we all have different definitions of a best friend. Like most list on the internet, this is just for fun and not scientific truth.

1. Do you meet regularly, once a week is the minimum? If he or she lives far, do you still communicate regularly, once a week is the minimum? Liking your post or commenting on Facebook does not count unless you have long private conversations (PM).
____ Yes  ____ No
  
2. Do you regularly communicate after work, either via voice call or text messages? Once a week is the minimum
____ Yes  ____ No

3. Aside from your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, is this friend the first person you think about inviting when you want to hang out or anything?
____ Yes  ____ No

4. Do you feel comfortable disagreeing with this person without feeling that you might hurt his or her feelings?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

5. Have you visited this person many times in his house and vice versa? At least twice in one year.
____ Yes  ____ No

6. Has this person visited you when you were sick, either in your house or in the hospital? And have you done the same thing?
____ Yes  ____ No

7. Can you borrow money from this person without feeling awkward?
____ Yes  ____ No

8. Can you trust this person with your important secrets, not the petty ones?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

9. Do feel awkward lying to this person, even telling white lies?
____ Yes  ____ No

10. Have you lied to this person and confessed afterwards?
____ Yes  ____ No

11. And has your friend done the same thing to you?
____ Yes  ____ No

12. If you were in an accident or were arrested, is this person one of the people you would call for help aside from your family?
____ Yes  ____ No

13. If you had a fight or argument with another friend and you were the one at fault, would this person support you?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

14. If you get married, would this person be your best man or maid of honor?
____ Yes  ____ No

15. If you attend an important event, do you feel something is missing if this person was not in attendance?
____ Yes  ____ No

16. Aside from your family, is your friend the first person you tell your good and bad news?
____ Yes  ____ No

17. Has this person witnessed at least one important milestone in your life? Milestone includes your wedding, not the after party or reception but the wedding ceremony itself, the birth of your child (or visited you after you gave birth or his wife gave birth), your award ceremony, funeral of his or her loved one, and other similar milestones.
____ Yes  ____ No

18. Do you consciously protect this person’s privacy? For example, you do not share everything that you talk about with your other friends.
____ Yes  ____ No

19. Will you skip work just to meet this person in case of an emergency?
____ Yes  ____ No

20. Will your friend skip work just to meet you in case of an emergency?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

21. Will this friend tell you if your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend is an ass hole or becoming an ass hole?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

22. Can you also do the same even if you know that might affect your friendship?
____ Yes  ____ No

23. Have you been with this friend while he or she was drunk, and stayed with him or her until he or she sobered up?
____ Yes  ____ No

24. Will you give way to your friend if he or she also falls in love with the same person that you like?
____ Yes  ____ No

25. Do you honestly feel that your friend will give way to you if he or she also falls in love with the same person that you like, especially if you ask your friend to do so?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

26.  Will you help your friend commit a crime or cover up for his or her crime?
____ Yes  ____ No

27.  Do you feel comfortable just sitting next to your friend, both of you doing your own thing and just be quite without feeling that you have to start a conversation? This is called “comfortable silence.”
____ Yes  ____ No

28. If your friend is not around, will you defend your friend if other people bash him or her?  
____ Yes  ____ No

29. Are you also certain your friend will defend you if you are being bashed unfairly?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

30. Have there been instances when your friend has defended you from malicious rumors or just simple negative comments when you were not around? This means you have actual proof that he or she has defended you.
____ Yes  ____ No

31. If you run away from home, your parents kicks you out or you just have no place to stay for whatever reason, are you certain that your friend will let you stay in his or her house or help you find a place to live in case it is impossible for you to live with him or her?
____ Yes,   ____ No,  ____ I’m not sure yet

32. Will you do the same to your friend?
____ Yes  ____ No

33. Are you jealous of your friend’s success? Do you secretly resent him or her because he or she has become more successful than you have?
____ Yes  ____ No

34. Have your friend become jealous of your success, and you have proof?
____ Yes  ____ No

35. Have you had a fight (or several fights) with your friend, but eventually made peace and now you just laugh about your quarrels without pinpointing who was at fault?
____ Yes  ____ No

36. Do you think your friend is beautiful and hot?
____ Yes  ____ No

For the answers, click this.

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