Four Reasons to Rethink the Term “Best Friend” – and What to Use Instead

Best friend. BFF. Besties.  We see and hear these terms quite a lot, especially as we scroll through social media. But I bristle at these terms for the following reasons, especially when said or shared with others. (Who hasn’t felt left out of something when they see that group of “besties” having a great time?)  These terms …

  • can send a vibe of an exclusive club, to which others aren’t welcome
  • be awkward for mutual friends who hear the term used regarding someone they know, but not them
  • can water down the meaning of the word “best” (which is supposed to refer to the rare, exclusive number one, etc.)
  • create an emotional boundary that may insulate you from exploring friendships with others or inviting new people into your circle.

Perhaps we would do better to rethink these terms in favor of words such as, well, “friends.”  Maybe we don’t need to add the superlative “best” when we post or talk about our activities with known and loved people.  While it’s perfectly fine, for your own mindset, to understand the different types of friendship circles (see my book for more) it might be healthier to refrain from categorizing friends publicly.  Think about how much more open and kind you can be by not narrowing down how you refer publicly to the people you know and love well.



Apparently, June 8 is National Best Friends Day, an opportunity to tell your friends how much they mean to you.  Since I wrote this on June 8, let me take this opportunity to thank YOU, readers, for being in my circle of friends.  I am blessed with many different circles, and many fine people within them.  My book, Circles of Friendship, explores this more, and I’ve shared a few sample page images below.  Here is a link to our latest freebie, a friendship word find.  My Coffee Club members received this freebie before anyone else.  Join today for $2.00 a month.

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