I have never been one to understand the conceptualization of the term ‘best friend’. What is a best friend? What does that even mean?
The premise for the term in itself confuses me. When approaching the notion of friendship, my first problem is the socially acknowledge criteria for what makes this individual a friend. At the age of 3, I carried around this fantastic Ralph Lauren teddy bear, which I named ‘Teddy’ a demonstration of my lack of creativity.
Teddy was the greatest thing I knew. I carried him everywhere and when I say everywhere – I literally mean everywhere included places such as the toilet to keep me company despite the fact my parents gravely frowned upon it. My mom introduced me to her friend one day to a friend of hers and this friend thought it was so cute I carried Teddy around who she labeled my apparent best friend. The labelling seem relatively less appropriate but it was a big piece of fabric stuffed with eyes. How could this bear possibly be my best friend? Nevertheless, I had to accept ‘Teddy’ as my best friend simply because it was what was expected. From then, I had a very thin understanding of what friendship necessitated.
The great philosopher Aristotle suggests that the notion of friendship has three components: ‘Friends must enjoy each other’s company, they must be useful to one another, and they must share a common commitment to the good’. In our collective societal obsession with the term ‘best friend’ or friendships in general, we tend to define friendships in terms of the initial component describe by Aristotle while ignoring the other crucial components. Yes, you can enjoy someone’s company but in the case of Teddy, who can metaphorically represent the vast majority of our friends did he provide any usefulness or even share the common commitment? No, because he was not real – like majority of the people we invest our time into.
Our obsession with placing unneeded pressures onto simple relationships that could easily stem from two people liking something as simple as captain crunch cereal in ludicrous. We waste our time on meaningless non-beneficial relationship solely due to the fact we are a group of lonely people. We need that labeling of being someone’s best friend.
Why can’t we put that much emphasis on being our own best friend? In reality, we spend a large amount of our time with ourselves. There is not another person who knows you better than yourself. And, the fact of the matter is you can never disappoint yourself nor can you ever expose your deepest secrets due to vindictive reasoning due to a falling out of any sort (cc: mean girls).
You will always be with yourself. Now, I’m not saying do not have friends, but rather I am saying put all that time and energy into being a better person who does not need to feel better because of another persons reassurance. You are your greatest friend.