Patience: a most necessary virtue. Especially with your best friend.
The difficulty of having a best friend who truly believes they deserve nothing is a tough one. You see so many things inside them, great things, or things that could be great but are terribly underutilized.
You must often keep your favorite qualities about her hidden in the back of your mind because there’s no way that she’d believe you if you voiced them. Telling her how great you think she is becomes an argument you never win. Being her best friend is many great things, but effortless isn’t one of them.
It’s watching her make bad decisions but trusting she’ll learn from her mistakes on her own, and holding back the “I told you so” when she does. It’s being unapologetically protective of her when she spends time with men who won’t see her worth.
It’s being accepting when she pushes you away, but happily responding when she makes the effort. It’s not responding badly to her attitudes because you know it’s not about you. It’s being unsupportive of her bad habits but not judging her because of them. It’s listening to the immaturity surrounding her other acquaintances, and accepting that sometimes she chooses them over you.
It means loving her despite the silence, when you don’t hear from her for long periods of time. It’s about setting aside the time to write about how wonderful she really is instead of taking your frustrations out elsewhere.
It’s defending her, defending her, and defending her because you, and possibly only you, know her heart and her true intentions. It’s forgiving her without telling her she did anything wrong. It’s supporting her dreams and her wishes and going above and beyond to make her happy. It’s loving every line on the indentations on her skin, but not asking about them. It’s appreciating every minute you spend together because you don’t know when the next one will be. It’s patience, it’s grace, and it’s never stepping down and never giving in. Perhaps most importantly, it’s staying when she pushes you away.
It truly is work meeting worth, for like relationships, friendships take effort too. Because the fact that you stay when you could have all the reasons in the world to leave will someday teach her that she is worth staying for. It isn’t saving her, or parenting her; it’s simply being kind. It’s being empathetic about how she feels while acknowledging that you could never truly know how it feels to be in her shoes.
Loving a self-deprecating best friend is easy. Knowing she doesn’t love herself is the hard part.